Kudzu extract is a type of herbal medicine that is made using the vines of kudzu plants. This extract has been in common use for centuries, and enjoys a long history in several forms of holistic medicine, notably Japanese and Chinese traditional medicine. The extract is sometimes consumed as a dietary supplement for its range of nutrients, and at other times is used to treat specific ailments.
One of the time-honored uses for kudzu extract is to ease the suffering that occurs during withdrawal from alcohol consumption. The combination of puerarin, daidzin, and various isoflavones, is said to produce an effect that is similar to nuclear medications used to decrease the anxiety, tremors, and insomnia that many people experience when undergoing detoxification for alcoholism. Depending on the severity of the withdrawal symptoms, the extract may be administered anywhere from one to five times each day. As with any type of treatment for alcoholism, the administration of the extract should only be conducted under the care of a physician.
There is also some anecdotal evidence that indicates these same elements in kudzu extract may be helpful in cases of depression and anxiety. When coupled with the amounts of calcium, magnesium, and potassium that are also found in the kudzu vine and root, the result is nourishment for the nervous system that can aid in minimizing the severity of mood swings and the frequency of panic attacks. Since the extract helps to calm jangled nerves, individuals suffering with these maladies are more likely to obtain restful sleep, and thus provide their bodies with something it needs to restore a healthier emotional balance.
Some traditions recommend kudzu extract as a way of dealing with gastrointestinal distress, based on claims that the nutrient content of the extract restores balance to the intestinal tract. People who prefer alternative medicine for treatment of such health issues as recurring heartburn, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal cramps would benefit from discussing the use of the extract with an alternative healthcare practitioner.
In a number of cultures, kudzu extract is used as a means of helping ease the symptoms associated with menopause. Over the years, reports of the effectiveness of the extract in reducing the severity of hot flashes and mood swings have been common. Many women who have tried the extract also report that feelings of being bloated or difficulty sleeping have been reduced or eliminated altogether.
While there is a great deal of anecdotal evidence related to the use of kudzu extract, little research in the West has been done to determine the efficacy of this herbal medicine as it relates to different ailments. Readily available in many herb shops and from alternative medical practitioners, it is also possible to purchase the extract from a number of online retailers who carry herbal and alternative remedies.