Monday, November 26, 2012
What are the Benefits of Gynostemma Tea?
Gynostemma is widely believed to have the following health benefits: to slow down aging and to prevent feebleness at all ages, and in particular to prevent senility; to reduce fatigue, to increase vigor; to reduce oxygen deficiency at high altitudes; to improve digestion; to strengthen the mind; and to improve sexual functions. It is also believed to help calm the nerves and to ease pain. Gynostemma is generally reinforcing to overall health, and has a strong anti-fatigue effect. It is also used as a virtual "cure-all." To the local people who collect it wild, grow it and consume it, it is simply called "Magical Grass." The ultimate greatness of Gynostemma lies in its broad spectrum adaptogenic quality. It has double direction activity, and has the ability to bring balance to the body under a wide range of stressful circumstances. Constant consumption of Gynostemma tends to have a highly protective quality because it strengthens the adaptive capacity of the person at every level of their life. Japanese studies have indicated that Gynostemma has a double-direction, regulating, adaptogenic influence on the central nervous system. It is calming when one is overexcited and stimulating when one is depressed. Japanese studies have shown that Gynostemma is clinically useful in a number of mental and neurological conditions, including simple depression, anxiety and schizophrenia. Gynostemma contains many amino acids, vitamins and minerals that are healthful to the human body, including selenium, magnesium, zinc, calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, phosphorus, and more. Though Gynostemma is regarded as a tonic herb, it is also perceived by many Asian people to be a "cure all." In China, Gynostemma is being used to treat inflammation, stop cough, as an expectorant remove sputum, to treat chronic bronchitis, and much more in actual clinical practice. Gynostemma has developed an enormous reputation in Asia as a major aid in weight control programs. It has a double direction activity with regard to weight. It will help reduce weight in overweight people, and can help athletes, bodybuilders or excessively slim people to gain weight. As a diet herb, it helps by accelerating the body’s metabolism. It also helps adjust blood sugar and reduce blood fat. Adjusting blood sugar and blood fat are critical steps in attaining healthy metabolic function, whether one wants to lose or gain weight It has been found that athletes who consume Gynostemma put on more lean muscle than those who do not. Athletes find that their appetites are actually improved and that assimilation is much more efficient. Gynostemma is strengthening to the human immune system. It is used to potentiate immune response and is used to treat a wide variety of infectious conditions. Studies into the anti-cancer activity of Gynostemma have shown a very significant (20-80%) inhibition rate on a wide range of cancer cells. Intensive studies are now being conducted into both its anti-cancer activity and its potential as an immune protection/prophylactic agent for individuals with suppressed immune systems. There is recent research indicating that Gynostemma likely prevents cells from becoming cancerous. More Information... Products Featuring This Herb: Heaven Drops Wild Ginseng Earth Drops Wild Ginseng Ron Teeguarden's Super Pill Young at Heart Tao in a Bottle Super Adaptogen CardioPro2000 Gynostemma Spring Dragon Longevity Tea More Information: Other Common Names Gynostemma Japanese: Amachyasuru Korean: Dunkulcha or Dolwe Page Number In Ancient Wisdom of the Chinese Tonic Herbs 134 Pharmaceutical Latin Gynostemma pentaphyllum, Herba Pinyin Jiao Gu Lan Treasures Jing, Qi and Spirit Treasure Rating ***** Atmospheric Energy slightly cool Taste Sweet and Slightly Bitter. Note: Pure Gynostemma tea has a pure sweet scent and tastes a little bitter at first, but turns to sweet as the aftertaste Organ Meridian Systems Spleen, Lung, Kidney, Liver, Heart Part Used and Form Leaf (and stems) Primary Functions Adaptogenic, antioxidant, immune modulating, anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcer, respiratory tonic, platelet regulator, anti-hyperlipidemic, cholesterol regulator, anti-obesity, liver protecting, triglyceride lowering, cardiovascular protectant, anti-thrombic, anti-aging agent Qualities Gynostemma pentaphyllum is a remarkable herb growing in the southeastern provinces of China, as far north as northern Anhui, and it is found in lesser quantities in South Korea and Japan. in the past decade, it has become one of the most