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ASHITABA vs Gynura Procumbens

A lot of articles have been circulating around the internet claiming Gynura Procumbens to be
Ashitaba plant, though both herbs are beneficial to the health, Ashitaba and Gynura Procumbens
are of two different types.

Ashitaba
Their leaves might be the same but a closer look would prove it otherwise.
The ridges of the leaves are more pronounced in Ashitaba plant than in Gynura Procumbens.

Ashitaba
To the untrained eye, both plants may look similar and often people will mistook one from the
other, not to mention, there are those who are writing articles and/or selling these plants in its
'wrong' name, giving the person who bought the plant the wrong knowledge and a
misconception on the beneficial effects of the plant.
So here we will give you enough knowledge to go around on these plants.
As this blog is focused on Ashitaba, this article will discuss more on information about Gynura
Procumbens.

Gynura Procumbens
From the pictures alone, you can already tell the difference on the shape of the leaves ...yah?
Gynura procumbens is believed by the Chinese to be one that possesses the ability to lower
blood pressure and sugar levels. Usually will recommend to eat 3 7 leaves daily in the raw
form, 5-8 leaves per meal is enough.

The leaves have a mild raw taste which makes it quite easy to consume.
To date, there had been a limited number of scientific studies done on this herb. A Singapore
study that used diabetic rat models showed that an alcoholic extract of Gynura procumbens was
able to reduce elevated blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, while another study by a Korean
group of researchers reported that this herb possessed anti-hypertensive properties in a rat
model.
Gynura Procumbens, an herbal treatment of eruptive fever, rash, kidney disease, migraine,
constipation, hypertension, diabetes mellitus and cancer.

Gynura procumbens
Besides the above medicinal properties, according to the Plant Resources of South East Asia
(PROSEA), this plant is also used in Africa, where the boiled leaves are applied externally to
relieve general body pains and raw leaves for rheumatic pains. Dried and pounded leaves are
mixed with oil and applied as a poultice to treat skin compliants. It also used for the treatment of
kidney problems and dysentery.
Gynura procumbens is generally regarded to be a relatively harmless herb to consume. In fact, in
Java Indonesia, the young shoots of this plant are eaten raw as a vegetable. Singaporeans may
find it more palatable if the leaves have been blanched in hot water before consumption.
This plant grows easily from stem-cuttings. Seeds are not available. It is best grown in welldraining, fertile soil that is kept moist at all times. Semi-shade is preferred by this plant although
it can be slowly adapted to grow in full sun, provided the plant does not dry out at the roots.
Initial planting under direct sunshine will result in burnt leaves and stunting in growth. Growth
should resume once the plant has acclimatised to its new growing conditions.

Gynura procumbens
Gynura procumbens grows as a scrambling perennial plant with stems that can extend to 6m
long if left to grow. The fleshy leaves are bright green that are rather smooth to touch. The shape

of leaves can vary depending on the growing conditions and they can range from roundish to
ovate in shape but are all shallowly toothed at the margins.
In shade, they are darker green and appear rather flat but under direct sun, the two sides of each
leaf may develop a slight V shape along the mid-rib and take on a lighter green colour.

