Also known as Kwao Krua, this supplement comes from the tuberous root of a plant that grows in Thailand and Malaysia. In raw form, the root looks like a potato. The root is dried and powdered and has been used as a supplement in traditional Thai medicine for over 100 years for its supposed “rejuvenating qualities”.
This supplement, usually sold in capsules of powder or as a topical cream, is now widely available in the United States. The active compounds in the supplement are known as phytoestrogen. Within the body, they act similarly to the hormone estrogen.
Does Pueraria Mirifica Have Benefits?
Small studies suggest that pueraria mirifica may help ease some symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes, vaginal dryness, irritability, and irregular periods. But recent reviews of these studies have been inconclusive. So, the jury is still out on whether these claims can actually be supported by doctors.
Pueraria mirifica cream has shown some promise to relieve vaginal dryness and to promote vaginal health. Although it may improve some kinds of vaginal irritation, it’s not proven to be more effective than a traditional estrogen ointment.
Animal studies have shown that pueraria mirifica can minimize bone loss during menopause. Other emerging research suggests that the supplement may have antioxidant effects.
While some companies claim that pueraria mirifica can enhance breast size or increase breast growth, this claim is not backed by science or medical professionals.
What Are the Risks of Pueraria Mirifica?
Always talk with your doctor before you try a new supplement, including pueraria mirifica, to find out if it’s safe for you. Your doctor needs to let you know if it might affect any health conditions you have or any medicines you take.
The possible side effects of pueraria mirifica include:
- Breast tenderness
- Weight changes
- Irregular periods
Like any herbal supplement, pueraria mirifica can be dangerous in large amounts. Don’t take it if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have liver disease.
Any herbal supplement comes with possible risks. That’s why it’s important to weigh the possible benefits and risks with your doctor first.
Always read the labels on herbal supplements carefully. These kinds of herbal preparations are not strictly regulated by the U.S. government.