Thursday, June 5, 2008

We Have Gynura Procumbens!

(No, we're not contagious...ha!)

We received the Gynura plants we ordered a while back. When researching herbal alternatives and supplements in conjunction with diabetes and high blood pressure, we found this is a plant used as a traditional medicine in different parts of the world.

We are unsure how to use it, though we have read the leaves are used to make a tea. They are also used to make extracts.

In the literature we've managed to find, some studies have been done comparing Gynura Procumben extract's efficacy in comparison with Glibenclamide (brand name 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 report.

I don't put this here to suggest to anyone else to seek treatment this way, or by fact I am not sure yet how we will utilize these plants. But I do know we have reached a critical 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 can not afford expensive prescriptions for years to come, and don't want to grow reliant on them. We also want to reverse these conditions, and our personal hope is that with the right combination of care, we can see them disappear altogether.

You can't go around randomly nibbling this and making tea out of that, if you have no idea what effects different plant parts will have medicinally on your body. There are such things as sensitivities, allergies, and toxic plants. Natural medicines are often in the form of teas and often require a gentle and steady consumption, without the "instant fix" of pharmaceuticals. Many of these herbals are naturally much easier on the body, too.

A note of caution is to please not try something simply because we are. There, I said it :)

That said, we are excited to find this plant. We had to look very hard to find a grower who could ship us a live plant. Now we have 4!

I am SO happy that we have the basis for some future remedy to support controlling or even remedying adult Type 2 diabetes. If we ultimately find a way we consider safe and effective to utilize the Gynura Procumbens, we'll be delighted! The 4 Gynura are the plants shown in the middle of the photo.

As you can see, the Gynura plants came with two little's a Russian comfrey, and the other is the spicy and fragrant middle-eastern herb Zaatar (not to be confused with the spice mix also called Za'atar).

Looks like Bucketville is growing...

I'll post more about what we're hoping to accomplish with some of the things we're growing for medicinal purposes. As with the many other areas of our experimentation, some of this is new territory for us, and a bit of it is familiar. I never cease to be amazed at what's before our very eyes along the roadsides, in the backyard, in the woods...the growing things we overlook and have lost our memory of in relation to their benefits to our health and our gardens. SO much traditional wisdom has been discarded in the past few generations! It is such a rewarding search to find places in which their memory has not grown dim, and to embrace their "re-discovery."


Rita said...

So glad to see you have found a plant that can help heal these problems. I will be happy to know how they work for you and yours. I have high blood pressure and dread taking medication in the years to come. Just never gave a plant source thought until now. Thanks for stepping out and teaching us as you learn.

ilex said...

It truly sounds like some tragic congenetal gynecological disorder. Plant names are funny that way.

Hope it works! This will be interesting.

TOCCO said...

The key is research! Talk with a trust physician and do what you need to do! Everybody is different! Thanks for posting responsibly! You are fantastic and I love visiting your blog!

Wendy said...

It is amazing what's right under our noses. My husband and I have been exploring edible plants in our local area for a couple of years, and while we haven't really started foraging, yet, we are building our "vocabulary" for such practices.

Good for you in trying to find alternatives to some of those prescription drugs - which are often very cost prohibitive AND have some pretty scary side effects ;).

My most exciting find was Camellia Sinesis, which is the plant from which our "tea" drink is derived - you know, "green tea." It's not hardy in my zone, but I can grow it inside in the winter, and it was just exciting to realize that I can "grow" my favorite beverage ;).

Twinville said...

We love 'Bucketville'!!!

I think it's great that you have been researching alternative herbal therapies for good health.

I've been trying to find a really good (and safe) herbal treatment for my husband's thrombosis, of which he takes Warfarin (Coumadin) every day.
As you might not know, Warfarin is basically used as rat poison.
Nice eh?

In your searches, if you ever find an herabl alternative, would you mind passing it along to me?

Thanks so much, and best of luke with your 'contagious' healthy plants!

Robbyn said...

Thanks, Rita...I'm definately still learning. I don't want anyone to copy what we do, but hope to get other folks looking out there for a broader range of choices that make us less dependent in whatever ways possible. I'm getting where I want to know what it is that I'm putting into my body, and what OTHER effects it could have.

Ilex, yes, should be a fun journey!

