Kudzu is a type of vine, the extract of which has long been used in Chinese medicine to treat various conditions. The vine’s growth is very aggressive and it was brought to North America in the late 1800s to combat soil erosion, and is now commonly found in many parts of the United States.
Its medicinal properties are also now being appreciated by those in the West and its root, leaves and flowers are readily available in health food stores as a kudzu extract.
Consider a few reasons why those in the West are appreciating the kudzu benefits it can offer.
1. Counteracting the effects of alcohol
Kudzu extract is believed to have certain chemicals that counteract alcohol. It is therefore used to address any alcohol-related problems, including nausea and vomiting and the headache one gets with a hangover.
Kudzu may also be used when a person has had too much to drink so they avoid the symptoms of a hangover the next day. Additionally it can counteract the dizziness one gets from drinking too much. In traditional Chinese medicine, kudzu is also used to treat alcoholism and overdrinking.
2. Cardiovascular System Benefits
The extract from this plant also helps to improve blood circulation and it is used for heart related problems including high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat and even chest pains.
Of course it’s always recommended that a person see their doctor or call emergency services when experiencing chest pain, but if this pain is related to poor circulation or severe sinus problems, kudzu extract may be able to help.
3. Female Specific Health Issues
The benefits of this extract can also help with menstrual problems and menopause symptoms as it has chemicals that act similarly to estrogen.
4. Muscle Aches & Pain
Kudzu vine extract can also be used for muscle pain, as healthy blood circulation often addresses stiff and sore muscles, thus speeding up recovery time and minimizing stress.
5. As a Topical Ointment
Other kudzu benefits include acting as a soothing or calming agent for rashes and other skin problems including eczema and even outbreaks such as measles. It can calm allergic reactions as well and helps to soothe psoriasis and rough, flaky skin. Look for the extract in an oil form to use it on affected areas.
The chemicals in kudzu can also help to counteract circulatory problems when used topically. The oil can be used during a massage or can be added to another body oil for more health benefits.
Increasing circulation during a massage can help to loosen up stiff muscles and counteract inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. While a massage itself is beneficial, using kudzu during a massage can make it even more therapeutic and more effective for pain relief and healing.
This improvement in blood circulation when using kudzu may benefit for the brain, as increased circulation can help a person sleep better, focus better, and concentrate. Using kudzu may also help to reduce the risk of blood clots and stroke.
Consider adding a kudzu supplement to your daily routine or using an oil extract the next time you get a massage. It’s also good to have it on hand if you find you’ve had too much to drink and don’t want to face the nasty consequences of a hangover the next morning!
More on our medicinal herbs page or return to the HSG home
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