Several plants are commonly known as Gold Coin Grass, including Desmodium styracifolium, Glechoma hederaea and Lysimachia christinae, These plants are not closely related but they bear a superficial resemblance to one another since their leaves look like gold coins. GCG most often refers to Desmodium styracifolium, which originates from Asia. It provides significant health benefits, and is typically consumed in the form of a tea or tincture.
GCG is native to East Asian countries such as China, blooming flower tea Cambodia, Malaysia, Laos and Vietnam. It is most common in grasslands at low altitudes, typically below 1,000 meters. GCG is commercially cultivated in China, especially Fujian, Hainan and Guangdong provinces.
GCG is not a true grass and typically looks like a small shrub. It can reach a height of one meter and has small flowers that grow in clusters. GCG plants have flowers of both sexes, which bloom during the summer. The leaves are shaped like ovals or circles with a diameter of less than two inches. The branches are covered with hairs that may be white or yellow in color.
The primary health benefit of GCG is to reduce the size of kidney stones so they can be passed during urination. GCG may also reduce the size gallstones so that they no longer cause symptoms. This can prevent the need of surgery to remove the stones.
Therapeutic dosages of GCG are not closely associated with any adverse side effects. However, people taking GCG may experience undesirable symptoms caused by passing kidney stones. These symptoms most often include nausea, headaches, fever and vomiting.
GCG may be prepared as a tea according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This generally involves boiling water and placing the dried herb into the water, either in loose form or in tea bags. Cover the container of water and allow the GCG tea to steep per the instructions.
GCG can also be prepared in an alcoholic solution, commonly known as a tincture. A typical recipe consists of mixing one ounce of loose, dried GCG with eight ounces of 100-proof vodka. Ensure that the level of the vodka is about one inch above the herbs. Seal the container to ensure it is airtight and allow the container to remain undisturbed for two weeks. Turn the container upside down and allow it to stand for another two weeks. Strain out the herbs and pour the liquid into another container.