popular tonic herbs in Asia and has become a rage in Japan. It is popularly believed to be a major anti-aging, longevity tonic, and a virtual "cure-all." Gynostemma is considered to be a major adaptogenic herb, in the same league as Panax Ginseng, Panax Acanthopanax (Siberian Ginseng), Schizandra, Astragalus, etc. There is a saying in China that Gynostemma is "Ginseng at tea price." The ultimate greatness of Gynostemma lies in its broad spectrum adaptogenic quality. It has the ability to bring balance to the body under a wide range of stressful circumstances. Constant consumption of Gynostemma tends to have a highly protective quality because it strengthens the adaptive capacity of the person at every level of their life. The chemical constituents responsible for the adaptogenic characteristic of Gynostemma are saponins called gypenosides. Gynostemma contains more than eighty different gypenosides. This is the broadest range of saponins in one plant in nature. These gypenosides are very similar to the ginsenosides of Panax Ginseng and to the eleutherosides of Radix Acanthopanax (Siberian Ginseng). In fact, four of Gynostemma’s saponins are precisely the same chemical structure as the saponins found in Ginseng and eleven more are almost identical. The similarities are so close and so extensive that Gynostemma is now called “Southern Ginseng.” To the local people who grow it and consume it, it is simply called “Magical Grass.” Gynostemma is generally reinforcing to overall health, has a strong anti-fatigue effect. Gynostemma contains many amino acids, vitamins and minerals that are healthful to the human body, including selenium, magnesium, zinc, calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, phosphorus, and more. Gynostemma is universally believed in Asia to be an anti-aging herb. Japanese studies have indicated that Gynostemma has a double-direction, regulating, adaptogenic influence of the central nervous system. It is calming when one is overexcited and stimulating when one is depressed. Japanese studies have shown that Gynostemma is clinically useful in a number of mental and neurological conditions, including simple depression, anxiety and schizophrenia. In China, Gynostemma pentaphyllum is widely believed to have the following health benefits: to slow down aging and to prevent feebleness at all ages, and in particular to prevent senility; to reduce fatigue, to increase vigor; to reduce oxygen deficiency at high altitudes; to improve digestion; to strengthen the mind; and to improve sexual functions. It is also believed to help calm the nerves and to ease pain. Though Gynostemma is regarded as a tonic herb, it is already perceived by many Asian people to be a “cure all.” In China, Gynostemma pentaphyllum is being used to eliminate inflammation, remove endogenous heat, stop cough, remove sputum (an expectorant), to treat chronic bronchitis, and much more in actual clinical practice. Gynostemma has developed an enormous reputation in Asia as a major aid in weight control programs. It has a double direction activity with regard to weight. It will help reduce weight in overweight people, and can help athletes, bodybuilders or excessively slim people gain weight. As a diet herb, it helps by accelerating the body’s metabolism. It also helps adjust blood sugar and reduce blood fat. Adjusting blood sugar and blood fat are critical steps in attaining healthy metabolic function, whether one wants to lose or gain weight. Gynostemma has been shown to have profound effects at reducing simple obesity. Japanese and Chinese studies indicate that Gynostemma lowers low density lipoprotein (LDL---”bad cholesterol”) while increasing high density lipoprotein (HDL---”good cholesterol”). Its total efficacious rate has reached 94.8% after pharmaceutical and clinical application. It also exerts the effects of fat metabolism accommodation, lipoid peroxide depression and fat sediment reduction in the blood vessels. Therefore, GP is efficacious against arteriosclerosis, coronary heart disease, simple obesity, etc. It is an excellent natural choice for these symptoms, providing that such treatment is conducted under the supervision of a qualified primary health care provider. As a result it has been demonstrated to have anti-atherosclerotic and anti-plaque activity in humans. It has been found that athletes who consume Gynostemma put on more lean muscle than those who do not, probably due to the high saponin content of Gynostemma. Athletes find that their appetites are actually improved and that assimilation is much more efficient. Although Gynostemma is not a laxative, it