Jiaogulan, also known as Gynostemma, has been creating a lot of health buzz among the tea drinkers lately. Raving fans of Jiaogulan claim that this rich in antioxidants drink can boost your immune system and improve energy levels dramatically.
But above all, Jiaogulan has been hailed for its anti-aging qualities. In traditional Chinese medicine, Gynostemma even acquired the name “the herb of immortality’.
While saying that Tea can make you live forever would be a bit of an exaggeration, a range of research-backed health benefits of Jiaogulan is vast.
Does the Gynostemma plant actually hold the key to longevity? What are the health benefits of Jiaogulan Tea? How can it help you live a longer and healthier life?
Pour yourself a cup of Tea and get ready to have these questions answered.
What is Jiaogulan (Gynostemma)?
Jiaogulan is a herb, widely known in China, Japan, and Southeast Asia for its ability to strengthen your immune system.
Jiaogulan has been especially praised by Chinese from the high mountain southern regions. They have been consuming Jiaogulan for centuries as a universal remedy for all diseases.
Chinese also believe that daily consumption of Jiaogulan is linked directly to disease-free longevity. Interestingly enough, the Guizhou, mountainous region in China where they traditionally drink 1-2 cups of Jiaogulan Tea per day, is famous for its numbers of centenarians citizens.
There were also barely any incidents of cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and high blood pressure among those Guizhou people who lived to or beyond the age of 100 years.
So what this miracle plant really is? Jiaogulan is a herb that belongs to the same group of plants as gourds and cucumbers. However, unlike its closest “relatives” Jiaogulan does not actually have fruits of any sort. The leaves of the plant are what actually made into a sweet and mellow drink.
One of the first descriptions of Jiaogulan plant was recorded in the book Compendium of Materia Medica in 1578. The herb was referred to as “miracle grass,” and it was widely used as a universal go-to remedy for hematuria, neck edema, trauma and other diseases.
It wasn’t until 80’s when Jiaogulan started getting more popular in the Western world. In 1972 Jiaogulan’s therapeutic effects were researched based on 537 cases of chronic tracheobronchitis. (1)
Today, American scientists call Jiaogulan one of the top ten most effective longevity herbs in the world.
The health benefits of Jiaogulan Tea
The Jiaogulan has a sweet and mellow earthy taste that we will sure you will enjoy a lot. But not only does it taste good.
Gynostemma can benefit your health in many different ways: antioxidant, anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, anti-obesity… The list of its health benefiting properties goes on and on.
Jiaogulan contains more than 170 different saponins. Saponins are natural chemicals that make herbs therapeutic.
Because of the number of saponins it includes, the herb is considered one of the most powerful medicinal plants on the planet.
Let’s take a more in-depth look at these research-backed health benefits of the “herb of immortality.”
Multiple studies prove that Jiaogulan can help with diabetes control. Through over 170 different saponins, the plant increases insulin sensitivity while decreasing blood glucose.
Back in 2012, there was a clinical trial published in The journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine that proved outstanding effects of Gynostemma on the glycemic control of diabetic patients. (2)
In this study, researchers assigned 24 diabetes patients to treatment with sulfonylureas (industry standard treatment) combined with either Jiaogulan tea or a placebo tea.
Results of the study revealed that those patients given Jiaogulan with their standard treatment had a more significant improvement in the glycemic control by the end of the study. (3)
Jiaogulan’s adaptogenic properties are unique. The Gynostemma herb only lowers blood glucose levels if they are too high, meaning that it adjusts glucose levels without risk of hypoglycemia.
It also has very low toxicity and barely any addictive potential, which makes Jiaogulan a medical phenomenon when it comes to insulin control.
Cardiovascular health effect
Gynostemma has also known for being beneficial for Cardiovascular health. Through the powerful blood pressure control agents that Jiaogulan is full of, it improves the heart muscle activity while boosting your overall blood flow.
Gynostemma also helps against the clogging of the arteries. Because of its great antioxidant compounds, Jiaogulan is known as one of the best natural artery cleaners.
Not only does it have a positive impact on the widening of the arteries, but it also helps against high cholesterol levels and prevents arterial cholesterol plaque buildup.
Another positive effect on cardiovascular health is the herb’s ability to balance blood pressure levels through active components called adaptogens.
The adaptogen is a “smart” compound, which means that whether blood pressure is too high or low, Gynostemma will assist with fixing that imbalance.
Interestingly enough, the Comparative study on anti-hypertensive effect of Gypenosides, Ginseng and Indapamide in patients with essential hypertension done in the early 90s proved that when it comes to reducing high blood pressure, this natural remedy is almost as effective as industry’s top-rated medication.