Christina, thank you so much :) You're right about talking to a trusted physician...but we have yet to find one here! One of the best docs I ever had was actually a nurse practitioner, and that was years ago....wish he were here now :) As we try things, we do NOT encourage anyone to consider our own use of this and that as advice. You're so right that research is key!

Wendy, I'm so curious about foraging...I simply don't know my regional plants very well, not even what they're called. Do you have a book you can recommend on foraging? It's such a fascinating subject! congratulations on the taa plants!! Jack had me look up a local source for those a couple months back, but all we could find is one fellow a few hours away who only has them available now and then. We decided that since they require a careful eye as far as temperature and such, we'd better wait and buy one when we're in our homestead...can we hope that'll be a year from now or less? :)

Robbyn said...

Twin, lol, THANKS! Bucketville is rather an eyesore compared to those lovely gardens and raised beds everyone has going right now. It's just that it'll be portable when we move, and we can get those little guys in the ground.
I'll surely keep my eyes out, and I do remember running across something recently that specifically stated thrombosis. I'm happy to pass along links, but never ever to give medical advice. We're really cautious about adopting herbs ourselves, and will be testing them only on ourselves, and only in a way we're comfortable personally that seems responsible. I don't want to be responsible for anyone having a bad experience by trying the same thing. But I'll surely pass along links so folks can do their own research :)

Anonymous said...

In China, people I know have used Gynura to cure their Diabetes. My family has used it too. Unforturenately it is hard to import life plant.

Does any one out there know where I can buy Gynura so I can grow at home.


wittie said...

Hi, I forgot to leave my email.

I would like to find out where to buy Gynura because my family in China has used it for Diabetes, but I live in the States, it's hard to import Gynura from China.

my email is

Thank you very much.


Robbyn said...

Wittie/Katie, yes, you can go to this link

Our gynura plants are growing by leaps and bounds...I hope you have great success ordering and growing it, too. I'll email you with the link as well, and I'm interested in knowing exactly how your family traditionally used the leaves. Any comments you have about that greatly interest me!

drhugo said...

"GYNURA PROCUMBENS" also known in Asia as "Sambung Nyawa" (Malay) and "Lam Fei Yip" (Chinese). It is an amazing and miraculous plant with unique healing properties.

It really grows easily and its health benefits are:-

1) reducing cholesterol

2) reducing urea acid

3) reducing wind or flatulence

4) balancing blood pressure

5) countering insomnia as it promotes good sleep at night

6) reducing high blood sugar levels

7) reduce fat and helps us to lose weight

8 ) remove other toxins from our body (antioxidant)

My friend who has fully recovered from cancer chews two leaves every second day. I think that the “tea” made from the leaves is troublesome to make, not very nice tasting and dilute. Even adding sugar to it defeats our purpose of seeking a healthy lifestyle as sugar is fattening and if processed and white, nutritionless. Chewing the leaves is much better, easier, direct and not time wasting. (No expense for gas or electric water boiling too.) This is what I do and suggest you do the same: On an empty stomach in the morning (no other medication taken, but vitamin supplements, fish oil, garlic etc OK) choose two dark green medium size leaves. Don’t pick the older drier and huge leaves that are starting to fade. Just snip them off with cutters or your thumb nail and wash by rinsing under water. Make sure you choose beautiful specimens with no damage or insect markings or deposits. After rinsing, fold each leaf long ways and inwards upon itself so the stem is clearly exposed at the back. Holding the leaves gently, pull out the stem from the back all the way and throw back in your garden. The stem is not to be eaten simply because it is too fibrous. You now have four long sections from your two stemless leaves. Lay them together and roll up tightly. Then pass the tight roll through your front teeth like a rabbit in tiny bites and shred it as it enters your mouth. Then fully chew the lot slowly and steadily and you will notice that your salivary glands are stimulated which is a good thing for digestion. Chew and chew and swallow bit by bit over several minutes, maybe five, and you will notice that the initial bitter taste decreases until it is quite pleasing, even though your teeth and mouth may turn green momentarily! I enjoy the after taste and have a drink of water much later, but some people prefer to wash it down straight away after chewing and swallowing. Traditional Chinese doctors recommend one large leaf per day so I am confident that two medium healthy leaves are also quite ample when taken like this. In fact, I even had a small lump on my body for over a year but after two weeks of taking the leaf this way, it totally disappeared! I’m sure God also helped! Hallelujah! I trust these guidelines will help you too to enjoy the miraculous health benefits of “Lam Fei Yip” (Soth African Leaf)and I look forward to hearing postive reports from you all soon. I grow the plant all over my garden and even use it a landscaping green barrier alongside my fence. I simply plant stem cuttings and even in sandy soil it starts shooting up within a few days. Feel free to write to me privately direct to my email address if you wish ( I live on Langkawi Island Malaysia. I have posted photos on, and there are others at posted by Choesf.I am sure anyone can grow this plant even in a cold country if you have a greenhouse. God bless. Dr Hugo

phunsri said...

