Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Jiaogulan (绞股蓝) helps you relax

5-petal-leaf jiaogulan (五叶参)

7-petal-leaf jiaogulan (七叶参)
Known as "poor man's ginseng" because it is an affordable herb that contains some of the compounds found in more expensive ginseng, or also known as Southern Ginseng, it has either 5-petal or 7-petal leaves. There should be no difference in the benefits of 5 or 7-petal jiaogulan, the only difference is one tastes sweeter than the other.

Recent research indicates that jiaogulan actually contains over 80 different saponins compared to the 28 found in Ginseng - leading it to be referred to as Ginseng on steroids, such are the adaptogenic effects of this herb.

It is used as a tonic for longevity and vitality and given to racehorses to improve their performance. The leaves are brewed into a medicinal tonic tea for anxiety, stress, depression, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and insomnia. But unfortunately, there is no good scientific evidence supporting most of these uses.

As a tonic, the effects could only be felt in the long term. Hence most of the researches on Chinese herbs, including jiaogulan, are done on a short basis.

Drinking jiaogulan tea

Jiaogulan tea is slightly sweet. Do not steep too long or use too much, or it will become bitter.

image for illustration only
Dried loose jiaogulan leaves can be purchased from Chinese medical halls, from S$2 - $4/100g or in tea bags.

My experience:

I have been drinking jiaogulan tea for a few years. This is how it helps me:
  • Reduces blood pressure. At times, I could reduce my BP by 10 - 20 points when I drank this herb with another tea, kuding cha. Alone, it helps to control my BP well below the recommended pressure.
  • It relaxes me so that I could have a good night sleep. Daytime, you will full of energy that you may not need to take a nap.


Health tip: How much is one serving of your food

My healthy plate serves as the guideline for the amount of food one should eat at each meal.

One serving of food is about the size of your fist.

Therefore, everyone's portion of food is different.

Your fist serves as the volume of food for you alone.

Forum: Learn from wet markets in cutting plastic use

When I visited the wet market recently, I found that fruits and vegetables were displayed openly without being prepacked in plastic bags.

In supermarkets, fruits and vegetables are all prepacked.

Customers are encouraged to use our own bags for grocery purchases.

But the purpose of doing so is defeated when plastic bags are used in prepacking.

Our supermarkets could go back to basics and adopt wet market concepts to reduce the use of plastic.

Sales personnel could assist customers with the produce.

We need to study the complete supply chain process, starting from the farm to the warehouse to the supermarket, and innovate.

Zero plastic bag use is an impossible mission, but cutting the usage significantly is possible.

It must start with the corporation, not the end users.

Foo Siang Yian

Ref: http://str.sg/odXZ