Response of Cluster Headache to Kudzu

Author: R. Andrew Sewell, MD 
Source: Headache, October 9, 2008 49:98-105


Objective: To describe the self-treatment of cluster headache with kudzu.
Background: Many cluster headache patients take over-the-counter (OTC) kudzu extract in the belief that it helps their cluster attacks. Kudzu’s actual efficacy has not been studied.
Methods: A database of cluster headache patients was questioned about their use of various alternative remedies to treat their cluster headache. Of 235 patients identified, 16 had used kudzu, consented to interviews, and provided medical records.
Results: In total, 11 (69%) experienced decreased intensity of attacks, 9 (56%) decreased frequency, and 5 (31%) decreased duration, with minimal side effects.
Conclusion: Anecdotal evidence suggests that a component in OTC products labeled as kudzu may prove useful in managing cluster headache. This hypothesis should be tested with a randomized clinical trial.
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