Tag Archives: Ginseng

Aralia cordata

Botanical Name : Aralia cordata
Family: Araliaceae
Genus: Aralia
Species:A. cordata
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Apiales

Synonyms : Aralia edulis, Aralia nutans

Common Names: Udo in Japanese, and also as Japanese spikenard or Mountain asparagus

Habitat : Aralia cordata is native to E. Asia – China, Japan, Korea. It grows in thickets and thin woods, esp. by streams and ravines, all over Japan.
Description:
Aralia cordata is a perennial herb. It is classified as a dicot and a eudicot. The leaves are alternate, large, and double to triple pinnate with leaflets 7 to 15 centimetres (2.8 to 5.9 in) long, and 5 to 10 centimetres (2.0 to 3.9 in) broad. The flowers are produced in large umbels of 30 to 45 centimetres (12 to 18 in) diameter in late summer, each flower small and white. The fruit is a small black drupe 3 millimetres (0.12 in) diameter, and may be toxic to humans.

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In the wild, the plant achieves a height of 1.2 to 1.8 metres (3.9 to 5.9 ft). It has golden leaves in the spring and an abundance of large bright green ones in the summer. It has a hefty and plump root stock with shoots 60 to 90 centimetres (2.0 to 3.0 ft) in length. It can reach optimal growth when planted in rich soil. During the summer it produces loose flower bunches 90 centimetres (3.0 ft) in length, which are attractive to bees and flies, making it ideal for beekeepers. It can be grown using seed or propagated from cuttings.

It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
Prefers a good deep loam and a semi-shady position. Requires a sheltered position. Plants are hardier when grown in poorer soils. Tolerates a pH in the range 5.0 to 7.4. Dormant plants are hardy to about -25°c. The young growth in spring, even on mature plants, is frost-tender and so it is best to grow the plants in a position sheltered from the early morning sun. This is a commonly cultivated food crop in Japan, where it is grown for its edible shoots. There are several named varieties.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed requires 3 – 5 months of cold stratification. Germination usually takes place within 1 – 4 months at 20°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse for at least their first winter. Once the plants are 25cm or more tall, they can be planted out into their permanent positions, late spring or early summer being the best time to do this. Root cuttings 8cm long, December in a cold frame. Store the roots upside down in sand and pot up in March/April. High percentage. Division of suckers in late winter. Very easy, the suckers can be planted out direct into their permanent positions if required.
Edible Uses:
Young branched shoots – cooked or raw. They can be up to 1.5 metres long and have a mild and agreeable flavour. They are usually blanched and are crisp and tender with a unique lemon-like flavour. They can be sliced and added to salads, soups etc. The shoots contain about 1.1% protein, 0.42% fat, 0.8% soluble carbohydrate, 0.55% ash. Root – cooked. Used like scorzonera.

Composition :
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Shoots (Fresh weight)

•0 Calories per 100g
•Water : 0%
•Protein: 1.1g; Fat: 0.42g; Carbohydrate: 0.8g; Fibre: 0g; Ash: 0.55g;
•Minerals – Calcium: 0mg; Phosphorus: 0mg; Iron: 0mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 0mg; Zinc: 0mg;
•Vitamins – A: 0mg; Thiamine (B1): 0mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0mg; Niacin: 0mg; B6: 0mg; C: 0mg;
Medicinal Uses:
Analgesic; Antiinflammatory; Carminative; Diuretic; Febrifuge; Stimulant; Stomachic; Tonic.

The root is sometimes used in China as a substitute for ginseng (Panax species). It is said to be analgesic, antiinflammatory, carminative, diuretic, febrifuge, stimulant, stomachic and tonic. The root contains an essential oil, saponins, sesquiterpenes and diterpene acids. It is used in Korea to treat the common cold and migraines.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aralia_cordata
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Aralia+cordata

Ginkgo biloba

Botanical Name : Ginkgo biloba
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Ginkgophyta
Class: Ginkgoopsida
Order: Ginkgoales
Family: Ginkgoaceae
Genus: Ginkgo
Species: G. biloba

Synonyms : Salisburia adiantifolia. Pterophyllus salisburiensis. Ginkgo macrophylla. Salisburia biloba

Common Names: Ginkgo, Maidenhair tree ,
Chinese: Pinyin: Yínxìng; Japanese pronunciation: Icho, Ginnan; Korean: Romaja: Eunhaeng; Vietnamese: Bach quo, Acceptable variant gingko

