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The Boiling Question

This week I stumbled on some research published in China on Jiaogulan. I almost overlooked it because the title was a bit misleading. The article title is “Determination of Rare Earth Elements and Active Substances in Wild Gynostemma pentaphyllum of Yongzhou and Their Releasing Law in Boiling Water”    I thought at first glance this was a study of rare earth elements in jiaogulan. While that interests me, the presence of rare earth elements in jiaogulan is very dependent on the area it is grown...

Which Herb Should I Try for...

One of the questions I am asked often is something like, “Which of your wellness teas should I drink for condition X ?” where X is whatever is highest of the person’s personal health concerns.  I try my best to answer (always bearing in mind that I am not a doctor and there are a lot of you asking) but the answer is not always clear-cut because most wellness herbs have more than one benefit and synergistic effects. This is one of the reasons I’m not...

The Longevity Diet

A new Article in the July issue of the research journal, Cell Metabolism has human longevity researchers excited. The Thought Process Behind the Study: Researchers at the Longevity Institute at The University of Southern California observed that alternating nutrient rich diet with fasting extended the life spans of some microorganism. Prior research has established that fasting in humans promotes metabolic and cellular changes that reduce oxidative damage and inflammation, optimize energy metabolism and enhance cellular protection. Furthermore intermittent fasting has beneficial effects on insulin, glucose,...

Running at Optimum – Jiaogulan for Athletes

Guest Post by nutritionist and freelance writer Lisa Peters Over the past 20-30 years, the herbal pharmacy of Chinese medicine and wellbeing has gained much wider recognition and acceptance in the Occident. Ginseng has taken its place at the forefront of this change in public perception and now Jiaogulan is set to join it as a firm favorite for its health giving properties. Jiaogulan tea is made from the wild herbaceous vine, Gynostemma pentaphyllum. Used in China for many generations to increase longevity, boost energy levels and...

Sweet Science of Jiaogulan

I report on a lot of jiaogulan research but I have never had the opportunity before to report on research we participated in directly. Over three years ago a researcher from the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences at the University of Maryland contacted me for samples of Gynostemma for their research. I am a nerdy science guy and I believe the whole world needs to know more about jiaogulan, so I was happy to send them samples. Months and then years went by. I emailed...

Gynostemma may help prevent stroke related brain damage

One common cause of brain injury is loss of blood flow to the brain. This is called ischemia or an ischemic stroke. It can be caused by any number of cardiovascular conditions, like blood clots, plaque build up in the arteries, sickle cell anemia or a heart attack. When blood flow is lost to a part or all of the brain, brain cells begin to die within minutes. There is a double whammy caused by something called, reperfusion. When blood flow is restored to the...

HIV researchers tout Gynostemma in the fight against HIV

In a study published in January of 2012 HIV researchers at universities in Nigeria, studied the effects of Gynostemma extract on the HIV virus. They found that in all cases studied, Gynostemma significantly inhibited the early events of viral replication of the HIV virus. This means that while Gynostemma may not “cure” HIV it does show potential to prevent the spread of the disease or use as a retro-viral agent. I’ll quote the conclusion of the researchers in full, “The results of the study show that...

Jiaogulan Smoothie Recipe

Not long ago I made a video on brewing jiaogulan. I did not leave it on line because I felt it was too long and I don’t really like myself on video much anyway. In that video I mentioned purely as an aside that I put jiaogulan in my morning smoothie. To my surprise, one of the top questions I received from the video was, “What’s your smoothie recipe?” So here its. I should not even call this a “Jiaogulan” smoothie since you can’t really...

Adaptogens Part 3: Adaptogens vs. Stimulants

The adaptogenic benefits of jiaogulan (aka Gynostemma) include improved athletic performance and mental acuity. For this reason many people confuse adaptogens with stimulants like caffeine. But the stimulant effects of adaptogens and the mechanisms at work are very different. For example, we all know that drinking a cup of coffee before bed keeps many people awake at night. On the other hand, a cup of jiaogulan both improves alertness and helps you sleep, because the benefit results from improved blood flow instead of chemical responses. For...

Is my Jiaogulan “really” that good?…………Yes!

Earlier this month I received an email from a long time customer. His email said more or less the following, “I love your jiaogulan but I recently found jiaogulan on another website for less. Is your product really worth the price difference?” I get this kind of question once in a while and it’s a subject I feel pretty passionate about so I decided to post my response in full. “Thanks for your email. I truly appreciate your past business and the directness of your...