will help in the case of constipation and helps maintain healthy bowel movements in people with no problem. It acts as a scavenger in the stomach and intestines, ridding the body of toxins, microbes and waste that otherwise may become lodged in the intestines. All of these benefits are important to people who are trying to lose or gain weight. Gynostemma is strengthening to the human immune system. Studies into the anti-cancer activity of Gynostemma have shown a very significant (20-80%) inhibition rate on a wide range of cancer cells. Intensive studies are now being conducted into both its anti-cancer activity and its potential as an immune protection/prophylactic agent for HIV infected individuals. There is recent research indicating that Gynostemma likely prevents cells from becoming cancerous. Recent medical literature, both in China and Japan, is full of reports on the consistent clinical effectiveness of Gynostemma for an incredibly wide range of health problems, including: high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, migraines, diabetes, insomnia, the common cold, gum inflammation, gastric ulcers, gastritis, hemorrhoids, arthritis, rheumatism, neuralgia, hypertrophy of the prostate, chronic pneumonia, acne, warts, gout, various allergies, asthma, otitis media, chronic headaches, and premature graying or loss of hair, among others. Many older individuals in Asia claim that after consuming Gynostemma for several months, their gray hair becomes black. Gynostemma pentaphyllum may resist and alleviate the side effects induced by glucocorticoids and similar steroid drugs. What is more important, GP does not cause any side effects and can be taken orally for a long time. CHINESE “CURE ALL” The following is a fairly complete list of ailments for which Gynostemma is currently being used clinically in China, Japan and Korea, that is, by actual doctors and in hospitals and other clinics: acne arthritis asthma athlete’s foot, Hong Kong foot (beriberi) cancer cholelithiasis cholitis chronic headache common cold constipation coronary heart disease cough diabetes excessive phlegm frostbite gastric ulcer gastritis gastroptosis gout gum inflammation hair loss halitosis (bad breath) hemorrhoids high blood fat high cholesterol hypertension hypertrophy of the prostate impotence insomnia leg and foot cramps liver diseases loss of appetite loss of concentration low vigor lumbago neuralgia obesity oral cavity inflammation otitis media plaque premature ejaculation rheumatism rough skin scars schizophrenia shoulder ache slow in movement spasms speckles on skin swelling pain tumor warts weariness white hair Varieties and Grading: Widely distributed (grows) in China, Korea, Japan and Southeast Asia, Gynostemma pentaphyllum is a perennial, deciduous, creeping herb. There are 13 varieties under this genus, all in Asia---China has 11, and among the 11 there are 7 that grow only in China. China has a rich wild resource of Gynostemma pentaphyllum. It is broadly distributed over Qin Ling and the 15 provinces to the south of the Changjiang River. The highest quality Gynostemma pentaphyllum is said to come from the banks of the Changjiang River (the Changjiang Gorge region), from the Spirit Nong Jia region, from Wu Shan and from the Xing Dou Shan range. Over the past several years, all the provinces in China in which Gynostemma grows or which are capable of growing Gynostemma pentaphyllum have carried out investigations on the wild resources of the herb. Many comparative studies of different varieties from different regions have been done on both wild and cultivated Gynostemma. The Research Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine has done quality analysis from seven different species, comparing appearance, taste, chemical constituents, etc. They concluded that the taste and the content of the total saponins are the major differential indicators. Therefore, the content of the total saponins can be used as a main standard in the determination of quality. Not surprisingly, studies indicate that the content of total saponins in Gynostemma pentaphyllum was different in different species, varieties, growing localities and time of collection. In addition, studies have shown that the content of the total saponins in the leaves is three times higher than that in the stems. Hubei, Zhejiang and Fijian Provinces have all introduced the Japanese "201" sweet taste variety and have started growing it over an extensive area. The wild resources of Gynostemma has decreased significantly in recent years due to over harvesting. China is therefore actively building a cultivation basis