Habitat :Ginkgo biloba is native to E. Asia – N. China. Found wild in only 2 localities at Guizhou and on the Anhui/Zhejiang border, where it grows on rich sandy soils
Description:
Ginkgos are large deciduous trees, normally reaching a height of 20–35 m (66–115 ft), with some specimens in China being over 50 m (160 ft). The tree has an angular crown and long, somewhat erratic branches, and is usually deep rooted and resistant to wind and snow damage. Young trees are often tall and slender, and sparsely branched; the crown becomes broader as the tree ages. During autumn, the leaves turn a bright yellow, then fall, sometimes within a short space of time (one to 15 days). A combination of resistance to disease, insect-resistant wood and the ability to form aerial roots and sprouts makes ginkgos long-lived, with some specimens claimed to be more than 2,500 years old.

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Bloom Color: Green. Main Bloom Time: Early spring, Late spring, Mid spring. Ginkgo is a unique species of tree with no close living relatives and is one of the best-known examples of a living fossil.

Ginkgo is a relatively shade-intolerant species that (at least in cultivation) grows best in environments that are well-watered and well-drained. The species shows a preference for disturbed sites; in the “semiwild” stands at Tian Mu Shan, many specimens are found along stream banks, rocky slopes, and cliff edges. Accordingly, ginkgo retains a prodigious capacity for vegetative growth. It is capable of sprouting from embedded buds near the base of the trunk (lignotubers, or basal chi chi) in response to disturbances, such as soil erosion. Old individuals are also capable of producing aerial roots on the undersides of large branches in response to disturbances such as crown damage; these roots can lead to successful clonal reproduction upon contacting the soil. These strategies are evidently important in the persistence of ginkgo; in a survey of the “semiwild” stands remaining in Tianmushan, 40% of the specimens surveyed were multistemmed, and few saplings were present.

China,the tree is widely cultivated and was introduced early to human history. It has various uses in traditional medicine and as a source of food

Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Firewood, Pest tolerant, Specimen, Street tree. Succeeds in most soil types so long as they are well-drained, though it prefers a rather dry loam in a position sheltered from strong winds. Some of the best specimens in Britain are found growing on soils over chalk or limestone. Plants flower and fruit more reliably after hot summers or when grown in a warm sunny position. Established plants are drought resistant, they also tolerate atmospheric pollution. Plants can grow in poor hard-packed soil, making the male forms good candidates for street planting. Trees are often used for street planting in towns, only the males are used because the fruit from female plants has a nauseous smell. The fruit contains butanoic acid, it has the aroma of rancid butter. Ginkgo is a very ornamental plant and there are several named forms. This species is the only surviving member of a family that was believed to be extinct until fairly recent times. It has probably remained virtually unchanged for at least 150 million years and might have been growing when the dinosaurs were roaming the earth. It is exceptional in having motile sperm and fertilization may not take place until after the seed has fallen from the tree. This genus belongs to a very ancient order and has affinities with tree ferns and cycads. The ginkgo is usually slow growing, averaging less than 30cm per year with growth taking place from late May to the end of August. Growth is also unpredictable, in some years trees may not put on any new growth whilst in others there may be 1 metre of growth. This variability does not seem to be connected to water or nutrient availability. Trees are probably long-lived in Britain, one of the original plantings (in 1758) is still growing and healthy at Kew (1993). Plants are not troubled by insects or diseases, have they evolved a resistance?. Ginkgo is a popular food and medicinal crop in China, the plants are often cultivated for this purpose and are commonly grown in and around temples. Plants are either male or female, one male plant can pollinate up to 5 females. It takes up to 35 years from seed for plants to come into bearing. Prior to maturity the sexes can often be distinguished because female plants tend to have almost horizontal branches and deeply incised leaves whilst males have branches at a sharper angle to the trunk and their leaves are not so deeply lobed. Branches of male trees can be grafted onto female frees in order to fertilize them. When a branch from a female plant was grafted onto a male plant at Kew it fruited prolifically. Female trees have often been seen in various gardens with good crops of fruit. Seeds are marked by two or three longitudinal ridges, it is said that those with two ridges produce female plants whilst those with three ridges produce male plants. Trees can be coppiced. They can also be pruned into a fan-shape for growing on walls. Another report says that the trees dislike pruning and will often die back as a result. Special Features:Attractive foliage, Not North American native, Fragrant flowers, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms, Flowers have an unpleasant odor.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame or in a sheltered outdoor bed. The seed requires stratification according to one report whilst another says that stratification is not required and that the seed can be sown in spring but that it must not have been allowed to dry out. Germination is usually good to fair. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse for their first year. Plant them out into their permanent positions in the following spring and consider giving them some protection from winter cold for their first winter outdoors. Softwood cuttings in a frame in spring. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. The cutting may not grow away in its first year but usually grows all right after that. Cuttings of mature wood, December in a frame.
Edible Uses: Oil; …...click & see

