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U.S. Drug Spending Hits Record High (Again)

Fortune magazine reports that in 2015 Americans spent a record-setting $309 Billion on prescription drugs. That’s building on a previous record year in 2014.According to the article, “Driving more than half the growth in drug spending in 2015 were sales of new branded medications that have been available for less than two years.”  Fortune doesn’t explain where these new drugs are coming from but according to Scientific American,  “Nearly half of all human pharmaceuticals now in use were originally derived from natural sources.” – Scientific...

Benefits of Jiaogulan (Gynostemma) in Plain English
(Text Version)

WHAT ARE THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF JIAOGULAN ? Quite simply, because you will feel better and live longer. Jiaogulan is a treasure from the ancient past that is now scientifically proven to help with almost all of the diseases associated with aging. No other herb or drug does so much and it has no side effects for most people.  Feel More Energy – Jiaogulan improves blood flow bringing more oxygen to the entire body. [1] It also activates you most important metabolic controller AMPK which...

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...

6 Surprising Ways To Live Longer

Longevity is a particular area of interest of mine both professionally and personally. It is an area fraught with misinformation. Some of the misinformation is propagated for commercial reasons, but a lot of it is just because the science of longevity is really just getting started. Here’s a quick list of longevity facts that may surprise you 1. It's not about the genetics, it's about the epigeneticsEpigenetics is a relatively new field of investigation in science. It is the study of genetic traits that can...

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

1. Vasodilation Reduces Likelihood of Strokes -  Numerous studies (i, ii, iii) have confirmed that Gynostemma stimulates increased cellular production of Nitric Oxide (NO). NO is a powerful vasodilator that is shown to improve blood flow throughout the body, including the brain and reduce the probability of stroke. 2. Reduce Damage Due to Stroke And Improve Recovery -  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...