Jiaogulan - pronounced Jee Ow Goo Lawn
Gynostemma (also known as Five Leaf and Seven Leaf Jiaogulan, depending on variety) is an herb I was introduced to over 5 years ago when listening to a radio interview by Truth Caulkins.
When researching its properties I discovered it be a fascinating, powerful and (most importantly) a delicious tasting herb.
When brewed up as you would green tea (Camellia Sinensis), it produces a naturally sweet and light herbal infusion that is incredibly satisfying in addition to the fact that it helps to mitigate sweet cravings.
If there is one thing our society could be pegged as, it would be a nation of sugar addicts. In all of its forms, sugar is one of the most prevelent and innocious elements that seems to slip into all sorts of prepackaged foods.
Dr. Gabriel Cousens has been an outspoken proponent of a low glycemic diet for almost a decade and has shown in his film "Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days" that type 2 Diabetes is now fast becoming an epidemic in the United States and any country that adopts a "Standard American Diet".
Why is this important for you to understand in relationship to an herb like Gynostemma?
First, there is a deeper key behind the use of naturally sweet herbs like Gynostemma.
While there are other herbs in this catagory like Luo Han Guo ( Siraitia Grosvenorii ), and Stevia ( Stevia Rebaudiana ), Gynostemma holds a very important position as a tonic herb that helps rebuild all three treasures, Jing ( Essence ), Qi ( Chi ) and Shen ( Spirit ).
All major studies of these herbs show a lowering of the glycemic impact upon the blood sugar and help to curb the craving for sugary foods that feed candida, spike blood sugar and lead to metabolic syndrome ( Syndrome X ).
The addition of these herbs, especially Gynostemma, into your diet can help to greatly increase insulin sensitivity, thereby helping to mitigate the progression of metabolic syndrome.
Remember, that the use of herbs is always going to be more powerful and synergistic when coupled with lifestyle changes that integrate a holistic awareness of your health. No one herb will be a cure to anything, it is the integration of herbs into your lifestyle on a regular basis that makes a difference.
The very best Gynostemma comes from China, high up in some of the more mountainous regions where the air is untainted by industrial operations and cities full of smog.
Keep an eye out for the color of Jiaogulan. It should be a nice vibrant green color, though it can be slightly darker or lighter depending on the region and processing techniques used.
High quality Gynostemma should be mildly sweet when brewed and will taste somewhat similar to Chinese Green Tea, though without the astringent qualities attributed to Camellia Sinensis.
Drinking Gynostemma everyday will lead to a general lengthening of ones life, as the moniker of Jiaogulan, "Immortal Grass", indicates.
Gynostemma is one of the most powerful, safe and enjoyable herbs currently available on the market. Make sure that you give this herb an opportunity to make its way into your cupboard!