Seed – raw (in small quantities), or cooked. A soft and oily texture, the seed has a sweet flavour and tastes somewhat like a large pine nut. The baked seed makes very pleasant eating, it has a taste rather like a cross between potatoes and sweet chestnuts. The seed can be boiled and used in soups, porridges etc…CLICK  & SEE  It needs to be heated before being eaten in order to destroy a mildly acrimonious principle. Another report says that the seed can be eaten raw whilst another says that large quantities of the seed are toxic. See the notes above on toxicity for more details. The raw seed is said to have a fish-like flavour. The seed is rich in niacin. It is a good source of starch and protein, but is low in fats. These fats are mostly unsaturated or monosaturated. A more detailed nutritional analysis is available. An edible oil is obtained from the seed

Composition :
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Seed (Dry weight)

*403 Calories per 100g
*Water : 0%
*Protein: 10.4g; Fat: 3.3g; Carbohydrate: 83g; Fibre: 1.3g; Ash: 3.5g;
*Minerals – Calcium: 11mg; Phosphorus: 327mg; Iron: 2.6mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 15mg; Potassium: 1139mg; Zinc: 0mg;
*Vitamins – A: 392mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.52mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0.26mg; Niacin: 6.1mg; B6: 0mg; C: 54mg;

Medicinal Uses:
Antianxiety; Antiasthmatic; Antibacterial; Antifungal; Astringent; Cancer; Digestive; Expectorant; Infertility; Ophthalmic; Sedative;
Tonic; Vermifuge.

Ginkgo has a long history of medicinal use in traditional Chinese medicine, where the seed is most commonly used. These uses are mentioned in more detail later. Recent research into the plant has discovered a range of medicinally active compounds in the leaves and this has excited a lot of interest in the health-promoting potential of the plant. In particular, the leaves stimulate the blood circulation and have a tonic effect on the brain, reducing lethargy, improving memory and giving an improved sense of well-being. They have also been shown to be effective in improving peripheral arterial circulation and in treating hearing disorders such as tinnitus where these result from poor circulation or damage by free radicals. The leaves contain ginkgolides, these are compounds that are unknown in any other plant species. Ginkgolides inhibit allergic responses and so are of use in treating disorders such as asthma. Eye disorders and senility have also responded to treatment. The leaves are best harvested in the late summer or early autumn just before they begin to change colour. They are dried for later use. The fruit is antibacterial, antifungal, astringent, cancer, digestive, expectorant, sedative, vermifuge. The fruit is macerated in vegetable oil for 100 days and then the pulp is used in the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis, asthma, bronchitis etc. (This report might be referring to the seed rather than the fleshy fruit). The cooked seed is antitussive, astringent and sedative. It is used in the treatment of asthma, coughs with thick phlegm and urinary incontinence. The raw seed is said to have anticancer activity and also to be antivinous. It should be used with caution, however, due to reports of toxicity. The cooked seeds stabilize spermatogenesis.
Other Uses: Oil; Oil; Soap; Wood…….An oil from the seed is used as a fuel in lighting. A soap substitute is produced by mixing the pulp of the seed (is the fruit meant here?) with oil or wine. Wood – light, soft, it has insect repelling qualities.

Known Hazards: The seed contains a mildly acrimonious principle that is unstable when heated. It is therefore best to cook the seed before eating it to ensure any possible toxicity is destroyed. This acrimonious principle is probably 4′-methoxypyridoxine, which can destroy vitamin B6. It is more toxic for children, but the raw nuts would have to be eaten often over a period of time for the negative effects to become apparent. Avoid if known allergy to Ginkgo or cross-react species (cashew, poison ivy). Not recommended for children. Avoid if on blood thinning medication (e.g. warfarin). Discontinue prior to surgery. Avoid parenteral use as possible hypotension, shock, dizziness. Excessive seed ingestion can cause ‘gin-man’ food poisoning.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ginkgo_biloba
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Ginkgo+biloba

American ginseng

 

Botanical Name: Panax quinquefolius
Family: Araliaceae ( ivy family)
Subfamily: Aralioideae
Genus: Panax
Species: P. quinquefolius
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Apiales