of production. Gynostemma is best cultivated in forest lands. Recent studies have shown that to build an agra-forestry ecosystem for the extensive management of Gynostemma under forest is advantageous, the major factors are the selection of forest land and its shadow density. The cultivated Gynostemma is rich in saponins, with a content of gypenosides of more than 5.0%. Gynostemma, as it comes to market, thus comes in several grades. The best Gynostemma grows wild in pristine mountain areas of southeastern China, away from cities and industrial pollution. Wild Gynostemma is much more rare than the commercially grown product. Wild Gynostemma is quite bitter, but with a sweet aftertaste. It is hardly ever used in beverages because of its strong bitter flavor. However, connoisseurs appreciate it because it is the highest quality Gynostemma. Wild Gynostemma contains approximately 15% gypenosides, which is quite high. Therefore, wild Gynostemma is primarily used for pharmaceutical extraction of gypenosides; however, a few exclusive sources sell wild Gynostemma as tea or in capsules. Commercially farmed Gynostemma is much sweeter than the wild variety. The Japanese developed a strain of Gynostemma known as “Variety 201,” or “Sweet Gynostemma.” Gynostemma has a “sweet gene” which was accentuated during development of the particular strain that the Japanese came to favor. This Sweet Gynostemma is now the primary variety of Gynostemma grown commercially in China. Sweet Gynostemma is widely farmed in China and is consumed throughout Asia. It has a light, pleasant flavor with a slight bitter overtone. Cultivated Gynostemma contains around 4 to 5% gypenosides. Gynostemma is rare in America in bulk form and is mostly available pre-packaged. Most of the world’s supply is sold to Japan or domestically in China. Mountain grown wild Gynostemma is considerably more expensive than the farm grown variety because it is more potent and is much more rare. Mountain grown wild Gynostemma is the connoisseur’s choice, whenever possible. This is one of the great health products available in the world today. Scientific Data Following are the results of studies done in China, Korea and Japan on Gynostemma pentaphyllum (GP) and its gypenosides: 1. Gypenosides have been shown to protect vascular endothelial cells from oxidant injury. The data thus suggest that gypenosides may be beneficial for the prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis and for retardation of the aging process. Studies have shown that the water extract of GP can decrease the activity of multiple coagulation factors. This extract can accelerate the erythrocyte electrophoresis rate. The studies revealed that GP is an antithrombotic agent affecting the links of thrombotic chain. 2. The total saponin of GP can markedly act against the immunity inhibition due to Cy management in experimental animals. The total saponin showed a definite bi-directional immunomodulatory action in normal healthy mice, recovering the immune indices to normal value from either originally lower or higher than the medium figure, by significant difference in comparison with the Cy groups. The total saponin also had actions to prevent from fatigue and to tolerate hypoxia under usual atmospheric pressure. These data indicate that the total saponin of GP is an effective immunomodulator, similar in action to Ginseng, Astragalus, Ganoderma and several other Chinese herbs. 3. GP can improve exercise endurance of white rats, especially healthy and trained rats. Studies showed that the muscle cells of rats having taken GP for 45 days were less injured after physical exhaustion than those of the control group. Both phosphate and liciferase assays showed that GP saponin could to some extent extend or activate (Na plus -K plus) ATP-ase in membrane. 4. Gypenosides regulate lymphocyte transformation and DNA synthesis by regulating DNA polymerase II activity. 5. In search of new products for the treatment of hyperlipidemia with a low frequency of side effects, a decoction of Crataegus cuneata, Nelumbo nucifera and GP has been tested. A reduction of triglyceride and cholesterol was seen. 6. The action of gypenosides as an antioxidant was studied using various models of oxidant stress in phagocytes, liver microsomes and vascular endothelial cells. It was found that GP decreased superoxide anion and hydrogen peroxide content in human neutrophils, etc. It was also found that GP protected biomembranes from oxidative injury by reversing the decreased membrane fluidity of liver microsomes and mitochondria, increasing mitochondrial enzyme activity in vascular endothelial cells and decreasing intracellular lactate dehydrogenase leakage from these cells. The extensive antioxidant effect of GP may be valuable to the prevention and treatment of various diseases such as atherosclerosis, liver disease and inflammation. 