Optimal Survival Food
Even though Jiaogulan (Gynostemma pentaphyllum) grows in a number of Asian countries, the earliest historical documentation of the herb comes from China, at the beginning of the Ming Dynasty.
In 1406, the physician Zhu Xiao described and sketched Jiaogulan (pronounced “gee-ow-goo-lan”) in his books.
He first recognized Jiaogulan as a dietary supplement during times of food shortage or famine, but through his research he found it had a wealth of additional powers.
Although Jiaogulan had been used for hundreds of years as a folk remedy in the mountainous regions of southern China where it grows wild, it remained virtually unknown in the rest of the country and the world until the end of the 20th century.
The people of southern China were reported to drink gynostemma tea daily. The locals are reported to have described Xiancao as being “like ginseng, but better than ginseng”.
In modern times, Jiaogulan was more or less independently ‘discovered’ in the early 1970’s, in both Japan and China.