What is Jiaogulan or Gynostemma Pentaphyllum, which is the scientific name and how is it associated with longevity? This is a question many people have been asking recently. Known as a herbaceous plant, which means it has stems and leaves that die at the end of the season, it is a member of the cucumber family. The natural growing location for this herb is China, Japan, India, and Thailand.
What is the Jiaogulan Plant?
It will grow in the U.S. where it can be annual if the conditions are right. The temperatures must be mild, and the soil in which it is grown must be a very well draining soil. It also requires full sun. This herb was only a local herb until quite recently. It was mainly used in southern China, where the people called it an ‘immortality herb.’ It was used in the Guizhou Province where people make a tea with the plant. The immortality associated with this herb comes from the fact that the people of this area live to be quite old.
Possible Benefits of Jiaogulan
Studies recently have shown jiaogulan contains many ingredients found in Asian ginseng. The properties that ginseng is known for such as preventing stress from causing an imbalance in the body have been found in this herb as well. Also, there have been preliminary studies that show jiaogulan may help to maintain blood pressure already within the normal range as well as the following:
|Provide more physical endurance and strength|
Jiaogulan is sometimes called “Southern Ginseng” or “poor man’s ginseng.” This is not purely accurate since it is not related ginseng. This herb is called an adaptogen. This is what those who work with herbs call the natural herbs that help the body to resist anxiety, trauma, fatigue and stress. Referred to as tonics or rejuvenators, they do have antioxidants, however, this is not what is supposed to be their main purpose. It may also assist the body’s normal response to inflammation by fighting harmful free radicals. It may help to keep the body functioning normally and relieving the body of wastes and toxins. It is a powerful herb that will be studied more in the future to find out what other useful properties it contains
The earliest written documentation of this herb is in a book from 1848. The Ahi Wu Ming Shi Tu Kao Chang Bian book was written by Wu Qi-Jun and has a few references to the use of jiaogulan as a medicinal herb. As food, it was mentioned in a book from 1406 by Zu Xio called Materia medica for Famine.