Kudzu Tummy Tonic

Kudzu (also called Japanese arrowroot) is a fast climbing perennial vine originally from Asia and the Pacific Islands. In the 1800’s, Kudzu was introduced to North America to control soil erosion. It was initially sought after as an ornamental vine to shade houses; however, in the South it hit the ground running, becoming more of a nuisance. Kudzu can out-compete other species by handling environmental stress well, such as drought and frost.   Growing a FOOT A WEEK, this survivor takes over the landscape. Check out these vine barrens! Kudzu Vine Barrens

But would a weed by any other name be as sweet?

As nature often demonstrates, every item put on this planet has a specific purpose, while not always initially apparent.

KudzuKudzu has a number of medicinal properties. In animal studies, the kudzu root was found to significantly reduce blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity. In Chinese Medicine, the root and flower can be used to treat fevers, headaches, and muscle cramps. Kudzu root has demonstrated effectiveness in reducing cold symptoms, boosting the immune system, relieving fatigue and reducing the symptoms of stress. Kudzu has also been found to suppress alcohol cravings and to calm hyperactivity. In my best infomercial voice, “But wait…there’s more!”

Perhaps one of the most notable uses of Kudzu is its strength as a digestive aid. This starchy root is high in complex carbohydrates which helps to balance acidity in the stomach. The root is soothing to the digestive tract and relieves the discomfort from over-acidity, bacterial infections, and general GI distress. Kudzu’s antioxidants (flavonoids) increase blood flow to the stomach to relieve cramping.

One of the best uses of Kudzu is to assist children experiencing diarrhea. So, I am going to share with you an easy recipe for Kudzu that will not only help to replenish hydration, but also sooth little tummies at the same time!


Kudzu Tummy Tonic

Mix kudzu powder in the cup of cold apple juice. Stir to dissolve. Pour mixture into a small pot and bring it to a boil. Reduce it to a simmer while stirring for around 2 minutes.

If your little one likes tea, then serve it warm. While warm liquid would be the best for a sensitive stomach, this tonic will still work nicely at room temp or even refrigerated. It tends to thicken when refrigerated. If you choose to refrigerate your mixture, I would recommend mixing half of the tonic to half room temperature filtered water in a child friendly cup.

Try tasting a spoonful off of the stove. You will be hooked…it tastes like apple pie! Kudzu Tummy Tonic

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