What is Kudzu?

It’s time to clear some space in your cupboard for a nutritionally packed ingredient.

You’ll probably place it next to your arrowroot, cornstarch or whatever thickener you use. Either wayy, make way, because it is the new thickener on the block.

It's called Kudzu (alternate spelling is Kuzu).

I use kudzu to thicken gravies & create alfredo sauce for pasta!

What is Kudzu?

In brief, kudzu is a vine, whose root is used for a variety of cooking & medicinal purposes.

Where to find it

I get mine at a health food store in the section with the seaweed products.

Alternatively, you can order online.

How to Use Kudzu

Dissolve kudzu in water in a small bowl (proportions to consider- if you are using it to thicken 1 cup of liquid, dissolve 1 tbsp kudzu in 1 tbsp water; 2 cups of liquid would need 2 tbsp of kudzu in 2 tbsp water, etc)

Add the kudzu/water paste to what you’re trying to thicken and whisk constantly until it boils.

Then lower to a simmer and continue whisking until you get your desired consistency.

Nutrition down low

According to the Mayo Clinic, kudzu has been used in Chinese medicine since 200 BC for a wide variety of conditions, including:

  • Alcohol hangover (have yet to test this one!)
  • Headache
  • Upset stomach
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • High blood pressure
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Chest pain
  • Sinus infections
  • The common cold,
  • Hay fever
  • The flu
  • Rashes
  • Itchiness
  • Psoriasis
  • Menopause symptoms
  • Muscle pain
  • Measles
  • Dysentery
  • Gastritis
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Thirst
  • Migraine
  • Diabetes

Why you may not want to grow Kudzu in your garden

So although Kudzu has all these amazing benefits, as a gardener, you must be aware of the potential consequences of including it in your garden.

It is a perennial climbing vine, and can take over your garden fast. Very fast.

In some places of the world, kudzu is so feared because of it’s aggressive nature.

According to Ontario’s Invading Species Awareness Program, kudzu can kill other trees and shrubs with it’s giant roots that can wigh up to ~100lbs! That’s some heavy roots!

Speaking of roots, why not have a little sing/dance break, to this fun jam featuring The Roots, Jimmy Fallon & Adele.

 

References:
http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-750-KUDZU.aspx?activeIngredientId=750&activeIngredientName=KUDZU
http://www.invadingspecies.com/invaders/plants-terrestrial/kudzu/