Photograph of Kudzu Root in a Bowl

10 min read

Ultimate Guide to Kudzu Root Uses, Nutrition & More


From chia seeds to marshmallow root, functional foods are everywhere. With so many functional foods available, it is nearly impossible to know them all. In fact, even superfood connoisseurs don’t know all of the less-known wellness foods, including kudzu root.


That being said, if you’re a kudzu root novice, no need to fret, you’re in good company! Sure, we think it’s a must-know ingredient that may help support certain essential functions in your body. And after reading this article, you will be well on your way to being a kudzu root expert in no time.


So read on to learn all things kudzu root.


What is Kudzu Root?

Kudzu root is a vine native to Southeast Asia and was introduced to North American in the 1800s, not because of its nutritional benefits but its ease in spreading because while it grows, which helps prevent soil erosion.


However, at one point, this vine grew a bit too well, overtaking farms and eventually being dubbed the “vine that ate the South.”


For more than 2000 years, kudzu root has been used as a herbal medicine for the treatment of fever, acute diarrhea, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.[1] Today, this root is still being included in many recipes to help support our overall health.


Other Names for Kudzu Root


Kudzu Root is often the term used for this root, however, it’s sometimes also referred to as Japanese Arrowroot.


Common Uses for Kudzu Root


While data is still sparse when it comes to the health benefits of kudzu root, anecdotally, it has been leaned on for centuries as a remedy for certain ailments, including:


  • Helping reduce alcohol dependence[2]
  • Treating liver damage[3]
  • Reducing diabetes-related complications[1]
  • Combating inflammation[4]
  • Offering a calming effect in the body

Perhaps most noteworthy, kudzu root appears to contain isoflavones (compounds also found in soy products that act like estrogen). Because of this, kudzu root may help alleviate some symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes.


Why is Kudzu Root in OLIPOP


Kudzu root boasts some unique properties and could help with a slew of health conditions mentioned above. But when it comes to supporting gut health, kudzu is no slouch. Sure, the isoflavones and other properties are super-impressive, but the fact that the actual kudzu root is a prebiotic (indigestible) fiber makes it an ingredient that can help support a healthy gut microbiome.

 

Prebiotics are fibers that essentially “feed” the live and beneficial bacteria in your gut, and therefore help support so many aspects of your overall health. So, kudzu root is added to OLIPOP for many reasons, including the fact that it is considered to be a prebiotic fiber, which is an important feature when making a soda that is touted as being “gut healthy”.


The bottom line


Kudzu root is an ingredient that has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for many ailments, including alcoholism and diabetes. And since it naturally contains indigestible fibers that prebiotic bacteria uses as fuel, including it in a diet can also support gut health too. Finding ways to include kudzu root in your diet via supplements, teas, or by sipping on a can of OLIPOP, can help support your overall health in an incredibly profound way.


Sources

  1. Wong, K. H., Li, G. Q., Li, K. M., Razmovski-Naumovski, V., & Chan, K. (2011). Kudzu root: Traditional uses and potential medicinal benefits in diabetes and cardiovascular diseases - PubMed. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 134(3). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2011.02.001
  2. Lukas, S. E., Penetar, D., Su, Z., Geaghan, T., Maywalt, M., Tracy, M., Rodolico, J., Palmer, C., Ma, Z., & Lee, D. Y.-W. (2013). A standardized kudzu extract (NPI-031) reduces alcohol consumption in nontreatment-seeking male heavy drinkers. Psychopharmacology, 226(1), 65–73. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00213-012-2884-9
  3. Chang, B. Y., Lee, D.-S., Lee, J.-K., Kim, Y.-C., Cho, H.-K., & Kim, S. Y. (2016). Protective activity of kudzu (Pueraria thunbergiana) vine on chemically-induced hepatotoxicity: In vitro and in vivo studies. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 16, 39. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12906-016-1023-2
  4. Gao, Y., Wang, X., & He, C. (2016). An isoflavonoid-enriched extract from Pueraria lobata (kudzu) root protects human umbilical vein endothelial cells against oxidative stress induced apoptosis - PubMed. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 193. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2016.10.005
Cheat Sheet
  • Kudzu is a vine native to Southeast Asia
  • While data is still sparse when it comes to the health benefits of kudzu root, anecdotally, it has been leaned on for centuries as a remedy for certain ailments
  • Kudzu root is a prebiotic (indigestible) fiber, therefore, helps support a healthy gut microbiome.

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