Your Heart and Gynostemma in the Summertime

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Summer is just around the corner, and in Traditional Chinese Medicine, this is the season of your heart.  This season is chock full of energy, long days and sunshine, creating a perfect environment for growth, expansion, and tapping into that wealth of inspiration and creativity that’s been building up the whole year.  It is a yang season, meaning this is a time your body is undergoing extensive metabolic processes, as well as circulation of an abundance of bodily energy.  The element of fire is associated with summer, symbolizing the height of yang energies, thus making a very important priority of not only cultivating these energies, but also optimizing the organ that is governed by them- the heart.

As we relish our abundance in these beautiful summer days and nights, it is important to calm our minds and find emotional well-being and clear-headedness.  For the fire element is associated with the mind, spirit, and the heart.  The key to a healthy heart is balance.  What better way to balance than with a powerful yet delicate and delicious tasting adaptogen?  Gynostemma is a tasty tea that can nourish your heart and keep you balanced all summer long (and beyond!).

Gynostemma and cardiovascular health has been the subject of many studies in recent years.  Overtime, this herb’s ability to induce a resistance to stress, restore balance, and promote longevity peaked the interests of scientists to take a closer look on its relationship with the heart.  Within the makeup of this amazing herb reside the triterpenoid saponins called gypenosides, which are what gives red wine its cholesterol-lowering capabilities and one of the main active ingredients in ginseng.  In fact, gynostemma contains nearly four times the amount than that of ginseng, which is why some consider gynostmma a superior herb (and more affordable, too!).

One huge benefit gynostemma has been shown to have on cardiovascular health is its ability to help your body resist absorption of cholesterol and triglycerides.  In regards to cholesterol, gynostemma can help to raise HDL cholesterol and lower LDL by up to 85%.  Also, while consuming carbohydrates, gynostemma can allow them to be more readily available for our muscles and energy levels before your body turns them into triglycerides and store them as unwanted fats.  Gynostemma is also reputable to aid in weight loss and raise metabolism.  While currently popular in many weight loss formulas, many athletes also utilize gynostemma for muscle gain.  Either way, excess weight and a sluggish metabolism can have long-term negative effects on your heart, and gynostemma will allow your physical activity to be as useful for your body as it was intende.  Studies have also been administered to athletes in conjunction with cardiac activity and gynostemma.  It has been shown that the efficiency of cardiac activity is heightened with the intake of gynostemma, but without the attributing stimulating effects that can both raise and put stress on the heart rate.  The main function of the heart in your body is to circulate blood flow and one of the saponins in gynostemma releases nitric oxide into the blood vessels, both relaxing and increasing circulation, while also releasing any build up of plaque.

Gynostemma is so artfully manicured to nourish and support not only your cardiovascular system, but also your whole being.  With its amazing adaptogenic qualities, immune-modulating components and stress-reducing constituents, gynostemma is simply made to balance and achieve that homeostasis our bodies work so hard for.  To make it even better- its taste is unlike any other herb of its caliber.  First discovered and cultivated as an alternative to sweetener, gynostemma can be brewed to perfection by itself, resembling a divine being that stands somewhere between green tea and the cosmos themselves.  Feel free to brew it for a little extra time and double the amounts to add ice and make a nice cold tea for these hot summer months.

 Sources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7804367

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22576281

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20950275

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18051909

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16401396

 


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