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Jiaogulan, Kaffir Lime  & Ginger

Jiaogulan, Kaffir Lime & Ginger

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This herb coming from a small farm in Taiwan, which is illustated in some pictures on this website. Know as the herb of immortality in Chinese medicine. 

Jiaogulan is often referred to by its scientific name Gynostemma Pentaphyllum is an herb native to Thailand and other various parts of South East Asia which made its mark in China where it has been consumed for centuries.  In China, its ability to prolong life led to it being called the ‘herb of immortality’.


While immortality may be beyond us at the moment, there is little doubt that this herb can do wonders for both your life expectancy and your quality of life.


Scientific interest in Jiaogulan dates back to the late 1960s and early 1970s when it was noted that the population of a certain province in China were living considerably longer than expected. It didn’t take researchers long to figure that the locals were consuming more jiaogulan tea than other provinces and the research began in earnest.


The Chinese in certain regions had been drinking jiaogulan tea each day before going to work to increase their levels of endurance and strength while they also drank it in the evening to relieve their fatigue and to help them get a good night’s sleep.


A population study conducted by the Chinese government found that people in the area not only lived much longer than average but also experienced a far lower incidence of serious diseases like cancer, heart disease and senility.


JIAOGULAN PROPERTIES


When Japanese researchers in the 1970s started to look into the health properties of jiaogulan, they found that it contained a variety of saponins which are the chemical compounds responsible for the adaptogenic effects of Ginseng.


In fact, jiaogulan contains over 80 different saponins (gypenosides) compared to the 28 found in ginseng. As well as these saponins, jiaogulan is a natural antioxidant and a rich source of healthy vitamins and minerals.


Many people suggest that jiaogulan is one of the best adaptogens found in nature and if you are unfamiliar with the term, they are also referred to as biological response modifiers.  The criteria for an adaptogen was created by Russian doctors during the middle of the 20th century and include:

 

  • The ability to help the body adapt to various stresses both environmental and psychological.
  • Not causing any harm or putting additional stresses on the body.
  • Having a non-specific effect on the body and the ability to support all of its major systems.

    Caution: Be sure to refrigerate for at least 2 hours before opening. When opening, open slowly as it is naturally carbonated!!!

    THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF JIAOGULAN


    As well as its ability to prolong life, jiaogulan has numerous specific health benefits which we will look at below.  If you are interested in what this wonderful herb can do for you, then read on…


    1. FOR ENERGY


    The Chinese have traditionally drunk tea made from jiaogulan to give them the energy that they need throughout a hard day of labor. Now whether you are faced with the prospect of a day in the fields or the office or you simply feel a bit run down,  there is evidence that jiaogulan can help provide you with the energy boost you need to help you get through the day.


    In fact, several Chinese studies have demonstrated that jiaogulan could help improve energy and endurance levels in athletes.  One study published in 1993 showed that the subjects given an oral dose of the herb experienced improved cardiac output compared with other Chinese herbs. 


    1. FOR IMMUNITY


    A strong and healthy immune system is absolutely crucial to our overall health and wellbeing.  It helps protect us from bacteria, viruses and parasite and from sicknesses ranging from the common cold to cancer.


    Jiaogulan is able to boost the body’s immune system because of its antioxidant properties and its ability to regulate the production of Nitric Oxide.  If you are prone to catching colds or flus or if you feel that your immune system has been compromised in any way, then jiaogulan might help strengthen your system and protect you from illness.


    1. FOR DIGESTION


    There is little in the way of scientific evidence but proponents of jiaogulan say that it works wonders for their digestive system.  I have to admit that since I started drinking it around a month ago that my stomach has felt more at ease but I am also happy to admit that there may be other factors in play. 
    Experts say that jiaogulan can protect the gastrointestinal tract from damage caused by toxins and protect against ulcers.  Drinking jiaogulan tea may also be a natural remedy for constipation and it might help balance the bacteria in your gut leading to better overall health.


    1. FOR HEART HEALTH


    With coronary heart disease being one of the major modern killers, it is good to know that you can offer your heart the protection it needs naturally.  Numerous animal studies have demonstrated that jiaogulan can reduce LDL cholesterol while raising the good HDL cholesterol in the blood. 


