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Pueraria Root, Puerariae Montana Lobata, Kudzu Vine


Pinyin: Ge Gen Latin: Puerariae Montana Lobata

Physical Characteristics*

Kudzu Vine - Perennial Climber growing to 10m at a fast rate. It is hardy to zone 6 and is frost tender. It is in flower from September to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. It can fix Nitrogen. The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires moist soil and can tolerate drought.*



Edible Uses*

Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Root. Root - cooked. Rich in starch. The root can be up to 1.8 metres long and has been known to weigh 35 kilos or more. The root contains about 10% starch, this can be extracted and used as a crispy coating in deep fried foods, or for thickening soups. It can also be made into noodles, or like agar or gelatine is used as a gelling agent for salads. This plant is a staple food in Japan, the peeled root contains about 2.1% protein, 0.1% fat, 27.1% carbohydrate, 1.4% ash. The starch of the roots contains (per 100 g) 340 calories, 16.5 percent moisture, 0.2 g protein, 0.1 g fat, 83.1 g total carbohydrate, 0.1 g ash, 35 mg Ca, 18 mg P, 2.0 mg Fe, and 2 mg Na. A nutritional analysis for the whole root is available. Flowers - cooked or made into pickles. Stems and young leaves - raw or cooked. A very nutritious food, the fresh young shoots taste like a cross between a bean and a pea. The cooked leaves contain (per 100 g) 36 calories, 89.0 percent moisture, 0.4 g protein, 0.1 g fat, 9.7 g total carbohydrate. 7.7 g fiber, 0.8 fat, 34 mg Ca, 20 mg P, 4.9 mg Fe, 0.03 mg thiamin, 0.91 mg riboflavin, 0.8 mg niacin.*

Traditional Chinese Medicinal (TCM) Uses*

Antidote; Antiemetic; Antipyretic; Antispasmodic; Antivinous; Cardiac; Demulcent; Depurative; Diaphoretic; Febrifuge; Galactogogue; Hypoglycaemic; Hypotensive; Styptic. The kudzu vine, known as Ge Gen in China, is commonly used in Chinese herbalism, where it is considered to be one of the 50 fundamental herbs. Recent research has shown that compounds called 'daidzin' and 'daidzein', which are contained in the roots and the flowers, are a safe and effective method for treating alcohol abuse. They work by suppressing the appetite for alcohol, whereas existing treatments interfere with the way the alcohol is metabolised and can cause a build-up of toxins. The plant is often used in combination with Chrysanthemum x morifolium in treating alcohol abuse. The flowers and the roots are antidote, antiemetic, antipyretic, antispasmodic, demulcent, diaphoretic, digestive, febrifuge, hypoglycaemic and hypotensive. A concoction of the flowers and tubers is used to treat alcoholism, fever, colds, diarrhea, dysentery and acute intestinal obstruction. It is useful in the treatment of angina pectoris and migraine.*

The root is frequently used as a remedy for measles, often in combination with Cimicifuga foetida. The root contains puerarin. This increases the blood flow to the coronary artery and protects against acute myocardial ischaemia caused by the injection of pituitrin. The root can be harvested from the autumn to the spring and is used fresh or dried. The flowers are harvested just before they are fully open and are dried for later use. The stems are galactogogue and are also applied as a poultice to incipient boils, swellings and sore mouth. The seed is used in the treatment of hangover and dysentery. The leaves are styptic.*

Other Uses*

Fibre; Ground cover; Paper; Soil reclamation; Soil stabilization. A tough, strong fibre from the stems is used to make ropes, cables, coarse cordage and textiles. The fibre is 2 - 3mm long and can be used to make paper. Straight first year stems, 2 - 2.7 metres long, are harvested in mid summer, the leaves are removed and the stems steamed until the fibres can be stripped. The fibres are then cooked for 2 hours with lye, tough vines might require 4 hours cooking, and the fibre put in a ball mill for 3 hours. The resulting paper is greenish/cream in colour. Can be used as a ground cover plant in a sunny position. Plants have an extensive root system which can be 1.8 metres deep, they are used for erosion control and for rebuilding depleted soils. A member of the Leguminosae, so it adds nitrogen to the soil through the actions of root bacteria.*


Sources: Pueraria Montana Lobata Kudzu Vine Plants For A Future, England 1996-2008.


Natural dietary supplements are designed to offer the body support to promote health, harmony, balance and overall well being.*

In TCM a concoction of the flowers and tubers of Pueraria is used to treat alcoholism, fever, colds, diarrhea, dysentery, acute intestinal obstruction.*

*These statements have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. TCM is an acronym for Traditional Chinese Medicine.

**The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only, not intended to replace your doctor's or other health care professional's advice or treatment. Nor is any information contained on or in any product label or packaging intended to provide or replace professional health care advice. Do not use the this site's information for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem, nor for prescription of any treatment or medication. Always consult with a healthcare professional before undertaking any diet, exercise, herbal or other supplementation program, taking any medications, or if you suspect you may have or already have any type of health problem. Do not stop taking any medication without first consulting your doctor.