Gynura - for diabetes, hypertension, high-cholesterol, rheumatism, viral ailments, and other
illness.
My brother, Ronnie, never fails to find the unusual plant to introduce me to, and my visit with him
last week was no different. He had purchased a plant to help our nephew who has a combination
of health problems. Ronnie laughed stating that the plant was growing faster than Paulo was
eating it! I admired the large plant sitting on his dining room table and asked what it was
specifically for?
BACKGROUND / DESCRIPTION
As Ronnie talked of all the amazing benefits of Gynura, I thought - wow, have to have this plant
for my husband! About then John (my husband) picked off a leaf and ate it - and as luck would
have it, he enjoyed the flavor! Ronnie laughed and told him that the body knows what it needs,
deep inside, and that if a medicinal plant taste particularly good to you, chances are good that
your body needs it - and so we cut off a number of branches and brought them home to grow our
own. We put them in a tin can with rooting powder and water - and a week later its looking
lovely. One branch withered away, but the rest are building strong roots and will be transplanted
to a pot later this week. It does seem to be a very healthy plant, easily grown - and I agree with
my husband that the leaves have a very good flavor. As our plant grows well eventually both
start every day with a leaf or two - and theyll become regular additions to our salad mixes.
Gynura procumbens is an evergreen shrub found in Southeast Asia, especially Malaysia, Thailand
and Indonesia, which is of considerable medicinal value. It has found its way around the world
and is widely used as an accepted medicine for diabetes, HTN, and elevated levels of cholesterol
and triglycerides.
Its Chinese name is jian feng wei (which translates into pointed phoenix tail) and Indonesian
name is daun sambung mjawa. It should not be confused with daun dewa which is another
related Gynura species. In Singapore, Gynura procumbens is believed to be one that possess the
ability to lower blood pressure and sugar levels. Locals there will recommend you to eat 3 7
leaves daily in the raw form. It has been used for the treatment of eruptive fevers, rash and
kidney disease. The leaves of this plant continue to be used as folk medicine to control diabetes
mellitus and hyperlipidemia.
However, while this plant is widely recognized as medicinally valuable, the only research I can
find, to actually document its medicinal use, is on rats. This research shows that it is an efficient
regulator of blood sugar. In the animal studies it lowered blood sugar in diabetic animals but not
in normal animals, unlike anti-diabetic drugs. At the same time it protects the kidneys and
retinas from damage caused by high blood sugar. It also lowers blood cholesterol and
triglycerides, lowers blood pressure, and has anti-inflammatory and antiviral activity. Some

studies have been done comparing Gynura Procumben efficacy with Glyburide in rats with Type 2
diabetes. It would seem from the results of these initial studies that Gynura Procumbens extract
demonstrated a similar action to that of Glyburide in helping to lower the blood sugar for rats
who had Type 2 Diabetes. In healthy animals it did not lower it and no adverse symptoms were
noted in the reports.
Quite impressive studies, even if they are done only on rats. Itd be interesting to see human
studies and documentation on this plant. For myself, I feel confident with the animal studies, and
the fact that the plant has been so widely used medicinally, and eaten around the world. I feel it
will provide medicinal value to my family, without causing harm, so I will be growing large
amounts to be consumed daily. Fortunately the plant does grow easily, and quickly.
Gynura procumbens is generally regarded to be a relatively harmless herb to consume. In Java,
the young shoots of this plant are eaten raw as a vegetable. Singaporeans find it more palatable
if the leaves have been blanched in hot water before consumption. This would be a matter of
taste.
I feel we are reaching a point in our lives where what our bodies need to help correct or even
heal some of our physical conditions is something we're having to consider growing ourselves.
We may not be able to afford expensive prescriptions, and certainly don't want to grow reliant on
them. I truly believe that if you study your plants, and learn what to use, there are lots less side
effects with natural plants, than with using pharmaceutical drugs. This definitely holds true for
me as there arent many pharmaceutical drugs I can safely use - but plants, taken with
knowledge and care - have helped me considerable.
Ive found an interesting video on youtube that you can watch. Its only about 2.31 minutes long,
but youll see the plant, and hear a general explanation of how easy it is to propagate. - > Green
Harmony Anti Viral Herb . . . The video states the herb originated in Africa - truth is, its used so
much around the world that it is hard to know where it actually began - but it is widely promoted
as a healing herb.
Ultimately, you are what you eat. For someone living with diabetes nothing could be truer. When
it comes to maintaining good blood sugar levels, a healthy diet is vital. People with diabetes have
to take extra care to ensure their diet is properly balanced with their insulin and oral
medications. The right meal plan will also help any person living with diabetes improve their
blood glucose levels. In Thai, this herb is known to reduce blood sugar and reverse diabetes. It is
called Longevity Spinach it is said to be effective on Type 2 Diabetes and has proven to lower
blood glucose on type 1 diabetes as well. Being an anti viral and anti-inflammatory herb it has
the ability to help regulate not only the blood glucose, but also blood pressure and cholesterol
levels. It has also shown promising results against viruses such as cancer and HIV.
General studies:
Anti-Inflammatory: Study of ethanol extract showed antiinflammatory activity.
Antihypertensive: Study showed the oral administration of aqueous extract significantly
lowered blood pressure in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Results suggest GPE may be useful
for prevention and treatment of hypertension through increasing NO (nitric oxide) production in
blood vessels.

