Pueraria lobata herb
July 1 2017 by Ray Sahelian, M.D.

Pueraria lobata is the botanical name for an herb known as kudzu. Puerarin, the main isoflavone glycoside found in the root of Pueraria lobata, has been used for various medicinal purposes in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years.

Pueraria lobata, also known as Kudzu (Japan) or Ge (China), is a medicinal plant widely used in Oriental traditional medicine.

Pueraria lobata is sold as regular powder and also in various extract potencies including a 40 percent isoflavone extract.

Isoflavones in Pueraria lobata herb
Pueraria lobata herb has several isoflavones and other compounds including puerarin, tectorigenin 7- O-[beta- D-xylopyranosyl-(1 - 6)-beta- D-glucopyranoside], tectorigenin 7- O-beta- D-glucopyranoside and tectorigenin, eicosanoic acid, hexadecanoic acid, and tetracosanoid acid-2,3-dihydroxypropyl ester.

Pueraria lobata hangover remedies and acetaldehyde-associated neoplasm risk.
Alcohol. 2007. McGregor NR. University of Melbourne, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, 9 Auburn Grove, Armadale, Victoria, Australia.
Recent introduction of several commercial Kudzu root (Pueraria lobata) containing hangover remedies has occurred in western countries. The herb Pueraria has two components that are used as traditional therapies; Pueraria lobata, the root based herb and Pueraria flos, the flower based herb. Both of these herbal components have different traditional claims and constituents. Pueraria flos, which enhances acetaldehyde removal, is the traditional hangover remedy. Conversely, Pueraria lobata is a known inhibitor of mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH2) and increases acetaldehyde. Pueraria lobata is being investigated for use as an aversion therapy for alcoholics due to these characteristics. Pueraria lobata is not a traditional hangover therapy yet has been accepted as the registered active component in many of these hangover products. The chronic usage of Pueraria lobata at times of high ethanol consumption, such as in hangover remedies, may predispose subjects to an increased risk of acetaldehyde-related neoplasm and pathology. The guidelines for Disulfiram, an ALDH2 inhibitor, provide a set of guidelines for use with the herb Pueraria lobata. Pueraria lobata appears to be an inappropriate herb for use in herbal hangover remedies as it is an inhibitor of ALDH2. The recommendations for its use should be similar to those for the ALDH2 inhibitor, Disulfiram.

J Ethnopharmacol. 2011. Kudzu root: traditional uses and potential medicinal benefits in diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Gegen in Chinese is the dried root of Pueraria lobata, a semi-woody, perennial and leguminous vine native to South East Asia. It is often used interchangeably in traditional Chinese medicine with thomson kudzu root (Fengen in Chinese), the dried root of P. thomsonii, although the Chinese Pharmacopoeia has separated them into two monographs. For more than 2000 years, kudzu root has been used as a herbal medicine for the treatment of fever, acute dysentery, diarrhoea, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Both English and Chinese literatures on the traditional applications, phytochemistry, pharmacological activities, toxicology, quality control and potential interactions with conventional drugs of both species have been included in the present review. Over seventy phytochemicals have been identified in kudzu root, with isoflavonoids and triterpenoids as the major constituents. Isoflavonoids, in particular puerarin, have been used in most of the pharmacological studies. Animal and cellular studies have provided support for the traditional uses of kudzu root on cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and endocrine systems, including diabetes and its complications. Further studies to define the active phytochemical compositions, quality standards and clinical efficacy are warranted. Strong interdisciplinary collaboration to bridge the gap between traditional medicine and modern biomedical medicine is therefore needed for the development of kudzu root as an effective medicine for the management of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

J Dietary Supplements. 2015. An evidence-based systematic review of kudzu (Pueraria lobata) by the Natural Standard Research Collaboration. An evidence-based systematic review of kudzu (Pueraria lobata) by the Natural Standard Research Collaboration consolidates the safety and efficacy data available in the scientific literature using a validated, reproducible grading rationale. This article includes written and statistical analysis of clinical trials, plus a compilation of expert opinion, folkloric precedent, history, pharmacology, kinetics/dynamics, interactions, adverse effects, toxicology, and dosing.