Gynura Procumbens "Longevity Spinach"

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Kikiriki, Dec 9, 2014.

  1. Kikiriki

    Kikiriki Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2011
    Central Florida
    I got some cuttings of a plant when I picked up the new chicks in St. Pete: longevity spinach, or gynura procumbens. I researched it to see if it was actually the plant the lady thought it was, then I researched it to see if the many health claims about it have scientific support (I use Google Scholar). It is a really amazing plant! Note that the studies are usually on leaves alone, although a couple included stems. Roots were only the subject of one study.

    I'm currently waiting for my three cuttings to root: it roots more slowly in cool weather, but after 10 days in water, I am now finally starting to see the nodules for roots appearing on the stems. In warm weather, I read that it only takes five days to have visible roots.

    It is non toxic and edible. The stems can be used in concoctions, but the leaves are more tender for consumption. Crushing them is sufficient for releasing beneficial properties for topical use. The leaves are a bit thicker than they appear in photos, more like a succulent than a regular leaf and having a very thin layer of clear gel inside that looks similar to aloe gel.

    It has a bland taste, so it can be added to a smoothie or a salad, or even a cold soup, or just chewed alone. The health benefits are best when raw, but it can be cooked or used as a tea. For health, the amount of it to use depends on the goal, but people report getting results by just chewing from 4 to 8 raw leaves per day. It is a fast grower and roots readily, so this is not impossible. It is not a cold weather plant, but it can grow indoors and there is no worry about kids or pets eating it. It likes moisture, so a bathroom with good light would work...

    I always research plants in regard to the animals... (Especially after discovering several I had in the yard were highly toxic.) The study I found on chickens and feeding said it lowered bad bacteria in the poo, and it improved egg cholesterol levels and shell thickness. It also caused no harm to the chickens. My hens and chicks all loved it when I gave them a sample. My German Shepherd also liked the small sample of it I gave her and, unlike grass, it did not result in vomiting.

    The leaves are high in protein, and the upper portion of the plant has no toxicity. The roots have an incidence of liver damage reported, from one lady in Indonesia (?) who ate them.
    The leaf and stems, though, are being studied extensively for human medical applications so there is a lot of scientific basis for the various claims and I checked using Google Scholar. I included links below:

    It is anti-inflammatory, both internally and externally (topical application) including rheumatic inflammation. 
    It balances blood sugar: it lowers high sugar, but has little effect on people with normal blood sugar levels (150mg/kg) type I and II diabetes.
    It suppresses cancer cell growth (ingesting and topical application), including colon, breast and skin cancer and it prevents damage caused by UV light exposure (anti aging).
    It protects against ulcers and helps heal existing lesions.
    Helps heal external wounds, prevents scarring, and promotes production of collagen.
    It protects kidney cells from kidney disease.
    Improves sperm count and motility.
    Contains a protein that has the effect of masking the taste sense of bitterness. (A commercial application used for bad tasting medicines).
    It is good for controlling hypertension by acting in two ways: calcium channel and butunolic fraction.
    Promotes healing and reduces virus count of herpes. 
    Anti fungal (it was not the most anti fungal plant tested, but the plant that tested highest is also known to be a really strong carcinogen! Your toenail fungus is cured, but now you have cancer...)
    Protects from liver damage caused by free radicals that are released in the liver by environmental toxin exposure (to toxic chemical in a surgical setting). 

    It is a free radical scavenger/anti-oxidant.

    Overview with links to studies

    Wound healing et al.pdf

    Hypertension links


    Taste masking




    Anti fungal

    Liver protection

    Diabetes Liver function study!

    Liver study

    Lymphocyte study...increases aiding immune function

    Colon cancer inhibition

    Nutrient and toxicity

    No toxicity or harmful physiological effect.
    Recommended dose = 2.89g dried per 70kg of body weight
    Abstract online at
    Journal of Ethnopharmacology
    22 June 2009, Vol.123(2):244–249, doi:10.1016/j.jep.2009.03.011
    Wound healing and toxicology
    Significant wound healing results and no toxicity in rats
    Extract tested up to 5g per kg body weight. 

    ( 0.18 oz. extract per 2.2 lbs of body weight of extract 
    = 1lb 5 oz dried leaf per 2.2 lbs BW

    Root compounds (incomplete list, those mentioned are beneficial in some manner, but Toxicity of root material is not mentioned in abstract)
    Root consumption had one report of liver damage, so I would avoid them.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2014
  2. Arkrick

    Arkrick New Egg

    Jun 14, 2015
    Do you know where i can get clippings of the
    Longevity spinach cuttings - Gynura procumbens

    I heard there are no seeds to grow from.

    Thank you for the great information in your posts.

  3. radicalmystic

    radicalmystic New Egg

    Jul 3, 2015
    Did you come upon any mention of the Vit. K content. It is important for me as I need bloodthinners because of a medical condition and so any plant that is high in Vit. K has to be used very sparingly.

  4. mule13

    mule13 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 28, 2014
    I have some of these plants planted some right outside my chicken run and the girls eat them up.if anyone in the ocala forest area id be willing to give a cutting, so you can start your own me cause i prolly want see this post again for awhile :) i happened upon it when i googled longevity spinach [email protected]. put need plants or someting in the title :)
  5. zstand

    zstand Out Of The Brooder

    May 27, 2013
    I know this is an old thread, but I wanted to let everyone know Baker Creek Seeds ( is now selling live plants of longevity spinach.
  6. z8hannah

    z8hannah New Egg

    Sep 24, 2015
    I have grown Gynura in a hydroponics setup, with a fish tank and a gravel-filled grow bed above it to pump the fish water into and then let it drain back. Gynura loves it, I think it is a water plant. The problem I have had is that they are next to a sliding glass door and ants have actually carried aphids in through the door frame and put them on the plants. The aphids multiply and perhaps give the Gynura a disease because the plants which were growing to the ceiling turned black and died. Twice I had plants elsewhere in soil and got them back growing but the last time the remaining plant seems to only be hanging on. I think another way to grow them is to have the plants floating somehow in a 5 gallon bucket with an aquarium bubbler in the bottom to aerate it.
  7. ScreminFlea

    ScreminFlea Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 22, 2015
    I realize I'm late to this party, but I grow this myself. You should also look into Moringa. If you google "most nutirtious plant ever discovered" Moringa is what you get back. It's a tree. I have two of them growing in my yard that are approximately 15 feet tall, despite my having cut the tops off them, twice, and their trunks are about 5 inches in diameter at the widest point. They both grew from seeds that I planted about 6 months ago. They grow incredibly fast. is probably the best source for seeds as the variety they sell are of a dwarf variety, which should keep the leaves within reach. Even with that, I'd recommend lopping about a foot off the top of the tree once it reaches 4 feet, and doing it a second time when it reaches 4 feet, just to force it to grow more like a bush.

    The trees also produce seed pods. If you have an expeller, you can extract an oil from these seeds that's comparable to olive oil in it's quality and health benefits. Some sources I've read suggest it's superior to olive oil. The "cake" left over after extracting the oil can even be used to decontaminate water. It's a pretty remarkable plant.

    Z8hannah, the Gynura grows very well in organic rich soil. I have a small aquaponics system myself, and tried it in there. It seems to prefer the soil.

    Attached Files:

    Molpet likes this.

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