There is now three decades of research on Jiaogulan (scientifically known as Gynostemma pentaphyllum) and its effects on health. Author Michael Blumert and Dr. Jialiu Liu even wrote a book about Jiaogulan called, "Jiaogulan: China's Immortality Herb." Enormous
Although it has long been used for beverages and medicine in southern China, praised in China as the herb of immortality, Jiaogulan was not known to the general scientific community until relatively recently. In 1976 a Japanese researcher, looking for a sugar alternative, studied a perennial weed known for its sweetness. He discovered Jiaogulan with many qualities similar to ginseng, even though unrelated as a plant. This event sparked years of scientific research on jiaogulan, praised in China as xiancao, the herb of immortality, revealing it to be a powerful adaptogenic and antioxidant herb with many health-giving properties.
- Blood Pressure
- Strength and Endurance
- Adaptogenic Properties
- Antioxidant Properties
- Gypenosides - The Active Ingredients
Scientific studies have confirmed jiaogulan's ability to assist the regulation of serum cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL (bad cholesterol), and HDL (good cholesterol, which helps to metabolize cholesterol from the arteries). 1
Jiaogulan has been widely reported to be effective in maintaining healthy blood pressure levels. Although the exact mechanism is still being researched, studies have shown that jiaogulan improves the metabolism of the heart directly 2 as well as enhances the release of nitric oxide in the body, which helps to relax the coronary blood vessels.3
While jiaogulan is great for regulating cholesterol, it also assists a good weight loss program, by improving and strengthening digestion. At the same time, it helps an underweight person by assisting the absorption of nutrients. This regulatory effect on bodily functions is the hallmark of an Adaptogen.4
Strength and Endurance
The results of human studies confirm that jiaogulan can enhance the contractility of the heart muscle and heart pumping function. Other studies have shown that the saponins in jiaogulan increase strength and endurance in the body. Considering these findings overall, jiaogulan becomes the perfect herb for anyone who wants to improve his competitive edge in any field of athletic performance. 5
Jiaogulan has also demonstrated an ability to support the immune system when under the siege of various destructive agents.6,7 Jiaogulan has also shown its effectiveness, in clinical research studies, as a potent immunomodulator. It increases the production of Lymphocytes, Phagocytes, and Serum IGG.8
Jiaogulan has a biphasic effect on brain functions, energizing or calming the system depending upon need, as well as on the regulation of hormonal functions in both men and women. The healthy maintenance of these physiological actions plays a major role in the body's ability to cope with stress.9,10
The results of many scientific studies show that jiaogulan's powerful antioxidant quality protects against free radical damage. 11,12
Gypenosides-The Active Ingredients
Jiaogulan contains a large quantity of saponins known as gypenosides. The structure of the gypenosides is very similar to the panaxosides (also known as ginsenosides) found in ginseng. There are 3-4 times as many saponins in jiaogulan as there are in ginseng. Some of those saponins are identical to the panaxosides in ginseng and some of them turn into panaxosides when taken into the body. This greater number of gypenosides may account for a more powerful regulatory effect on a number of body systems, like blood pressure, the reproductive system, the digestive system, the immune system, mental functions, and more. 13,14,15
1. Yu, C. "Therapeutic effect of tablet gypenosides on 32 patients with hyperlipaemia." Hu Bei Zhong Yi Za Zhi. Chinese. 1993; 15(3):21.
2. Zhou, Ying-Na, et al. "Effects of a gypenosides-containing tonic on the pulmonary function in exercise workload." Journal of Guiyang Medical College 1993; 18(4):261.
3. Tanner, M.A., et al. "The direct release of nitric oxide by gypenosides derived from the herb Gynostemma pentaphyllum." Vanderbilt University Medical Ctr., Nashville, Tenn. Nitric Oxide 1999 Oct;3(5):359-65.
4. Zhou, S., et al. "Pharmacological study on the adaptogenic function of jiaogulan and jiaogulan compound." Zhong Cao Yao. Chinese. 1990; 21(7):313.
5. Zhou, Ying-Na, et al." Influence of kiwifruit/jiaogulan recipe on the lung function and exercise endurance under exercise workload." Journal of Guiyang Medical College. 1993; 18(4):256.
6. Hou, J., et al. "Effects of Gynostemma pentaphyllum Makino on the immunological function of cancer patients." Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine (K9K). 1991; 11(1):47-52.
7. Qian, Hao, et al. "Protective effect of jiaogulan on cellular immunity of patients with primary long cancer treated with radiotherapy plus chemotherapy." Acta Academiae Medicinae Shanghai. 1995;22(5):363-366.
8. Liu, Jialiu, et al. "Overall health-strengthening effects of a gypenosides-containing tonic in middle aged and aged persons." Journal of Guiyang Medical College. 1993; (3):146.
9. Zhang, Yi-Qun, et al. "Immediate effects of a gypenosides-containing tonic on the echocardiography of healthy persons of various ages."Journal of Guiyang Medical College. 1993; 18(4):261.
10. Zhou, Ying-Na, et al. "Influence of kiwifruit/jiaogulan recipe on the lung function and exercise endurance under exercise workload." Journal of Guiyang Medical College. 1993; 18(4):256.
11. Li, Lin, et al. "Protective Effect of Gypenosides Against Oxidative Stress in Phagocytes, Vascular Endothelial Cells and Liver Microsomes." Loma Linda University, Calif. Cancer Biotherapy. 1993; 8(3):263-272.
12. Liu, Jialiu, et al. "Effects of a gypenosides-containing tonic on the serum SOD activity and MDA content in middle-aged and aged persons."Journal of Guiyang Medical College 1994; 19(1):17.
13. Song, W.M., et al. "Comparison of the adaptogenic effects of jiaogulan and ginseng." Zhong Cao Yao. Chinese. 1992; 23(3):136.
14. Wei, Y., et al. "The effect of gypenosides to raise White Blood Count." Zhong Cao Yao. Chinese. 1993; 24, 7, 382.
15. Hou, J., et al. "Effects of Gynostemma pentaphyllum makino on theimmunological function of cancer patients." Journal of TraditionalChinese Medicine (K9K). 1991. 11(1):47-52.
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