Well, the good news is that I’ve got my jiaogulan back!
It’s so rewarding to sit down at my computer for a morning of work with a big mug of jiaogulan tea clutched in my hand again, a surge of saponins soon to stream through my system.
As I took my first sip, this old Japanese pop song called “Stay With Me” began to blare from my speakers, quite fittingly!
Was I suddenly inside of a giddy TV commercial for jiaogulan?
In that moment, I didn’t mind at all.
Stay with me, Immortality Herb!
So that’s the good news. The bad news is that I was recently involved in a motorbike accident. (And no, this doesn’t tie back to Journal Entry #7…!)
Fortunately both parties involved are OK – it could’ve been a lot worse.
As you can imagine, these kind of things DO happen in Thailand, a country of primarily motorbike drivers.
In any case, I was a little banged up and had to get stitches in my right knee. (Aren’t hospitals the worst?)
I was on crutches for the first week or so, as my knee was quite swollen and hard to bend or walk on. It’s been recovering wonderfully, however, and I’m able to do increasingly strenuous strengthening exercises to get it back into shape.
This process has led me to revisit the best herbs and spices for inflammation.
Some of these include turmeric, ginger, red chili pepper, green tea and rosemary. I’ve been consciously including all of these in my diet, which isn’t too hard since they’re all delicious!
But you know what else is on that list?
That’s right, my herbal love, jiaogulan, is also anti-inflammatory!
The saponins in jiaogulan, known as gypenosides, have been shown repeatedly in clinical research to have antioxidant effects on the body.
They induce the internal production of superoxide dismutase, an appropriately fancy name for something our body uses to destroy free radicals, take-no-prisoners style!
The scar on my right knee is about 6 to 7 inches long, and in the last week since I’ve resumed drinking jiaogulan tea, there has been noticeable “normalization” of the wound...meaning that my skin has started to accelerate its process of closing around the scar.
Of course, it’s hard to establish causality here, especially with all of the other anti-inflammatory herbs I’m taking.
Even so, it seems more probable that jiaogulan IS assisting generously in the process, given everything we know about the herb’s superb saponin activity.
It’s amazing to consider, isn’t it, that the biosphere features so many gifts of healing for our complex physiologies!
And who knows, maybe jiaogulan, ginger and turmeric are just the tip of the iceberg…
As the Tao so elegantly demonstrates, life is always a delicate balance of opposing forces. The motorbike accident was an incredibly negative episode, but it’s fascinating to see the positive things that spring from it.
I guess that’s what the rapper Tupac Shakur was referencing when he talked about “the rose that grew from concrete”.
Not only am I still alive, but I have an opportunity to deeply admire and revere the natural processes by which humans can heal themselves on this planet.
We may be all somewhat jaded in this postmodern world we live in, but I think this truth is a self-renewing one that should always give us hope.
See you in a couple cups!