The Herb of Immortality
Optimize Your Health and Performance with Gynostemma
By Anthony Ricciuto
Putting this Series into Action!
So here we are at the final installment of my series on this amazing plant known as Gynostemma. During this series, I wanted to highlight all the different things it can do to improve your health and well-being, as well as what it offers your training performance. In reality, I only scraped the surface in terms of all this wonderful herb can do, but I did try and focus on those conditions where they are most prominent with strength athletes. Now if you are a long-time reader of my articles especially with multi-part series, I never like to load you with tons of great information only to leave you empty-handed when it comes time to implement what I explained. I find there is nothing worse than reading an article series only to feel empty in terms of not having all the information portrayed in a light that can be used by the layman who may be new to health ideals. This is why I like to give you not only a ton of quality information on a specific topic or compound but then go above and beyond the call of duty to teach you how you can properly implement it into your daily health plan. I feel this is the best way to end a series and allows you to get the most out of it without scouring the internet trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together on your own. I like to spoon-feed you not only the content but its implementation as well. So with all this rambling, let’s get to the meat and potatoes of how, when, and where to find this amazing natural medicine.
Make Gynostemma Tea Part of Your Daily Health Plan!
What Does Gynostemma Look Like?
You are probably wondering what my recommendations are in terms of products. As I mentioned earlier the last thing I want to do is give you all this amazing information and yet leave you hanging on the cliff on what would be your best choices in this category. Usually, Gynostemma when purchased from a TCM herbal pharmacy will come in one-pound bags. It can vary in price due to your location, as well as the quality of the herb itself. Gynostemma is not the cheapest herb out there but it is also not the most expensive either. But either way, the value it offers your health and performance is worth much more than spending a few pennies per cup. This dried tea looks more like long dry grass. It resembles gunpowder green tea. For those of you, that know what I am talking about it comes in a dried grass formation that once you start to boil in a pot, expands greatly to five times the size. This is the same for this form of Gynostemma. Even in a dried state, it should have a fresh and clean smell. When you rub it between your fingers it should crumble nicely but not turn to dust. If it does it may be too old so look around until you find freshly dried Gynostemma. Quality does affect the potency so making sure you get top of the line Gynostemma is a must-have.
Make Sure to Get Only the Freshest Gynostemma Available!
So Where Do I Find Gynostemma?
Now since Gynostemma is not something you can find as easily as green tea with it not available at your local grocery store, you may be wondering how is one to get their hands on this amazing herb. Now one place that I have always gotten my Gynostemma tea from is local Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) pharmacies in my area. Since I live in Toronto, heading down to China Town is not an issue at all. Even though I don’t go as often as I used to, I keenly remember going to check out all the different herbal pharmacies one after another during my time studying TCM in school. After a long day of lectures on herbal medicine and acupuncture, my friend and I would jump on the subway and head down to see what the shops had. We would go and look at some of the new herbs that we just learned about in class, as well as pick up a new supply of acupuncture needles and a wide array of different herbs. If you have a China Town in your area then this would be the first place you can source out Gynostemma. Just remember you have to ask for it in Mandarin so make sure to ask for Jiaogulan and then they will know exactly what you are looking for. So if you live in large metropolitan areas finding this herb may not be a chore. But if you live in rural Kentucky, it might not be so easy. Now there may not be these types of shops in your area but no stress I got you covered. With the internet, so many things are really at your fingertips even those that you would in the past have no access to.
China Town in Toronto has Plenty of Herbal Pharmacies!
My Favorite Gynostemma Tea Bag!
The other way to get in Gynostemma is by a teabag. While this is not so common at herbal pharmacies you might find it in some Asian grocery stores. I have tried many brands that are sold at these stores and I honestly find them subpar. I think this is because they are using lower quality Gynostemma or they are using leftover crumbs when doing mass production of the higher quality leaves. Either way to be honest I wasn’t too impressed not only with the results but even the flavor. I found these much more bitter and not taste the same as a high-quality dried bulk herb.
My Favorite Gynostemma Tea Bag!
Now if you are not into making bulk herb teas and felt discouraged about what I explained above no stress I have you covered. There is one brand of teabags that I simply love and I know once you try it you will also. A company called Dragon Herbs makes an excellent Gynostemma tea in a bag form. It is called Spring Dragon Longevity Tea. This is without a doubt my favorite Gynostemma that comes in a teabag. Like I mentioned before I have tried several teabag forms of Gynostemma and nothing even comes close to Spring Dragon.
Not a Fan of this Brand of Gynostemma Tea Bag!
