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Jiaogulan: The Immortality Herb

In the 1970's the Chinese government sponsored a study focused on the large number of
people living to over 100 years old in certain provinces in Southern China. They discovered the
centenarians had one thing in common. They all drank a tea brewed from a local herb called
Jiaogulan.  The locals called the modest mountain "the immortality herb.”

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.  

  • Cholesterol      
  • Blood Pressure     
  • Digestion  
  • Strength and Endurance      
  • Immunity      
  • 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

Blood Pressure
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

Adaptogenic Properties
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

Antioxidant Properties
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.  

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;
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;
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 the
immunological function of cancer patients." Journal of Traditional
Chinese Medicine (K9K). 1991. 11(1):47-52.
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