Kudzu

How does Kudzu work?

There is information that suggests kudzu contains ingredients that counteract alcohol. It might also have effects like estrogen. Chemicals in kudzu might also increase blood circulation in the heart and brain.

Are there safety concerns?

Kudzu is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth appropriately for up to 4 months or when injected intravenously (by IV) for up to 20 days.

No side effects have been reported in clinical studies when kudzu is taken by mouth. There is, however, one case report of allergic reaction following use of a combination herbal product containing kudzu (Kakkonto). Another report suggests that taking kudzu root by mouth might cause liver damage.

When given by IV, the kudzu ingredient, puerarin, has been associated with itching and nausea. It has also caused red cells to break inside blood vessels.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking kudzu if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Bleeding or blood clotting disorders: Kudzu might slow blood clotting. It might make bleeding and blood clotting disorders worse, and it might also interfere with medications used as treatment.

Cardiovascular (heart and blood vessel) conditions: There is a concern that kudzu might interfere with cardiovascular treatments. Kudzu extracts seem to lower blood pressure and affect heart rhythm in animals.

Diabetes: Kudzu might affect blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes and use kudzu.

Hormone-sensitive condition such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Kudzu might act like estrogen. If you have any condition that might be made worse by exposure to estrogen, don't use kudzu.

Liver disease: There is some concern that taking kudzu might harm the liver. In theory, kudzu might make liver diseases, such as hepatitis, worse. People with liver disease or a history of liver disease should avoid kudzu.

Surgery: Kudzu might affect blood sugar levels and might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop taking kudzu at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.


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