Founded 1997

Kudzu source of two compounds used to
reduce biochemical alcoholism in rodents

Fabaceae Pueraria lobata (Willd.) Ohwi, is one of the earliest medicinal plants known in China. It is also known as the notorious kudzu, an invasive weed which plagues the landscape of the southern United States.

A laboratory at the Center for Biochemical and Biophysical Sciences and Medicine at Harvard demonstrated about 80% repression of alcohol cravings in golden hamsters given both synthesized diadzin and crude extract of the plant, with a lower dose dependency for the crude extract in Syrian Golden hamsters biochemically addicted to alcohol.

Collaboration between labs at the Skipper Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies and Department of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill with the Laboratory of Chemistry and Life Sciences, Research Triangle Institute and Natural Pharmacia International, Research Triangle Park demonstrated that intraperitoneal injections of Chinese herbal preparation NPI-028, made with kudzu, lowered cravings in two types of alcohol preferring rats. In addition injection of puerarin, an isoflavone purified from the NPI-028 gave significant results at lower dosages than that of the crude extract.

Journal article on the isoflavanone derived from kudzu, daidzin:

Keung, W.M., O. Lazo, L. Kunze and B.L. Vallee. Potentation of the availability of daidzin by an extract of Radix puerariae. 1996. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 93: 4284-4288.

Journal article on Chinese herbal preparation containing P. lobata, NPI-028 and the isoflavone puerarin:

Overstreet, D.H., Y.W. Lee, A.H. Rezvani, Y.H. Pei, H.E. Criawall and D. S. Janowsky. 1996. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 20(2): 221-227.

For additional information see: More uses for kudzu.


Southern Illinois University Carbondale / Economic Botany Leaflets /
Last updated: 09-September-97 / mkvz