Friday, May 7, 2010

Kudzu Therapy

I wanted to share the article in Thursday's News-Leader on kudzu so I went to their home page and searched for it.  The article came up right under ads for Kudzu.  I could conveniently buy Kudzu Root Supplement for $5.49 or Standardized Kudzu as a source of calcium for vegetarians.  Kudzu!  Who knew?
It turns out that Kudzu was used in China for migraine, hypertension, arthritis and dependence on alcohol.  Chinese studies on alcohol intoxicated rats showed that rats given Kudzu tea appeared to be less intoxicated than their tea-less brothers.  Apparently intoxicated rats are a problem in China, although their source of booze isn't discussed.  This may explain the rattling and scraping sounds we hear at night in the walls of our place on Bull Creek, accompanied by and occasional tiny voice saying "Party on, dude!"
Having scoffed at this, I then saw that one ad referred to a Harvard study.  To my chagrin, a little research yielded an article in Scienceblog.com confirming that their research "report that moderately heavy drinkers given the herb extract in capsule form for a week before taking part in a drinking experiment consumed significantly fewer beers than those who got a placebo- almost by half".
None of this affects the concern about Kudzu as an invasive species.  It has been seen in several areas in Christian county and is probably in other areas that haven't been reported.  It seems to have a preference for forest edges, abandoned fields, roadsides and disturbed areas where sunlight is abundant.
The News-Leader article from MDC has all the facts in one place.  The story of the "Vine that ate the South" began with what seemed to be a good idea, a rapidly growing vine promoted for forage and erosion control.  We should be cautious about any plant whose apparent virtue is rapid growth without any upkeep required.
To learn how to cook with Kudzu and make kudzu paper go to Kudzu Kabin Designs, courtesy of Mimi Aumann.  More information on it's use as an alternative medicine is at Drugs.com.
Now, how are we going to to get those Kudzu roots to the rats behind the baseboards?

1 comment:

  1. I sure am glad I have already sent you something on making paper with kudzu. As I was reading the FOG blog post today, and this article just now, I was thinking: I really need to send Bob something on making paper with kudzu. Short memory! Ha, ha, ha!! Mimi

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