Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Uses for Kudzu

Kudzu Car Camo via Creative Loafing

"A use for kudzu" By Shari Roan, The Los Angeles Times

Kudzu, the wild vine that has overtaken almost 10 million acres in the southeastern United States, may be more nutrient than nuisance. Previous studies have suggested a chemical in the vine may help alcoholics curb their addiction. Now a study, also in rats, shows kudzu can help regulate blood pressure, glucose metabolism and cholesterol levels.

Kudzu as a Potential Cure for Metabolic Syndrome.

Kudzu root, which is called Radix puerariae, contains polyphenols, substances that are known to have a range of positive health effects. Kudzu is already available in health food stores as a dietary supplement marketed to women for menopausal symptoms. In the new study, researchers gave half of a rat population kudzu root extract and compared them with rats that didn't receive the extract. All of the rats were females prone to strokes (a type of lab rat often used as a model for human metabolic syndrome).

The findings, the authors wrote, "suggest that polyphenols in kudzu root may provide a nonpharmacological complement to traditional approaches for treating hypertension. The ability of a well-tolerated, safe and low-cost food additive to decrease hypertension is of considerable interest." However, they add, studies in humans will be needed to evaluate the true worth of kudzu. And supplements now sold in stores may be poorly absorbed and may also vary in concentration from bottle to bottle.

The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Alabama and Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, and published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. -- ###

h/t: MRinvestment

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Kudzu - pueraria lobata

Did you know? -- Stripped of their tough outer covering, the fleshy inner cores of the large root-branches can be cut into pieces, crushed in cold water, and the starch allowed to settle. The starch can then be refined by repeated washings in cold water and dried to make a fine white flour.


A tough way to acquire flour for bread, to be sure. But, when you have nothing but kudzu and all the time in the world...

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EatTheWeeds: Episode 73: Kudzu

Learn about wild food with Green Deane. In this video we'll take a look at kudzu, the "vine that ate the south" though it is found as far north as Maine and around the world.

www.EatTheWeeds.com <-- amazing resource!

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Nancy Basket loves kudzu

We talk with Nancy Basket about her love affair with kudzu... the vine that ate the south. She shares how she uses this plentiful vine for food/medicine/basketry/paper and more.



  1. It has been found that extract of the roots from the kudzu creeper had a potential to curtail unfavourable signs of metabolic syndrome. It has been experimented on rats and no side-effects has been found. But since it still not been experimented on humans, scientists have not yet recommended it for people.

  2. Kudzu Blossom Jelly

    4 cups Kudzu blossoms
    4 cups boiling water
    1 tablespoon lemon juice
    1 (1 3/4-ounce) package powered pectin
    5 cups sugar

    WASH kudzu blossoms with cold water, and place them in a large bowl. Pour 4 cups boiling water over blossoms, and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

    POUR blossoms and liquid through a colander into a Dutch oven, discarding blossoms.

    ADD lemon juice and pectin; bring to a full rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly.

    Stir in sugar; return to a full rolling boil, and boil, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Remove from heat; skim off foam with a spoon.

    QUICKLY pour jelly into hot, sterilized jars, filling to 1/4 inch from top. Wipe jar rims. Cover at once with metal lids, and screw on bands.

    PROCESS in boiling water bath 5 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

    YIELD: 6 half pints

    NOTE : Blossom liquid is gray until lemon juice is added.

    Kudzu Blossom Jelly [video]

  3. Kudzu Quiche

    6 servings
    4 eggs
    2 cups of rice
    ½ cup finely grated Swiss cheese
    ½ lb. fresh young Kudzu leaves
    2Tbl. Butter or margarine
    ½ tsp. salt
    1 cup cottage cheese
    ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
    6Tbl. Heavy cream or evaporated milk
    ¼ tsp. nutmeg
    6 drops hot sauce

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees
    Grease a nine inch pie pan or use an 8-9 inch square cake pan
    In a medium bowl , beat 1 egg.
    Add rice and Swiss cheese. Stir well
    Spread mixture evenly in prepared pan, making a crust.
    Refrigerate until ready to fill and bake.

    Cook kudzu leaves in a small amount of water, press to remove moisture and chop fine. Add butter and set aside. In a medium bowl, beat remaining 3 eggs.

    Stir in salt, cottage cheese, Parmesan, heavy cream, hot sauce, and nutmeg. When it's all blended, stir in kudzu. Pour into prepared rice crust. Bake 30-35 minutes or until firm.

  4. Kudzu Bale Studio

    Come see Nancy's 100-year old barn where bales of kudzu are both the walls and insulation. This is the only kudzu bales building in the world. - tour