Praised as “The Herb of Immortality” in China, Jiaogulan (Gynostemma pentaphyllum) is a climbing vine of the cucumber/gourd family, believed to contribute to long and disease-free life due to its powerful anti-aging effects and possibly the widest spectrum of health benefits of any plant known to science.
- Adaptogenic Support
- Help Restore Balance to the Immune, Nervous, and Endocrine Systems.
- Regulate Nitric Oxide
- Enhance Blood Flow by Dilating Blood Vessels, Dissolving Arterial Plaque, and Aiding in Tissue Recovery and Regeneration.
- Promotes Cardiovascular Health
- Prevents Arterial Damge
- Lowers Bad Cholesterol and Triglyceride
- Slows Down Aging and Increases Longevity
- Prevents and Fights Diabetes Mellitus
- Protects and boosts the Immune System
- Fights Inflammation by Decreasing Free Radical Damage
- Protects and Strengthens the Nervous System
- Improves Athletic Performance
- Anti-Anxiety and Anti-Stress
- Promotes Weight Loss
- Cleanses the Body from Toxins
- Protects the Liver
- Protects and Improve Kidney Function
- Fights Respiratory Issues and Supports the Lungs
- Protects the Gastro-Intestinal System
- Balance Hormonal Function
- Protects and Benefits the Reproductive System
- Treats Insomnia
- Protects the Skin from Sun Damage
- Helps Against Psoriasis
- Anti-Viral, Anti Fungal, and Anti Bacterial
- Alleviate Headaches and Migraines
Jiaogulan (Gynostemma Pentaphyllum) is an herb belonging to the gourd, melon, and cucumber family. It is sometimes called “Southern Ginseng,” and although it is not a true ginseng, Jiaogulan does contain some of the compounds and benefits found in true ginseng.
Jiaogulan belongs to the family of Curcurbitaceae (which includes gourds, melons, and cucumbers) and is a climbing vine that produces a small purple, inedible gourd as its fruit. It grows in China, Southeast Asia, Japan, Korea, India, Bangladesh, and New Guinea. It has serrated leaves that are grouped in arrangements of five and are sometimes referred to as “five-leaf ginseng” or “southern ginseng”. Jiaogulan is not related to the ginseng family.
The leaves of Jiaogulan contain gypenosides, which are triterpene saponins. Over 189 saponins can be found in Jiaogulan and some of the gypenosides are chemically identical to ginsenosides common to Panax ginseng. Unlike Panax ginseng which contains the ginsenosides in the root, the aerial leaves of Jiaogulan contain its saponins and are equal to the amount found in Panax ginseng’s roots.
Jiaogulan contains the ginsenosides Rb1, Rd, Rb3, and F2 which are present in Panax Ginseng. The unique constituents of Jiaogulan include carotenoids, chlorophyll compounds, ombuine, allantoin, caffeic acid, vitexin, kaempferol, quercetin, rutin, selenium, calcium, magnesium, flavonoids, polysaccharides, sterols, malonic acid, lutein, linolenic acids, and palmitic acids (2, 3).
Though Jiaogulan has been present in traditional Chinese medicine, it has not been extensively studied in humans and further research is underway to discover all of its modes of action.
Scientists believe that Jiaogulan can increase fat oxidation and glucose uptake which may lead to weight loss because it is an activator of AMP-activated protein kinase. The activation of the AMPK enzyme inhibits cholesterol and fat synthesis. Both in vitro and in vivo research identified that the saponins damulin A and B are directly involved in this action by increasing the phosphorylation of AMPK, which in turn stimulates beta-oxidation.
Preliminary research suggests that Jiaogulan can reduce blood sugar levels through inhibition of protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B, which increases insulin sensitivity. It is not believed to increase insulin in humans but rather lowers blood glucose levels by increasing the release of insulin.
Jiaogulan’s gypenosides are thought to have anti-lipid peroxidation activities and may protect vascular endothelial cells from oxidative damage. Its cardiovascular effects have been mostly studied in animals and suggest that its gypenosides may prevent the development of atherosclerosis, and may lower blood pressure, blood vessel resistance, heart rate, inhibit platelet aggregation, and increase coronary blood flow.
Perhaps the most interesting benefit of Jiaogulan is its ability to lower cholesterol. In vitro and animal studies have pointed to the ability of Jiaogulan to activate liver X receptors, which are the receptors that regulate and sense the levels of cholesterol in the tissues. By activating these receptors, the herb promotes balanced levels of cholesterol.
Jiaogulan’s anti-inflammatory properties are due to the gypenoside XLIX which inhibits the main pathway of inflammation through the nuclear factor-kappaB. Gypenoside XLIX inhibits the activation of this pro-inflammatory due to a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-alpha-dependent pathway (PPAR-alpha-dependent).
The extract of the roots via alcohol is generally used for concentrated saponin and triterpenoid content, while hot water extracts from the leaves in a tea are generally utilized for its flavonoids.
Jiaogulan (Gynostemma) Capsules Dosage
Jiaogulan (Gynostemma) Capsules provide 450 mg per 1 capsule.
Suggested use for adults is 1 capsule by mouth once daily.
Jiaogulan (Gynostemma) Side Effects & Toxicity
If you are taking any medications, please consult with your healthcare practitioner before beginning supplementation with Jiaogulan.
Jiaogulan is usually well tolerated when taken orally. Side effects are rare but may include gastrointestinal discomforts such as nausea and increased bowel movements.
If you are taking any medications, herbs, or supplements, please consult with your healthcare practitioner before beginning supplementation with Jiaogulan.