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Unearthing The Healthy “Ginseng” Jiaogulan Tea.

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Jiaogulan tea is used in traditional Chinese Medicine and is a rich source of antioxidants. Some health benefits of this tea are: enhances stamina, reduces cholesterol, boosts immunity, may help prevent cancer, has anti aging properties and may increase longevity and susceptibility to certain conditions by reducing nitric-oxide production in the body.

What is Jiaogulan tea?

Jiaogulan tea,is also known as Gynostemmapentaphyllum. It can be bought from most good health food shops and has a taste similar to green tea. It is native to China where it is often referred to as “Southern Ginseng” due to the comparable medicinal properties.  It has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years, with beneficial effects reported to include the treatment of inflammation and atherosclerosis.

It is said that people from the Mountainous regions of Southern China would drink the tea before work to increase energy and stamina, and that many people from the Guizhou province who drank the tea lived to be over 100 years old.  This has given the tea a grand-mystique in towns and villages of China for centuries, with some locals even referring to it as “the tea of immortality”.
The tea’s legendary reputation for delaying the effects of aging was reinforced by a census of China taken during the 1970s.  Upon investigation, it was confirmed that people living in regions where Jiaogulan tea was a popular drink, had a much greater likelihood of living into their 100s.

Jiaogulan tea- Rich Anti Oxidant source:

This impact upon longevity may be due to the fact that the tea is a proven adaptogen and antioxidant- it can enhance one’s ability to cope and respond to the physiological effects of stress. Recent studies have also suggested that the tea may have anti-cancer properties; due to it’s capacity to act as an antioxidant and to directly influence the death (apoptosis) of cancer cells.

The antioxidant effect was demonstrated by a study conducted by Wang &Luo in 2007 and Razmovski-Naumovski et al, 2005, who attributed the antioxidant value of the tea, to a substance called “gypenoside”, a type of saponin.

Saponins are phytochemicals which have beneficial effects on cholesterol, the immune system and prevention of cancer.  They have the distinctive ability to produce foam when soaked in water, and are found in several plants such as legumes and yucca. There are several studies to suggest that saponins can help to prevent cancer, particularly colon cancer.

Health Benefits of Jiaogulan tea:

1. Adaptogen – the tea helps to neutralise the physical effects of stress and fatigue, and enhances stamina.

2. Cholesterol Reduction – saponins contained in the leaves help reduce blood-cholesterol levels, by combining with secondary bile acid and cholesterol and preventing the body from absorbing them.

3. Immunity booster – the antioxidant properties of the tea, and the saponins within the leaves help to boost the immune system.

4. May help prevent cancer – gypenoside has been linked to the death of cancer cells, and may particularly help to prevent bowel cancer.

5. Anti aging – by virtue of its ability to scavenge free radicals and act as an antioxidant; the tea can potentially prevent some of the effects of aging.  It has also been suggested that the tea may increase longevity and susceptibility to certain conditions by reducing nitric-oxide production in the body.

Conclusion:

Whilst jiaogulan tea may not have gained the popularity of the likes of green tea; it certainly has many noteworthy health benefits that justify giving it a try.  What makes jiaogulan unique from other teas is the huge array of health benefits it offers. From cholesterol reduction, to treating diabetes, insomnia and bronchitis, consider picking some up next time you are in a health food store or Chinese herbalist’s.

 

Drew Griffiths

Drew Griffiths has a first class honours degree in Sport & Exercise Science from Loughborough University, and a Masters’ degree in Exercise & Nutrition from the University of Liverpool. Drew is a keen martial artist and works in online marketing. He has his own blog – BlackBeltWhiteHat.com.

Drew Griffiths

Drew Griffiths has a first class honours degree in Sport & Exercise Science from Loughborough University, and a Masters’ degree in Exercise & Nutrition from the University of Liverpool. Drew is a keen martial artist and works in online marketing. He has his own blog – BlackBeltWhiteHat.com.

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JoannaCampbell
JoannaCampbell 5pts

great article. This tea has some amazing properties but is not well known. 

Paul Ravenscroft
Paul Ravenscroft 5pts

Surely if your going under the name of Ayurveda it should mention its properties from an ayurvedic perspective ??