Pueraria Butea Superba
Red Kwao Krua (scientific name Pueraria Butea Superba) is a large creeper vine which when mature becomes as large and thick as a tree. The vine grows in the northern and western parts of Thailand, ranging from the border of Burma well into the northern provinces. The native Thai plant enjoys growing in high mountains and is easily observed in the months of January and February. The vine blooms with deep orange flowers (similar in appearance to the Parrot Tree), blossoming up on the peaks of mountains.
According to traditional recipes, the vine’s roots have a special medicinal effect: the ability to restore youth. There may be some truth to this. In the following paragraphs, a traditional doctor from the Jomtong district in Chiang Mai province describes the various properties of the vine, including its effect on libido and its possible use as a treatment for dissatisfying sexual performance (erectile dysfunction).
According to research, erections of mice are ordinarily mediated by certain chemical pathways known as the cAMP/cGMP pathways. However when administered to the mice, the vine extract may cause changes in these pathways, causing the erections of the mice to last longer.
When a rough powder is formed from the roots of the vine and given to adult males, it achieves a similar effect, causing the penis to become erect faster, to endure longer, and to remain erect longer after ejaculation. Not only this, but it appears to boost production of semen. These results come from research in various different fields:
The potency of the extract on the male reproductive system was measured as follows: experiments were conducted by giving a form of the powdered extract, either dissolved in water or in ethanol, to male mice with concentrations of 0.25, 0.5, and 5 mg/ml. The mice who received the solution at the concentration of 0.5 and 5 mg/ml for a period of 21 days, gained weight and had an increase in the quantity of sperm. The mice that received the ethanol solution with concentration of 5 mg/ml for 21 days, had an increase in the relative weight of the the seminal vesicles, prostate and penis, causing the mice to increase in reproductive behavior.
When the study continued to the point of 42 days, it was found that the mice who consumed the aqueous solution had similar changes in weight but also demonstrated an increase in reproductive behavior although the ethanol group showed a loss of weight in the seminal vesicles. However the study showed that the vine, in the long term or in higher quantities, actually decreased the levels of testosterone in the mice. Therefore the researchers cautioned that high concentrations of the vine could potentially prove toxic.
Clinical trials with volunteers compared the consumption of the vine to the consumption of sildenafil (Viagra). Surveys conducted afterwards suggested that those who ingested the extract were more satisfied than those who took sildenafil. The 17 volunteer males between the age of 30 to 70 years all had had symptoms of inadequate sexual performance for at least 6 months. They ingested the vine extract in capsules containing 250 mg of the extract, taking four capsules per day for a period of 3 months. The results of the study found that levels of testosterone were not different from the control group but the responses from the survey indicate that the sexual performance of the volunteers had improved by 82.4%. Thus the vine seemed to ameliorate the patient’s dissatisfactory sexual performance.
Experimenters investigating the lethality of the vine at various doses, testing at quantities of 10, 100, 150, and 200 mg/kg/day for 90 days, found that the mice who received the amount of 150 mg/kg/day saw increases in the weight of their spleen as well as an increase in the levels of the enzyme alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST). Mice which received the concentrations of 200 mg/kg/day had a decrease in their neutrophil count. Eosinophil and serum creatinine decreased as well. In all cases, levels of testosterone declined, so the study suggest that users be cautious with higher doses in order to avoid various undesirable side-effects.
When compared to sildenafil, the vine didn’t have a higher incidence of the side-effects common to that drug, such as headaches, flushing in the face, indigestion, stuffy nose, or a disturbance in color vision. The Food and Drug Administration of Thailand has now guaranteed that the consumption of the vine in humans in quantities of up to 250 mg/kg/day is harmless.
The results of this research show that the vine can reinvigorate men’s sex life, causing significant improvements in sexual performance. What is more, it increases semen production and may even protect against prostate cancer in men due to the presence of androgen in the plant. But most importantly the vine can improve the relationships between a man and his partner. And for that reason alone, this natural medicine from northern Thailand is worth a second look.