Jiaogulan; Twisting Blue Plant; Poor Man’s Ginseng, Immortal Herb
One of the most-common and most-proven uses for jiaogulan tea is the treatment of urinary tract infections, as it both reduces inflammation in the bladder and urinary tract and supports the body’s production of antimicrobial peptides (a key part of the immune response to bacterial infections). Additionally, drinking jiaogulan tea can help protect and regulate the secretion of the gastric mucous that’s critical for protecting against gastric ulcers. Long-term daily oral supplementation with jiaogulan tea may also help diminish the severity of food sensitivities through similar GI mucous-related mechanisms, though much more study is needed to confirm and determine the scope of this effect.
There aren’t often human clinical trials for herbal therapies. Yet recent human trials of jiaogulan tea demonstrate that regularly drinking hot-water decoctions made with jiaogulan plants over a long period of time (about three months) can have significant, measurable effects on reducing body weight, body fat, and abdominal fat.
Jiaogulan is an annual adaptogenic herb that confers many of the benefits of mature ginseng root. It is classified as a Qi tonic in Chinese medicine. The herb is classified as neutral, bitter and sweet and it affects the Heart, Liver and Lung channels.
PREPARATION & ADMINISTRATION
Not to be confused with true ginseng; jiaogulan supplementation has some similar indications for use as ginseng supplements, but also some potential for additional unique medicinal benefits. Most traditional and contemporary therapies involving jiaogulan supplements call for oral use, and the most common forms include hot water decoctions/infusions resulting in tea. These often use either the leaves or stems of the plant.
In the human and animal trials so far conducted using jiaogulan teas, there have been no reported side-effects, symptoms of toxicity, or contraindications for use, though you should consult with a certified herbalist, physician or other qualified healthcare professional before taking jiaogulan. This herb may impact blood glucose and other blood chemistry levels in ways that are statistically (if not symptomatically) significant. Consequently, people who are working to control their blood sugar or who are receiving treatment for blood-chemistry related conditions (or who are taking medications that may also impact blood chemistry) should make sure to discuss this in particular when reviewing with their physician. Likewise, people who have diabetes or who use/need insulin should make sure to make special note of their desire to take jiaogulan when consulting their physician prior to usage.
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