Pueraria mirifica

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Kwao Krua
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Genus: Pueraria
Species: P. mirifica
Binomial name
Pueraria mirifica
Airy Shaw & Suvatab.

Pueraria mirifica, also known as กวาวเครือ Kwao Krua (but not exclusively), is a plant found in northern and north eastern Thailand and Myanmar.

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. The species was definitively identified as Pueraria mirifica in 1952. An unusual estrogenic phenol, miroestrol, was isolated eight years later from this plant.[1]

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 traditional Thai medicine.[2]


Evidence of the use of Pueraria mirifica for the treatment of a range of conditions including many relating to the aging 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 centers 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[3]

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

Modern 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 nomenclature 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,[4] improving hair growth, and other rejuvenating effects. While there is no authoritative scientific evidence to support any of these claims,[5] a considerable amount of scientific research has been undertaken within the past decade in fields such as nutrition,[6][7] endocrinology,[8][9][10] pharmacology [11] and osteology[12][13][14][15] with no conclusive indications that constituents of p. mirifica provide no value to human health, and the outcome of further scientific studies is awaited with interest by supporters of both sides of this debate.

Chemical constituents[edit]

Pueraria mirifica contains various phytoestrogens including miroestrol, deoxymiroestrol, daidzein, genistin, genistein, β-sitosterol, stigmasterol, coumestrol, campesterol, mirificoumestan, kwakhurin, and mirificine.[16][17][citation needed]


  1. ^ Chansakaow S, Ishikawa T, Seki H, Sekine (née Yoshizawa) K, Okada M, Chaichantipyuth C; Ishikawa; Seki; Sekine (Née Yoshizawa); Okada; Chaichantipyuth (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. 
  2. ^ Subcharoen, P, and Chthaputti, A, Thai Traditional Medicine Kingdom of Thailand
  3. ^ Anusarnsoondhorn, Luang (1931-05-15). Tumrayahuakaokrua. Upasipong printing. 
  4. ^ "F-Cup Cookies". Museum of Hoaxes. August 9, 2007. Retrieved 6 April 2013.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  5. ^ Pueraria, drugs.com
  6. ^ Cassidy A. Potential risks and benefits of phytoestrogen-rich diets. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2003 Mar;73(2):120-6
  7. ^ Bingham SA, Atkinson C, Liggins J, Bluck L, Coward A. Phyto-oestrogens: where are we now? Br J Nutr. 1998 May;79 (5):393-406
  8. ^ Chansakaow S, Ishikawa T, Sekine K. Isoflavonoids from Pueraria Mirifica and their estrogenic activity. Planta Med 2000; 66:572-5
  9. ^ Cherdshewasart W, Kitsamai Y, Malaivijitnond S. Evaluation of the Estrogenic Activity of the Wild Pueraria Mirifica by Vaginal Cornification Assay. Journal of Reproduction and Development, Vol. 53 (2007), No. 2, April pp.385-393
  10. ^ Chandeying V, MD, Lamlertkittikul S, Challenges in the Conduct of Thai Herbal Scientific Study: Efficacy and Safety of Phytoestrogen,Pueraria Mirifica (Kwao Keur Kao), Phase I, in the Alleviation of Climacteric Symptoms in Perimenopausal Women, J Med Assoc Thai 2007; 90, 7: 127
  11. ^ Malaivijitnond S. Medical applications of phytoestrogens from the Thai herb Pueraria mirifica. Front Med. 2012 Mar;6(1):8-21. doi: 10.1007/s11684-012-0184-8. Epub 2012 Mar 31
  12. ^ Arjmandi BH. The role of phytoestrogens in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis in ovarian hormone deficiency. J Am Coll Nutr. 2001 Oct;20(5 Suppl):398S-402S; discussion 417S-420S
  13. ^ Coxam V. Phyto-oestrogens and bone health. Proc Nutr Soc. 2008 May;67(2):184-95. doi: 10.1017/S0029665108007027
  14. ^ Branca F. Dietary phyto-oestrogens and bone health. Proc Nutr Soc. 2003 Nov;62(4):877-87
  15. ^ Coxam V. Prevention of osteopaenia by phyto-oestrogens: animal studies. Br J Nutr. 2003 Jun;89 Suppl 1:S75-85
  16. ^ Pope GS, Grundy HM, Jone HEH, Tait SAS. The estrogenic substance miroestrol from the tuberous roots of P. mirifica. J Endocrinol 1958; 17: 15-6.
  17. ^ Chansakaow S, Ishikawa T, Seki H, Sekine K, Okada M, Chaichantipyuth C. Identification of deoxymiroestrol as the actual rejuvenating principle of “Kwao Keur”, Pueraria Mirifica. The known miroestrol may be an artifact. J Nat Prod 2000; 63:173-5.4-80.