A Hangover Remedy

by Elizabeth on February 22, 2012

Image from the New Yorker via Condenaststore.com

We recently learned how to use kuzu (aka kudzu) to make a homemade remedy for, among other things, a hangover.  Kuzu is a sturdy, fibrous vine native to parts of Asia.  In the cooking world, kuzu is used as a thickening agent. It has no perceptible taste and dissolves easily in cold water.  Also, it contains very few calories and no fat.  Kuzu has also been valued for thousands of years both in macrobiotic and Chinese medicine.  It’s prescribed for a range of ailments, from the flu to insomnia to a hangover.

Kudzu in nature (Image via nationalffa)

Below is a recipe for ume-sho-kuzu (courtesy of bittersweetsour.com) that you can use when you’ve over-indulged.  It combines kuzu with umeboshi (picked sour plums) and shoyu (a fermented/unprocessed soy sauce). This is one of the most popular remedies in macrobiotics that is also healing for the flu and cold symptoms. You can find all the ingredients in any health food store.

Organic kuzu from the health food store

Pickled umeboshi (image via acravan.blogspot.com)

Umeboshi paste

Ume-sho-kuzu Recipe

1 teaspoon kuzu starch
1 umeboshi plum or 1 teaspoon umeboshi paste
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
few drops shoyu (I use gluten-free organic soy sauce instead)
1/2 lemon, juice only

  • In a small bowl, place the umeboshi plum and add 4 or 5 drops of shoyu – set aside
  • In a small saucepan, bring slightly less than one cup of water to the boil over medium heat. Best to use non-metallic saucepan, such as ceramic, glass or enamel-coated
  • Dissolve the kuzu in a bit of cold water and pour into the hot water. Whisk gently to prevent lumps from forming
  • As soon as the mixture changes colour – from chalky white to translucent –  about 1/2 to one minute, then remove from heat
  • Place the umeboshi/shoyu in a teapot together with a small amount of freshly grated ginger and a squeeze of lemon
  • Pour kuzu mix over the umeboshi / shoyu, strain and drink while hot
*If you prefer a thicker consistency (think pudding) you can add 1-2 tbsps, but personally, it’s not my first choice when I’m nauseous so I stick with the amount as listed above.

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