As preventative cancer mean, Jiaogulan has a few positive effects.
First of all, Jiaogulan is a powerful immune booster. “The herb of immortality” boosts the body’s own defenses, which prevents the formations of cancerous cells without damaging healthy cells. Because of its outstanding antioxidant effects, Gynostemma also minimizes DNA mutations that can lead to cancer.
When it comes to healing and rehabilitation from cancer, Jiaogulan has also shown a lot of benefits. Slowing down tumor growth, stopping metastasis or even reducing tumor size – numerous medical studies have proved these amazing anticancer effects. (4)
Gynostemma has also proven itself to be a very effective remedy to include in an after-cancer rehabilitation. Jiaogulan naturally increases white blood cells, which helps with recovery after the chemo or radiation therapy.
In one medical study done by Chinese scientists, cancer patients whose white blood cell count fell very low after the radiotherapy were given either Jiaogulan tea or a different herbal blend to drink while rehabilitating.
Unlike the second focus group, those who had Gynostemma while recovering doubled their white blood cell count within less than a week.
Healthy body weight management is another benefit of Jiaogulan consumption. Adding Jiaogulan to your healthy diet can make a huge difference in your overall weight.
Being an adaptogen, this herb supports the overall balance within the body.
So if you need to melt a few pounds down, Jiaogulan can help you with that. The weight management effect of Jiaogulan was studied in “Anti obesity effect of Gynostemma pentaphyllum extract” trial.
In this 12-week study, 80 participants who were considered obese were divided into two groups. The first group was given to drink Jiaogulan and the other group was given placebo health tonic. People from both groups were asked to make no changes to their diets or lifestyle. By the end of the study, participants in the Jiaogulan group lost on average by 1.35 kg of weight each. None of these changes were recorded in the other group.
Jiaogulan has also been known to help those who are underweight to gain some pounds by improving overall nutrient absorption and metabolism. Scientists are convinced that the herb can do that because it stimulates the production of the antioxidants in the body and effectively cleanses it from toxins.
Immune system boost
Numerous studies have shown that Jiaogulan is very effective when it comes to enhancing immunity.
This happens mostly because of the active antioxidants found in Gynostemma and herb’s ability to control Nitric Oxide production. Simply put, Jiaogulan boosts the production of immune system cells that help your body to fight any disease that comes along.
The “Restoration of Electric Footshock-Induced Immunosuppression in Mice by Gynostemma pentaphyllum Components” study evaluated the effect of Jiaogulan on immune system. In this study, researches suppressed immune system of the controlled group of mice by using electro-shock.
One group of animals were fed Jiaogulan for a week before the immune system elimination. The other group of mice did not receive Gynostemma.
At the end of the study, those mice that had been fed Jiaogulan leaves showed faster signs of recovery of their immune systems that those who were not fed Gynostemma.
Maximising endurance and stamina with Jiaogulan
Apart from its therapeutic qualities, Jiaogulan is known to increase endurance and stamina.
Traditionally, the inhabitants of the mountainous region of Guizhou have been drinking Jiaogulan as a general rejuvenating tonic. They have been drinking the magic tea daily: both to boost their energy during the day, and to relieve the fatigue after work.
Today, some of the best athletes and bodybuilders drink Jiaogulan because it helps them to increase energy, tone muscles and increase physical strength. Many have also reported that with Jiaogulan tea they were able to last longer while training.
By improving heart work efficiency, regulating blood pressure and stimulating the production of essential antioxidants.
Jiaogulan boosts energy levels dramatically. It also helps to release more oxygen into the muscles so that athletes can work at their peak performance for longer.
Jiaogulan also stimulates the production of Nitric Oxide, which is good for fat reduction and muscle building.
Moreover, those who drink Gynostemma on a regular basis reported faster recovery from soreness and fatigue. It happens because Jiaogulan naturally decreases the amount of lactic acid, so the muscles are not getting so sore so fast.
If you are exercising regularly, give Gynostemma tea a try. You will be surprised by how your physical strength, stamina, endurance and muscle tone will improve.
Jiaogulan – Anti-anxiety and anti-stress remedy
Jiaogulan falls into a category of adaptogens – therapeutic plants that are known to be a powerful antidote to stress and anxiety.
One of the recent studies of how Gynostemma effects those with severe stress, and anxiety symptoms had amazing outcomes.
It turned out that Jiaogulan is extremely effective when it comes to producing two important hormones that regulate our happiness, mood and stress recovery.
Gynostemma helps balance serotonin and dopamine in the brain so that the body can resist mental and emotional stress better.
