AKA: Ge gen
Portrait: Deciduous vine. Native to China, Japan, and eastern Asia. Introduced to, and naturalized in, the southeastern region of the US. Actively cultivated in the central and eastern provinces of China. Can grow up to one foot per day under ideal conditions. Roots are harvested in spring or autumn.
Medicinal Element: Roots
Summary: Commonly used as a rich source of starch in Far Eastern cultures, kudzu is perhaps best known as an ancient Chinese medicinal herb used to treat muscular pains of the neck and upper back. It is particularly effective at relieving back pain accompanied by fever, headache, dizziness, numbness in the extremities, and elevated blood pressure. Recent research at universities throughout the US have discovered a correlation between kudzu use and breaking the pattern of alcohol addiction. Although the Chinese have used this herb with chrysanthemum for centuries to treat alcohol intoxication and hangovers, current scientific investigation suggests that kudzu substantially suppresses the desire and craving for alcohol when compared against control groups. Additionally, kudzu aids digestion and relieves intestinal cramps due to diarrhea and dysentery.
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