Native to China, Korea and Japan, Jiaogulan is a climbing vine that belongs to the Cucurbitaceae plant family. It is related to pumpkin, cucumber, watermelon and other gourds and melons. In China, this herb is used for making tea and according to folklore, it can offer a variety of benefits, which include longevity. There are some potential medicinal uses of the tea as well.
If you do some research, it wouldn’t be tough to find the best Jiaogulan tea recipe in order to make it at home and reap the benefits it can offer. Some of the notable ones include:
This plant has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for years and is often recognized locally as Southern Ginseng or the herb of immortality. The reason for these nicknames is mostly due to the Guizhou province where people drink Jiaogulan tea on a daily basis and tend to live very long lives. Since the 15th century, people in Southern China have consumed Jiaogulan tea as a restorative, but has only been discovered by the west recently. It is classified as an adaptogen, which refers to an herb that helps the body in resisting stress. It can also be good for promoting homeostasis i.e. aid the body in achieving balance by regulating the internal processes. The herb can also be very effective in dealing with deficiencies in some body systems like the endocrine system and the immune system.
Research and widespread use has indicated that drinking Jiaogulan tea is also good for managing cholesterol levels in the body. It is able to have this impact because it can bring down the nitrate levels in the body effectively just like the prescription drug atorvastatin. The difference is that it doesn’t come with the same side effects. This brought about a decrease in cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
There are chemical compounds in Jiaogulan that are collectively known as gypenosides. These compounds are very useful for enhancing the function of phagocytes, which are specialized blood cells that have the task of digestive invading pathogens and cellular waste products. Similar protective effects are demonstrated by these compounds in the layer of cells lining the blood vessels, which is called the endothelium.
Other than that, the compounds can also provide protection against oxidative stress in the brain, which causes Parkinson’s disease.
Even traditionally, Jiaogulan tea was consumed because it was good for treatment of lung inflammation. This is due to the fact that the herb can significantly lessen airway hyper-responsiveness, which makes people vulnerable to bronchospasms. Such smooth muscle contractions typically occur when people suffer from asthma. In addition, the use of Jiaogulan was also found effective in suppressing a specific kind of immune system activity that leads to inflammation associated with asthma.
Apart from these health issues, Jiaogulan was also found helpful in dealing with fatty liver disease and diabetes, two problems which are quite common. The tea can easily be made at home and consumed on a regular basis to enjoy its benefits.