The shop assistant told us that this Gynostemma tea (it looks like tea) is good for health. I like the honesty of the owners and shop people at Veng Tatt Soon (they also have a branch at Jalan Paya Terubong, Air Itam but I usually frequent this corner shop at Campbell Street) and I decided, sure, why not try it? At RM10 for 70gm, it wasn't very expensive.
Of course, I am often curious and when I got back, I did an internet search on what this gynostemma herb is about. What a surprise to find out that this herb is actually very beneficial for health - particularly for stress, cholesterol, blood pressure, immunity, antioxidant properties, the list just goes on and on. It is also called the immortality herb as regular consumption of this tea/herb gives you long life. In Japanese, it is called Amachazuru.
Other common names of this herb include
- 5-leaf ginseng
- poor-man's ginseng
- southern ginseng
- miracle grass
- fairy herb
- gospel herb
It comes from the cucumber or gourd family. You can see how this plant looks like at http://www.aumtea.com/botanical-name-listing.htm
Research has confirmed that this plant or herb can help with your cholesterol levels, and is effective in maintaining cholesterol levels. It was first found by a Japanese researcher who wanted to find an alternative sweetener. What he found was Jiagulan which showed properties akin to ginseng (contains saponins like ginseng) but was not ginseng.
It is also useful for weight loss but in the undernourished, it helps with nutrient absorption, hence it is much prized as an adaptogen. It also helps by calming the brain and nervous system; that's why it is a herb good for stress prevention and alleviation.
Basically jiagulan is a herb that's good for overall health maintenance.
Find out more about this amazing poor man's ginseng at http://www.immortalityherb.com/Jiaogulan.htm
How to drink Jiagulan
We prepared the jiagulan tea normally in a teapot with boiling water. Steep for 3 minutes and enjoy. The taste is very much like ginseng, yet with a fragrance of its own. It goes smooth on the palate and leaves a tingling peppermint like aftertaste which isn't really unpleasant. It does take some getting used to, though. Me, I like the fact that it helps me with stress as the kind of website development we do is sometimes quite stressful!
If you find it in your supermarket, go on, give it a try. It might just be the kind of tea you need!