Jiaogulan, Sweet Tea Vine, Gynostemma pentaphyllum

Plant

Jiagulan is actually easy to grow. The only thing you have to watch for is that slugs like it too. Once it’s beyond the seedling stage there is not problem at all anymore. I grow jiaogulan outdoors in Katoomba were it dies down in winter and comes back in spring. The plant likes a shady spot. It either can be grown as a groundcover or let it climb onto something.

Jiaogulan is one of these tonic herbs with so many uses: it improves the circulation, stimulates liver function, strengthens the immune and nervous systems, and reduces blood sugar and cholesterol levels. It also has sedative effects, relieving spasms and lowering the blood pressure. It is used internally in the treatment of nervous tension and exhaustion, peptic ulcer, asthma, bronchitis, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. It was rated among the ten most important tonic herbs at a conference on traditional medicines in Beijing in 1991

Family: Caryophyllaceae

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Frost Hardiness: Hardy in Katoomba

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Country of Origin: Eastern Cape of South Africa

Use:

Common names: African Dream Root, Undlela Ziimhlophe (White Ways/Paths), Ubulawu

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