All information in this post is adapted from an article by Valley Natural Foods’ wellness department associate and herbalist, Chip Greene. Stop by the wellness department and get more information from Chip on this amazing tea.
Valley Natural Foods’ wellness department is excited to bring you a unique, specialized organic bulk herb tea called Jiaogulan or Immortalitea, grown in Northern Thailand in the foothills of the Himalayas. This herb cultivates in low-laying vine or ground cover leaf clusters and its seed has vegetable origins, deriving from the cucumber family. Jiaogulan is a Gynostemma pentaphyllum herb tea, which tops the list of the greatest herbs in the world, possessing 82 saponins or phytochemicals. These saponins increase blood flow and the function of all bodily organs.
Researchers are heavily studying Jiaogulan in Asia, especially Japan, for its clinical effectiveness toward improving an incredibly wide range of health problems. It is native to the mountainous regions of southern China where the classical system that we call traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), evolved. Chinese people recognized the herb as a rejuvenating longevity elixir, describing it as the “Immortality Herb” and relating its likeness to ginseng but better than ginseng. In fact, it contains four times the active ingredients of ginseng. Legends from long ago reveal that the Chinese would drink Jiaogulan tea instead of the common green tea, resulting in people living for 100 years.
Jiagulan tea has a lengthy list of health benefits, including*:
- Improving the body’s response to stress, calming nerves through its adaptogenic, antioxidant capacity. Only 1 in every 400 plants are adaptogen, which refers to their ability to help the body achieve overall functional balance and regulation.
- Increasing endurance and strength
- Reliving fatigue
- Treating common colds, strengthening the immune system
- Improving digestion, aiding in the release of toxins
- Easing pain
- Slowing premature aging
- Accelerating the body’s metabolism, aiding in weight control
- Treating inflammation
- Providing the body with essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals such as selenium, magnesium, zinc, calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, phosphorus
- Lowering bad LDL cholesterol, increasing good HDL cholesterol
- Reducing headaches, migraines
Although all of these benefits are available in one herbal tea, Westerners who expect instant health effects need to understand this is a gentle plant that gives its health blessings over a period of time and over accumulative use, not instantaneously.
*Gynostemma is very safe and in general children over 4 years of age can drink it, as well as the elderly. Most adults drink one to two cups of the tea per day. The tea is licensed and cultivated as organic in Thailand. It is produced without the use of any chemicals, preservatives, artificial flavorings, fragrances, colors, or other additives.
To prepare the tea: Make sure to rinse the tea for 10-30 seconds to remove any residue. For every 1 teaspoon of tea, add 8 oz. of boiled water. The Jiaogulan tea does not need to steep long at all, only for 2-5 minutes, and you can use the leaves up to 3 times. Because Jiaogulan tea is available in bulk only at Valley Natural Foods, you can buy as little or as much as you like to try it at first. Jiaogulan tea has a very earthy, mildly sweet taste.
* NOTE: This information should not be used to diagnose, treat or attempt to prevent any disease without the advice of a qualified Health Provider familiar with your history and condition. Chinese tonic herbs of which Gynostemma is one, are traditionally used to promote health, not counteract disease. If you are suffering from any ailment that may require medical attention, do not consume herbs unless advised to do so by your physician. Pregnant and nursing moms should avoid the tea as should anyone taking antiplatelet, or anticoagulant drugs or drugs used to suppress the immune system.
Sources for this article:
- The Ancient Wisdom of the Chinese Tonic Herbs, a book by Ron Teeguarden