Many experience tea drinkers, claim Gynostemma also has a significant anxiety and stress recovery effect.
Randomized, Double-Blind Study of Efficacy and Safety of Gynostemma pentaphyllum Ethanol Extract in a Normal Population study demonstrated the Jiaogulan’s ability to reduce the effect of stress and anxiety by over 20%.
Western scientists were also astounded to find that even depression can be treated with the help of Gynostemma.
In yet another study from 2012, use of the Gynostemma showed better results of depression reduction than most of the agents used during the study.
Not only does this plant have a positive short-term effect on stress, but it can also be used as an effective long-term stress preventative measure.
The Chinese region of Guizhou is famous for its long-livers. Interestingly enough, the citizens of this mountain region have sweet tasting Gynostemma as a part of their diet, and they drink it a few times per day.
The Guizhou long-livers also had very low incidences of cancer, diabetes, and blood pressure problem.
Chinese scientists discovered a direct link between daily consumption of Jiaogulan tea and longevity. They believe that such phenomenon is partially due to the abundance of saponins found in Jiaogulan.
They also found out that drinking the herb tea can boost the production of essential antioxidants – glutathione and superoxide dismutase.
Production of these endogenous antioxidants is crucial when it comes to reducing general signs of aging such as lack of energy, joint changes, increased susceptibility to infection, poor memory, etc.
Daily consumption of Jiaogulan can also increase collagen and elastin production in the skin, which leads to more youthful and healthy look.
Cosmetologists also believe that Jiaogulan can help your skin stay younger for longer. They even recommend using Jiaogulan tea externally as a face rinse or a toner.
Other health benefits of Jiaogulan
Along with all of the fantastic health benefits listed above, Jiaogulan is known to be an effective remedy for migraines and stress-related digestive problems (like chronic gastritis and gastric ulcers).
Jiaogulan is also effective for enhancing liver health.
According to the Therapeutic effect of jiaogulan granules on 100 patients with chronic hepatitis B study, Gynostemma was found to be extremely beneficial in Hepatitis B cure.
During the five and a half years of this clinical trial of 77.5% patients were cured of Hepatitis B with the help of Jiaogulan tea.
A cup of mellow Jiaogulan tea can also treat and prevent kidney problems. By decreasing blood fats and toxins, Gynostemma protects the kidneys from damage.
Because Gynostemma has a soothing anti-stress and anti-anxiety effects on the body, it is an excellent natural treatment for insomnia.
Even hangover can be cured with Gynostemma tea. If you had a little too much to drink last night, give the “herb of immortality” a try – you will be pleasantly surprised.
By their nature, adaptogens like Jiaogulan, are made to bring the whole body and all its systems into the balance.
In fact, Jiaogulan has the biggest amount of saponins (active components) of any medicinal plant known in the world. This makes it potentially one of the most potent and therapeutic plants on Earth.
Regulating cholesterol, balancing blood pressure, reducing cancer risk, balancing metabolism while allowing the body to maintain its optimal homeostasis – the Jiaogulan can do it all.
Basically, this adaptogen plant is full of “smart” active compounds that have a normalizing positive effect on all of your body systems, your physiology, and even psychology.
Jiaogulan Tea – Side Effects
Yes, Jiaogulan herb is definitely one of the superfoods to have in your pantry. However, while it is an effective preventative treatment for multiple diseases, you should still consume it cautiously.
Jiaogulan, the plant that has been around in Asia for centuries, just started making its appearance in the pantries of western tea lovers. Not only do they teetotalers enjoy the mellow earthy taste of the Jiaogulan. Many of them also drink the tea because of its amazing therapeutic qualities.
Western scientists are also absolutely astounded by the fantastic health benefits of the “the herb of immortality’. The research on the Gynostemma are still developing, but it has been proved so far that the drink is way more beneficial to your body than even green tea or ginseng.
With all the anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, anti-aging and overall health stabilizing properties this tea is now considered to be one the most remarkable healing and disease prevention drinks in the world.
Give it a try and you will not be disappointed. We promise!
1 Jiao Gu Lan (Gynostemma pentaphyllum): The Chinese Rasayan-Current Research Scenario
2 Antidiabetic Effects of Add-On Gynostemma pentaphyllum Extract Therapy with Sulfonylureas in Type 2 Diabetic Patients Dr. Huyen
3 Health Benefits of Jiaogulan MD Richard Fogoros
4 Preparative chromatography of flavonoids and saponins in Gynostemma pentaphyllum and their antiproliferation effect on hepatoma cell. MD Tsai YC