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  Article: Medicinal Uses Of Kudzu - by Pamela Nations-Weissman  
  The Medicinal Uses of Kudzu BY Pamela Nations-Weissman

The Kudzu plant has many medicinal properties and is one of the earliest medicinal plants used in traditional Chinese medicine. Kudzu contains two isofavones called daidzin and daidzein, which when taken orally may reduce the cravings for alcohol by influencing areas of the central nervous system that controls the desire for alcohol. Animals given kudzu and alcohol had lower blood alcohol levels than animals given alcohol alone and kudzu treated animals showed less interest in alcohol in general. Another study showed that kudzu also protected the animalís liver cells from being damaged from the alcohol. Scientists are still investigating whether these effects apply to human beings as well as animals. Other medicinal uses for kudzu include, influenza, cough, colds, tonsillitis, measles, fevers, snake and insect bites, diarrhea, dysentery, intestinal ailments, enteritis, constipation, removal of excess fluids from the body, digestive disorders, bad breath, headaches, migraines, hangovers, sinus problems, anemia, internal bleeding, thirst, hunger, lack of energy, sexual apathy, impotence, infertility, asthma, diabetes (caution, can reduce blood sugar levels and result in hypoglycemia when taken in large amounts), bronchitis, pneumonia, muscle shrinking, dizziness, diaphoretic, strengthen the spleen, stomach and intestines, as well as the entire immune system. In traditional Chinese medicine kudzu has been used to relieve muscle pain. Animal studies and some human case reports suggest that kudzu may have some anti-inflammatory effects. Chemicals in kudzu may also lower the heart rate and regulate itís rhythm, as well as widen the blood vessels near the heart and the brain. This may support its uses in heart conditions and for the treatment of migraine headaches. However, more research is still being done to prove or disprove these potential uses. This brings me to the region of my report, which has to do with kudzuís potential effect on migraine headaches. I ordered some cut and sifted kudzu root through a reputable online source and was able to put it to the test one evening when I was experiencing a terrible migraine. My head hurt from the base of my neck and up and around to just over my left eye. I was feeling nauseous and any kind of light or noise made it much worse. I steeped the kudzu root in boiled water for about ten minutes and them sipped two, six ounce cups of the brew. Although it didnít completely get rid of my migraine, it did take the edge off and enable me to relax and fall asleep. Iím not sure if I needed to drink more of the tea, or if the leaves would have had a stronger effect on the migraine. However, I am certain that the pain and the severity of the migraine were lessened after drinking the kudzu root tea. If I ever experience another migraine headache, Iíll put Kudzu root to the test once more, but for now I am happy to drink it simply for its system enhancing properties.

Pamela Nations-Weissman


Pamela Nations-Weissman has a B.S. in Natural Health from the Clayton College of Natural Health www.ccnh.edu and has worked with Veterinarians in Colorado and New York City. Being part Cherokee, Pamela has always had an affinity with nature and the healing properties of herbs. Her interest began to blossom eleven years ago while living in Matilija Canyon in Ojai, California when she started to pick indigenous herbs and hang them to dry from the rafters of her house. Each year, at the onset of flu season, she would use these herbs to boost the immune systems of family, friends and neighbors, keeping them well through the winter. After moving from California to New York City, Pamela's connection to nature grew stronger. Living in the concrete jungle made her aware of just how important the earth was to her, so she decided to carry on the traditions of her ancestors by dedicating her life to the study of natural health. In addition to being a natural health practitioner, Pamela also maintains a full-time animal wellness practice. After all, what are we without our precious four legged friends? Her fields of expertise include: Ayurvedic medicine, Chinese medicine, Native American herbology, Homeopathy, Nutritional Foods and Supplements and Holistic wellness practices (such as exercise, yoga and meditation). Pamela's practice is located in Port Richey, Florida where she lives with her husband, Richard, her dog Cypress and her cat Echo. Here she enjoys a variety of wildlife and an overflowing abundance of nature. www.alternativetao.com


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