7. GP water extract was shown to have significant anti-inflammatory and liver-protective effects in rats. 8. The immunopotentiating effects of gypenosides in relation to the network of neuroendocrine-immune modulation (NIM) were examined. The results indicate that the mechanism of immunomodulating effects of gypenosides may be mediated through the NIM network, and suggest a close relationship between the neuroendocrine activities and the immunofunctions. 9. A study on rabbits indicates that GP has the protective effect on acute cerebral ischemia injury. 10. A comparison study between the effects of gypenosides and ginsenosides (from Panax Ginseng) on cardiac function and hemodynamics was done on dogs. It was found that the coronary flow was raised and the heart rate lowered by both gypenosides and ginsenosides. The lowering of myocardial oxygen consumption after the administration of gypenosides and ginsenosides could be explained by the decreasing of cardiac tension-time index and the slowing of heart rate. Nevertheless, it was insignificant that gypenosides and ginsenosides affected the myocardial contractility and heart pump function. The effects of gypenosides are slightly more potent than ginsenosides. 11. Gypenosides is a potent inhibitor to platelet aggregation and its action mechanism may be related to inhibiting the platelet from releasing reaction and increasing the platelet cAMP level. 12. Gypenosides was shown to have a platelet aggregation factor which was completely inhibited by prostaglandin 12, but was not affected by aspirin. Studies indicate that the active principle is most likely a kind of glycoside or polysaccharide. 13. Crude saponins isolated from GP were tested for their effect on lipid metabolism in corn oil-containing, high sugar diet-fed rats. Oral administration of such high sugar and fat diet caused hyperlipemia, liver injury with increased serum level of glutamic pyruvic transaminase (GPT), and accumulation of lipid peroxide in the liver. Administration of the crude saponins from GP reduced serum levels of triglycerides, lipid peroxide, total cholesterol, phospholipids and GPT in such high sugar and fat diet-fed rats. Japan. 14. Pharmacological and clinical investigation has pointed out that gypenosides(also called "gynosaponins" by Hu) can effectively inhibit cancer cells in the liver, stomach, lung, skin and uterus. 15. The basic chemical structure of the gynosaponins is of the dammarane type. 16. The sweet flavor in the leaves of GP is due to phyllodicin. Other constituents of GP include Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin C, calcium, sodium, iron, phosphorus, carotene, protein, fat, fiber and sucrose. 17. Animal tests proved that crude gynosaponins possessed obvious anticancer and antiulcer action, inhibited the side effects of glucocortico-hormones, promote cell metabolism, benefit sleep and lover blood lipids. Gynosaponins might be able to inhibit the multiplying of cancer cells in liver, uterus, lung, etc. by as much as 20~80%. In mice with experimental sarcoma-180, the cancer may be reduced by 40% at the dose of 50 mg/kg of GPS every day for seven days. 18. If mice were injected with dexamethasone beforehand i.p. at the dose of 10 mg/kg a day for 10 days and then injected with gypenosides at the dose of 10 mg/kg a day for 10 days, GPS might prevent the side effects of dexamethasone, such as atrophy in the adrenal gland and thymus. 19. Gypenosides 22, 30 and 41 have obvious antiulcer activity. 20. Extended administration of GP might inhibit the forming of experimental cholelithiasis, lowering the cholesterol in blood and bile. In the experimental group was used the feed containing 1.2% cholesterol and into it was added the fine powder of Gynostemma. The mice were fed with this kind of feed. In the control group was used the feed containing 1.2% cholesterol with the addition of flour. The mice in the control group were fed with this feed. Three weeks later, cholesterol value, total bile acid value and phospholipids value were determined in animal bile and observation was made to see if any stone was formed in the gall bladder. The results indicated that in 3 mice of the experimental group, stone was formed; and in 6 mice of the control group, stone was formed. In 2 mice of the experimental group, more than 11 stones were formed, but in 4 mice of the control group, 11 stones were formed. In the mice of the controlled group, were found mucous membrane multiplying, bleeding and swollen fat liver. In the experimental group the cholesterol value and total bile acid concentration in blood and bile were markedly decreased in comparison with the control group. 