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Kudzu (Radix Puerariae)
A Chinese herb, this is a fast-growing vine, introduced to the West in the later part of the 19th century.
In parts of the U.S.A. it's become a nuisance weed, but in Chinese medicine its used for the management of alcohol abuse.
A recent study carried out at Harvard University proved its ability to reduce alcohol intake in hamsters. When given kudzu extract, the animals seemed to prfer water over alcohol. Two isoflavone compounds in kudzu, daidzein and daidzin, were identified as being responsible for the anti-alcohol effect.
The herb is now marketed by some vitamin manufacturers. For more information on nutrition, see 'Nutrients A-Z' by Dr. Michael Sharon (Prion Books)