If you're like many people, then you were likely left wondering when you first heard the word "kudzu." Unless you're familiar with alternative medicine or hail from China, you probably have no idea what kudzu is. Kudzu is a remedy or treatment for various illnesses and conditions, and, depending on who you talk to, it could be a huge aid to getting your mind, body, and spirit right. So if you're wondering what kudzu root is, how it works, what it's used for, and how it could benefit you, then you've come to the right place.

What Is the Kudzu Root?

Kudzu is a vine that belongs to the pea family and has some crazy growing abilities; with the right conditions, it will cover everything. In fact, when kudzu was first brought to North America in 1876 to help prevent soil erosion in the southeastern U.S., it took over and covered buildings and farms. Some even call kudzu "the vine that ate the South."

Ancient Origins

Rootcrops on a basket

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Long before that, however, kudzu was used for medicine in China. Recently, kudzu root has been used to treat diabetes, alcoholism, menopausal symptoms, and even the common cold!

You likely won't find kudzu root being prescribed by a doctor, but it's actually a staple of alternative medicine. That being said, there have been studies to suggest it's effective for treating certain ailments. For instance, in 2005, a study was done in which heavy drinkers were given either a placebo or a capsule with kudzu in it. Those who took the kudzu for a week before the experiment drank on average almost two beers in an hour and a half. That's pretty stunning, as those who took the placebo drank two times as much!

A study in 2007 suggests that taking kudzu for 24 weeks straight helped to relieve postmenopausal women from vaginal dryness. Likewise, a 2009 study also suggests that kudzu could help with the duration, frequency, and intensity of cluster headache attacks.

How Does It Work?

Traditional chinese medicine

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Though there have been studies on the benefits of kudzu root, the actual scientific process so far remains a mystery. Likewise, much of what some people claim kudzu can do cannot actually be supported by clinical studies. Taking kudzu may indeed help you with a variety of ailments; however, there isn't much real science behind it to back up these claims.

3 Benefits of Adding Kudzu Root to Your Diet

So now that you know what kudzu root is, it's time to get to the juicy part. What exactly can you gain by adding kudzu root to your diet?

It Could Help You Drink Less

Dried chinese medicines

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As the studies referenced above demonstrate, kudzu root could very well be a viable treatment for too much drinking. If you're trying to cut down or even give up drinking altogether, then kudzu root might be worth a try.

It Could Help With Menopausal Symptoms

If you're a woman who has gone through menopause and deal with vaginal dryness, the aforementioned studies suggest that you might find some relief by taking kudzu root daily over a prolonged period of time.

It Could Help With Cluster Headaches

If you suffer from cluster headaches and are itching for some real relief, then you might give kudzu a try. Who knows? It could be just what you need.

Conclusion

While the science behind kudzu root is not yet complete, it is a traditional medicine that's been used for centuries. Many people claim that it helps with a variety of ailments, and there have even been studies that suggest it could be a viable treatment for things like alcoholism, cluster headaches, and menopausal symptoms. So if you're dealing with any of those conditions, perhaps kudzu root could be worth the try.

Featured image by markroad1230 via Pixabay.