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Kudzu Root

Field of KudzuThis starchy root is an ancient Chinese medicine for colds and for its health-strengthening properties. You can buy the powder in grocery stores and natural food stores. Substitute kudzu powder for flour to thicken sauces, stews, pudding, and gravy and add the healing benefits of this herb to your meals. The root powder may help you recover from an illness when used regularly as a tonic in your cooking.

Modern research shows that kudzu is one of nature's highest sources of phytoestrogens, mild plant estrogens that help create and restore hormone balance in your body. These natural, estrogen-like compounds may help prevent cancer and heart disease when used regularly, says Christopher Hobbs in his book Herbal Remedies for Dummies.

In traditional Chinese medicine, kudzu is considered one of the 50 fundamental herbs. It is used to treat tinnitus, vertigo, and Wei syndrome (this condition consists in flaccidity or atrophy of the limbs which impairs the ability to move).

Studies have shown that kudzu can reduce both hangovers and alcohol cravings. So, if you have to drive after dinner and are tempted to have that second glass of wine, try a cup of kudzu instead!

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