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Kudzu

What Is It?

When the twining kudzu vine (Pueraria lobata) was introduced to the United States from Asia more than a century ago, it proceeded to flourish and spread rapidly through the warm and humid southern region of the country. In fact, many now consider this tenacious, high-climbing vine a nuisance.

Traditional Asian healers, however, have long valued kudzu’s root and flowers for treating colds, flu, high blood pressure, chest pain, allergies, and a host of other ailments. And research indicates that a compound in the root (an isoflavone called puerarin) may also increase blood flow to the heart and brain–which may explain certain traditional uses.

In recent years, Chinese healers have reported success in minimizing alcohol cravings by using kudzu. Studies conducted in the 1990s showed that compounds in the root (daidzin and daidzein) notably reduced alcohol consumption in hamsters and rats that had been specially bred to crave alcohol. (The compounds inhibit the enzymes crucial to metabolizing alcohol.)

Initial research in humans has not been so rosy, however. A February, 2000 study in 38 chronic alcoholics at a Veterans Administration hospital in Arizona found that kudzu root was no more effective than a placebo in lessening alcohol cravings. More research is needed to determine whether kudzu can, in fact, safely and effectively control alcohol cravings in humans.

Kudzu is available in various forms including capsules, tablets, and sliced or chopped dried root.

General Interaction

There are no known drug or nutrient interactions associated with kudzu.

Cautions

This medicinal plant has been used for centuries in Asia and is not likely to cause harm when taken in commonly recommended dosages and forms.

Ailments-Dosage

Alcoholism 1 tsp. alcohol-free liquid extract 3 times a day


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DIAGNOSE-IT-YOURSELF: COVID-19

Far and away, the commonest phone call/e mail I receive asks about COVID-19 diagnosis.
Just print this out, tape it on your refrigerator door, and stay calm.

ALLERGIES

• Runny nose
• Sneezing
• Red, swollen eyes
• Itchy eyes and nose
• Tickly throat
• No fever

COLD
• Runny nose
• Sneezing
• Sore throat
• Mild muscle aches
• Mild dry cough
• Rarely a low fever

STREP THROAT
• Painful sore throat
• Hurts to swallow
• Swollen glands in neck
• Fever

FLU (Standard seasonal flu)
• Fever
• Dry cough (no mucus)
• Sudden onset over few hours
• Headache
• Sore throat
• Fatigue, sometimes quite severe
• Muscle aches, sometimes quite severe
• Rarely, diarrhea

CORONAVIRUS-COVID 19
• Shortness of breath
• Fever (usually above 100 degrees)
• Dry cough (no mucus)
• Slow onset (2-14 days)
• Mild muscle aches
• Mild fatigue
• Mild sneezing

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