Synonyms: Aralia quinquefolia. Five Fingers. Tartar Root. Red Berry. Man’s Health

Common Name: American  ginseng

Habitat :American ginseng is native to eastern North America, though it is also cultivated in places such as China,Korea and Japan. The plant grows in rich woods throughout eastern and central North America, especially along the mountains from Quebec and Ontario, south to Georgia.
Description:
American ginseng is a smooth herbaceous perennial herb, with a large, fleshy, very slow-growing root, 2 to 3 inches in length (occasionally twice this size) and from 1/2 to 1 inch in thickness. Its main portion is spindle-shaped and heavily annulated (ringed growth), with a roundish summit, often with a slight terminal, projecting point. At the lower end of this straight portion, there is a narrower continuation, turned obliquely outward in the opposite direction and a very small branch is occasionally borne in the fork between the two. Some small rootlets exist upon the lower portion. The colour ranges from a pale yellow to a brownish colour. It has a mucilaginous sweetness, approaching that of liquorice, accompanied with some degree of bitterness and a slight aromatic warmth, with little or no smell. The stem is simple and erect, about a foot high, bearing three leaves, each divided into five finely-toothed leaflets, and a single, terminal umbel, with a few small, yellowish flowers. The fruit is a cluster of bright red berrles….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation: On account of the growing scarcity of the American Ginseng plant, experiments have been made by the State of Pennsylvania to determine whether it can be grown profitably, resulting in the conclusion that in five years, starting with seeds and one year plants (or sooner if a start were made with older plants), an acre of ground would yield a profit of 1,500 dollars, without allowance for rental, but many precautions are necessary for success. The cultivated plants produced larger roots than those of the wild plant.

In 1912 it was estimated that the acreage of cultivated Ginseng in the United States was about 150 acres, and it is calculated that to supply China with twenty million dollars’ worth of dry root would require the American growers to plant 1,000 acres annually for five years, before this estimated annual supply could be sold. The cultivation of Ginseng would therefore appear to offer a rich field to American agriculture. It presents, however, considerable difficulty, owing to the great care and special methods required and to the fact that it is a very slow-growing crop, so that rapid returns can hardly be anticipated, and it is doubtful if its cultivation can be carried on profitably except by specialists in the crop. None the less, the percentage returns for the industrious, patient and painstaking farmer are large, and the demand for a fine article for export is not at all likely to be exceeded by the supply.

Part Used: The Root.

Chemical Constituents: Like Panax ginseng, American ginseng contains dammarane-type ginsenosides, or saponins, as the major biologically active constituents. Dammarane-type ginsenosides include two classifications: 20(S)-protopanaxadiol (PPD) and 20(S)-protopanaxatriol (PPT). American ginseng contains high levels of Rb1, Rd (PPD classification), and Re (PPT classification) ginsenosides—higher than that of P. ginseng in one study.

A large amount of starch and gum, some resin, a very small amount of volatile oil and the peculiar sweetish body, Panaquilon. This occurs as a yellow powder, precipitating with water a white, amorphous substance, which has been called Panacon.

Medicinal uses:
American ginseng or Panax quinquefolius is commonly used as Chinese or herbal medicine. In Western medicine, it is considered a mild stomachic tonic and stimulant, useful in loss of appetite and in digestive affections that arise from mental and nervous exhaustion.

A tincture has been prepared from the genuine Chinese or American root, dried and coarsely powdered, covered with five times its weight of alcohol and allowed to stand, well-stoppered, in a dark, cool place, being shaken twice a day. The tincture, poured off and filtered, has a clear, light-lemon colour, an odour like the root and a taste at first bitter, then dulcamarous and an acid reaction.

There is no evidence that American ginseng is effective in those infected with the common cold. The effect of preventive use is not clear. When used preventively it makes no difference on the rate of infections. It also appears to have no effect on how bad the infections are. There is tentative evidence that it may lessen the length of sickness when used preventively.

For detail medicinal uses you may click & see 
Cautions: : Individuals requiring anti-coagulant therapy such as warfarin should avoid use of American ginseng. Not recommended for individuals with impaired liver or renal function. It is not recommended in those who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Other adverse effects include: headaches, anxiety, trouble sleeping and an upset stomach.

