Carolina Holistic Medicine | Functional & Alternative Medicine | Charleston, SC

Adaptogenic Benefits Overview

Jiaogulan is a climbing vine native to China, Japan, Thailand and Korea. As a member of the Cucurbitaceae family of plants, it is related to the watermelon, cucumber, pumpkin and other melons and gourds. There are several health benefits attributed to drinking jiaogulan tea, with no documented toxicity or drug interactions. Hence the herbal being named to the Adaptogen Family. However, there are a few potential side effects associated with this herb, including nausea. It is an acquired taste and often mixed with other teas such as Oolong, Green, Rooibos, and other herbal teas. It can be consumed hot or cold. For best brewing visit Ralph from Immortalitea company as he demonstrates the best way to steep the tea: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnUY9QaJ4OI

This plant has a long history of use in Traditional Chinese Medicine. In fact, it is known locally as the “herb of immortality” and “Southern Ginseng.” These nicknames likely stem from the Guizhou Province, where the people are reputed to live very long lives as the result of drinking jiaogulan tea daily. Because this comes from a region of southern China and most of of the herbs that made the Chinese Medicine books of old originated from practitioners in the north, this herb remained in obscurity for hundreds of years. Although jiaogulan tea has been consumed as a “Qi” restorative in Southern China since the 15th century, it has been “discovered” by the West only fairly recently.

Modern herbalists classify jiaogulan as an adaptogen, a term used to describe an herb that helps the body resist the effects of stress. Adaptogen herbs also promote homeostasis, which means it helps the body to achieve a state of balance by regulating multiple internal processes. Specifically, adaptogen herbs like jiaogulan address both excessive output and deficiency in certain body systems, most notably the immune system and the endocrine system. (notably the adrenal glands). This tea has reports in medical literature of lowering stress hormones and markers, reducing blood pressure, lowering cholesterol and fighting cancer and aging. Much like it’s sister adaptogen herbs it has broad spectrum health benefits and is safe to use every day. For more on adaptogens read Dr. Saleeby’s book: Wonder Herbs: A guide to three adaptogens (2006). The 3rd chapter is on Jiaogulan.