jiaogulan gynostemma antiaging

Jiaogulan: A Secret Weapon to Slow Down Aging and Live Longer

Jun 5, 2023 | Read Time: 15 min.

Jason Dunn

Spending your last 20 years on Earth in a hospital bed probably isn’t what you imagine when hoping for a long life.

Longevity isn’t just about reaching a ripe old age.

It is also about aging gracefully – feeling and looking good as you get there!

Thanks to modern medicine, people live longer on average than at any other time in recent history.

However, the quality of life for many isn’t what most would consider desirable.

While life expectancy for men and women has increased, scientists have found ‘healthy life expectancy’ is increasing at a far slower pace.

That means people live longer lives — but spend more of that time with illness or poor health.

When we talk these days about staying young and slowing down aging, we often only think of our face, skin, hair loss, and weight gain but these are only the changes we can see.

Anti-aging creams, face lifts, plastic surgery, and Botox injections are only cosmetic solutions to looking young.

Taking these approaches without considering holistic health is to cover up the symptoms of aging rather than address the causes.

It is like polishing a car without servicing the engine and internal components. However, youth, like beauty, is more than skin deep.

But unlike a shiny car with a run-down engine, our outward appearance will deteriorate as our inner health declines.

The older one gets, the more rapid the decline if we neglect our internal health. There is simply no escaping it.

Many symptoms or signs of aging won’t appear until we approach our ‘golden’ years, when some people believe it is too late to take positive action.

In fact, the reverse is true. As we age, a healthy routine becomes even more crucial to maintaining ourselves.

The key is to understand how to adapt to your body’s changing needs.

The Legend of Jiaogulan

China’s first extensive census in the 1970s revealed that villagers in the remote mountains of Guizhou Province in southwest China - where Jiaogulan grows wild - were achieving unusual longevity and vitality, living well beyond 100 years of age!

In 1979, the Chinese Government sent researchers from the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences to investigate the reason behind the census anomaly.

Led by Dr. Jialiu Liu, what they found was nothing short of astounding. Unlike other regions of China where Green Tea was popular, many of the centenarians surveyed in Guizhou were consuming Jiaogulan daily, a wild vine tea they themselves had named ‘Xiancao’ – The Immortality Herb.

Dr. Liu and his team of sixteen scientists proceeded to conduct extensive research into the benefits of Jiaogulan, which resulted in over 300 animal and human studies documenting the herbs amazing effects.

Contemporary research has done nothing to dispel the ‘myth’ of Jiaogulan and its adaptogenic and anti-aging properties.

Unfortunately, this research remains less known and the herb’s properties are less marketed than pharmaceutical treatments.

Adaptogens Help Your Body Adapt

Adaptogens are herbs that increase the body's ability to resist the damaging effects of stress and promote or restore normal physiological functioning (homeostasis).

They not only increase the resistance to the adverse effects of aging, they are also immune stimulating, increase a general sense of well-being and offer a surprising array of other health benefits.

In numerous publicly available studies, adaptogenic herbs have been shown to promote an incredible range of health benefits.

Many of these promote longevity and can help your body resist the aging process.

The health benefits of adaptogenic herbs include:

  • Promote physical and mental performance and stamina
  • Alleviate stress and anxiety and promote sleep
  • Regulate cholesterol
  • Maintain healthy blood pressure and heart
  • Improve digestion and promote healthy weight
  • Regulate hormone levels in both men and women
  • Prevent cancer and reduce the side effects of chemotherapeutic drugs
  • Improve the functioning of the immune system
  • Increase the body’s resistance to chemical carcinogens
  • Protect the body against the effects of radiation
  • Increase longevity, libido, and well-being

As an adaptogen, Jiaogulan assists your body in adapting to many forms of stress and has a normalizing effect (homeostasis) on bodily function.

how adaptogens work

Adaptogens support normal metabolism, help restore balance to the immune, nervous, and endocrine systems and allow the body to maintain optimal homeostasis. They usually also benefit the liver, cardiovascular system, kidneys, and pancreas.

Jiaogulan is rich in saponins - natural glycosides, which possess a wide range of pharmacological properties.

In clinical studies to date, the consumption of saponins has been found to lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of heart disease and react with cholesterol-rich membranes surrounding rogue cells to inhibit the growth of cancer.

One of The Most Powerful Antioxidants

Aging has been defined as the accumulation of free radical damage over time.

Free radicals can be created from substances found in the food we eat, the medicines we take, the air we breathe, and the water we drink.

Basically, free radicals are waste products from various chemical reactions in our cells that, when too numerous, harm the cells of the body.