Recent studies have shown that through the many cultivated procedures that American ginseng is grown, fungal molds, pesticides, and various metals and residues have contaminated the crop. Though these contaminating effects are not considerably substantial, they do pose health concerns that lead to neurological problems, intoxication, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_ginseng
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/g/ginsen15.html

Oplopanax horridu

Botanical Name : Oplopanax horridu
Family: Araliaceae
Subfamily: Aralioideae
Genus: Oplopanax
Species: O. horridus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Apiales

Synonyms:  Echinopanax horridus, Fatsia horrida

Common Names:Devil’s Club, Araliaceae

Habitat: Oplopanax horridu is  native to the cool moist forests of western North America, but also disjunct on islands in Lake Superior.

This species usually grows in moist, dense forest habitats, and is most abundant in old growth conifer forests. It is found from south-central Alaska to western Oregon and eastward to western Alberta and Montana. Disjunct native populations also occur over 1,500 kilometres (930 mi) away in Lake Superior on Isle Royale and Passage Island, Michigan and Porphyry Island and Slate Island, Ontario

Description:
Oplopanax horridu  is a large shrub. It generally grows to 1 to 1.5 metres (3 ft 3 in to 4 ft 10 in) tall; however, instances exist of it reaching in excess of 5 metres (16 ft) in rainforest gullies. The spines are found along the upper and lower surfaces of veins of its leaves as well as the stems. The leaves are spirally arranged on the stems, simple, palmately lobed with 5-13 lobes, 20 to 40 centimetres (7.9 to 16 in) across. The flowers are produced in dense umbels 10 to 20 centimetres (3.9 to 7.9 in) diameter, each flower small, with five greenish-white petals. The fruit is a small red drupe 4 to 7 millimetres (0.16 to 0.28 in) diameter.

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The plant is covered with brittle yellow spines that break off easily if the plants are handled or disturbed, and the entire plant has been described as having a “primordial” appearance. Devil’s Club is very sensitive to human impact and does not reproduce quickly. The plants are slow growing and take many years to reach seed bearing maturity, and predominately exist in dense, moist, old growth conifer forests in the Pacific Northwest

Propagation:
Devil’s club reproduces by forming clonal colonies through a layering process. What can appear to be several different plants may actually have all been one plant originally, with the clones detaching themselves after becoming established by laying down roots.

Uses:
Native Americans used the plant both as food and medicine. The plant was traditionally used by Native Americans to treat adult-onset diabetes and a variety of tumors. Traditionally, it was and is still used to make paints. In vitro studies showed that extracts of Devil’s Club inhibit tuberculosis microbes.

Because Devil’s club is related to American Ginseng, some think that the plant is an adaptogen (“mind enhancer”). The plant has been harvested for this purpose and marketed widely as “Alaskan ginseng”, which may damage populations of Devil’s Club and its habitat. The genus Panax (‘true’ ginseng) is exceptional among Araliaceae both morphologically and chemically. Other, even closely related plants with proven adaptogen effects, such as Eleutherococcus senticosus the “siberian ginseng”, are chemically dissimilar to Panax ginseng.

Medicinal Uses:
Devil’s Club is used to stabilize blood sugar levels.  It is used routinely in the treatment of diabetes as a natural alternative to insulin.  Although devil’s club shares some pharmacological and therapeutic similarities with ginseng, it is not the same medicine.  It is a strong and safe respiratory stimulant and expectorant increasing the mucus secretions to initiate fruitful coughing and soften up hardened bronchial mucus that can occur later on in a chest cold.  The cold infusion, and to a lesser degree the fresh or dry tincture, is helpful for rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune disorders , taken regularly and with sensible modifications to the diet.  It is more helpful when taken during remissions and has little effect during active distress.  Its main value is in modifying extremes of metabolic stress and adding a little reserve to offset the person’s internal cost of living.  .  Its use by Native Americans as a treatment for adult-onset diabetes has been substantiated by scientific studies in this century.  It seems to decrease the lust for sugars and binge food in those trying to lose weight or deal with generally elevated blood fats and glucose.  Seems to work best on stocky, mesomorphic, anabolic-stress-type, middle-aged people with elevated blood lipids, moderately high blood pressure, and early signs of adult onset, insulin-resistant diabetes.    Indians also used it to treat cancer.  Root strongly warms lymphatic system function; weakly warms central nervous system activity; weakly warms hepatic activity.

