Five-leafed gynostemma - the herb of immortality in your garden
Today, summer cottages and household plots attract attention with their individuality not only in design, but also in breeding exotics. Especially valuable are the less common crops, characterized by simple care, the beauty of the bush and nutritional or medicinal properties. One of these plants is the five-leafed Gynostemma. In China, it is called jungalan - the "herb of immortality", in the distribution network seeds, tea and other products are known as giaogalan. Ginostemma in China is also called southern ginseng cheap (because of its cost compared to real ginseng). In Russia, the plant is better known as jiaogulan or jiaogulan.
What is the famous gynostemma?
Five-leafed gynostemma (Gynostemma pentaphyllum) belongs to the pumpkin family (Cucurbitaceae). The mountains of southern China are considered the homeland of gynostemma. The main distribution area is Asian countries. It grows everywhere in Vietnam, South Korea, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia in the form of grassy or semi-lignified thickets in sunny meadows, in partial shade, in low-lying damp places, on roadsides and slopes, rising to their heights of up to 3000 meters.
In the first years of its appearance in Europe, the gynostemma was grown as an exotic indoor plant, and later in the southern regions it appeared in open ground. Gynostemma has become especially widespread among lovers of exotic plants after the 1991 Beijing Conference on the use of medicinal plants in folk medicine. Among these plants, the top ten gynostemma was identified as a medicinal plant that affects 5 systems of the human body - reproductive, nervous, cardiovascular, digestive and immune.
A wonderful plant with a pronounced anti-aging effect with constant use in the form of freshly brewed tea. Gynostemma teas extended the life of Aboriginal people for 100 years, moreover, an active life. Residents of the provinces at the age of 100 years ran their household and even earned money as hired workers.
Brief description of gynostemma
Gynostemma belongs to the group of lianoid plants. At home, these are perennial creepers with woody shoots. In regions with winter frosts down to -18 ° С, the gynostemma grows as a perennial summer-green crop with annually renewing grassy shoots equipped with antennae. The roots of the plant are creeping. In the soil of the southern regions under shelter well preserved. The stems are thin, climbing, equipped with antennae. Naked, less often pubescent, furrowed-angular.
The aboveground mass can be ground cover, cling to the antennae, forming vertical green walls of arbors, rest corners in apartments, conservatories, greenhouses. In room culture, delicate green lace hangs from flowerpots and containers located on window sills and tall appliances. During the growing season, the gynostemma drives out whips up to 8 m, which can be constantly cut for freshly brewed tea, and for the winter to dry enough of them for invigorating medicinal drinks. The petiole leaves are palmate-complex, consisting of 5-7-9 separate lanceolate leaves with fine-toothed edges (resemble a leaf of a girl’s grape).
In summer, the leaf blade is shiny, bright green, by autumn it becomes red. Gynostemma is a dioecious plant. The flowers are unisexual, small white or greenish, the shape of the corolla is tubular with deeply dissected five lobes. The flowers are collected in axil racemose panicles up to 15 cm long. Male inflorescences are longer than female. The male flower has long, well-developed stamens with a reduced pestle. Blossom in July-August. Fruits - spherical berries of black color with 2 to 3 seeds with a tiny spiky outgrowth.
Gynostemma cultivation in the open ground
Gynostemma seedling preparation
In the warm regions of Russia in the open ground, gynostemma is grown through seedlings. Seeds for growing can be bought at special points of sale and stores selling seeds. Before planting, the seeds of the gynostemma are soaked in heated water for 20-24 hours and sown in prepared pots filled with humus or compost with sand 2-3 cm deep. You can fill the containers with a special mixture purchased in a store. The air temperature is maintained within +20 .. + 22 ° C. It is advisable to cover the containers with the film before shoots. With the advent of shoots, the film is removed.
Care before planting in open ground for gynostemma is to maintain the soil in a wet state, sufficient lighting without direct sunlight. Better for seedlings diffused light. Feeding is not carried out. The gynostemma seedling has enough nutrients in the substrate, which is 50-70% organic. With warming up the open ground to +14 .. + 15 ° С, seedlings are planted in open ground.
Choosing a place for planting a gynostemma and preparing the soil
Gynostemma seedlings are planted in a lit or semi-shaded place. Liana must necessarily have a support, so it is better to place the gynostemma against walls, different fences, arbors or put special supports. Liana, during the warm period, grows in open ground, forming lashes up to 8-10 and more meters in length.
Soil gynostemma prefers lungs. If a plant is planted on heavy soils, then a sufficiently large landing pit is prepared in which good drainage is formed and filled with a soil mixture consisting of organic matter and soil in a ratio of 50:50 or 60-70: 40-30 parts. In the middle of the filled pit, a depression is made and a method of transshipment is used to plant a seedling of gynostemma.
