Pueraria Mirifica, the Thai
Secret of Youth
to slow down the aging process fuel billions of dollars in world's pharmaceutical sales
every year. Encompassing everything from dietary supplements to designer drugs
which stimulate (or simulate) natural processes, the industry is scrambling to
create the next wonder product which everyone has to try. But as we’ve seen so
often before, the answer might not be in creating something new, so much as
rediscovering our past.
History of Kwao Krua or Pueraria Mirifica.
From the hills of North Thailand…..“Aging women around 70-80 years old, who
take this substance, when healthy, will menstruate again. If aging men take this substance, that person will become like a young man.”
Members of tribal villages
perched high in the mountains of North Thailand, has been harboring a
secret for hundred of years. From the outside, those are like any rural enclave,
with small communities peaking out a living from farming rice on the
dusty arid slopes surrounding the villages. But when you look closely, you’ll
notice something different about them. Apart from the fact they’re all mostly
old and healthy, they’re looking remarkably fresh! Their skin is smooth and
there’s barely a wrinkle to be seen.
And even the 92-year old matriarch has a
full head of jet-black hair.
All these longevity traits and more
are said to be due to a natural diet which includes a local root growing wild
in the slopes and valleys of the North.
It was first written about when
ancient historians discovered traces of it in ruins
of the Ancient City of
Pookam, now in Burma. They noted its use in combating hot flashes and night
sweats associated with menopause.
And its clinical significance was
more fully detailed 80 years ago, in a published work by a notorious anthropologist.
He noted its powers in anti-wrinkling, memory enhancement, strong eyes and
teeth, darkening hair, and the somewhat ambiguous statement of “ability for
entertaining a thousand customers”. Medically, many of these claims have
already been clinically proven, including its ability to stimulate collagen growth
(to stop wrinkling and pro-mote smooth skin), and preventing hair discoloration
(leeching of hair color over time, leading to gray colorless hair). And it’s
currently being used as an alternative to costly hormone therapy for
post-menopausal women, and to prevent cancer.
The root in question, which grows wild in the rough terrain of the
North, it is their big secret. It’s a vine with a root network like a string of pearls. Each
root-string has a series of radish-like bulbs that grow to the size of a
grapefruit, and is traditionally eaten fresh as a fruit or a condiment (like
garlic, or pickles). However, as the Thai Tribe become more sophisticated, so
too do the varieties of uses for it, which is now powdered for
cosmetics, and in cream for the full body.
The Mae Fah
Luang University, in Chiang Rai, arguably the world’s foremost researcher on
the properties of Thai herbs, has conducted various studies on the plant over the
last 24 years. Its has pioneered the processes to refine the key ingredients
from the root, and to make this available as an alternative medicine for
everything from skin creams (adding richness through increased collagen
formation, especially to breasts, hands and face), to tablets for a stronger
and more stable constitution.
The University is currently collecting data on
efficacy and side effects, and so far its is very pleased with the results.
Among other tests, was found it increased the virility of rats by about 7 times
when taken in human equivalent doses.
Although there were concerns about
cancer, recent studies show, if anything, it reduces incidences (especially in
the case of age-related problems, like prostate cancer for men, and breast cancer for women). Getting back
to the roots (no pun intended) at the tribal village they found very little
incidence of even the mildest forms of prostate problems, which most people
take for granted as they get older.
The ocurrence of breast cancer in women from North Thailand it is very rare.
And as a result of its research, the
herb’s root extract is being adopted by leading manufacturers, who are
becoming increasingly aware of the “natural alternative therapy market”, to include
in their upcoming products. And major world's export markets are emerging starting with
Japan and the US, which happen to be two of the heaviest users of herbal products in
This herb its being implicated in
everything, from stopping wrinkles and stopping serious illness, to increased
awareness and virility, it just could be the greatest natural medicinal revolution
since penicillin. We call it the Thai Secret.