“Kwao Krua” is a native herbal plant found in deep forests of the northern region of Thailand. It has been well known to local people for many years due to its distinguished properties and efficacy as well as regarded as the national identity of traditional medicine. Researchers and academics have applied the wisdom and knowledge of old people to reveal its miracle while many state universities have included kwao krua studies in their master degree courses. According to its classification, there are 4 varieties of kwao krua that are beneficial and can be used for medicinal, food supplementary and cosmetic purpose namely White Kwao Krua (Pueraria Mirifica), Red Kwao Krua (Butea superba), Black Kwao Krua and Dull Grey Kwao Krua.
Local communities in Thailand have used Pueraria Mirifica for well over one hundred years, specifically for its rejuvenating qualities, The belief in the rejuvenating properties of Pueraria Mirifica has been passing down from one generation to another and more recently through the publication by Luang Anusan Suntara.
In May 1931, Luang Anusan Suntara published a pamphlet on the subject of “Kwao Krua” describing different ways of preparing folk medicine using Pueraria Mirifica and the claims of its rejuvenating power. It is stated in the pamphlet that Pueraria Mirifica can:
- Serve as an anti-wrinkle agent for aged and wrinkled skin
- Darken white hair, and increase hair growth
- Alleviated cataract problems
- Help with memory loss
- Increase energy and vigor, more reflexive bodily movements
- Increase blood circulation
- Increase appetite, and – Alleviate sleep disorders
In 1932, Dr. A.F.G. Kerr, the Director of the Botanical Section of the Journal of the Siam Society, directed the attention of the scientific community to the fact that the tuberous roots of a Thai plant called “Kwao Krua”, mistakenly identified then as Butea Superba, were considered to be of value as a rejuvenating drug.
Dr. Kerr was the first to create international awareness of the rejuvenating qualities of this plant, which subsequently led to the isolation of a potent phyto-estrogen that is unique to this plant only and to the identification of the plant as Pueraria Mirifica in 1952.