Jiaogulan or Gynostemma is a native herb of China and other parts of Asia like Thailand and Japan. It has been long used in Chinese medicines due to its innumerous health benefits. With its benefits helping millions of people attain a good health, the herb is become more popular day by day. Today a huge number of people are looking forward to Growing Jiaogulan indoors, but the problem is the lack of factual information in the Internet.
Jiaogulan is also known as “the miracle herb” in its native country due to its incredible property of improving longevity. It is a five leafed climbing vine that belongs to the Cucurbitaceae plant family, the same family that houses gourds and cucumbers. Traditionally, it is consumed as a hot herbal tree. However, you can also take it in capsule or extract forms.
To help you with the process of planting and harvesting the miracle herb at home, this article explains the whole process step by step. If you are reading this article, you should already know what the health benefits of consuming Jiaogulan tea are! However, for those who still aren’t aware, here are the benefits of the herb attributed to your health.
- Has adaptogen properties
- Acts as a stress reducer
- Improves digestive system
- Enhances immunity
- Enlivens body
- Enhances respiratory functions
- Includes anti-aging antioxidants
- Promotes sense of well being
- Aids weight loss
- Aids weight gain
- Improves blood circulation
- Checks blood pressure
- Fights cholesterol
- Aids cardiovascular health
- Supports liver functions
- Rich in iron, magnesium, zinc, selenium, amino acids, potassium and phosphorus
The herb can be grown in moderate climates such as Western and Southern coasts of the United States. If you live in such mild climatic conditions, you can easily grow Jiaogulan in your house garden or even indoors. However, if you are trying to grow it in a hot climate, afternoon shade can be beneficial for the plant’s health. You can easily grow it in pots or containers in the shade of your house.
The Jiaogulan herb seeds must be soaked in warm water in a covered container for 24 hours. They should be sown is seedling pots filled with moist seed-starting mix. The seeds must be sprinkled gently with the mix to ensure they are barely covered.
If the mix is kept damp and in room temperature, the seeds must shall germinate in the next 2 – 6 weeks. You can then place them under a grow light for no less than 12 hours per day. They can also be placed on windowsills facing either east or west. This will ensure that the germinating pant gets only partial sunlight, which is essential for its good health.
You can transplant the Jiaogulan seedlings in your outdoor garden as long as the temperature is mild and favorable. However, if you are living in a hot climate, it is best to plant the herb in containers and place them indoors, where it will get shaded sunlight.
Even if you are planting the herb outdoors, you must keep in mind to plant the tree beside a partially shaded framework or trellis. Incline them slightly towards the framework support so that it grows in the right direction.
You must mulch the plant with compost to ensure it grows healthy and faster. After it clings onto the support, Jiaogulan grows up to 25 feet or so. It requires very little care except for the infrequent watering. The roots of the tree grow very deep. So you need to keep a track of how moist the soil is. You will be able to asses when it’s time to water with the help of a soil probe. The best way to ensure the plant is watered appropriately, wait for the damped soil surface to dry out partly and then water it again. However, you must also make certain that the soil does not dry out completely.
The herb is hardly affected by ailments or insects. Therefore, the compost mulch provides all the fertilizer the plant needs. The inconspicuous flowers appear between mid to late summer and develops into green round seed pods. It will only happen if both the male and female plants are present together. The seed pods turn black on ripening.
While growing Jiaogulan indoors or outdoors, the plant is ready to harvest when it reaches a height of 1.5 feet. The herb tastes best when in bud, just before the flowers bloom. The leaves and stems (cut into 3 – 5 inches) are then dried in the sun and then consumed as hot herbal tea.