Glucose Lowering: Ethanolic extract of leaves significantly suppressed elevated serum glucose
levels in diabetic rats. The extract did not significantly suppress glucose levels in normal rats.
Results conclude the leaves of GP may be biguanide-like activity.
Abundant Leaf Proteins / Peroxidase: Study found few abundant proteins from the leaves of
GP; among these, peroxidase was found the most abundant of the extracted proteins. Results
suggest a natural source for peroxidase for use in the cosmetic and skin care industry.
Nutritive / Antioxidative Properties: Ethanolic Gynura extract exhibited the highest
antioxidative properties in every assay. Nutritive evaluation suggests the extract is a good
protein source and may have positive effects on free radical scavenging and iron chelating.
Gynura procumbens Medical Toothpaste: A Gynura procumbens toothpaste invention
consists of" gynura procumbens (Lour.) extractant of 1-20%, glycerol of 20-55%, diglycol of 1015%, abradant of 20-45%, carboxymethyl cellulose of 0.5-1.5%, sodium dodecyl sulfate of 0.52%, additive of 1-4%, essence of 1-2% and saccharin of 0.1-1%.
Anti-Ulcerogenic: Study results suggest the ethanolic leaf extract of Gynura procumbens
promotes ulcer protection as shown by significant reduction of ulcer area, histologic decreases in
ulcer areas, with absence or reduction of edema and leucocyte infiltration of submucosal layer.
Anti-Diabetic: (1) Study evaluating the water extract of G. procumbens in streptozotocininduced diabetic rats showed a hypoglycemic effect by promoting glucose uptake by muscles. (2)
Study results suggest the antidiabetic effect may be mediated through the stimulation of glucose
uptake and the potentiation of insulin action.
Toxicological Evaluation: Administration of a methanol extract of G. procumbens did not
produce mortality or significant changes in various parameters in both acute and sub-chronic
toxicity studies.
COMMON USES
Besides the above medicinal properties, according to the Plant Resources of South East Asia
(PROSEA), this plant is also used in Africa, where the boiled leaves are applied externally to
relieve general body pains and raw leaves for rheumatic pains. Dried and pounded leaves are
mixed with oil and applied as a poultice to treat skin complaints. It also used for the treatment of
kidney problems and dysentery.
Longevity Spinach (gynura procumbens) can be eaten fresh like a salad, stir fried with other
vegetables, juiced, and also enjoyed as a cup of tea. It has a very delicious taste.
CULTIVATION / GROWING
This plant grows easily from stem-cuttings. Seeds are not available. It is best grown in welldraining, fertile soil that is kept moist at all times. Semi-shade is preferred by this plant although
it can be slowly adapted to grow in full sun, provided the plant does not dry out at the roots.
Initial planting under direct sunshine will result in burnt leaves and stunting in growth. Growth
should resume once the plant has acclimatised to its new growing conditions.
Gynura procumbens grows as a scrambling perennial plant with stems that can extend 18-20
feet long if left to grow. The fleshy leaves are bright green, and rather smooth to touch. The

shape of leaves can vary depending on the growing conditions and they can range from roundish
to ovate in shape but are all shallowly toothed at the margins.
In shade, they are darker green and appear rather flat but under direct sun, the two sides of each
leaf may develop a slight V shape along the mid-rib and take on a lighter green color. The plants I
have seen so far have green leaf undersides although I read that there are plants with purple
undersides.
The stems can be totally purple or have patches/specks of purple. From the above description,
one can observe that Gynura procumbens can be highly variable.
Gynura will climb if you let it but it is easy to keep it as a small bush in pots with regular pruning
(harvesting/eating).
WARNINGS & endings....
Gynura is generally accepted as safe - I have found no warnings or evidence of interaction with
drugs.

Richters Herb - My favorite source for getting herb plants, seeds, or dried product if it's
something I can't grow. The quality of their plants and how they mail them is the best I've
ever received. Wonderful source for rare seeds. Being that I'll be working on so many
pages to encourage you to grow and use your own herbs, I thought it very important to
include a link to how you can find these herb - plants, seeds, and dried product. The other
herbal links I have - for Native Remidies - gives you access to purchase actual finished
product, ready to use for various healing needs for you and your animals. Both sites are
amazing in what they have to offer.

Native Remedies A great place for finding natural remedies for people and animals - safe,
effective complete solutions for the entire family.