Pueraria mirifica is a plant native to Thailand and Burma. The root of this plant contains phytoestrogens , compounds that act in a similar way to estrogen. Pueraria mirifica is sometimes used as an anti-aging supplement or as a natural remedy for menopausal symptoms , such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness.
Pueraria mirifica comes in capsule, tablet, and softgel form, as well as serums and creams.
Also know as
- Kao keur
- Kwao kroah ko
- Thai kudzu
- Quao croix white
Pueraria mirifica should not be confused with other plants that have 'kwao croix' in their name, such as quao croix (Butea superba) or black quao croix (Mucuna collettii).
What is Pueraria Mirifica used for?
Alternative medicine practitioners claim that Pueraria mirifica is a powerful antioxidant that can neutralize cell-damaging free radicals . These antioxidant effects, along with pro-estrogenic properties, are believed to be beneficial in treating women's health conditions, including:
Others argue that Pueraria mirifica can help smooth skin, increase breast size, promote weight loss, and prevent heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
The research on this remedy is quite limited, but here is a look at what has been done.
Several small studies have shown this herb to be helpful in treating common menopausal symptoms.
A 24-week study published in the journal Menopause in 2007. investigated the use of Pueraria mirifica at doses ranging from 10 to 50 milligrams (mg) and concluded that P. mirifica at all doses was much more effective in reducing vaginal atrophy (emaciation) and vaginal dryness. and dyspareunia (pain during intercourse) than placebo . The researchers did not specify whether any of the doses was more or less effective than the others.
The findings confirmed an earlier study published in the Journal of the Thai Medical Association in which Pueraria mirifica improved vasomotor symptoms (such as hot flashes and night sweats) in 37 postmenopausal women. After 24 weeks, women who received a 50 mg daily dose of Pueraria mirifica experienced the same relief as women who received 100 mg daily.
More recently, a 2017 study published in the journal Menopause found that a vaginal gel containing Pueraria mirifica was almost as effective as a conjugated estrogen cream in preventing vaginal atrophy. A 12-week study in 82 postmenopausal women also found Pueraria mirifica cream to be as effective in reducing vaginal dryness and pain as estrogen cream.
Estrogen plays a key role in the regulation of bone metabolism, the biological process by which old bone is destroyed and replaced by new one.
This is partly evidenced by a 2016 study published in the Journal of Endocrinology , in which bone loss was significantly reduced in postmenopausal osteoporotic monkeys after being fed a diet supplemented with Pueraria mirifica powder for 16 weeks .
Similar results were found with baboons in the Phytomedicine study in 2014. More research is needed to see if the same benefits can be achieved in humans.
There is evidence, albeit weak, that Pueraria mirifica has a positive effect on blood cholesterol levels . Most of the current data is based on a 2008 study from Japan in which 19 postmenopausal women were given either a Pueraria mirifica supplement or a placebo for two months .
At the end of the study period, women treated with Pueraria mirifica experienced a 17% decrease in bad low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and a 34% increase in good high-density lipoprotein (HDL ) cholesterol. ) . In comparison, people who received placebo showed no changes in either LDL or HDL.
Pueraria Mirifica mimics the effects of estrogen in the body by increasing the metabolic rate of carbohydrates and sugar. In theory, it could lower cholesterol levels while promoting weight loss and blood sugar control. More research is required.
Possible side effects.
Little is known about the long-term safety of Pueraria mirifica . Due to the action of an estrogen-like herb, symptoms such as bloating, cramps, breast tenderness, headache, weight changes, and irregular periods may occur.
That said, none of the studies listed above reported significant side effects even with daily use for up to six months.
A 2016 study published in the journal Toxin reported that a 0.3% solution of Pueraria mirifica significantly increased the risk of breast and endometrial cancer in female laboratory rats after 36 weeks .
Pueraria mirifica should be used with caution in people with liver disease because its metabolites are broken down by the liver. Consuming too much can strain the liver and potentially cause liver damage.
It is not known if Pueraria mirifica can interact with other medications.
Dosage and preparation
Pueraria Mirifica is sold almost exclusively in the United States as a dietary supplement. Oral formulations can be found in many health food stores in dosages ranging from 100 to 1000 mg. There are also topical products sold online and at beauty counters. Most of these serums and creams are for the face or breasts, not the vagina.
There are currently no recommendations for the correct use of Pueraria mirifica . Studies of its use in humans have shown that when taken at 50 mg per day, it is just as beneficial as in higher doses.
Usually start with the lowest possible dose and gradually increase as needed. There is nothing in the current medical literature to suggest that higher doses of Pueraria mirifica are more beneficial.
What to look for
Food additives are not strictly regulated in the United States. Because of this, supplements may vary in quality and / or contain ingredients that are not listed on the product label.
To ensure quality and safety, select brands that have been independently tested by a certification body such as the United States Pharmacopeia (USP), ConsumerLab, or NSF International. While there is no independent certification in the nutritional supplement industry, larger companies are beginning to see the benefits of pursuing it as consumers become more aware of the safety of nutritional supplements.
It is relatively difficult to find organic Pueraria mirifica supplements in the United States, as the active ingredient is commonly grown in Thailand or Burma. In the absence of an organic certification, some manufacturers claim that their products are of 'superior quality'. It doesn't really mean anything.
Be sure to read the product label before buying a supplement. Many Pueraria mirifica supplements contain ingredients such as folic acid , selenium, vitamin B12 , and biotin. While supplements like these can be helpful, others are not. This includes fillings made from wheat, to which you may be allergic or intolerant.
Try not to be swayed by health claims that may or may not be true. Several Pueraria mirifica manufacturers are known to market their products as "breast enhancement supplements", which is known to be false. Avoid any product that contains such claims or promises some kind of treatment.
Frequently asked questions
Pueraria mirifica is an herb that has been used in traditional Thai medicine for over 100 years as a rejuvenating youth-enhancing supplement. It contains phytoestrogens, substances with estrogen-like effects, and has been investigated as a therapy for menopause, cardiovascular disease, and bone health.
You can buy Pueraria mirifica in capsules, powder, and extracts, and the supplements are sold in health stores and online. You can buy Pueraria mirifica creams or gels online or in one of the beauty sections.