HEALTHY FOODS - KUDZU
Kudzu is a plant native to Japan and China. Its root has long been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine where it is considered to be among the top 50 therapeutic herbs. Practitioners of Chinese medicine use kudzu to treat a range of conditions, including excessive thirst, headaches, high blood pressure and angina. Other uses include diarrhoea, allergies, migraines, headaches and alcoholism.
Kudzu is also a useful cooking ingredient as it can be used as a gluten and corn-free thickener in soups and sauces. You can find it in health food shops and Japanese food shops.
Kudzu root contains isoflavones such as Daidzein. Animal studies indicate that Daidzein may reduce the desire for alcohol. Studies with alcoholic people show mixed results but heavy alcohol drinkers given 1000 milligrams of kudzu extract three times a day for a week significantly reduced their beer consumption. Daidzein also has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties.
Who should eat kudzu?
Therapeutic doses of kudzu vary from 10-100 milligrams of the extract 2-3 times a day. However, as a culinary root 1-2 tablespoons in a sauce is usually sufficient to thicken it.
How interesting... And we thought it was just a pesky plant that's taking over the South!