Friday, September 25, 2009

Gynostemma - Another superfood not to be missed

There are two common types of drink that I normally consumed. Plain water or green tea on a daily basis, and veggie juices 2-3 times a week. Occasionally (1-2 times a month) I would indulged in black coffees (no sugar added of course), and once in a blue moon (once in 3-4 months) - those nice mochas at starbucks/coffeebeans (with low fat milk). I've not taken the local infamous teh tarik (milk tea) for like ages now. Fruit juices? nope. (see my post on fruit juices on over-hyped health claims)

I personally think the calories required by our body should comes primarily from the food we eat, not drinks. Most people didn't realised, we consumed way toooo muccch of sugar in our drinks (like most canned/bottled beverages/even the 'healthy' fruit juices) - it creates a high insulin level in our body almost instantly makes us wants to drink and eat even more! - it's a vicious cycle of fighting against the appetite. Balancing your sugar level is the key to losing the flab. See my post on sugar in our foods.

Anyway, recently, I've started to mix my usual doze of green tea with a new found tea. It's called Gynostemma (chinese called them Jiaogulan).

The loose dry leaves of gynostemma. I take about a spoonful of it, and steep it in the pot for 20mins.

We all know the health benefits of Green Tea (loaded with phynonutrients of EGCG (anti-cancer), catechin, and it's thermogenic effect that assist in losing the weight), but a reference to Gynostemma? nope, I've never heard it before.

I stumbled upon it recently while shopping at a specialty tea booth and I immediately seek Uncle Google help for the details. Well, check it out for yourselves - it's loaded with good stuff!! it's a chinese 'cure-all' kinda of tea. Used to be taken only by the Emperors in China.

Some points on Gynostemma health benefits:
(taken from ezinearticle)

  • Cholesterol
    Scientific studies have confirmed Gynostemma ability to assist the regulation of serum cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL (bad cholesterol), and HDL (good cholesterol, which helps to metabolize cholesterol from the arteries).
  • Blood Pressure
    Gynostemma has been widely reported to be effective in maintaining healthy blood pressure levels. Although the exact mechanism is still being researched, studies have shown that Gynostemma improves the metabolism of the heart directly as well as enhances the release of nitric oxide in the body, which helps to relax the coronary blood vessels.
  • Digestion
    While Gynostemma is great for regulating cholesterol, it also assists a good weight loss program, by improving and strengthening digestion. At the same time, it helps an underweight person by assisting the absorption of nutrients. This regulatory effect on bodily functions is the hallmark of an Adaptogen.
  • Strength and Endurance
    The results of human studies confirm that Gynostemma can enhance the contractility of the heart muscle and heart pumping function. Other studies have shown that the saponins in Gynostemma increase strength and endurance in the body. Considering these findings overall, Gynostemma becomes the perfect herb for anyone who wants to improve his competitive edge in any field of athletic performance.
  • Immunity
    Gynostemma has also demonstrated an ability to support the immune system when under the siege of various destructive agents. Gynostemma has also shown its effectiveness, in clinical research studies, as a potent immune modulator. It increases the production of Lymphocytes, Phagocytes, and Serum IGG.
  • Adaptogenic Properties
    Gynostemma has a biphasic effect on brain functions, energizing or calming the system depending upon need, as well as on the regulation of hormonal functions in both men and women. The healthy maintenance of these physiological actions plays a major role in the body's ability to cope with stress.
  • Antioxidant Properties
    The results of many scientific studies show that Gynostemma powerful antioxidant quality protects against free radical damage

See a more detailed analysis on Gynostemma here.

Need I say more?? been taking it ever since. I bought the loose leave version, and steep in a hot water for about 20mins, and pour it out into a water container, then drink it continuously. The leaves can be re-used for up to 3 times. I normally having it just after dinner, for at least 2 steep, while leaving the 3rd steep in the morning for breakfast.

See my other post on Veggies Juices, Goji berries and Ginseng (that has been my common food these days).

So, what are some of other 'healthy stuff' you've found? share with me.

All the best.

Sher Khan.


  1. hmmm... this is odd. don't think i've ever heard of this tea b4..

  2. u learn something new everyday! check it out.. great stuff.

    i sometimes mix the leaves with yellow crynsanthenum flower to give it slightly more aromatic and it's cooling effect. try it!

  3. The Adaptogenic and blood pressure control effects are amazing. Four people I know that could not control their blood pressure through medication took Gynostemma and it's dialation effects brought them close to 120/80. They could not believe it. I used when I feel chest pressure from stress at work. It stops it within 10 minutes.

  4. Wow..sounds great. I'm running out of the leaves, looking to stock it up over the weekend.

    Btw, I recently tried it with some stevia leaves - nice touch of sweetness to it.

