Kudzu Root: What It Is, Benefits, Side Effects and More

The complete lack of side effects would favor the conduct of such studies. Other limitations of the present study are the use of a rather narrow aged male population who drink only at moderate levels. The present study provides further evidence that extracts of the kudzu root are effective in reducing alcohol consumption but unlike any other medication (other than disulfiram) it does so after a single dose was taken shortly before a binge drinking opportunity.

  • In addition, the wrist actigraphy device was programmed to provide an audible «beep» every 3 hours ± 20 minutes to which the participant was required to enter a number between 0 (no desire) to 10 (greatest desire ever) to record his desire to drink alcohol AT THAT TIME.
  • Persons who responded to these advertisements were given a brief telephone screen, and invited to the laboratory for further evaluations.
  • Inclusion criteria included good physical and mental health, a body mass index (BMI) between 18 and 30, ages between 21 and 40 yrs, and a self-reported drinking pattern of 15 drinks per week or incidences of binge drinking 2 or more times per week.
  • The kudzu group significantly reduced consumption from 3.0 ± 1.7 at baseline to 1.9 ± 1.3 beers after treatment.
  • Because riboflavin is cleared from the body quickly, fluorescing urine indicated compliance in the past 18–24 hours.

Alcohol-attributable deaths and years of potential life lost, United States, 2001

Estimates of blood alcohol levels were obtained during each study visit using a breathalyzer device (AlcoSensor®, Intoximeter, St Louis, MO). They were required to come to the lab twice a week to provide urine, breath and blood samples to monitor drug use, alcohol drinking and liver function, respectively. A total of 227 breath samples were possible from all subject visits during the trial and compliance was equally distributed between the two groups; the kudzu extract group provided 131 of a possible 136 samples and the placebo group provided 84 of a possible 91 samples. Only one breath sample was positive for alcohol during all three phases of the study.

kudzu extract for alcoholism

Kudzu root: traditional uses and potential medicinal benefits in diabetes and cardiovascular diseases

It may also have other benefits, such as for menopausal symptoms. Various studies have used single, one-time doses or daily doses for a week without reported adverse effects. Furthermore, the men who took kudzu had fewer heavy drinking days per week and had significantly more consecutive days with no alcohol consumption (2). Research has demonstrated that taking a kudzu extract prior to drinking can reduce alcoholic intake by between 30 and 50%.

kudzu extract for alcoholism

1 Participants

By affecting estrogen in the body, kudzu might decrease the effectiveness of tamoxifen (Nolvadex). The body breaks down caffeine (contained in kudzu) to get rid of it. Estrogens can decrease how quickly the body breaks down caffeine. Decreasing the breakdown of caffeine can cause jitteriness, headache, fast heartbeat, and other side effects.

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The way it appears to work is that the isoflavones speed up the effect of alcohol on the brain, alerting us to slow down. However, it does not make people feel more drunk, or affect their physical abilities kudzu extract for alcoholism or mental agility. It is, therefore, thought not to make alcohol more dangerous – merely slow down our rate of drinking. The researchers observed 12 men and women in a double-blind placebo-controlled study.


Kudzu vine, Pueraria montana, is a dicot leguminous deciduous woody vine that produces tuberous roots and dark brown rope-like stems that climb up to 20 meters (65 feet) high (Fig. 13-10). Young stems are hairy, and the leaves are trifoliate and also hairy (Fig. 13-10A). It produces pretty reddish purple pea-like flowers that lead to the production of dark brown hairy pods. However, there are no kudzu products on the market in the UK carrying the THR mark.

  • Some research specifically on the kudzu species Pueraria mirifica suggests that doses of 50–100 mg per day appear to have a low risk of adverse side effects (18).
  • Kudzu did what it was supposed to do – it curbed my drinking noticeably.
  • The vine completely engulfs nonwooded areas but it also grows over wooded areas on which it produces large impenetrable masses and completely envelops trees and other plants, killing them all by shutting out all sunlight.
  • According to traditional Chinese medicine, this plant has cooling properties that balance the heat and false energy created by alcohol.

The present study was designed to test the efficacy of a kudzu extract in a clinical population. Male and female “heavy” alcohol drinkers were treated with either placebo or a kudzu extract for 7 days and then given an opportunity to drink their preferred brand of beer while in a naturalistic laboratory setting. Participants served as their own controls, and order of treatment exposure was counterbalanced. Drinking behavior was monitored by a digital scale that was located in the top of an end table.

Development and initial validation of a measure of drinking urges in abstinent alcoholics

Two hours before the first visit, we gave both sub-groups a pill – neither group knew whether they were getting the supplement or the placebo. When they visited the bar, beer, spirits and white wine were freely available. The amount of alcohol consumed was calculated for each group (1 unit per drink of beer or spirits, 1.6 units per glass of wine). The appropriate dose of kudzu depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions.

  • However, there are a lot of supplements that claim to contain it that are mostly cheap fillers.
  • Indeed, the administration of the two major isoflavones present in PL extracts (daidzin and daidzein) reduced ethanol intake in Syrian Golden hamsters with an efficacy similar to the one observed using the PL extract.
  • The degree of reduction is often as high as 50% and the effects appeared within one to two days of treatment.
  • If you’re not sure whether kudzu root is right for you, talk with your doctor.
  • Male and female “heavy” alcohol drinkers were treated with either placebo or a kudzu extract for 7 days and then given an opportunity to drink their preferred brand of beer while in a naturalistic laboratory setting.

Small studies in people have observed noteworthy improvements in these menopausal symptoms, among others, like vaginal dryness (9, 10). In its raw form, kudzu root resembles other root tubers, such as potatoes or yams. Kudzu root, also called Japanese arrowroot, is native to China, Japan, and Korea. Today, kudzu grows in other parts of the world as well, including in the southern United States.