Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)

Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.

This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

If it's not barbecue, it's kudzu

Pesky kudzu gains a little medical respect

News staff writer

Kudzu is often viewed with scorn, as an out-of-control plant that overwhelms hills and fields in the sweltering South.

But now research is hinting that the kudzu-covered countryside may be rooted with real medical worth.

The Purdue-UAB Botanical Research Center has found a plentiful, powerful compound in kudzu root that just might be effective in fighting dementia, lowering blood pressure and preventing osteoporosis. [...]

Michael Wyss, a UAB professor studying kudzu, said the research is in its early stages, but results have been interesting. Wyss and UAB biochemist Jeevan Prasain have extracted from kudzu root a polyphenol that is unusually powerful.

Polyphenols are a class of chemical compounds found in soybeans, green tea and grapes used to make red wine. Scientists believe polyphenols may play a big part in preventing chronic diseases that are associated with aging - things like heart problems, dementia and cancers.

Wyss found that the potent polyphenol from kudzu lowered blood pressure in lab animals and appeared to improve their mental functioning. There also are indications that the kudzu compound might stave off osteoporosis associated with menopause. [...]

For those of you who like to forage, you might also be interested to know that kudzu can be eaten by just about anything with a mouth, including you. Here's a link to the recipe section of the Blythewood (S.C.) Kudzu Festival. I can't say that I have ever eaten any of this stuff, but it's probably better for you than poke salat, which I have eaten.

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