Pueraria, Thailand's youth-promoting herb for women

February 4, 2015 10:00 AM

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Pueraria, Thailand's youth-promoting herb for women

At a bustling outdoor market in Thailand, I examined what looked like large, dried yams. “Oh, that’s Pueraria mirifica,” my botanist friend remarked. “Women use it, especially as they age.” He made a comment to the woman selling the herb, who pointed proudly to both of her breasts with a big, friendly smile. I was unsure how to take that.

Thailand’s most famous herb, Pueraria mirifica (Pueraria for short) belongs to the same family as soy, and contains the same estrogen-like sterols genistein and daidzein, found in that popular bean. The herb is also known as Krao Krua, but this is somewhat confusing, as that name is also used for a ...

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