Photo Credit: Travis Owenby / istockphoto.com
2. Kudzu: Great for Women
If you have heard of kudzu, you likely know it by its unattractive reputation as the “vine that ate the south.” Indeed, kudzu can be an invasive plant. However, it has been used in Asia for many centuries as a valuable aid for women who are undergoing menopause.
Kudzu contains natural compounds called isoflavones, which relieve hot symptoms, including hot flashes and excess perspiration. Regular consumption of kudzu also helps to relieve the distressing, uncomfortable concern of vaginal dryness that many menopausal women experience. Furthermore, women often state that their memory is not as good as it was prior to menopause. Kudzu enhances thinking skills and improves memory, according to several research studies.
Kudzu has a long history of use as a thickener for food, and is very safe. However, if you take medications to treat or prevent a recurrence of breast cancer, do not consume kudzu without consulting with your health care provider first. Experts recommend that further studies are needed before they can recommend the use of kudzu to women who have a history of estrogen receptor positive breast cancer, however most women can safely employ kudzu as an effective, well tolerated alternative to artificial hormone replacement therapy for menopause.