Kudzu is a vine with a beautiful blossom. I just learned of Kudzu yesterday. It was used in a comment stream in reference to "lunch" in a blog-post I was monitoring. Since I love to eat new things, my appetite was whet. Yeah...it really is edible. The word "kudzu" grabbed my attention as easily as the Kudzu vine reaches out and encircles objects within its reach. It grabbed my curiosity and wound its way into my thoughts until I had to google it and discover what it was. I found more than meets the eye about Kudzu. It has all kinds of twists and turns a writer could use as illustrative fodder. Indeed, one, among many of Kudzu's uses is fodder to feed livestock.
It is a plant that made it's way from the Asia, specifically China and Japan. So we have a foreign plant that has made its way into Southeastern America to embed itself and twist its vines around everything around it. Kudzu literally grew so fast that it gained other nicknames--one of which was "the vine that ate the South". Tennessee is using goats and llamas to eat it down to its roots. They want rid of this fungus. Another nickname is "foot-a-night-vine". So if kudzu embeds itself within a given area, it can rapidly grow and take over the area in a few short nights. Another nickname implies, a "mile-a-minute" growth. Amazingly, it takes several clusters of little pods to produce a couple of seeds. So it needs to grow a lot, and wiggle its way into the grounds in order to create enough clusters to yield a couple of seeds. But oh the damage those two seeds can do when they fall to earth and embed beneath the soil.
It makes me think of how Jesus would have been able to parable-lize this plant in the Kingdom of God. Can't you just imagine Him saying, "The kingdom of God is like Kudzu. Though many pods cluster--only two seeds amid them will fall to earth. Each seed dies, takes root and gives birth to a vine which grow into more vines. Are you a seed amid the cluster?"
Kudzu is fungi. It's hated among men. Some men take Kudzu and use it medicinally. Its roots. Its vines. It has anti-inflammatory properties. Harvard is studying it as a possible way to reduce alcohol cravings. The Chinese use it to help get over hangovers. It's shown value in treating migraines, and cluster headaches--apart from alcohol. It is recommended for allergies and diarrhea. It may help women with postmenopausal symptoms, such as hypertension and diabetes type II. In China it's also used to treat tinnitus, vertigo and other things. (See Wikipedia)
Wikipedia writes, "Kudzu has been traditionally used as a remedy for alcoholism and hangover in China. The root was used to prevent excessive consumption, while the flower was supposed to detoxify the liver and alleviate the symptoms afterwards."
Kudzu may be a good thing for some good uses, but it destroys croplands. Man and animal feed upon Kudzu. Kudzu may appear to offer good things in the world, but not the "best thing". Can you hear the Master? I can.
It's amazing to me what a rambling kudzu vine could do in blogland--in the bogs of blog-streams, if only they were concerned with the "better" thing instead of their own things. I've always loved wildflowers--ones that seem to appear out of no-where and bloom. Sometimes I've called them God's bouquets. But so many on this earth see wildflowers in the meadows of life and call them weeds. Some want to conquer the vines...others watch as the Vine conquers them. selahV