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Jiaogulan FAQs

Are there any side effects from Jiaogulan?

"Nausea, sometimes described as serious, has been associated with taking gynostemma. Also reported is a possible increase in the number of bowel movements. No other side effects have been reported consistently from using gynostemma. Since few reliable studies of its use have been conducted in humans, however, it may have side effects that are not yet known. Individuals who experience unexplained side effects while taking gynostemma should stop taking it and tell a doctor or pharmacist about the side effects.” Quoted from Drug Digest (all rights retained).

Are there any drug interactions I should be concerned about?

Prescription Drug Interactions: Gynostemma has been shown to increase the time blood needs to clot. When it is taken with antiplatelet or anticoagulant drugs, the effect of the drug may be increased, resulting in uncontrolled bleeding. • Antiplatelets include clopidogrel and ticlopidine • Anticoagulants include heparin and warfarin.

Because it can affect immune system function, gynostemma may interfere with the effects of drugs used to suppress the immune system after organ transplants or in other conditions. Taking gynostemma is not recommended for patients who take drugs such as: • azathioprine (Imuran) • CellCept • cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune) • Prograf • Rapamune • Zenapax

Non-prescription Drugs: Gynostemma may reduce the ability of blood to clot after an injury. Aspirin may also decrease clotting, so gynostemma should not be taken at the same time as aspirin.

jiaogulan tea Herbal Products: Theoretically, if gynostemma is used with other herbs that affect blood clotting, bleeding may occur. Some of the most common herbal products that might inhibit blood clotting are: • Danshen • Devil's Claw • Eleuthero • Garlic • Ginger (in high amounts) • Ginkgo • Horse Chestnut • Panax Ginseng • Papain

Some interactions between herbal products and medications can be more severe than others. The best way for you to avoid harmful interactions is to tell your doctor and/or pharmacist what medications you are currently taking, including any over-the-counter products, vitamins, and herbals. For specific information on how gynostemma interacts with drugs, other herbals, and foods and the severity of those interactions, please use our Drug Interactions Checker to check for possible interactions.” Quoted from Drug Digest (all rights retained).

When should I be careful about consuming Jiaogulan?

“In studies of animals, birth defects occurred in some of the babies born to mothers given gynostemma during pregnancy. Although no reports of similar effects have been reported in humans, pregnant women are advised to avoid gynostemma.

Precautions: Very little information is available on how gynostemma might affect an infant or a small child. Therefore, its use is not recommended while breastfeeding or during early childhood.” Quoted from Drug Digest (all rights retained).

How much Jiaogulan should I consume?

For most people, the simple answer is, "as much as you want". Please note the exceptions mentioned above. We recommend 4 to 8 cups per day of tea. If taking jiaogulan in capsule form the recommendation is usually 2 to 6 capsules twice daily.

I don't care for hot tea in the warm weather. Can I prepare Jiaogulan as an iced tea?

Jiaogulan is a refreshing iced tea. Just prepare the tea as normal and then chill or try preparing it as a sun tea.

What is an adaptogen?

Russian scientist N. V. Lazarev coined the term adaptogen in 1947 to describe herbs that have "a normalizing action on various bodily functions regardless of the direction of the pathological condition." In other words, an adaptogen is an herb that helps the body self- regulate. If something is out of balance, either too much of something or too little of something, an adaptogen helps the body return to the ideal state.

Can I eat the leaves?

Yes. Most people find they have a pleasant taste.

My tea is bitter, what went wrong?

Our sweet variety of jiaogulan will only taste bitter in the case of over-brewing. Over-brewing is the result of either too much dried leaf being used, too long of brewing time or water temperature being too high. Please see our brewing tips page for our recommendations.

Where does Jiaogulan come from?

Jiaogulan is indigenous to Southern China but now grows throughout most of Asia. We grow ours in the foothills of Northern Thailand where we find that the clean air and good soil produces a superior sweeter tasting jiaogulan.

What is the connection between jiaogulan and ginseng?

There is no biological relationship between jiaogulan and ginseng. Chinese herbalists sometimes call jiaogulan 5-leaf ginseng or poor man’ s ginseng because according to Chinese Medicine both herbs have a similar tonifying effect on the body. Scientist have determined that the active ingredients in both ginseng and jiaogulan are chemicals called saponins. Researchers found that jiaogulan has nearly 3 times as many beneficial saponins as ginseng (82 vs 26).

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