Puerariamirifica is a plant that grows in Thailand and other parts of Southeast Asia. It’s also known as Kwao Krua.
The roots of Pueraria mirifica have been used in traditional Thai medicine to promote youthfulness and rejuvenation in both men and women. Certain plant compounds known as phytoestrogens make up the primary active components of Pueraria mirifica. They mimic the hormone estrogen in your body. Due to its strong estrogenic effect, Pueraria mirifica is sold as an herbal supplement — primarily used to treat symptoms of menopause, though research suggests that the plant may offer other health benefits as well.
Here are 7 emerging health benefits of Pueraria mirifica.
1. Relieves Menopausal Symptoms
Estrogen is a steroid hormone involved in many of your body’s functions. In women, one of its primary roles is the development of sexual characteristics and regulation of mood and the menstrual cycle.
As women age, the production of estrogen decreases, which may lead to uncomfortable physical symptoms. Phytoestrogens are plant compounds that mimic the behavior of estrogen. As Pueraria mirifica is rich in phytoestrogens, it’s often used to relieve symptoms of menopause.
Improvements in various menopausal symptoms — such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, irritability, and irregular or absent periods — after treatment with Kwao Krua.
2. May Support Vaginal Health
Pueraria mirifica may be an effective topical therapy for promoting the health of vaginal tissue and treating vaginal dryness. The Kwao Krua cream significantly improved symptoms of vaginal irritation and dryness the estrogen cream was more effective overall.
Though these results are promising is needed to understand how the plant may be used to support vaginal health and whether its benefits are better than other conventional treatments. In improvements in various vaginal symptoms with topical use of Pueraria mirifica.
3. Promotes Bone Health
An inadequate supply of estrogen can lead to bone loss — which is a major health concern for menopausal and postmenopausal women.
Supplementing with Puerariamirifica may improve bone health due to its estrogen-like compounds. Estrogen-deficient mice evaluated the effect of Puerariamirifica on preventing osteoporosis. Results revealed better preservation of bone mineral density in certain bones of the mice that received the highest doses of the plant supplementBottom of Form
4. Improves Antioxidant Activity
Antioxidants are chemical compounds that reduce levels of stress and oxidative damage within your body, which may otherwise cause disease.
Some test-tube research suggests that Pueraria mirifica may have antioxidant properties.
Phytoestrogen compounds found in the plant may play a role in increasing and improving the function of certain antioxidants found within your body. The effect of Pueraria mirifica extract and synthetic estrogen supplements on antioxidant concentration in the liver and uterus.
5. May Have Anticancer Effects
Health benefit of Pueraria mirifica is its potential to slow the growth of cancerous cells and tumors. The plant and its phytoestrogen compounds may inhibit the growth of several breast cancer cell lines.Pueraria mirifica may prevent the growth of certain types of cancerous cells. However, human studies are needed to confirm these effects.
6. May Promote Heart Health
Pueraria mirifica may also benefit your heart health — especially since heart health may be affected by decreased estrogen levels during and after menopause. Estrogen is involved in the metabolism of fats and sugars within your body. Reduced estrogen levels can negatively influence factors that affect your heart health, such as higher cholesterol, increased inflammation, and weight gain.
On the effect of Pueraria mirifica on artery function found that the supplement significantly improved blood vessel function, compared to the control group.Also improve heart health due to its potential effects on cholesterol levels.
HDL — or “good” cholesterol — plays a role in keeping your arteries free from plaque. Thus, higher levels of this type of cholesterol promote heart health.
Conversely, having higher levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol is associated with a greater risk of heart disease. Therefore, lower levels of this compound are favorable.
Postmenopausal women concluded that taking Pueraria mirificasupplements increased HDL cholesterol by 34% and reduced LDL cholesterol by 17%.Point to a possible heart-protective effect of Pueraria mirifica in certain populations. At this point, larger human studies are needed to draw conclusions regarding the specific role the plant supplement may play in preventing heart disease.
7. May Support Brain Health
Estrogen plays an important role in maintaining a healthy brain and nervous system.
Some research suggests that estrogenic compounds present in Kwao Krua may protect against the damage to your brain and nervous system that may occur as a result of decreased estrogen levels.
Though it seems that Pueraria mirifica may have the potential to protect the nervous system, research exploring its role on brain health in humans is currently lacking.