Kudzu
Kudzu

Background

Kudzu (Pueraria montana) is a climbing vine native to Asia. It's now an invasive vine in the US. The root, flower, and leaf are used as medicine.

Kudzu contains ingredients that might counteract the effects of alcohol. It might also have effects like estrogen.

People use kudzu for alcohol use disorder, heart disease, diabetes, menopausal symptoms, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

Don't confuse kudzu with arrowroot, arum, cassava, wahoo, or zedoary. These are not the same.
When taken by mouth: Kudzu is possibly safe when used for up to 4 months. It's usually well-tolerated.

When applied into the vagina: Kudzu gel is possibly safe when used for up to 12 weeks. It may cause mild irritation during the first few days of use.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if kudzu is safe to use when 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.

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: Taking kudzu might harm the liver. 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.

Effectiveness

NatMed Pro rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.
Likely effective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly effective Effectiveness definitions
  • Alcohol use disorder. Taking kudzu by mouth might help heavy drinkers consume less alcohol. But kudzu doesn't seem to decrease the craving for alcohol or improve sobriety in people with alcohol use disorder.
There is interest in using kudzu for a number of other purposes, but there isn't enough reliable information to say whether it might be helpful.
Likely ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Insufficient evidence Effectiveness definitions

Dosing & administration

Kudzu extract and powder have been taken by mouth by adults in varying doses. Kudzu gel has been applied into the vagina in varying doses. There isn't enough reliable information to know what an appropriate dose of kudzu might be. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult a healthcare professional before using.

Interactions with pharmaceuticals

Caffeine

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Kudzu might decrease how quickly the body breaks down caffeine. This might increase the risk of caffeine side effects, such as jitteriness, headache, fast heartbeat, and others.

Estrogens

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Kudzu might act like estrogen in the body. This might increase or decrease the effects of estrogen medications.

Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)

Interaction Rating=Minor Be watchful with this combination.

Kudzu might lower blood sugar levels. Taking kudzu along with diabetes medications might cause blood sugar to drop too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely.

Medications that can harm the liver (Hepatotoxic drugs)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Kudzu might harm the liver. Some medications can also harm the liver. Taking along with a medication that can harm the liver might increase the risk of liver damage.

Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Kudzu might slow blood clotting. Taking kudzu along with medications that also slow blood clotting might increase the risk of bruising and bleeding.

Methotrexate (Trexall, others)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Kudzu might decrease how fast the body gets rid of methotrexate. This might increase the risk of methotrexate side effects.

Tamoxifen (Nolvadex)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Tamoxifen is used to help treat and prevent cancers that are affected by estrogen. Kudzu might act like estrogen in the body. By affecting estrogen in the body, kudzu might decrease the effects of tamoxifen.

Interactions with herbs & supplements

Caffeine-containing herbs and supplements: Taking kudzu along with supplements that contain caffeine might increase caffeine side effects. Examples of supplements that contain caffeine include black tea, coffee, green tea, guarana, and yerba mate.
Herbs and supplements that might harm the liver: Kudzu might harm the liver. Taking it with other supplements that can also harm the liver might increase the risk of liver damage. Examples of supplements with this effect include garcinia, greater celandine, green tea extract, kava, and kratom.
Herbs and supplements that might lower blood sugar: Kudzu might lower blood sugar. Taking it with other supplements with similar effects might lower blood sugar too much. Examples of supplements with this effect include aloe, bitter melon, cassia cinnamon, chromium, and prickly pear cactus.
Herbs and supplements that might slow blood clotting: Kudzu might slow blood clotting and increase the risk of bleeding. Taking it with other supplements with similar effects might increase the risk of bleeding in some people. Examples of supplements with this effect include garlic, ginger, ginkgo, nattokinase, and Panax ginseng.

Interactions with foods

There are no known interactions with foods.
NeuroCalm
Practitioner product
Neck & Shoulder Formula
Practitioner product
Chronic Sinus Formula
Practitioner product
vital.ly has licensed monographs from TRC Healthcare.
This monograph was last reviewed on 22/02/2023 11:00:00 and last updated on 22/08/2022 07:45:37. Monographs are reviewed and/or updated multiple times per month and at least once per year.
Natural Medicines disclaims any responsibility related to medical consequences of using any medical product. Effort is made to ensure that the information contained in this monograph is accurate at the time it was published. Consumers and medical professionals who consult this monograph are cautioned that any medical or product related decision is the sole responsibility of the consumer and/or the health care professional. A legal License Agreement sets limitations on downloading, storing, or printing content from this Database. No reproduction of this monograph or any content from this Database is permitted without written permission from the publisher. It is unlawful to download, store, or distribute content from this site.