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Benefits of Jiaogulan and How It Works

Jun 9, 2023 | Read Time: 25 min.

Jason Dunn

What is Jiaogulan?

Praised as "The Herb of Immortality" in China, Jiaogulan (Gynostemma pentaphyllum) is a climbing vine of the cucumber/gourd family, believed to contribute to a long and disease-free life due to its powerful anti-aging effects and possibly the widest spectrum of health benefits of any plant known to science.

Jiaogulan [is] an herb from my native southern China that I believe possesses the most wide-ranging benefits for human health and wellness of any plant yet discovered. This may seem like a bold statement, but having studied this remarkable tonic herb for more than twenty years, I can assure you that there is strong scientific support to back up my passion for jiaogulan.Dr. Jialiu Liu, 'Father of Jiaogulan'

The inhabitants of the high mountains of south central China have been using Jiaogulan for hundreds of years as a general health tonic and rejuvenating elixir. They have been drinking it daily as a tea before work to increase their endurance and strength, and after work to relieve fatigue and promote good sleep.

Jiaogulan (pronounced gee-ow-goo-lan) was largely unknown outside of those few remote mountainous regions until the early 1970's when interest in Jiaogulan by the Chinese government was sparked by the results of the first nationwide population census, according to an article published in the Guangxi Daily Newspaper.1

The census revealed extremely low incidence of cancer, senility and other serious diseases, and an abnormally high percentage of people living to 100 years of age in certain villages of the Guizhou, Guangxi and Sichuan provinces.2, 3, 4

Interested in the reason for these intriguing results, the Chinese government commissioned a team of researchers from the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences to conduct an investigation. The scientists considered genetics, climate, diet and many other factors.

They eventually found out that many of the centenarians consumed a tea made from a wild vine as a substitute for the traditional green tea. The locals called it "Xiancao", or “The Immortality Herb”, and that served as a big hint for the scientists.

As a result of this discovery, and encouraged by promising research on Jiaogulan that had been going on in parallel in Japan since the early 70's, the Chinese government appointed Dr. Jialiu Liu to lead a team of 16 scientists to investigate the properties of plants growing in the Mt. Fanjing Nature Reserve. After lengthy and extensive study of a large variety of herbs, they singled out Jiaogulan as the most promising plant for further research.

"After many years studying hundreds of herbs, we ultimately came to the realization that Jiaogulan was not only the rainforest’s most precious gift, but was in fact nature’s greatest treasure. We began to use Jiaogulan in our medical university hospital with great success for a wide variety of conditions, and before long, it was also being used at numerous other hospitals throughout China."Dr. Jialiu Liu, 'Father of Jiaogulan'

Research into Jiaogulan over the past 50+ years has uncovered so many health benefits that at first it's difficult not to react with disbelief. We provide references to a subset of the hundreds of scientific studies that support our claims, so you can examine them further if interested.

Jiaogulan's health benefits are mostly due to it containing extremely high content of a class of plant chemicals known as saponins.

These saponins give Gynostemma its adaptogenic and antioxidant properties, as well as its ability to regulate Nitric Oxide production in the body.

Read on as we examine these properties in detail to see how Gynostemma is capable of making such a broad impact on your health by leveraging and mobilizing the body's own innate intelligence and capacity for self-healing.

Jiaogulan the Adaptogen

Adaptogens are rare and remarkable plants that increase the body's ability to counter and resist physical, chemical, biological, emotional, and environmental stressors by raising nonspecific resistance toward such stress. They decrease the organism's susceptibility to illness by allowing it to "adapt" to the stressful circumstances.

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.

For a plant to be qualified as an adaptogen, it must meet the following 3 criteria as defined by Israel I. Berkhman, PhD, and Dr. I. V. Dardymov in 1968:

  • An adaptogen is nontoxic to the recipient. It must cause minimal side effects on physical or mental health.

  • An adaptogen 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.

  • An adaptogen is “intelligent” in that it has a normalizing influence on physiology, regardless of the direction of change from the normal state caused by the stressor. This normalizing influence implies the capability of adaptogens for a bidirectional effect on physiological function. They are capable of either toning down or strengthening the activity of multiple systems, including the neuro-endocrine and immune systems, depending on the need. For example, if a person with high blood pressure is given Jiaogulan, their blood pressure will drop. If on the other hand their blood pressure is below normal, it will raise.

