The Medicinal Herb Info site was created to help educate visitors about the often forgotten wisdom of the old ways of treating illnesses. Many of today's drugs and medicines were originally derived from natural ingredients, combinations of plants and other items found in nature.

We are not suggesting that you ignore the help of trained medical professionals, simply that you have additional options available for treating illnesses. Often the most effective treatment involves a responsible blend of both modern and traditional treatments.

We wish you peace and health!

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Kudzu

Scientific Names

Kudzu

  • Pueraria lobata
  • Pueraria tuberosa
  • Puetariae lobata et thunbergiana
  • Pachyrhizus thunbergianus
  • Leguminosae
  • Pea family

Common Names

  • Ko (Chinese name)
  • Kudzu root
  • Pueraria

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Parts Usually Used

Root, flowers, seeds, stems, root starch
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Kudzu

Description of Plant(s) and Culture

Kudzu is a noxious, robust, trailing, or climbing vine; the leaves are palmate and 3 parted. Leaflets are entire or palmately lobed. Flowers are reddish purple, grape-scented, in a loose raceme. Blooms in July to September.
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Where Found

Found in waste ground from Pennsylvania to Florida; Texas to Kansas. Native to Asia.
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Medicinal Properties

Antispasmodic, diaphoretic, diuretic, digestant, demulcent, tonic
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Biochemical Information

Large amounts of starch
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Legends, Myths and Stories

This is a pernicious, invasive weed of the Southern United States, covering trees, bushes, fences, old abandoned buildings, etc. When it covers a tree, the tree will eventually die from lack of sunlight. Perhaps it could best be controlled by harvesting it for its medicinal potential.

Kudzu is used as a substitute for arrowroot; is claimed to have aphrodisiac properties.
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Uses

In China the root tea is used for headaches, diarrhea, dysentery, gastroenteritis, deafness, to promote measles eruptions, and induce sweating. Also used externally for stiff neck, muscular tension. Used to treat colds, flu, digestive problems, snakebites, insect bites and dog bites. Experimentally, the plant extracts lower blood sugar and lower blood pressure. The flower tea is said to expel drunkenness. Stems are poulticed for treatment of sores, swellings, wounds, boils, skin rashes, mastitis, and stem tea is used as a gargle for sore throats. Root starch is eaten as a food.
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Bibliography

Buy It! Chinese Medicinal Herbs, compiled by Shih-Chen Li, Georgetown Press, San Francisco, California, 1973.

Buy It! Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants, by Steven Foster and James A. Duke., Houghton Mifflin Company, 215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10000

Buy It! Planetary Herbology, by Michael Tierra, C.A., N.D., O.M.D., Lotus Press, PO Box 325, Twin Lakes. WI 53181., Copyright 1988, published 1992

Buy It! Webster’s New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, Victoria Neufeldt, Editor in Chief, New World Dictionaries: A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 15 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023

Buy It! The Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine, by Dr. David Frawley & Dr. Vasant Lad, Lotus Press, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, Second edition, 1988.

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