Now what’s nice is that it contains not only Gynostemma but six superior tonic herbs to give it even more health benefits. It contains Siberian Ginseng which is another top adaptogen, Schizandra berry which may be my all-time favorite herb, Astragalus, Goji berry, and Luo Han Guo fruit to help sweeten it naturally without affecting your blood sugar in a negative way. It comes with 20 tea bags in each box and one thing I like is that each bag can make not one cup but three cups per bag. This gives you the most bang for your buck helping you to stretch your dollar that much farther. So if you are like me you can make a large batch of Gynostemma tea with around two liters of distilled water and throw in two tea bags and you are covered.
Another thing I like about the Dragon Herbs Gynostemma tea is that it is grown near the top of Great Immortal Peak which is a hidden pristine mountain located in Southern China. Now you might be wondering what makes this so special? Gynostemma here is grown on spring water without the use of pesticides or chemicals in a very fertile environment. Only the highest quality leaves are used during the selection process ensuring the highest potency. Not to be forgotten is the patented Super-Infusion Process that is exclusive to Dragon Herbs. Here they take the five tonic herbs and extract them. From there they turn it into a concentrated paste that is then soaked into the Gynostemma leaves to provide utmost potency and purity.
Great Immortal Peak in Southern China
This is without a doubt my favorite teabag form of Gynostemma. I purchase it all the time and have done so for many years. I am not sponsored by Dragon Herbs or getting any kickbacks whatsoever. When I recommend a product for you, you can rest assured that it is going to be top of the line in every category. I keep a box at my office and drink it all day long. It is so tasty that it feels more like a cheat than just drinking some type of tea. Having teabags also makes it convenient when traveling or on the road where brewing up a pot of herbs on the stovetop is not possible. Sometimes convenience is a deal-breaker when it comes to implementation and that is why ease of use is a must. Give Dragon Herbs Spring Dragon Tea a try just once and I can bet you will be coming back for more!
What About Gynostemma Capsules?
Now there may be some of you who do not like tea at all no matter if it’s black tea, earl grey tea, or even green tea. I simply love so many different forms of healthy teas that I can’t imagine not liking them but there are some people that tea just does not jive with no matter how they decorate it. For these people drinking multiple cups of tea per day may feel like a prison sentence and may opt-out of taking advantage of all these health benefits simply because they don’t like the taste. Now just so you know Gynostemma tea does taste absolutely amazing. In fact, it’s one of my favorite tasting teas of all. It does have a very sweet and pleasant taste that is light on the palate so for the large majority of you I believe you will actually like the taste. It is much tastier than green tea so if that is your only point of reference don’t knock Gynostemma if you don’t like green tea. Like I mentioned earlier the Spring Dragon tea tastes even better than regular Gynostemma tea due to the added herbs and Luo Han Gao to make it even more amazing. But if it still doesn’t tickle your fancy or you simply don’t have the time to brew it up I still have you covered. Dragon Herbs also makes Gynostemma in capsule form as well. This is a straight Gynostemma capsule with no other herbs added, unlike the Spring Dragon tea bags. They use an extract of the same Gynostemma that is used in their tea bags so you know you are getting quality once again no matter what form you consume it in.
Dragon Herbs Gynostemma Capsules are Excellent!
Another company that I am a big fan of is Jing Herbs. They make a ton of different TCM herbs in extract forms. They make extractions of single herbs as well as multi-herb formulations for specific issues and conditions. They are known for producing excellent products and their quality control is some of the best in the industry. They also make Gynostemma in capsule form as well. They use a 10:1 extract of their high-quality Gynostemma to provide you with potency you can trust. You can try out both brands to see what you like better, but you will not go wrong with either one that is for sure. So for those of you who don’t like tea or don’t have the time because you are constantly on the go, you can still get all the benefits in just a few capsules taken daily.
Jing Herbs Brand is Another 5 Star Company!
Loose Tea Gynostemma
Now for the hardcore guys and gals out there who are looking to go OG when it comes to consuming their Gynostemma, then this is what you are looking for. Like I mentioned earlier I do half of the time get my bulk loose Gynostemma tea from a couple of different sources that are local to me. I know I have an advantage over some of you who may not have anything in your area to make this easy to find. But I also get my loose Gynostemma tea from one very reputable online source as well. One thing the majority of us have is access to the internet and I am assuming you have it too because you wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t. You could always look at Amazon but you do have to be careful as well because sometimes counterfeits do show up. I know what you are thinking, “ Who the hell counterfeits tea?” Believe me, there are crooks everywhere you go in just about any industry even tea. So in my opinion it will be hit and miss with Amazon so here is what I recommend.
Majestic Herbs Gynostemma Loose Leaf Tea is Amazing!
One of the brands that I like for loose Gynostemma on the internet is called Majestic Herbs. Now you may be wondering why I like this brand over some of the others available. First off it is organic which is a big plus when it comes to making sure there are no contaminants, pesticides, or fungicides laced over your tea. Next is there are no additives, colorings, or flavorings added, and is also 100% non-GMO. Another plus is that it is grown by a group of small farmers that specialize in Gynostemma production in a very pristine high mountain region in Thailand. In fact, where this Gynostemma is grown is a designated national park of the Royal Family of Thailand. So we are talking about some amazing landscapes and high-quality soil. In fact, pesticides and chemicals are completely forbidden to be used on this land. Another thing that I really like about the Majestic Herbs company is its core values.