  5. Hey Sher Khan,

    The other magical herb is Schisandra, Ive been on it for long and just love it,

    of Gynostemma, been knowing it already, finally ordered today.

  6. Great sharing blog btw, and btw again are you Vegan? that's alot more marvelous!

    the same Anonymous guy above :d

  7. hi anonymous, never heard of Schisandra - will definitely check it out. thank you for the tip.
    BTW.. I'm not a vegan.. however i ensure i take at least 7-8 servings of veggies & fruits every single day!!. This is mainly because they contains various healing properties to our bodies (the magical phytonutrients). thanks for visiting.

  8. Are the tea bags just as effective as the loose leaves?

  9. i prefer the loose leaves, it's much more 'natural' - not crushed like in the tea bag. on nutrition side, dunno.

  10. Well, I will know when the lab does my next blood draw in November. I had bypass surgery in May and have been on drug therapy since I have elevated tryglicerides. I really love the flavor of this tea which I sweeten with stevia or splenda. I discovered the tea at the local Oriental Food Market. I will update you all when I learn more.

    1. would like to know your results, be well. I have been a raw foodist for over twentynine years, and gynostemma as well as a host of other herbs are always with me

  11. Can't wait to hear your updates!

  12. Hi Sher Khan, I came accross your blog by chance and would like to share that I had been drinking this wonderful herb for the last ten months and I feel soooooo good nowaday. I had been involved in a car accident 17 years ago and my left hand, left leg and my neck are getting numb sometime in the past. I felt very bad and even got fainted a few time about two years ago. I live in Hanoi, Vietnam and in the winter I had to wear a lot of warm cloth days and nights. Not anymore since I dink Jiaogulan, my blood circulation is very good and I can be much better in bed with my wife who also enjoys drinking the herb. We have a lot in Vietnam in the mountain of North West where there is little sunshine with weat and chill wind. I am thinking about setting up a project to help with the harvess of the plant and supply this wonderful drink to the lucky one like you and me. Let me know what you think perhaps we can work out something if you like. You or anyone interested in the project can reach me via marketlink2vn(at) Best regards, Richard Lee from Marketlink2Vietnam Consulting.

  13. Hi, ive just started taking this tea today but im wondering what has happened to everyone on here as the post before last was in 2010, then again 2 years later in 2012. Has this tea made you all bad? Please tell me whats happened to everyone thats drank this tea :-)

  14. Hi Anonymous,
    I'm still around :)
    Though updating this blog is no longer my thing these days.
    I'm still consuming this tea on regular basis -- and the best that i've found thus far is from this site -- get in-touch with Marc -- besides the freshness of his produce, it doesn't have the bitter-taste that most that i've tasted before.

  15. I've been drinking Gynostemma (jiaogulan) tea now for 3 straight days. I'm healthy, if infact have low but normal blood pressure (95/65) and low resting heart rate (50-55bpm) and normal blood sugar, BUT I have stress and a degree of loneliness due to my job situation which doesn't help (and yes, I'm working on connecting with more people - it's not as easy when you were recently working up to 60 hours/week at your last job). On an emotional level, Gynostemma has helped me stay grounded, focused, and chill in the wake of any stress. I'm hoping it will help deepen my sleep out like Fo-Ti (ho shoul wu) and melatonin do, but I'm not expecting much. So far, I do feel different, in a better way. It's like the Gynostemma helped light my brain up a little and increase my mental capacity so to speak (when my stress, loneliness, and lower quality sleep were inhibiting my mental capacity a little).

    Since I like this herb so much now, I might add it to my favorite combo of chrysanthemum, schizandra, oatstraw, nettle, goji, and gynostemma.

  16. Where can we get whole leaf Gynostemma for tea in the US? Do you know of a good source? It's hard to order online not knowing if you are getting what the package says.

  17. hi connie, sorry i can't help you there. I live in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
    But I'm sure if you contact the site i recommended earlier, Marc would be greatful to have you as his client.

  18. Connie>I got my gynostemma tea at Universal Trading Center(USA) 774 11th St., Oakland,Ca. 94607 tele>510-444-0936 e-mail: UNITRADCTR2AOL.COM. It's very good. 2 tea bags in my moring pot of green tea works really well for me. CALMING!

  19. Hi! I've recently discovered this amazing tea. Where do you buy yours from? My uncle had brought it for me from Japan but I am just running out. Thanks!

  20. You can get it at if you are in the U.S.

  21. Anybody dry growing their own gynostemma? I just ordered some seeds online.

  22. I have been using pills for high blood pressure, cholesterol and blood circulation. About 1 month ago I noticed this product and thought it was good to give it a try to lower my cholesterol.I have not been drinking it daily, but now that I have read about how good it is, I will. I am also excited loosing weight too!

  23. Wow i can say that this is another great article as expected of this blog.Bookmarked this site..



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