Humans had long been searching for the Fountain of Youth—a fabled fountain that was supposedly capable of bringing back the youthfulness of a person. This search for the Fountain of Youth was further intensified by the gnawing realities of sickness and death that undoubtedly hounded every living being. Great and brave men of the past had to travel to the farthest corners of the earth and had to brave the high seas in search of this Fountain of Youth. Yet, they were thwarted in their efforts because they might have been looking in the wrong places, for the Fountain of Youth might just be “figure of speech.”
Nowadays, there are many commercial products that claim to prolong human lifespan, and these products are selling like hotcakes because they cater to the intrinsic desire of humanity to live forever. Most of these products, however, are not efficacious enough in prolonging human life. There is one plant, however, that seems to hold so much promise for prolonging human life, and that plant is called “Jiaogulan.”
Is Jiaogulan the Figurative Fountain of Youth?
A population census in 1970 was conducted by the Chinese government, and this census basically unraveled a huge surprise for the Chinese Government. In that census, certain areas in Southern China, specifically those of Guangxi and Guizhou, came out with a huge number of centenarians. Bewildered by this result, Dr. Jialiu Liu—known as the father of Jiaogulan—headed an investigation on the lifestyles of the people of those areas, and he and his group discovered that these centenarians were habitual drinkers of Jiaogulan tea.
Jiaogulan plant is a wild vine belonging to the cucumber family that naturally thrives in Southern China. The people of Southern China call it “Southern Ginseng.” They also call it “Xiancao” which means “Immortality Herb” owing to the fact that most people in Southern China consider it to be the herb that provides them with awesome endurance and great stamina. They also attribute to this plant their youthful look and juvenile feeling. The Japanese also know Jiaogulan, and they call it “Amachazuru”—a word derived from “amacha” which means “sweet” and “zuru” which means “vine.”
Studies on The Health Benefits of Jiaogulan
Studies were conducted in the past on Jiaogulan to understand its chemical compositions. In a critical study to find an alternative for sugar, Dr. Masahiro Nagai and Dr. Tsunematsu Takemoto discovered that Jiaogulan has the same chemical components as those of Panax Ginseng. But further studies revealed that Jiaogulan has more “saponins” or “phytochemicals” than those of Panax Ginseng. Panax Ginseng is known to contain 28 saponins, while Jiaogulan has 174 saponins, which is 6 times more than those of Panax Ginseng. Jiaogulan likewise has been known to produce the following health benefits:
- It boosts the functionalities of the immune system while lowering the blood pressure, heart rate, and blood cholesterol.
- It manifests anti-aging and rejuvenating effects on the skin.
- It has anti-cancer and antioxidant effects.
- It treats a cough, chronic bronchitis, and chronic gastritis.
- It relieves inflammation and pain, and even constipation, and has a diuretic effect while cleansing the urinary tract.
- It is effective in preventing ulcers and it combats diabetes.
- It stimulates appetite and is also good for managing weight and controlling obesity.
- It relieves stress, fatigue, backache, and prevents insomnia.
- It eliminates gallstones.
- It enhances memory and learning.
- It relieves dysmenorrhea.