Gynostemma does not need special care. There should be no weeds. The soil should be constantly moist, but without stagnation of water in the area of the root system. Watering after 7-12 days, maintaining a uniform soil moisture in the root layer. In the early years, the gynostemma is not fed. Over time, in the spring, add a layer of mulch 5-10 cm from mature humus or compost. After a year, you can make Kemir (it contains trace elements), 30-40 g per bush or mineral other complex fertilizer containing trace elements.
In dry weather, the aboveground mass is sprayed in the morning with clean, settled water. Since the entire warm period, the leaf mass of the plant is used for freshly brewed teas, salads and other dishes, they do not process the gynostemma. During the summer period, green mass is trimmed, which is dried for winter use. In autumn, the gynostemma changes the color of the leaves to red, which fall when the onset of cold weather.
Features of winter care for gynostemma
Five-leaf gynostemma is able to withstand frosts of -15 ..- 18 ° C under a high layer of snow. In snowless winters, the aboveground part freezes, and in the spring grows again. To avoid freezing of the root system during weather disasters, the aerial part of the gynostemma is cut in autumn, leaving 3-5 cm stumps, and covered with leaves, spruce branches, peat and other covering materials. In the spring, with the settled warm weather, they open.
Some gardeners in regions with prolonged low temperatures grow gynostemma in containers, which are transferred to the premises in the fall and stored until a spring in a cool dark place, and in the spring in May they are taken out to the garden and transplanted into open ground or a larger container. You can cut the excess greens for the winter, place the gynostemma in a pot on the windowsill or in the winter corner of rest and use medicinal greens in winter cold.
Gynostemma is propagated by seed or vegetative means. The plant is dioecious and male and female plants are required to obtain seeds. Seeds for propagation are sown immediately after harvesting the ripe fruit.
More accessible is the reproduction of the gynostemma by a leaf with a part of the petiole. Cut the vine. Choose a young well-developed shoot. Above the sheet, an oblique slice is made from left to right and the next one under the sheet, departing 1.0-1.5 cm. A sheet with a part of the shoot is planted in a depression of 1.0 cm, deepening it to the sheet. A container with prepared soil from compost or humus is moistened with a root solution. Slightly squeeze the soil around the shoot. Mulch. Before rooting the gynostemma, it is necessary to monitor the air temperature and soil moisture. Vegetative propagation does not cause any particular difficulties.
The chemical composition and medicinal properties of the gynostemma
Ginostemma from ancient times was used as a food and later therapeutic agent. As a medicinal gynostemma known since 200 years. BC. The leaves and young shoots of the plant have a sweetish taste. Fresh leaves are prepared from leaves and young shoots for tea, salads, and added to the first and second courses. Infusions, alcohol extracts, tablets, and powders are prepared from the leaves.
Gynostemma is rich in trace elements - calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, selenium and others. The composition of the leaves contains a rich set of vitamins, amino acids, proteins. There are more than 80 saponins identical to ginseng in the aerial mass of plants (there are 28 of them in ginseng). Gynostemma when used several times increases the stamina of the body, which makes this plant indispensable for athletes and specialists working with high physical exertion.
The plant is a good sugar substitute, which justifies its use by diabetics. In traditional Chinese medicine, the five-leafed gynostemma is considered a plant, the drinks from the leaves of which slow down the aging of the human body. Plants increase immunity, lower cholesterol, treat genitourinary diseases, gastrointestinal tract, improve memory and other systems. Gynostemma is called the "herb of immortality" for its high healing ability of the whole organism and anti-aging effect. Unlike ginseng, the five-leaf gynostemma does not cause overexcitation. On the contrary, with the systematic intake of teas, it calms the nervous system.
All these properties are fully manifested when using a gynostemma grown in natural conditions, that is, in the open ground of a familiar environment. When indoor growing or planting in the summer from containers to open ground, the effectiveness of the impact of medicinal properties is somewhat reduced. It should be noted that the natural conditions of the Russian regions differ from those required for the natural development of the gynostemma. Nevertheless, the beneficial properties of the drink from the leaves of the gynostemma are high enough to maintain health.
You can combine the useful with the pleasant: highly decorative landscaping effect of climbing vines and therapeutic effect on 5 systems of the human body, especially the immune and nervous ones.
Features of the preparation of a tea drink from gynostemma
- The leaves of the gynostemma do not need to be rinsed with hot water, since a large amount of saponins is lost, which dissolve at +80 ° C.
- On a glass of boiling water (250 g) use 2-3 teaspoons of fresh leaves or 1-2 - dry. Tea is brewed for 5 minutes and it is ready for use.
- The taste and healing effect of the first cup is the highest. Up to 6 brews can be used.
- It is enough to drink 3 cups of tea drink per day.
- Tea drink is not stored. For each tea party, fresh tea leaves are used.
- Tea from gynostemma leaves contains selenium - an element of youth. To enhance its effect, it is recommended to chew the leaves of the tea residue.