Jiaogulan, which is scientifically called Gynostemma pentaphyllum, is known by many other names like fairy herb, southern ginseng, and sweet tea vine. It is actually a climbing vine that belongs to the same family as cucumbers and melons, and it grows in several parts of Asia, especially southern mountainous regions in China. Originally, people would use the leaves of this vine as food and they are still consumed, especially as a part of a salad. It is also possible to use them as a sweetener and to prepare caffeine-free tea, which tends to be a bit bittersweet. However, studies reveal that jiaogulan can also effectively boost edurance and stamina, modulate blood pressure, reduce cholesterol, strengthen the immune system, and more.
Jiaogulan Extract Benefits
Quite a few animal-based studies have revealed that feeding jiaogulan to quail and rats orally lead to a decline in cholesterol and triglycerides, but it was given in combination with Crataegus and Nelumbo nucifera. Since jiaogulan extract contains four times as many crude saponins as can be found in ginseng, it was seen in several studies that crude saponins from jiaogulan not only reduce total cholesterol and VLDL but also increase HDL too.
The study “Protective effect of gypenosides” reported that jiaogulan produced an antioxidant effect in endothelial cells liver microsome systems and phagocyte, endothelial cell. Ginseng is well-known for being an adaptogen and the same could be the case with jiaogulan too.
While the animal-based study “A new platelet aggregation factor” could not explain the active principal, it did point out that platelet aggregation was inhibited as a result of consuming hot water extract of jiaogulan. The saponins present in jiaogulan are known as gypenosides and studies like “Effects of gypenosides on cardiac function” have also indicated that these gypenosides can help decrease heart rate, dilate blood vessels, increase cardiac output, and lower blood pressure.
People suffering from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease will also find jiaogulan, as highlighted in the study “The add-on effects of Gynostemma pentaphyllum.” It was seen in this study that consuming jiaogulan extract lead to a decline in the patients’ body mass indexes, insulin resistance, liver fat, and triglycerides levels.
The potential ability of jiaogulan to help combat cancer has also been tested. For instance, it was discovered in the study “Antioxidative Dietary Compounds” that the cell changes that are crucial for the growth of tumors are inhibited by jiaogulan extract.
Jiaogulan Extract Dosage
It is true that there are not enough published studies to specify an accurate dosage for taking jiaogulan extract orally. However, it has been noted that Gynostemma pentaphyllum gypenosides tend to be similar to Panax ginseng ginsenosides. Moreover, several trials in which jiaogulan extract was used as an adaptogenic, the standardized extract contained gypenosides, so a sensibly recommended dosage should be between 60 milligrams and 500 milligrams gypenosides.
Jiaogulan Extract Side Effects
According to WebMD, while it is safe to take jiaogulan extract orally for a short period of time, those using it may experience an increase in bowel movements and severe nausea.
Based on the study “An in-vitro study of ginsenoside,” pregnant women are advised not to use of jiaogulan extract in order to avoid the possibility of birth defects. Since platelet aggregation is inhibited by jiaogulan extract, those suffering from a bleeding disorder or about to under surgery in a few weeks are also advised against using it.
- Cancer Biother: Protective effect of gypenosides against oxidative stress in phagocytes, vascular endothelial cells, and liver microsomes.
- Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo): A new platelet aggregation factor from Gynostemma pentaphyllum Makino.
- Journal of Shenyang Pharmaceutical University: Effects of gypenosides on cardiac function in diabetic cardiomyopathy rats.
- Altern Ther Health Med: The add-on effects of Gynostemma pentaphyllum on nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
- Int. J. Mol. Sci: Antioxidative Dietary Compounds Modulate Gene Expression Associated with Apoptosis, DNA Repair, Inhibition of Cell Proliferation and Migration.
- An in-vitro study of ginsenoside Rb-1-induced teratogenicity using a whole rat embryo culture model.