Scientific name: Gymnanthemum amygdalinum [Family: Asteraceae]
Synonym: Vernonia amygdalina
Common name: Bitter Leaf, Vernonia Tree, Pokok South Afrika aka Pokok Bismillah
Chinese name: 扁桃斑鸠菊, Lam Fei Yip, Por si Yip
A friend who was concerned about my high blood pressure, introduced me to this plant. He brought a couple of stems for me and surprisingly, they took root quite readily. I took a fistful of the leaves and made a tisane to drink. Unfortunately, it did not work as quickly as I had hoped. I began to research around to see what I may have missed and discovered the following claimed benefits. Disclaimer: I am still in the testing phase and cannot vouch for its efficacy. If anyone has a better experience, please share your personal testimonial here.
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
I will record my own experience here.
Start Date: 24-May-2020
Day 1: My average BP (from 4 readings) : 134/89
I picked 10 leaves from my South African Plant, brought a pot of water (about 1 litre) to a boil, put in the leaves and bring down the flame to a slow boil for 20 minutes.
Day 2: My average BP (from 4 readings) : 134/92
I drank/sipped the tea the whole day yesterday. I measured my BP this morning and was disappointed that there was no improvement (yet?). Boiled another fresh pot of tea today.
Day 3: My average BP (from 4 readings) : 140/92
Another disappointing result. In fact the reading has increased somewhat. Never mind, to continue with another pot of tea.
Day 4: My average BP (from 4 readings): 135/91
This morning, I felt good. The BP has improved a bit and I have boiled another pot. I hope it will be even better tomorrow.
Day 5: My average BP (from 4 readings): 130/89
The BP has started dropping. Today it averaged 130/89, very encouraging indeed!
Day 6: My average BP (from 4 readings): 133/89
No improvement, slightly higher. But the readings seem to have stabilised around 127-133/84-92
Day 7: My average BP (from 4 readings): 142/93
Oh dear, the BP readings have gone up.
Day 8: My average BP (from 3 readings): 144/95
Looks like the South African leaves do not reduce my BP. I will stop the experiment now.
Related plants: Huo Tan Mu (火炭母)(Polygonum chinensis)Black Face General 黑面将军(Hei Mian Jiang Jin, Strobilanthes Crispus)Yu Xun Cao or Sabah Snake Grass 优遁草, 沙巴蛇草(Sabah Snake Plant, Clincanthus Nutans L. )Shang Ye 桑椹叶(Mulberry Leave)