21. In a swimming test in which mice fed gypenosides at the dose of 200 mg/kg had obviously better body force and tolerance than those in the control group that were not given GPS. 22. The LD50 of mice i.p. GPS is 755 mg/kg. The LD50 of rats i.p. is 1.85 g/kg. Oral administration at the dose of 10 g/kg was non-toxic which was more than the determination limitation of LD50. Thus gypenosides are very safe for consumption. 23. Gynostemma contains trace elements, of which 5 are fundamental to human body. Mineral analysis indicates that GP contains: Se, Mg, Zn, Ca, Fe, K, Mn, P, etc.( See table 3. Content determination of trace element) Table 3. Content Determination of Trace Elements Trace elements Content (mg/g) calcium, Ca 19475.00 zinc, Zn 178.75 iron, Fe 786.30 manganese, Mn 87.50 magnesium, Mg 2045.00 GP contains water-soluble amino acids, various vitamins, protein. Table 2. Content Determination of Amino Acid Amino Acid Content (mg/g) leucine, Leu 0.0549 histidine 0.0473 lysine, Lys 1.5563 glutamic acid, glutaminic acid 0.6872 glycine, glycocoll 0.8600 methionine, Met 0.3289 aspartic acid, ASP 0.0929 threonine 0.1425 serine 0.1629 cystine 1.1325 isoleucine 0.2127 arginine 0.0559 phenylalanine 0.9758 24. The use of glucocorticoids in therapy can preserve life. However the side effects may include excessive appetite, lack of energy, dropsy or obesity, keratitis, pigmentation and hypertension, etc. It is usually accompanied by severe damage to the adrenal glands, thymus and other organs, resulting in early aging syndrome. The thymus is the center of the immune system, though it atrophies with age. Therefore protecting the thymus and adrenal glands from atrophying is essential in anti-aging efforts. Gypenosides can prevent these side effects from happening and restore the organs that have atrophied due to the damaging effects of glucocorticoids. GP and gypenosides can greatly improve the suppressed immunity caused by steroids abuse. It can also strengthen the phagocytosis of the phagocytes in the abdominal cavity of mice, it increases the weight of the spleen and adrenal gland. This is why GP is called an "immunity strengthener." Researchers (Ma Bing Xuan, et.al) believe that GP has strong preventive and curing effect against the damage due to steroids. The use of gypenosides to prevent and cure the side effects of steroid use has been granted a patent in Japan. The patent recommends dosages for adults of 5~500 mg/day, usually 10~250 mg/day, 3~4 times, orally. 25. The adrenal cortex is a superbly developed organ for the regulation of homeostasis. It is essential for life. The hormones of the adrenal cortex can be divided into two main categories: (1) glucocorticoids which affect carbohydrate metabolism, and (2) mineralocorticoids which affect water and salt metabolism. It is fairly well established that GP influences the glucocorticoids produced in the innermost zone of the adrenal cortex, the zona reticularis, and has a regulatory influence on the secretion of the glucocorticoids, hormones that influence carbohydrate and protein metabolism. Cortisol, also known as hydrocortisone is the most important glucocorticoid, its secretion being regulated by ACTH. The drug cortisone is the synthetic cortisol analogue. GP may help regulate the secretions of the outermost zone of the adrenal cortex as well, including the mineralocorticoids, the most important of which are aldosterone and deoxycorticosterone, which regulate the water and electrolyte metabolism of the body. 26. GP can help adjust and regulate blood sugar levels. 27. In the test in vitro where 0.38-0.75% Gypenoside is used directly to kill S-180 sarcoma cell, the killing rate is 54~87.5% while control group only has 28.84% death rate. 28. Zhe Jiang Traditional Medical Research Institute used Gynostemma instant granule ( each bag contains 400mg Gypenoside) on cancer patients after their operation. All the patients improved their conditions. The total effectiveness rate reaches 89.47%. It improves the cell immune function, lowers the IgG. IgM. It can also induce the thymus-dependent lymphocytes to differentiate and sensitize so that they can kill the relevant target tumor cells on contact. Gynostemma has real potential as a biological reaction regulator in treating malignant tumor. Gypenoside can not only directly kill cancer cells, it also increases the titer of PFC plaque forming cell and hemaglutination antibody, strengthens the delayed hypersensitivity of mice and therefore improves the immunity of tumor carrying animals. These might be some of the reasons why Gypenoside has anti-cancer and anti-tumor effects and can prevent the growth of tumors. 