Ready To Learn More About Jiaogulan Tea?

Jiaogulan Tea (also known as gynostemma), is a herb that has been used in China for hundreds of years to aid health and longevity of life. There are many reasons you might want to try out this particular herb beverage, and not just because of its sweet taste.

What is it?

Known as the ‘herb of immortality’, Jiaogulan has been lorded as a life-lengthening herb, since scientists began its study, back in the ’70’s. A census of the Chinese population was taken in 1970, where it was discovered that a certain group of people living in the guizhou province of china, were living to age 100, or more.

Despite these claims of the plant being the philosopher’s stone of teas, it is still relatively unknown. Its popularity has only just begun to grow, with a low amount of  consumption, compared to more mainstream hot drinks.

The plant itself is a vine, and it grows up and over acres of land where it is farmed – in China, Japan and Korea. A part of the Cucurbitaceae family, it is related to cucumber, pumpkin and melon plants, only it does not produce a fruit. It is also dioecious, which means each plant exists as either male or female parts, and both are needed to create more seeds. It has 82 of the active saponin compounds found in Ginseng tea, whereas ginseng only has 28. Saponin is one of the many chemicals found in plants, which appears to have positive effects on the human body – such as helping dispose of fat-soluble molecules and lowering cholesterol.

How does it taste?

It generally tastes pretty similar to green tea, although unlike green tea, it does not contain any caffeine. It does, however, give you an energy boost and is a great drink to switch to if you’re looking for motivation and focus, without the jitters or increase in heartbeat that is often accompanied with caffeinated products. Honey (or other sweeteners) can be added to taste.

All you need is a teapot or diffuser to let it brew, and leave it to steep for around 3-4 minutes. It is pretty simple to make, and is a refreshing beverage any time of the day. It can also be chilled and made as an ice tea. The leftover leaves can even be reused (just keep them in the fridge over night and put them in your fruit smoothie the next morning).

Caution

Like all herbs, lotions and potions, Jiaogulan is not for everyone. Most people will notice some sort of a shift, and although generally effects are positive, each person seems to react a little differently to it, depending upon their body type, lifestyle, etc. If it doesn’t agree with you in any way, then stop drinking it and try something else!

Different herbs suit different people, so it is important to have an open mind about its efficacy. Many people have found it to help them feel more energized and positive about life – hopefully this will be you!

Why it’s so good

 Jiaogulan tea is reportedly an anti-oxidant, an adaptiogen and helps our bodies return to homeostasis. This means that it helps our bodies to deal with stress, and to regulate itself, returning to a place of equilibrium. Stress is less likely to affect someone who is regularly drinking Jiaogulan – think of it almost as a buffer for your mood – when things get rough – you don’t feel so stressed about it. As an adaptogen, it is meant to help us to literally adapt to life circumstances.

It also helps to improve your mood, meaning you will likely simply feel more relaxed as a result of drinking this tea… People report sleeping better (and so it could be a good thing to try if you have insomnia), as well as waking up feeling brighter, more alert, and energized.

Who it’s for

 Jiaogulan is for almost anyone who wants to try something new as a part of their routine and diet that may potentially have beneficial effects. It tends to be particularly useful for athletes and those that enjoy regular exercise, as they often find their endurance boosted.

If you are concerned, or feel you are in a vulnerable position health-wise, be sure to check with your doctor. It has also not been confirmed safe for pregnant women to drink, or when breastfeeding. So as a precaution, it is not advised to drink it during these times.

The Benefits

Jiaogulan has many perceived health benefits:

Improves blood pressure

jiaogulan gypenosides enhance the function of phagocytes – specialized white blood cells charged with the task of digesting cellular waste products and invading pathogens – helping to clear out toxins.

The leaves contain a chemical compound called gypenosides, which enhance the function of phagocytes – specialized white blood cells charged with the task of digesting cellular waste products and invading pathogens. Meaning it basically helps to clear out our system of unwanted microorganisms in the body.

Lowers cholesterol

Studies on animals from the 1980’s and 90’s imply that Jiaogulan may reduce cholesterol levels. When tested on rats and quail, their levels were seen to drop. In a second study carried ut in 2005, recorded in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, similar results were found. There is also some evidence to suggest that it increases levels of high-density liprotein, which will also naturally improve cholesterol levels.

May help with Diabetes

Jiaogulan has been found to possibly increase concentrations of insulin in the blood, aiding those suffering with diabetes. When tested for 12 weeks, patients taking Jiaogulan (and not a placebo tea) were found to have lowered levels of glucose and haemogloben A1c.

Also, a study published in 2008 found that, when tested on mice, it aided sugar regulation. This was believed to be due to an alteration of activity in certain liver enzymes.

The tea also works well for giving that energy boost to the body, without putting any extra strain on the heart or other organs. Any extra energy and possible weight loss, would also be beneficial to those with diabetes.

Anti-oxidant

Jiaogulan encourages the production of our bodies’ natural producers of anti-oxidents, superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, and catalase. These are all vital for good health and a long life. (It is even believed to be the only food product that will increase production of superoxide dismutase.)

It also increases production of nitric oxide, which expands your blood vessels, meaning you get more blood flow, and with more oxygen, which again, gives you more energy.

Improves metabolism

In another study, 80 participants were given either Jiaogulan or a placebo tea. The findings were quite interesting, as the group who were taking the tea regularly lost a significant amount of weight, compared to those in the placebo group. These findings were then published in the Obesity Journal, 2013.

Increases Longevity

Free-radicals are a building up of substances that eventually cause harm to the cells in our body. This herb helps us to produce our own anti-oxidents, which essentially get rid of free-radicals for us more effectively, essentially helping to slow down the ageing process.

While not concrete evidence, the scientific studies around it’s efficacy for longevity in its subjects seems probable, as mice, fruit flies and humans all appear to have reacted favorably following its consumption.

Protects the liver

This herb can help those suffering with liver problems in a number of ways. This includes those who have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, as it reduces oxidative stress and protects liver cells from injury or death.

Incredibly, in one study, 77% of patients suffering from hepatitis B who were regularly drinking Jiaogulan over the course of 5.5 years, were cured of their ailment.

Other possible benefits:

  • Improves sleep, memory and cognition (due to greater amount of oxygen travelling to the brain)
  • Improves libido (as nitric acid improves blood flow to all areas of the body)
  • Induces positive moods
  • Reduction of anxiety and possibly depression
  • Improvement in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s sufferers
  • Helps with hangovers

Side effects

There are not many reported side effects, but you may experience nausea or overly regular bowel movements when trying the tea.

Since it may also lower insulin levels, diabetics need to be aware of this.

Be aware, also, of the possible blood-thinning effects of the tea, that when mixed with other medications may cause problems (such as excessive bleeding). If you have any concerns at all about adding it to your diet, do consult your doctor before trying it.

The take away

 Jiaogulan tea appears to have many benefits for its drinkers and if not just a sweet tasting tea, could potentially leave you feeling more relaxed, healthier, and revitalised. What’s not to like about that?!

Now learn how to brew Jiaogulan tea for yourself!
Now learn how to brew Jiaogulan tea for yourself!

ARE YOU READY TO TRY JIAOGULAN TEA?

Now that you know some of the benefits, are you ready to experience them yourself?