Although not a lot of people are familiar with the Gynostemma, it represents one of the most beneficial herbs that they can consume. It is found in the southern parts of China, Northern Korea, Vietnam and Japan and belongs to the family of Cucurbitaceae, the same as cucumbers and melons. However, unlike melons and cucumbers this magnificent herb does not bear fruit but seeds when both male and female plants are grown together. It is a climbing vine recognizable by its serrated leaves, which usually grow in the group of five, although there are some species with three or seven leaves in a group. As it is a vine, it uses tendrils to attach itself. There are about 30 species of this plant.
Because of its sweet taste, at first, people wanted to use it as a sweetener. On their way of studying the herb, they discovered that it had similar chemical components (saponins) to ginseng and started referring to it as a ‘southern ginseng.’ Another name for gynostemma is Jiaogulan, while the people, living in the parts of the south of China who have been using it for the longest, refer to it as an ‘immortality herb.’ It is a name well deserved because of its many therapeutic characteristics and medical usages.
The root and the aerial part of the plant are the ones used in medicine. Being rich in antioxidants, this extraordinary herb is excellent for improving the immune system, starting with lowering blood pressure and LHD cholesterol (that is, the bad cholesterol), to helping with cardiovascular illnesses. It is also packed with amino acids, vitamins and minerals. Some studies have shown that gynostemma is highly beneficial in inhibiting different kinds of cancer and slowing down the aging process as well.
However, there are some minor side effects found when using this herb. A small percent of the users have reported feeling nausea after the intake of gynostemma. So far, these are the only side effects reported, as there are not enough researches conducted on this herb. Because of the lack of the researches, it is not recommended for pregnant women or those who are breastfeeding and small children under the age of three.
Gynostemma Herb now being sold in different parts of the world. Its reputation has reached even those countries far from Asia and sales have been increased since more and more people discover the healthy benefits of Gynostemma Herb. It is by all means possible that someday, this tea will be considered the most remarkable herbal tea in the world.