Kuzu o Kudzu (Pueraria lobata)

A FUNDAMENTAL ORIENTAL PLANT IN CHINESE MEDICINE

Today in Gardenprue we wanted to talk about a plant that has numerous properties according to traditional Chinese medicine. The Kuzu. Its properties target the digestive tract and it was traditionally used to relieve hangover symptoms. It also has its negative part, and that is that it is a very invasive vine. Let’s get to know her a little better.

ABOUT TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE

Controversial issue between practitioners of such medicine and modern medicine. Let’s say that historically, the differences between the West and the East, both in the way of life, society and almost any aspect of man’s life has been diametrically opposite. The history of the West is based on science. However, the East has been dedicated to the observation and study of the spirit, the body, the environment that surrounds them and their interactions, basing almost everything on the control of the mind. All this understood as something generic. You cannot categorize millennia of history in a paragraph even if I have tried. It’s just a vague concept.

In favor of Chinese medicine, it must be said that acupuncture has been recognized as a practice that helps in dozens of diseases. On the other hand, if we talk about scientifically demonstrable results, as we currently understand scientific studies, there are many other practices that are in doubt. They talk about the placebo effect and its benefits. In fact, not long ago it was accepted that the placebo effect positively influenced the cure of diseases, and how the power of the mind influenced our immune system. From this point of view, taking into account the oriental culture, the combination of the control of the mind with the traditional medicine, has been able to heal many conditions.

We do not want to insult this type of medicinal practices, some have solid foundations but we must always be consistent with what we read and we must inform ourselves well of the origin of the information. The active principles of the plants have been studied and it is known how they act, but always according to specific doses.

That said, let’s see how Kuzu has been used in traditional medicine and see something that is not said about this plant, and that is that it is one of the most invasive vines that exist.

PROPERTIES OF THE KUZU OR  PUERARIA LOBATA. AT THE ROOT IS THE “ESSENCE.”

Numerous properties are attributed to it thanks to its high content of isoflavones, some of them are also present in soybeans such as diadzein. And it goes without saying that isoflavones have already proven their properties even with clinical trials. You just have to google a little (be careful with the sources) and investigate a little of the benefits of isoflavones and their cardioprotective, neuroprotective antioxidant properties … Although this has been demonstrated, what is still not clear are the mechanisms directly involved in the aforementioned properties. We can read a summary of a very recent research article (NCBI, the US National Center for Biotechnology Information) in which the main isoflavone in Kuzu,  puerarin , is studied   .

According to traditional Chinese medicine, it has many effects on the digestive tract and has been very famous for its ability to relieve symptoms associated with hangovers. It’s a shame not to have published this before Christmas huh?… 😉

In this case, the plant is not what matters for its properties. It is the root. All these isoflavones, among other compounds, are concentrated in it. The most common and respectful extraction process is the washing and drying of the root and subsequent grinding to obtain the extract in the form of a white powder, known as Kuzu or Kudzu.

Kuzu appearance once the root has been dried and ground.

 ITS INVASIVE CHARACTER IS INDICATIVE OF ITS RUSTICITY

Being one of the most invasive vines in the world, we must realize that this invasive nature is mainly due to its amplitude and tolerance in terms of factors such as soil, climate or water needs.

You can see even the completely covered Kuzu trees

CLIMATE AND SOIL

The Kuzu supports winter frosts and quite strong so it can be given in cold climates without problem. The only limiting factor will be the light. In shade it does not grow at its optimal rate (which does not mean that it does not grow) and prefers direct exposures .

As for the soil, it prefers slightly humid and drained soils although it also supports drought and soils of different kinds. It is nitrogen fixing and does not need especially rich soils. In addition, the pH ranges are also wide, showing no problem of growth in basicity and alkalinity within the limits of normal soils.

Be very careful with its invasive capacity . It can completely cover a tree and drown it completely, leading to irreparable death.

Soon they will have covered the tractors completely

Good for our body … not so good for ecosystems!

Welcome to The GardenPure! My name is Ryan Heagle, and I’m the founder of The GardenPure, I spent the first part of my adult life teaching and then living in Australia in various business ventures, the first of which was a business devoted to the sale of house plants.  I am now a full time blogger. I am a self taught gardener.

Ryan Heagle

Welcome to The GardenPure! My name is Ryan Heagle, and I’m the founder of The GardenPure, I spent the first part of my adult life teaching and then living in Australia in various business ventures, the first of which was a business devoted to the sale of house plants.  I am now a full time blogger. I am a self taught gardener.

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