Arguably the most powerful tool to protect the healthy cells of the body from these negative effects of free radical compounds, are anti-oxidants.

Jiaogulan is full of rich antioxidants that hunt down and target free radicals. However, it is the antioxidants produced by our own bodies that are thousands of times more effective than antioxidants we can get from antioxidant-rich foods, vitamins, or supplements.

The antioxidants superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, and catalase are the most powerful currently known. They are absolutely vital for good health and longevity, but very difficult or impossible to obtain through diet.

Jiaogulan does NOT act as a simple dietary antioxidant in the same way fruits, vegetables, and other teas like green tea do.

Instead, Jiaogulan actually stimulates the body’s own production of all 3 of these powerful internal antioxidants.

In fact, taking Jiaogulan is one of the very few known effective ways to increase the body’s levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD) – arguably the MOST powerful and important antioxidant of all. SOD and glutathione peroxidase have been directly correlated by scientific research to both good health and longevity.

Anti-ageing & Longevity Effects

Promote longevity

In one study, a group of old mice were divided into two groups. After four months, all mice in the control group died, while only 50 percent of the mice in the Jiaogulan group died.159

In another study, the lifespan of fruit flies was increased by as much as 50 percent when given Jiaogulan.160 Other animal studies have also demonstrated an increase in lifespan.161, 162

In human clinical studies to date, administration of Jiaogulan three times daily for two months was beneficial for all 106 patients (in the study) in reducing general signs and symptoms of aging, such as fatigue, lack of energy, aversion to cold, diarrhea, poor memory, decreased balance, insomnia, and excessive dreams.155

Increases Resistance to Stress & Anxiety

As a powerful adaptogen, Jiaogulan produces a nonspecific response in the body—an increase in the power of resistance against multiple stressors including physical, chemical, or biological agents in multiple nonspecific ways, including the building of a reserve of “adaptive energy”.

This reserve is then used when an actual stressor arises, instead of depleting the cells of vital energy.

Jiaogulan has also been shown to have a significant anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effect and to help recover dopamine and serotonin levels back to normal.1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

One double-blind placebo-controlled human clinical trial demonstrated the herb’s ability to significantly reduce anxiety and stress in groups of high anxiety and normal individuals by over 20% and 10% respectively, as evaluated by standard anxiety and stress tests.7

Jiaogulan has also shown promise in the treatment of depression.8

Protect and strengthen immune system

Numerous human and animal studies have shown Jiaogulan to protect and strengthen the immune system function, due to its antioxidant properties and ability to balance Nitric Oxide production.

Simply put, adequate Nitric Oxide production is the first step in a chain reaction that promotes healthy cardiovascular function, while insufficient production triggers a cascade of destruction that eventually results in heart disease.

Enhance function of the central and peripheral nervous system

Jiaogulan’s antioxidant properties and its ability to regulate Nitric Oxide production also protects and enhances the function of the central and peripheral nervous systems.

Help prevent Alzheimer’s & Parkinson’s

Jiaogulan has also been shown to help prevent both Alzheimer’s 9, 10, 11, 12 and Parkinson’s, 2, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 which are the 6th and 14th leading causes of death in the United States respectively. It may also help with optic neuritis, although further studies are needed.18

Improve memory and learning in the elderly

Studies with aging animals have shown that Jiaogulan improves their memory and learning ability 156, and rejuvenates their skin47, 48, 157. It was also found that the herb increases the skin's thickness, boosts collagen synthesis, and protects elasticity.158 For extra skin benefits, you can also apply Jiaogulan tea topically, for example as a face rinse.

In both human and animal studies, Gynostemma was shown to improve brain functions like memory, concentration, and learning, especially with the elderly.156, 214, 215, 216

Protect and improve cognitive function

The herb also helps protect against and recover from brain and memory damage induced by alcohol217, 218 and free radicals31, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 49, as well as damage and cognitive impairment from ischemia-reperfusion and hypoxia due to stroke and other causes.34, 218, 219, 220, 221, 222, 223, 224, 225, 226, 227

A study with elderly cerebral infarction patients (a type of ischemic stroke) showed that administering Jiaogulan for a 12-week period improved their cognitive functions to a level close to that of normal elderly subjects who had not suffered a stroke. In addition, the improvements were better than that of a control group that was given Piracetam, a popular nootropic and brain-enhancing drug.228

A second clinical study using different evaluation methods showed identical results, and further improvement when treatment was continued for 12 more weeks (24 weeks in total).229

Jiaogulan can also prevent brain and nervous system damage caused by the consumption of the popular flavor-enhancing food additive Monosodium Glutamate (MSG).230, 231, 232, 233

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