Subject: Ginseng, Jiaogulan and saponins?
Date Asked: 2012-10-10 14:53:23
Date Answered: 10/14/12
I have done some reading on the internet on adaptogenic herbs, mainly ginseng
I read that they shouldn't be taken together, because both herbs can dilute the
blood and combined it dilutes the blood too much. Is this true?
I read that ginseng should be taken in cycles, like daily for 3 weeks and then
stop taking it for 2-3 weeks before taking it for another 3 weeks, or that
people can take it in small moderations for longer periods of time when taking
it every other day, because otherwise the effects of ginseng won't be noticeable
According to researchers jiaogulan has roughly 3 times as many saponins as
ginseng, but when I read up on jiaogulan, a lot of people say that jiaogulan can
be drunk throughout the day and no need to go on and off jiaogulan every couple
of weeks like recommended with ginseng.
So I was wondering, how come it is recommended that ginseng should only be taken
for a certain period of time, but jiaogulan can be taken for as long as people
like, despite it having many more saponins? Does jiaogulan have very short-term
effects compared to ginseng? If so, does that mean that in order to have the
full effect of jiaogulan that it must be consumed throughout the day?
A couple of months ago I purchased ginseng and today I purchased jiaogulan. When
I brew a tea from the ginseng, I also eat the ginseng I used to brew the tea so
I don't waste anything.
So, when brewing a tea from jiaogulan, do almost all of the nutrients/saponins
get into the liquid? Or would I have to eat the jiaogulan to have full benefit
of it? Or maybe brew it multiple times, and if so, how many times do you
Sorry for asking so many questions.
Hope to hear a response soon.
For all the details on Adaptogens especially the ones in question, I would say
read my book.
My book is available on Amazon.com it is called ''Wonder Herbs: A guide to three
adaptogens" (Xlibris, 2006) and it goes into detail w/ medical literature
references on all facts on Eleuthero (Siberian Ginseng) and Jiaogulan and
My discussion on Panax is limited, but to answer some of your questions:
Cycling is a theoretical protocol for taking herbals especially for long term.
There are actually no really good long term studies comparing the use of herbals
long term indefinitely versus cycling (using one for 3 months and rotating
through two or more). Sometimes I recommend this just for variety. Adaptogens
are unusual to begin with and we certainly do not fully understand all their
properties or promises. Humans do like to make things more complicated then
they actually are, that said, I do not believe cycling is necessary for safety
or performance of adaptogens, however, I do recommend it as it has been reported
by other herbalists. Research is however, lacking to support to my liking.
When you steep Jiaogulan correctly you are getting a good dose of this herbal,
however, you will need to drink several glasses a day. It comes in capsules
that are standardized which assures you of a correct consistent dose.
Jiaogulan is still a rather obscure herbal in the West. I think there are less
untoward effects with this versus Panax Ginseng, and that is why it is my
choice. As far as using more than one adaptogen at a time, that is not a
contraindication, I routinely recommend using 2 or even 3 adaptogens at the same
time. Albeit for short bursts of time ... 2 weeks to 3 or 4 months depending on
the diagnosis and what is trying to be achieved. It is more of an art than it
is a science at this point.
Again for more read my book http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-0032822036/default.aspx
or look it up on Amazon.com.