A Miracle Plant? Gynura Procumbens
Used for Medicinal Properties and as Food
Gynura Procumbens is an exotic and fairly unknown plant in western countries. It's origins are from Africa, but Gynura Procumbens is very easily found in Southeast Asia. It thrives in Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, and especially in Malaysia where it is very abundant. This amazing plant is highly valued for it's medicinal properties. People use it to treat:
- HIV (among other viruses)
- kidney problems
These are some of the many illnesses Gynura is used to treat. It is said to be safe without causing harm or adverse effects. That being said, you must take into account that it is traditionally used as an abortifacient in Southeast Asia. Women that are pregnant should avoid it for this reason. In addition to it's medicinal use, Gynura is used as a food. Also known as longevity spinach, in Southeast Asian cuisine it is put into salads and into stir fried dishes. It has a very mild and pleasant taste. In my opinion, it tastes much like a cross between a green been and an artichoke.
How Gynura Procumbens Grows?
You may be curious about what type of plant Gynura Procumbens happens to be. Well, it is a perennial climbing vine. It is known to grow wild in Central Africa and Southeast Asia. Preferably, it grows in rich soil that is wet and well drained along with semi-shade. Gynura does not do well in cold climates since it originates from tropical to sub-tropical weather. If grown in colder climates definitely grow it indoors. Gynura is a hardy plant that grows very fast once established. Once it has grown, approximately 2 feet tall and wide, start harvesting some leaves for consumption. If you choose to grow it as a vine a trellis is necessary. Cutting the top and letting it grow into a full bush like plant is also an option. Moreover, take some of those tops and dip them in organic starter hormone, that you can buy at any nursery or online. You will then have additional plants for more yields in no time.
Gynura Procumbens: A Gift for Health
I was given my first Gynura Procumbens as a gift from my mother-in-law Nerie. She is Filipino and is well informed of Gynura's medicinal uses. Nerie specifically gave me a "starter plant" to grow, connect with, and use for the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis. This was the first time I ever heard about the plant and decided to do some research by reading as much as I could about it. I was in awe, it's amazing how this plant has been used for hundreds of years in Southeast Asia and seems that it's uses have just started to be known in the United States. The more I know about Gynura the more I want to grow a whole garden of it. Being a seasoned gardner, I accept the challenge of growing a plant that is not native to California. What's required are intuition, some patience, fertile soil, water, and sun. In addition to that, loving care and tending are what the plant needs to thrive.
Other Sources of Gynura Procumbens and Dosage
People that don't have a "green-thumb" and don't like to garden can get Gynura Procumbens in capsule form at health food stores or online. Some Asian markets sell the leaves either fresh or frozen for people that prefer to eat it. I have even seen Gynura sold at Farmer's Markets on occasion. It can either be used internally or externally. Dried leaves can be made into a tea or mixed into oil and applied to skin irritations. Whole boiled leaves are used externally for aches and pains.
If you drink the dried leaves as a tea it is advised to do so twice a day. Gynura used fresh can be eaten or juiced. Five to six of the washed raw leaves should be eaten each day as a remedy and should be done for approximately 2 months. Take 10-15 leaves a day, at intervals, for greater results and keep track of your results. For example, take your blood pressure on a daily basis and write it in a journal. Compare your numbers to where your blood pressure was at when you started. Furthermore, if you are taking other medications ask a professional herbalist or a doctor that has knowledge in integrative medicine whether there could be an adverse reaction with what you are already taking.