Kudzu, a semi-woody, perennial, climbing vine, is a member of the pea family (fabaceae). Native to eastern Asia, kudzu was brought to the United States for an 1876 Centennial Exhibition and later promoted as a forage crop and planted widely along highways to control erosion.
One of the original 50 Chinese herbs, kudzu is high in fiber and Vitamins A and D. In many traditional societies, parts of the kudzu plant are used to treat causes and symptoms of tinnitus, vertigo, alcoholism, hangovers, migraines, hypertension, inflammation, diabetes and breast cancer.
Kudzu blossoms can be made into jelly. The leaves, similar to spinach, are used in cooking, while the root is used as a starch in sauces and herbal drinks. Kudzu is also made into soaps, lotions, cattle feed and compost. Kudzu has a subtle taste and a delightful smell that has similarities to grapes.