In traditional Chinese herbal medicine, kuzu root is one of the leading herbs used to treat various ailments. Also known as kudzu, the flowers and starchy white roots have been used for centuries for its medicinal value and by Chinese cooks in their kitchens. In America, the kudzu vine is known to invade yards and trees due to its fast growth rate of up to one foot a day. Regardless, ongoing research shows that kuzu has a bountiful of important phytochemicals, including genistein, quercetin, daidzin, daidzein, and tectorigenin, all of which are essential antioxidants that have immense health benefits.
Kuzu Root Health Benefits Treats Stomach Disorders
Kuzu contains beta glucans and other phytochemicals that soothe, heal, and protect the digestive system lining. Kuzu helps to ease digestion, hence improving bowel movements. The Preventive Medicine Center suggests combining the umeboshi plum with kudzu root to neutralize excess acid in your stomach. The fiber-rich kuzu in combination with the anti-inflammatory effects of umeboshi plum helps to ease the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome among many other digestive disorders. Umeboshi plum is a strong alkaline which reduces the acidity levels in the stomach that cause diarrhea.
Kuzu Reduces Inflammation
Inflammation in our bodies can result in serious health conditions such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. In the western world, the first option is usually over-the-counter drugs, whose side effects can cause even more harm. But now, preliminary results about kuzu roots show that it has anti-inflammatory properties which makes it a natural remedy for reducing inflammation, thereby alleviating the numerous diseases that come with it.
A Remedy for Alcoholism
According to a study by the BBC, a group of heavy drinkers was asked to take kuzu supplements before drinking. Results showed that there was a 20 percent reduction in alcohol consumption than usual. Kuzu works by raising the alcohol levels in your body so that you end up consuming a less percentage of alcohol. However, research also shows that if overused, kuzu roots can cause negative side effects. Although more studies are needed to give conclusive results, kuzu could help tackle alcoholism and even help reverse alcohol-related issues such as cirrhosis.
May Help with Metabolic Syndrome Symptoms
Metabolic syndrome, which is the name used to describe a group of risk factors that raise your risk for heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and diseases related to fatty buildups in the artery walls, affects more than 23 percent of adults. It can be controlled by losing weight, eating a healthy diet, and increasing your physical activities. Research now shows that kuzu can be used to manage metabolic syndrome. An animal study on a group of female rats that were fed with a diet supplemented with kuzu root extracts saw a significant reduction in their weight compared to rats that weren’t fed kuzu root supplements. There were also improvements in cholesterol and insulin levels as well as blood pressure. However, more studies are required for more conclusive results.
Remedy for Cluster Headaches
Cluster headaches are short-lived but severe headaches that affect one side of the head. The excruciating pain can last anywhere between 15 minutes to two hours and is normally accompanied by symptoms like excessive tears and bloodshot eyes. One study reported that a group of 16 subjects used kuzu root extracts to treat cluster headaches. The subjects said that after taking kuzu root supplements, the duration of the attacks was significantly reduced. Plus, there were few to nil side effects.
May Help Ease Menopausal Symptoms
Menopausal and perimenopausal symptoms such as night sweats and hot flashes can be reduced by taking kuzu root supplements. Kuzu has phytoestrogen compounds, including isoflavones, deoxymiroestrol, and miroestrol, which help to regulate hormones and in turn help alleviate the annoying symptoms that accompany perimenopause and menopause.
How to Use Kuzu Roots
You can find kudzu in powder form in local stores. This powder can be used to make tea by adding one teaspoon to a cup of boiling water. Due to its bland taste, you can add some sea salt or soy sauce to taste. This tea is effective in treating headaches, indigestion, colds, flu, and intestinal disorders. Kuzu powder can also be used in various dishes to thicken soups and give your dishes that smooth texture. If you’re more adventurous you can even sprinkle kuzu powder in puddings, on top of cakes, and pies. Since research is still ongoing, it’s best to seek your doctor’s advice when pregnant or when taking certain medications.
Overall, kuzu roots have many health benefits and can be used in a variety of dishes to make healthy meals. This is another great natural remedy that’s making a name among other superfoods.
Image 1: Forest & Kim Starr (CC License)