Kuzuyu: Traditional Kudzu Japanese Arrowroot Tea

Have you ever heard of Kuzuyu (葛湯), meaning kudzu hot water?

It is a traditional Japanese tea consisting of three ingredients, kudzu flour (Japanese arrowroot starch), water, and sugar.

The tea has a thick viscous consistency and is gentle, like gruel.

Kuzuyu (葛湯)

Kuzuyu Kudzu Tea

In Japan, Kuzuyu has been a staple for the sick person for a very long time, at least 1300 years.

That is because the gruel-like tea is easy to digest and helps warm the body thanks to its thickness/viscosity that keeps the drink hot.

Although the one made with hon-kudzu has top quality, at present, many products don’t even contain ordinary kudzu.

Instead, those bases use white potato or sweet potato starch as a substitute for Kuzuko (葛粉: kudzu powder).


Kuzuko Kudzu Powder

The making of Kuzuyu Japanese arrowroot tea (for one serving) is simple like this.

  1. Dissolve Kuzuko (10 grams) in hot water (100 ml) and filter the mixture through a tea strainer.
  2. Heat the prepared liquid in a small pot, stirring gently, until it becomes translucent and viscous.
  3. Then, add some sugar (honey or syrup) and mix it up.
  4. Finally, pour the liquid into a cup, and it is ready.


Kuzuyu Japanese Arrowroot Tea Benefits

The main ingredient of Kuzuyu, kudzu, contains various components that condition the body, and the tea’s health benefits include the followings.

  1. The isoflavone derivatives contained in kudzu, such as daidzein, are effective in steadying the nervous system and fixing hormone balance. The effects include promoting perspiration, lowering fever, and relieving pain.
  2. As mentioned above, Kuzuyu is thick and helps warm the body. Besides, the tea works well when having diarrhea, for it is easily digested and can replenish water in the body. The tea also slakes the thirst in the throat when you are feverish.


Kuzuyu with Shoga grated ginger

Lastly, let’s see the toppings for Kuzuyu. Japanese people like to drink/eat it with toppings like Shoga (生姜) grated ginger, Matcha green tea powder, or Arare (あられ) rice cracker.

The one made with ginger powder is good for warming the body, which is why the tea base typically contains it.

(Reference Page: Wikipedia 葛湯 )


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

2 Responses

  1. March 31, 2017

    […] made of Kudzu is a health food as I wrote about Kuzuyu in my past article,though potato starch is often used as a main ingredient of Kuzukiri […]

  2. November 10, 2017

    […] a familiar drink to Japanese for the purpose of preventing or curing colds in Japan,just like Kuzuyu (葛湯 : Arrowroot […]

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