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Kuzuyu (葛湯) is a sweet Japanese beverage produced by adding kudzu flour to hot water. It has a thick honey-like texture, and in color it appears pale and somewhat translucent.[1] It is served in a mug or tea bowl. Kuzuyu is traditionally served as a hot dessert drink in the winter months.


In Japanese, Kuzu (葛) is the word for "kudzu" also sometimes translated as "arrowroot".[2] (However, kudzu and arrowroot are distinct plants).Yu (湯) means "hot water".[3][4] In English the name of the drink is sometimes translated as kudzu starch gruel[5][4][6] or arrowroot tea.


Kudzu flour, or Kuzuko (葛粉), a powder ground from the dried root of the kudzu plant, is mixed into hot water and stirred until thick to produce Kuzuyu. Kudzu flour, sometimes also used in Asian sauces and soups, is a powerful thickening agent[7] and quickly alters the water's texture. Though lacking fragrance and taste in its powder form, the arrowroot takes on a unique sweet flavor when dissolved in the hot water.


Kudzu contains a small number of useful isoflavones called daidzin, daidzein and puerarin, which may have a positive effect on headaches.[8] A variation of Kuzuyu called kakkontō (葛根湯), which may also include cinnamon, is used as a remedy for hangovers in traditional Chinese medicine where kudzu, and cinnamon are considered two of the 50 fundamental herbs.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Essential Tea Guide, Teressa Hansch, 2013. 7ISBN 978-1482521115
  2. ^ Animelab.com: Japanese -> English Dictionary
  3. ^ Japanese Kanji - 湯 hot water トウ ゆ
  4. ^ a b KanjiDB: 湯 - hot water
  5. ^ Animelab.com: Japanese -> English Dictionary
  6. ^ Kudzu
  7. ^ Kudzu Root and Powder Profile
  8. ^ "Nursing Herbal Medicine Handbook;" Lippincott Williams and Wilkins; 2005
  9. ^ Wong, Ming (1976). La Médecine chinoise par les plantes. Le Corps a Vivre series. Éditions Tchou.