Root weakly warms immunologic activity;  weakly warms mucosal activity; weakly warms parasympathetic nervous system activity; weakly warms renal activity; weakly warms reproductive system function; weakly warms respiratory system function; weakly warms skin activity; weakly warms sympathetic nervous system activity; weakly warms thyroid stress; weakly warms upper GI activity; weakly cools adrenal stress; weakly cools anabolic stress.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devil’s_Club
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_DE.htm

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Jiaogulan(Gynostemma pentaphyllum)

Botanical Name :Gynostemma pentaphyllum
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Subfamily: Zanonioideae
Genus: Gynostemma
Subtribe: Gomphogyninae
Species
: G. pentaphyllum
Kingdom: Plantae
Division
: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Cucurbitales
Common Names :   Jiaogulan , Jiao Gu Lan, Amachazuru, Herb of Immortality, sweet tea vine

Other Common Names:

*5-leaf ginseng
*poor-man’s ginseng
*southern ginseng
*miracle grass
*fairy herb
*gospel herb

Alternate names
Western languages such as English and German commonly refer to the plant as jiaogulan. Other names include:

*Chinese: xiancao ( literally “immortal grass”; more accurately “herb of immortality”)
*English: five-leaf ginseng, poor man’s ginseng, miracle grass, fairy herb, sweet tea vine, gospel herb, Southern Ginseng
*Japanese: amachazuru (kanji: ; hiragana; literally amai=sweet, tasty * cha=tea,  zuru=vine, creeping plant)
*Korean language: dungkulcha or dolwe
*Latin: Gynostemma pentaphyllum or Vitis pentaphyllum
*Taiwanese: sencauw
*Thai: jiaogulan
*Portuguese: cipó-doce
*Jiaogulan tea is also marketed in the United States under the trade names Panta tea or Penta tea, depending on the supplier.

Habitat :It is a indigenous to the southern reaches of China, southern Korea and Japan. Jiaogulan is best known as an herbal medicine reputed to have powerful antioxidant and adaptogenic effects that increase longevity.1,000 to 10,000ft (300 to 3,000m) elevation in shady mountain and/or plain regions of China, India, Japan, Korea, Laos, Myanmar (Burma), Nepal, Sri Lanka.

Description;
Jiaogulan is a vine hardy to USDA zone 8 in which it may grow as a short lived perennial plant. It can be grown as an annual in most temperate climates, in well-drained soil with full sun. The plant is dioecious, meaning each plant exists either as male or female. Thus, if seeds are desired, both a male and female plant must be grown. Unlike most plants of the Cucurbitaceae family, jiaogulan does not show toxicity……CLICK  &  SEE  THE PICTURES

 

Medicinal Uses:
The plant is best known for its use as an herbal medicine in traditional Chinese medicine. A botany book by Wu Qi-Jun from 1848 Zhi Wu Ming Shi Tu Kao Chang Bian discusses a few medicinal uses and seems to be the earliest known documentation of the herb. Jiaogulan had been cited previously as a survival food in Zu Xio’s 1406 book Materia Medica for Famine. Until recently it was a locally known herb used primarily in regions of southern China. It is described by the local inhabitants as the “immortality herb”, because people within Guizhou Province, where jiaogulan tea is drunk regularly, are said have a history of living to a very old age.

FOR  MORE INFORMATION   ->Click  & see 

Jiaogulan is most often consumed as an herbal tea, and is also available as an alcohol extract and in capsule or pill form. It is known as an adaptogen and antioxidant that has been found effective in regulating blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, and improving endurance. Because of its adaptogenic effects, it is frequently referred to as “Southern Ginseng,” although it is not closely related to true Panax ginseng. Its chemical constituents include the triterpenoid saponins gypenosides which are closely structurally related to the ginsenosides from the well-known medicinal plant ginseng. Jiaogulan is also believed to have calming effects and to be useful in combination with codonopsis for jet lag and altitude sickness. Most research has been done since the 1960s when the Chinese realized that it might be an inexpensive source of adaptogenic compounds, taking pressure off of the ginseng stock.

Research (mostly from China and Japan), has confirmed some of the therapeutic qualities of jiaogulan tea. Jiaogulan (Jiao Gu Lan)is an adaptgen and antioxidant with properties similar to that of ginseng. The herb tea is valued for it’s antioxidant protection, cardiovascular benefits.

Common Uses: Cancer Prevention * Cholesterol Control * General Health Tonics * Heart Tonics/Cordials * Hypertension HBP * Immune System * Stress * Varicose veins *

According to Michael Blumert, author Jiaogulan: China’s “Immortality Herb”

The benefits of drinking Jiaogulan tea include improved cholesterol levels, enhanced strength and physical endurance, a strong the immune system, and Jiaogulan has shown tumor inhibiting properties.

You may click to see Herbal Power of Jiaogulan

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.aumtea.com/botanical-name-listing.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jiaogulan
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail428.php