The kuzu plant is a vine (Pueraria lobata, Pueraria hisuta) originating in the moujtaihs of Japan. This plant now also grows in die U.S, particularly in the South, where it is known as “Kudzu”. Kuzu is actually the starch obtained from the plant’s root. This very hardy wild root has a tremendous energy; it can literally grow through rocks. Traditionally kuzu roots were gathered in the late fall and early winter. Harvesting these roots was an enormous and very difficult labor. After digging them out, the roots were cut with a saw, and then washed by hand in mountain streams (in winter time!) During this process the root’s starches dissolve in the water. The run off liquid was gathered in basins, where the starches could settle and harden. The complete process is much more elaborate than we describe here, and we only mention it to indicate how precious kuzu was thought to be.
Effects of kuzu powder:
1) Kuzu strengthens and regulates the digestion. It is digested easily, and it is absorbed quickly by the intestines.
2) Kuzu powder is a very concentrated starch, containing more calories than honey per unit of weight. But it is also a much slower burning source of energy than honey.
As a home remedy kuzu is especially useful in the following cases:
- General tiredness: kuzu will relieve tiredness and increase vitality.
- Acute intestinal troubles: especially diarrhea, including diarrhea caused by cholera or dysentery.
- Chronic intestinal weakness, or chronic intestinal sicknesses such as intestinal tuberculosis.
- Colds. Colds are often related to intestinal weakness or tiredness.
- In case of fevers, kuzu will not stimulate the fever, but it has a tendency to reduce the temperature.
- It is a good foor for people who cannot eat solid foods.
Kuzu can be prepared in a variety of ways by itself or in combination with other items
UME-KUZU recipe (medicinal drink for weak digestion and fatigue:
- 1 heaped tsp kuzu
- 4 tsp water to disolve kuzu
- 1 half or 1 small umebushi plum chopped to a paste
- 1 tsp ginger juice from grated ginger
- 1 cup water
- Bring water to a boil.
- Dissolve kuzu in 4 tsp cold water
- Add ginger juice to water followed by umebushi paste
- Stir in disolved kuzu using a wisk
- When liquid starts to boil again and turns transparent it is ready, take of heat.
- Drink while warm