Monday, August 23, 2010

Arrowroot and kudzu

Arrowroot (Maranta arundinacea) is used as starch in the natural cuisine.
It thickens at a lower temperature than does flour or cornstarch, is not weakened by acidic ingredients, has a more neutral taste, and is not affected by freezing and it is, together with kudzu, the healthiest choice as starch.
Arrowroot cultivation was found in the Americas as early as 7,000 years ago.
Kudzu (Pueraria lobata) contains a number of useful isoflavones, including daidzein (an anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial agent). Daidzin is a cancer preventive and is structurally related to genistein (an antileukemic agent). Kudzu is a unique source of the isoflavone puerarin. Kudzu root compounds can affect neurotransmitters (including serotonin, GABA, and glutamate.) It has shown value in treating migraine and cluster headaches. It is recommended for allergies and diarrhea.
Research in mice models suggests that kudzu is beneficial in women for control of some postmenopausal symptoms, such as hypertension and diabetes type II. In traditional Chinese medicine, kudzu is considered one of the 50 fundamental herbs. It is used to treat tinnitus, vertigo, and Wei syndrome (superficial heat close to the surface).Kudzu has been traditionally been used as a remedy for alcoholism and hangover in China. The root was used to prevent excessive consumption, while the flower was supposed to detoxify the liver and alleviate the symptoms afterwards.Some TCM hangover remedies are marketed with kudzu as one of their active ingredients.

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