29. It was reported in Yunnan Province that it was used to treat senile chronic bronchitis in 537 cases. The total effective rate was 79% after the treatment of one therapeutic period. It was found that the stemona was more effective in treating bronchitis than the leaves. It was taken 2.5 - 3.9 g tid, for ten days as one therapeutic course. 30. The gypenosides 3,4,8 and 12 are virtually identical to ginseng saponins Rb1, Rb3, Rd and F2 in structure, respectively. Preparation and Utilization Consuming Gynostemma will not result in any side effects even if taken in considerable quantities over a long period of time. It is an ideal herb to take on a daily basis. Since it is available in the American market as both tea and as concentrated powders in capsules, it is easy to consume. Many varieties are quite delicious due to its natural sweetness. It is suitable for both the sick and the healthy, for young and old, for males and females. Children can drink it at will. One cup of Gynostemma tea or two capsules of concentrated powder (about 1000 mg) a day will have many benefits. The author drinks two or more cups of Gynostemma tea every day religiously. Twice this amount will not be harmful. Drink Gynostemma as you desire. Remember that this is at the top of the list of the greatest herbs in the world. Some people prefer consuming standardized extracts. Gynostemma saponins, gypenosides, are available in some products. Recommended dose for gypenosides ranges from 25 - 200 mg. per day. Gynostemma is usually available in tea bags. Steep these tea bags for at least five minutes to obtain the full benefit of the tea. Drink several cups a day as a health tonic. For the relief of various conditions, drink five or six cups a day. Primary Combinations Gynostemma is commonly used as a single herb, but may also be combined with other herbs. Combine with: 1. Astragalus to tonify qi 2. Crataegus fruit and leaf extract to reduce cholesterol 3. Schizandra to tonify the Kidney and Lungs and to cleanse the Liver 4. Ganoderma to build defensive qi Varieties and Grading Korea: "Mi Yang Jong is the highest quality. It is wild and is noted for its somewhat sweet taste. History Gynostemma has been used as a local tea in the southeastern provinces of China for many centuries. It was first described in the Ming Dynasty "Famine Ben Cao." People used the wild Gynostemma as a “famine food.” Gynostemma has been used traditionally to treat jaundice and chronic bronchitis. It has the classic function of clearing away heat and toxic material as well as being tonic which a reputation as a longevity herb. It was reported in 1972 that Gynostemma pentaphyllum was used in the Qu Jing region of Yunnan Province to treat senile chronic bronchitis. This drew the attention of researchers from around the world, and Japanese researchers in particular took note. Japanese investigators soon visited Yunnan to study the situation. They found that the reports were accurate. Further investigation indicated that the Yunnan people used Gynostemma not only to treat chronic bronchitis, but to treat a wide variety of problems and health conditions, and even more importantly, as a longevity herb. It was discovered by these Japanese researchers that many Chinese octogenarians drank Gynostemma daily. This led the Japanese to do research into the constituents of Gynostemma, which in turn led to the confirmation that Gynostemma pentaphyllum possesses a an incredibly broad range of health benefits. A wide market soon developed in Japan for Gynostemma, which led to an increase in farming of Gynostemma in China. Since the 1980's, Japanese and Chinese researchers have developed a large scale investigation on the plant and its saponins. Japanese botanists developed an especially sweet variety of Gynostemma pentaphyllum. They Japanese herb industry sent these seeds to China for mass cultivation and by the late 1980’s, the majority of cultivated Gynostemma pentaphyllum in China was of this sweet variety. In recent years, numerous products have been developed in both Japan and China. The Japanese have patented dozens of products using Gynostemma and its active constituents, called “gypenosides,” Gynostemma has become one of the most popular tonic herbs in Asia. Source - http://www.yahwehsaliveandwell.com/