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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Question about Jiaogulan and Panax Ginseng

A questions submitted on

Questioner: Michaël
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 
and jiaogulan.

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 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 
Rhodiola rosea.

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  
or look it up on

In good health,

JP Saleeby, MD

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