We know that some weeds make the best biofuel, but now biologists have figured out how to turn kudzu, the fast growing weed that has gobbled up some 10 million acres in the Southeast, into a valuable dietary supplement for metabolic syndrome, a condition that affects 50 million Americans. Talk about turning a “sow’s ear” into a “silk purse!”

Substances called isoflavones found in kudzu root improve blood pressure, high cholesterol and blood glucose, the “big three” problems of the syndrome. One particular isoflavone, called puerarin has the greatest beneficial effect and this is and found ONLY in kudzu.

Kudzu has long been used as a dietary supplement in Asian countries, most commonly as a tea or a powder. The climate of the American Southeast is ideal for kudzu, which is native to China and Japan and was brought to the United States in the 1930s for erosion control. Kudzu vines can grow as much as a foot per day during the summer and can overwhelm trees, power poles and buildings if left unchecked.

Ever feel “different,” like you’re a weed in the garden of life? Join other folks who are tired of being laughed at for their beliefs and experiences (and meet NEW friends) at our exciting Stargate Festival in Joshua Tree in October (and be sure to dress right!) We hope to see you there.

Art credit: Dreamstime.com

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