    As well as helping to regulate cholesterol, there is evidence that jiaogulan can have a positive impact on blood pressure levels. The exact mechanism by which it works is still not fully understood but it is believed to help relax and dilate the blood vessels and improve the flow of blood through the arteries.


    Studies have also shown that it can prevent the build-up of damaging plaque in the arteries which left untreated can lead to stroke and heart attack. 


    1. FOR MOOD


    Like many herbal teas, a nice cup of warm jiaogulan can help restore balance to your mind and take away the anxiety and stresses from the day. Nobody is claiming that it will help deal with serious cases of stress and anxiety but if you are feeling a little edgy, it might just bring a smile to your face.


    1. FOR A GOOD NIGHT OF SLEEP


    The Chinese have traditionally drunk jiaogulan tea to help them relax after work and to settle down to a good night’s sleep. There are no scientific studies that can confirm this use of the herb benefits sleep. 
    However, given its long history of use and the amount of positive anecdotes that I have come across, I don’t think it should be dismissed lightly.  If you have trouble getting to sleep, then it is certainly worth giving jiaogulan a chance, Drink a cup 30 minutes or so before bedtime and see how it works for you.


    1. FOR WEIGHT LOSS


    I know what you are thinking … here comes another herb which promises to help you lose weight.  However, like most healthy teas, they can certainly help you to control your weight in the long term.


    As a replacement for calorie laden sodas, jiaogulan can help you cut the calories which will benefit your waist line if you drink it over the long term. It is also known to give you the energy that you need to get out and exercise.


    One clinical study published in 2006 actually showed that it could help people with fatty liver disease and also help reduce their body mass index.


    There are no simple short cuts to dramatic weight loss, but as part of an overall diet and exercise plan, jiaogulan may help you in the long run.


    1. FOR THE SKIN


    Jiaogulan is an excellent source of natural antioxidants which help prevent skin damage caused by free radical damage.  Drinking jiaogulan regularly may help reduce some of the signs of cellular damage as well as slowing down those unwanted signs that we are getting older.


    When applied topically, jiaogulan can actually help protect the skin from UV damage caused by over exposure to the sun’s rays. According to Chinese research, even drinking jiaogulan or taking it in capsule form can also help prevent UV damage.


    1. ANTI-AGING


    Jiaogulan is called the immortality herb for good reason. It was originally brought to scientific attention because population studies revealed that those who consumed it regularly were living longer and significantly healthier lives.


    Researchers believe that the main reason for this general benefit is that it contains two very important antioxidants – glutathione and superoxide dismutase. 
    One clinical study revealed that jiaogulan taken each day for a two month period reduced many of the signs of aging including fatigue, insomnia, memory loss, diarrhea and poor balance.


    1. RESPIRATORY CONDITIONS


    Jiaogulan is an excellent natural remedy against a number of respiratory issues including coughs, asthma and bronchitis. One clinical study on its effects against chronic bronchitis revealed that it was effective in treating over 90% of the 86 subjects.
    It has traditionally been used in China as an expectorant as it helps to clear a build-up of mucus from your airways meaning you can breathe much easier.


    1. FOR DIABETES AND BLOOD SUGAR


    Vietnamese researchers tested to see if Jiaogulan Tea had any effects on  blood sugar and insulin sensitivity.  The 2013 study was done with type 2 diabetics given 6 grams of Jiaogulan Tea for 1 month.  The researchers concluded that Gynostemma pentaphyllum tea(Jiaogulan Tea) improved insulin sensitivity in people with  type 2 diabetes.


    1. ANTI-CANCER POTENTIAL


    In late 2016, Chinese researchers did a meta analysis of research to try and determine possible  anti-cancer benefits of Gynostemma pentaphyllum and its components.  The researchers found many gypenosides that had research showing anti-cancer effects ranging from  preventing the spread to killing cancer cells directly.  The research concluded noting many potential curative effects could be found from the “GpM formula” (Gynostemma pentaphyllum).


    Jiaogulan is traditionally drunk in tea form. It has a slightly sweet flavor much like stevia.

    Author

    Lea

    Dragonfire Nutrition

    www.DragonfireNutrition.com 

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