Health Benefits of Gynostemma Jiaogulan
have looked at its use for obesity, diabetes, and other health
is a climbing vine native to China that is believed to have healing
properties. Used in traditional
Chinese medicine (TCM) and
sold in tea, powder, and capsule form, the herb is said to offer
anti-aging benefits and aid many common health conditions, including
known as Southern ginseng, jiaogulan contains the beneficial compound
gypenoside, a saponin similar to one found in Panax
It also contains sterols, flavonoids, and chlorophyll, which may help
preserve heart health, reduce inflammation,
and even promote weight loss.
addition, jiaogulan is an adaptogenic herb that helps the body adapt
to stress and may enhance memory, improve sports performance, and
boost the immune
these applications in TCM, research to support these uses for
jiaogulan is still in the preliminary stages. What does exist is
limited to laboratory studies and small clinical trials, many of
which were done on animals.
results of studies on jiaogulan show the herb may have some promise,
it is too soon to recommend it as a treatment for any health
condition. More research, particularly on humans, is needed.
studies suggest jiaogulan may help control diabetes. While much of
the research has been limited to animal studies, a small clinical
trial published in
and Metabolic Research in
2010 found the herb may significantly reduce blood sugar levels in
patients with type 2 diabetes.
assigned 24 diabetes patients to receive either 6 grams of jiaogulan
tea or a placebo daily. After 12 weeks of treatment, subjects
in the jiaogulan group showed greater improvement in blood sugar
levels and insulin sensitivity than the control group. On average,
the treated group saw a 54 milligram per deciliter reduction in
fasting blood glucose readings and a 2-percentage-point drop in A1C
research on jiaogulan and diabetes includes ananimal-based
study published in
of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences in
2006. This study tested the herb's effects on diabetic rats and found
that it helped reduce blood sugar levels and lower LDL
addition, a 2008
mice published in the Journal
of Medicinal Food determined
that jiaogulan may help regulate blood sugar by altering activity in
certain liver enzymes.
may have anti-obesity effects, according to a study
in the journal Obesity
a jiaogulan extract known as actiponin, researchers assigned 80 obese
patients to receive either 450 milligrams of actiponin or a placebo
daily for 12 weeks. At the end of the study, the jiaogulan group
showed a significantly greater decrease in weight, abdominal fat,
body fat mass, and body mass index compared to the placebo group.
rats investigated the use of a combination of the Chinese herbs
and red sage in the treatment of metabolic syndrome, a combination of
symptoms and cardiac risk factors that result from obesity-related
Researchers found the herbs worked synergistically to provide several
significant therapeutic benefits, including fat loss, lower
cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and improved glucose tolerance.
is one of many adaptogenic herbs said to relieve stress.
in the journal Molecules
2013 suggests jiaogulan may help protect against stress-related
anxiety disorders. In tests on mice, the study's authors observed
that jiaogulan helped inhibit stress-induced anxiety, possibly by
influencing activity in certain brain cells involved in regulating
may fight asthma,
suggests an animal-based
in the American
Journal of Chinese Medicine in
2008. The study's authors looked at jiaogulan's effects on mice,
finding that the herb helped reduce the airway inflammation
associated with asthma.
is generally regarded as safe, though it may cause side effects,
including nausea and an increase in bowel movements.
are, however, some notable concerns for certain individuals:
may have an impact on the immune system. People with anti-immune
diseases such as lupus, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis
should avoid using the herb until more research is done.
may inhibit blood clotting and, therefore, cause harm to people with
blood conditions, those taking anticoagulants or antiplatelet
agents, and those who plan to undergo surgery.
with diabetes who are taking insulin or other blood-sugar-lowering
medications should use jiaogulan with caution, as it may lead to
safety of jiaogulan in pregnant or nursing women has not been
established, and it should not be used by women who are pregnant or
planning to become pregnant.
Preparation, and Storage
teas, powders, and capsules are sold in many natural-foods stores,
shops specializing in herbal products and Chinese medicine, and
online. It is available as a standalone product and in herbal
tea is caffeine-free and, with its slightly bittersweet flavor,
tastes similar to a mild green tea. It can be blended with other
teas, such as jasmine, or enjoyed on its own. Steep jiaogulan in hot
water; many recommend doing so for at least 10 minutes.
is no standard dosage for jiaogulan, although alternative health
practitioners typically recommend two to four cups a day.
supplements are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA). To ensure you are purchasing a quality
jiaogulan product, look for an independent, third-party seal on the
label from an organization that provides quality testing, such as
U.S. Pharmacopeia, NSF International, or ConsumerLab. This does not
guarantee efficacy, but it can give you confidence that what's on the
label is actually what's in the product.
ginostemma jiaogulan in a cool, dark, and dry location.