Organic Gynostemma Farms in Thailand are Some of the Largest Producers!
You see I like giving my money to companies that have the same mindset as I. Plus I would always prefer to spend my hard-earned cash on smaller businesses rather than big corporations who could care less about you. In fact, like I hinted out earlier, Majestic Herbs sources their Gynostemma from indigenous hill-tribe communities in the north of Thailand. This in turn helps support local farmers and also cuts out middlemen so the savings go directly to the consumer. This is why if you have been a reader of my articles over the years, you know that I support small business entrepreneurs and when I find a good product I am the first one to bring it forth to all my readers so they can take advantage of the time and energy I have spent trying to find the highest quality products in many different niche areas.
National Parks in Thailand are Truly Amazing!
How Much Gynostemma Do I need to Consume?
Now here is something I thought you would never ask. All joking aside, with all the info I have put out, now is the time to talk about dialing in the right dosage to take full advantage of all it offers your health. So let’s look at the different methods of consumption and make sure your daily dose of Gynostemma is on point. For capsules, the large majority of them are around 500mg each. I would personally take 2 capsules 3 times per day. This would give you a nice dose of around 3000mg of active compounds. This can easily be accomplished both with the Dragon Herbs and Jing Herbs Gynostemma capsules that are available. It is best to separate the dose over 2-3 servings per day than to take it in all at once.
Gynostemma Capsules are Convenient and Effective!
Now when we are looking at using the Spring Dragon tea bags that I mentioned earlier, I would make a larger batch and then drink it throughout the day in several intervals. I take two tea bags and brew it over 1.5 liters of water. I would then throw it into one of my glass jugs and sip on it all day long. I like to have 1-2 cups early in the morning, afternoon, and evening about half an hour before meals. Due to its dual modulating health benefits, it can work all day long to provide opposite effects. When I have it in the morning I feel it provides my body energy without being stimulated like coffee. When taken later in the day I feel it helps me unwind and relax helping me prepare for a good night’s sleep. This is one of the really nice things about Gynostemma and I enjoy being able to consume it any time of the day without worrying that it may keep me up at night, or make me drowsy when I need to get things done.
Gynostemma Tea makes an Excellent Liquid Base for Smoothies!
When it comes to the Gynostemma loose grass form I would first measure out how much I want to consume. I personally use a digital food scale because I am a perfectionist and try to make whatever I am taking exactly what I want. Here I would take 15-30 grams of loose herb and then proceed to extract the compounds through a pot of distilled water on my stove. Another method that I have been playing around with my Chaga, as well as different TCM herbs, is using the Instant Pot. For those of you who have one you already know how awesome this kitchen appliance already is. But for those of you who are not familiar with it, you should definitely look into it as it is truly amazing for so many things. Similar to the above method that I used with the tea bags I would also use 1.5 liters of water.
Start Your Day with Gynostemma!
For those of you who are new to this, you can start at a lower dose. Many people who may be brewing a single cup of Gynostemma may use around 5 grams of the dried leaf at a time. If you do the math 1.5 liters of water is around 6 cups of water. If we take this 6 cups of water and times it by 5 grams of loose herb we are now at 30 grams. So in essence, 2.5-5 grams of loose herb per cup will help you get all the benefits it has to offer. I don’t have the patience for this and I personally want to consume several cups per day to keep the dose of the 82 different gypenosides flowing through my bloodstream morning, noon, and night. This is why I will brew up a large batch that will last me all day long.
So as you can Gynostemma truly lives up to its name “Magical Grass” without a doubt. Even just the adaptogenic properties that this herb holds makes it a major benefit for athletes. But when we look at all the other performance-enhancing qualities, as well as the beneficial health properties, Gynostemma is in a class of its own. It is no wonder that people who drink large amounts of this tea over their lifespan live to be centenarians. Not only does this wonderful tea help treat different health conditions, but even more so is that it prevents them from happening in the first place. This is why I personally drink this tea every day and have done so for more than a decade. I look forward to starting my day not with a cup of coffee like many people do, but instead with a potent adaptogen that will provide my health the critical building blocks in so many very important areas.
Gynostemma Is Too Good to Ignore!
I hope this series helped bring to light some of the many amazing qualities this herb possesses. As with all my content, I also try and help give you ideas to implement them with as much ease as possible so that it becomes part of your daily health plan. So now that you know all that Gynostemma has to offer your health and performance, isn’t it time to brew up a nice pot of this longevity tonic and take advantage of all it has to offer?