I know about this plant for over four years now. I also grow this plant. My hasband, I, my son and many of my friends, people who we have introduced this plant to are feeling better after eating the leaves. One of my friends, she had Diabetes. Her sugar level 270 and it has dropped to 117 in three weeks (w/o Diabetes pill). First time she tried the leave she couldn't take it, so I gave her advise by put 4-5 leaves in the blender mix with her favorite fruits and drink its like smoothie every day, she enjoys it ever since, she looks much better, her face so pink and full of enery, she has lost some weight also.

My husband has high cholesterol, after eating the leaves for a few weeks, his blood test result came out excellent. I have bad allergy every Febuary-April for so many years...start taking Gynura procumbens and Beijing Grass (Murdannia loriformis) leaves. I don't look like zombie like before. I can breathe better and feeling much better every day, when I have sore throad I chew a few leaves and it's gone. My son coughed..a few leaves it's gone...we live in Florida and we have plenty of this plant and many more of herbal plants..we love Gynura procumbens. It works!...

jamie said...

I would like to know where i can buy Gynura procumbens within Europe. i live in Spain -

many thanks

R said...

Jamie, I was recently in contact with someone in Europe who told me gynura can be ordered from Canada by contacting this email...

Please let me know if you have success with that resource and I'll know to keep passing it along :)


brian said...

hello. i just heard about this plant (Gynura) a few weeks ago. i found a website called green harmony. they are based in Seattle,WA, USA. they suggest that you plant indoors if you live in temperate zones. they also have a method of growing indoors. the growth device/system comes with the order of Gynura.
Have you heard of Guyabano/Soursop? you can boil 7 - 10 leaves in 1 liter of water until the liquid turns dark amber/light brown. drink it like tea. our family does this daily. they say it boosts the immune system.

Anonymous said...

we ordered some verry healthy Gynura from shipped to west coast of BC in a few days
They say they ship some things everywhere.

I also hear you can get from

In the US .

Bev said...

Thanks for the info on guynura. In Kentucky I'll have to bring my new guynura procumbens plants indoors for the winter. Any advice? Also, can the leaves be dried (in case my plants begin to fail) without losing their value? And - from my garden I include in my cooked greens Swiss chard, collard and turnip greens, kale, New Zealand spinach, and horseradish - most of which taste bitter before cooking.
Can I add guynura without losing value?

Amadita said...

I bought my gynura from
I'm now ordering some bi-color :-D

Unknown said...

There is a another similar plant - in addition to Gynura, that is. It is called Basella. The plain green one is called Basella alba while the other one (green leaves with purple stems) is Basella rubra.

You can google for the wikipedia entry. Gynura is called Moluccan spinach while Basella is called Malabar spinach (did you notice the similarity of naming in the 2 plants?)

Basella grows even faster than Gynura. It is found to be more effective in lowering blood sugar in experimental research. You can read the research articles if you google for them.

Basella is eaten like a vegetable and is sold in our Malaysian supermarkets - in both organic and non-organic forms. Cheap and affordable too. I would suggest that you also grow Basella in your garden too. In Malaysia, it is called Chan Choy (Cantonese dialect). The Mandarin name is 蚕菜 [can2 cai4](2, 4 = 2nd & 4th tones respectively)

To plant Basella, first, buy some of the produce at the supermarket. The lower stems that you do not eat but trim off can then be easily used for propagation - the stems root readily and rapidly.

I now harvest mine almost every day, so rapid is the growth of this amazing vegetable - chew the leaves like you do for Gynura and swallow the mucilaginous stuff - first thing in the morning. I combine both Basella and Gynura now. I discovered the former by accident when I ran low on my Gynura stocks. Basella tastes slightly bitter though.

There seems to be more research done on B. rubra than B. alba.