Posted on Mar 23, 2019, 6 p.m.
Pueraria Mirifica/Kwao Krua has been used in traditional Thai medicine for hundreds of years as rejuvenation therapy to promote youthfulness in both genders, but especially related to menopause in women.
Rich in phytoestrogens the plant is often sold as a herbal supplement due to its strong estrogenic effect, primarily to treat symptoms of menopause, research suggests it may offer other health benefits as well.
Estrogen hormones are involved in many body functions, in women its primary role is in the development of sexual characteristics and regulation of mood and the menstrual cycle. Production of estrogen decreases with age which can lead to uncomfortable physical symptoms, and several small studies have demonstrated improvements in various menopausal symptoms.
Pueraria Mirifica/Kwao Krau may be beneficial as a topical therapy for promoting health of vaginal tissue and treating vaginal dryness. One study evaluating effectiveness of a gel containing 1% Kwao Krua on vaginal tissue showed it to improve tissue health, pH, and skin tone. Another study with postmenopausal women experiencing various uncomfortable vaginal symptom showed it to improve symptoms of vaginal irritation and dryness.
Inadequate amounts of estrogen can lead to bone loss, which is of great concern to menopausal and postmenopausal women. Early research suggests supplementing Pueraria Mirifica/Kwao Krau may improve bone health. A study evaluating its effects on preventing osteoporosis suggests it to promote better preservation of bone density in certain bones in mice that received the highest doses. Another study on bone density and quality in postmenopausal monkeys over 16 month suggests Kwao Krua may play a role in preventing osteoporosis.
Test tube research suggest Pueraria Mirifica may have antioxidant properties that can help to reduce levels of stress and oxidative damage. Phytoestrogen compounds may play a role in improving function of certain antioxidants within the body. A study of estrogen deficient mice showed mice receiving Pueraria Mirifica experienced increases in antioxidant levels in the liver and uterus.
Pueraria Mirifica/Kwao Krau may have potential to slow the growth of cancerous cells and tumours. Test tube studies suggest it may inhibit growth of several cell lines in breast cancer. Miroestrol derived from Kwao Krau was found to have a cancer protective effect in mice studies.
Heart health may benefit from Pueraria Mirifica/Kwao Krau since heart health can be affected by decreased estrogen levels during and after menopause which can negatively affect cholesterol, inflammation, and weight. A 90 day rabbit study found supplementation to significantly improve blood vessel function. A 60 day study with postmenopausal women concluded supplementation increased HDL cholesterol by 34% and decreased LDL by 17%.
Estrogenic compounds in Pueraria Mirifica/Kwao Krau may help to protect against damage to the brain and nervous system that can occur due to decreased estrogen levels. Estrogen deficient mice given miroestrol experienced reduction in mental decline and oxidative stress in brain tissues; separate studies showed protective effects in mice treated with Kwao Krua extract.
Data on the effects of Pueraria Mirifica/Kwao Krau is limited in humans, but what there is does point to it being beneficial; most have shown doses of 25-100 mg appearing to be safe without adverse reactions being reported, very few negative side effects have been documented at all.
Pueraria Mirifica/Kwao Krau is often marketed as a safer alternative to hormone replacement therapy, as some believe supplementing with this plant may have the same estrogenic strength as conventional hormonal therapies. However, as always it is best to consult with a medical professional to ensure what it best for you to avoid any potential risks and/or complications.
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