Airy Shaw & Suvatab.
In Thailand, the plant is known as “Kwao Krua Kao”, the 'Kao' meaning white which distinguishes Pueraria mirifica from other plants with tuberous roots also sharing the 'Kwao Krua' designation such as Butea superba, commonly called Kwao Krua Deng (Red) and the 'black' and 'dull grey' Kwao Krua plants. It has a history of use in folk medicine. The species was definitively identified as Pueraria mirifica in 1952. An unusual estrogenic phenol, miroestrol, was isolated eight years later from this plant.
Dried and powdered, the tuberous root of Pueraria mirifica has a history of domestic consumption in Thailand in traditional folk medicine as a rejuvenating herb to promote youthfulness in both women and men and is used widely within the now government regulated practice of Thai Traditional Medicine.
Evidence of the use of Pueraria mirifica for the treatment of a range of conditions including many relating to the ageing process can be definitively identified as early a the 13th Century AD. The ancient capital of Burma, known then as Pookham but now called Bagan, was one of the most important centres of knowledge in the Asian region until being sacked and partially destroyed by Kublai Khan's Mongol invasion of the late 13th Century. In 1931 a text was discovered secreted within the walls of a Buddhist temple that predated the Mongol invasion. Originally written on palm leaves, and translated into English and published in 1931, the document includes the instructions
To take the tuberous root of Pueraria with big leaves, pound and blend with cow’s milk. The benefits of this medicine is to support memory, talk big, and be able to remember three books of the astrology, make the skin smooth like six year old kid, live more than 1,000 years and parasite diseases are not able to be of trouble
Mocern knowledge of Pueraria mirifica can be traced to the publication of the booklet containing the reference to the plant's use in ancient times, with the author Luang Anusan Suntara claiming in his publication use of the ingredient reduced wrinkles, got rid of gray hair, improved eyesight and memory, along with other benefits. Two decades later in 1952 Pueraria mirifica was formally defined with its botanical nomenlature under the sponsorship of Dr. Kerr, the then Director of the Botanical Section of the Journal of the Siam Society. Dr. Kerr characterized the plant as the “Fountain of Youth” for both men and women.
Some cosmetic products and herbal supplements claim various health benefits of the extracts of Pueraria mirifica including increasing appetite, enlarging breasts, improving hair growth, and other rejuvenating effects; however, there is no scientific evidence to support any of these claims. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has taken action against manufacturers who make such fraudulent claims.
Pueraria mirifica contains various phytoestrogens including miroestrol, deoxymiroestrol, daidzein, genistin, genistein, β-sitosterol, stigmasterol, coumestrol, pueraria, campesterol, mirificoumestan, kwakhurin, and mirificine.
- Chansakaow S, Ishikawa T, Seki H, Sekine (née Yoshizawa) K, Okada M, Chaichantipyuth C (February 2000). "Identification of deoxymiroestrol as the actual rejuvenating principle of "Kwao Keur", Pueraria mirifica. The known miroestrol may be an artifact". J. Nat. Prod. 63 (2): 173–5. doi:10.1021/np990547v. PMID 10691701.
- Subcharoen, P, and Chthaputti, A, Thai Traditional Medicine Kingdom of Thailand
- Anusarnsoondhorn, Luang (1931-05-15). Tumrayahuakaokrua. Upasipong printing.
- "F-Cup Cookies". Museum of Hoaxes. August 9, 2007. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
- Pueraria, drugs.com
- See for example: Federal Trade Commission vs. Vital Dynamics and Federal Trade Commission vs. J. Michael Ernest