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Jiaogulan (Gynostemma)  FAQs

Have questions about Jiaogulan (Gynostemma) (Gynostemma)? We're not surprised. Despite centuries of enjoyment in many countries in Asia, most of the western world is unfamiliar with the herb called Jiaogulan (Gynostemma).

Below are some of the frequently asked questions.

jiaogulan teaWhat is Jiaogulan (Gynostemma) ?

Jiaogulan (latin name: Gynostemma pentaphyllum) is a herb native to Southern China. It is technically part of the  Cucurbitaceae family of plants which mean it is relative of the gourd or cucumber family.

Jiaogulan (Gynostemma) has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 600 years and offers a host of health benefits described in more detail in another FAQ on this page. In general it is considerd in Chinese medicine to be an herbal tonic, i.e. an herb beneficial to the entire system.

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What are the health benefits of Jiaogulan (Gynostemma) ?

Traditional Herbalists recommend Jiaogulan as a a tonic tea. A tonic is a tea that is considered beneficial to the entire body. They also recommend it specifically for the 6 most common chronic ailments; high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, high cholesterol, arthritis and heart disease.

Modern research suggests four properties of Jiaogulan that make it beneficial.

1. Jiaogulan is a powerful adaptogen. Adaptogens are herbs that help the body self regulate. There helpful for diabetes, obesity and hormone issues. Gynostemma is the most potent adaptogen discovered so far.
2. Jiaogulan stimulates the body to increase production of SOD. Super-Oxide Dismutase (SOD) is an antioxidant produced by our own bodies that; fights the effects of aging, reduces inflammation, wards off cancer and boosts your immune system.
3. Jiaogulan increases the body's produciton of Nitric Oxide. Nitric-oxide is produced by your own body and expands blood vessels improving blood flow to all organs and reducing blood pressure.
4. Jiaogulan is rich in saponins. Saponins are chemical compounds that have been shown to cleanse toxins and reduce cholesterol. Gynostemma has 82 different saponins,  three times as many as Ginseng.

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How should I prepare Jiaogulan (Gynostemma) tea?

Jiaogulan is a delicate tea. Be careful not to over brew. You should need no more than 1/2 tsp. of our jiaogulan for an 8 oz. cup of tea. Keep the temperature between 140 F and 160 F. Brewing tome should be between 2 and 5 minutes depending on how strong you like your tea.

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    My Jiaogulan tea tastes bitter. I thought you said it was sweet?

There are two varieties of Jiaogulan (Gynostemma), sweet and bitter. We only sell the sweet variety. However, if sweet jiaogulan is over brewed it takeson a bitter after taste. Please refer to our brewing page for full instructions on how to brew jiaogulan.

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Does Jiaogulan (Gynostemma) contain caffeine?

Jiaogulan is an herb in the gourd family and is 100% naturally caffeine free.

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I don't care for hot tea during warm weather. Can I prepare Jiaogulan (Gynostemma) 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.

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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.

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How much Jiaogulan(Gynostemma) should I consume?

The simple answer is, "as much as you want". Most people experience no adverse side effects to jiiaogulan. 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.

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Are there any side effects from Jiaogulan (Gynostemma) ?

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. (Provided by Courtesy of Drug Digest)

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Are there any drug interactions I should be concerned about?

jiaogulan tea"Prescription Drugs
In studies, 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)
cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune)

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.

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:
Devil's Claw
Ginger (in high amounts)
Horse Chestnut
Panax Ginseng

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).

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What is the difference between loose leaf tea and tea bags?

Tea bags are a great way to brew tea there just a bad way to store tea. Crushing the leaves in order to force them into a tea bag during processing ruins the taste and greatly decreases shelf life. If you like brewing in bags, consider buying good quality natural fiber empty bags and loosely spoon your jiaogulan into the bag just before brewing.

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Is it necessary to rinse Jiaogulan (Gynostemma) before brewing?

All teas are ruined if in contact with moisture between the times of harvest and brewing. So your tea arrives to you without ever having been washed. Our teas are cultivated organically and heated three separate times, effectively sterilizing any contaminates. Nonetheless, we recommend for our teas (and all teas) a rinse with the hot water before brewing. In our case it doesn't make a difference from a health perspective but you will notice the difference in the taste.

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How long is Jiaogulan's average shelf-life?

If stored in a sealed container your Jiaogulan will keep for up to 1 year, but connoisseurs will notice a difference in taste. Best taste and health benefits are within 3 months of the harvest.

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Where can I buy Jiaogulan (Gynostemma) ?

Here of course! Visit our catalog for a full list of options.

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Our products have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration and are not approved to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.