A questions submitted on AllExperts.com
Questioner: Michaël Subject: Ginseng, Jiaogulan and saponins? Date Asked: 2012-10-10 14:53:23 Date Answered: 10/14/12 Question:
Hello. 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 anymore. 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 recommend? Sorry for asking so many questions. Hope to hear a response soon.
Michaël, 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 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 http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-0032822036/default.aspx or look it up on Amazon.com.
In good health,
JP Saleeby, MD Allexperts.com