When Dr. Berkhman was studying adaptogens, he discovered that the active compounds in most of them were a particular class of chemical compounds called triterpenoid saponins, which had very low toxicity and little addictive potential.

Some of these triterpenoid saponins have been identified as having adaptogenic properties, while others were found to have anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective (protecting the liver), adrenal gland strengthening, and immune system modulating effects.2

Jiaogulan is a premier adaptogen, and has been described as “Like Ginseng, but better than Ginseng” because of the energizing effect both plants have on the body.

However, while Ginseng is often poorly tolerated and can cause insomnia, tachycardia and nervousness, Jiaogulan has the opposite effects because it is a superior adaptogen.

This is because while Panax Ginseng contains up to 28 different saponins5 (called panaxosides or ginsenosides), as of 2021 scientists have isolated 249 of them from Gynostemma (called gypenosides), nine of which are identical to those of Panax Ginseng.314

That's almost 9 times as many of these health-promoting and balancing chemicals!

In fact, Jiaogulan has the widest spectrum of saponins of any known plant in the world by far! This makes it a potentially more powerful and intelligent adaptogen with broader health effects than any other plant, and many have proclaimed it "The King of Adaptogens".

Over 40 years of scientific research done so far on Gynostemma seems to support this possibility.

Jiaogulan is a Potent Antioxidant

Jiaogulan as a Nitric Oxide Regulator

nitric oxide and body system benefitsNitric Oxide (NO) is a gas and free radical produced in the body that is deemed so important in human physiology that it was named “Molecule of the Year” by the journal Science in 1992.58

Few people realize it, but Nitric Oxide is probably the most important chemical compound for cardiovascular health.

The President of the American Heart Association called it “the most important discovery in the history of cardiovascular medicine”, and in 1998, the Nobel Prize for Medicine was given to the three scientists who discovered the role of Nitric Oxide as a cardiovascular signalling molecule.

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.

Nitric Oxide has been called a double-edged sword – or the Janus molecule, after the two-faced god – since it can be both vital and detrimental to your health and normal functioning.

At normal body concentrations Nitric Oxide is critically important for the proper functioning of all major body systems, including the cardiovascular, immune, nervous, and reproductive systems.

It enhances blood flow by dilating blood vessels, dissolving arterial plaques, and aiding in tissue recovery and regeneration. It helps brain nerve cells to communicate with each other and is involved in their development and regeneration. It also plays an important role in the fight against invading bacteria, viruses, and parasites.

However, Nitric Oxide concentrations that are too low or too high can result in a number of serious conditions and diseases like heart disease, stroke, cognitive decline, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, autoimmune diseases, chronic inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and many more.

Studies have now shown that Jiaogulan has the remarkable ability to both protect and stimulate the production of Nitric Oxide (NO) when your body produces too little of it6, 57, 59, 60, 61, or to limit its production when it is out of control38, 62, 63, 64.

Since diseases arise when Nitric Oxide levels are either too high or too low, the regulatory effect of Jiaogulan on its production is crucial in maintaining good health through balance, and is further testament to the herb's adaptogenic properties.

Here is a short video by one of the discoverers of Nitric Oxide explaining the benefits of this molecule for your health.

We will explore the effects of Nitric Oxide on the various body systems in more detail throughout the rest of this article.

Jiaogulan Promotes Cardiovascular Health

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a group of disorders that affect the heart and blood vessels, such as coronary artery disease, stroke, and heart failure.

According to the CDC, CVD is the leading cause of death in the United States, causing 1 out of every 5 deaths.

CVD is largely preventable and treatable by adopting healthy lifestyle habits and taking appropriate medications.

In addition, research has shown that Jiaogulan can help prevent and treat Cardiovascular Disease in several different ways:

Jiaogulan protects the lining of the arteries and blood vessels from damage caused by free radicals, cholesterol, and high blood pressure. This damage can lead to atherosclerosis, which is the hardening and narrowing of the arteries that reduces blood flow and increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.

The herb can also help regulate blood pressure by stimulating nitric oxide production, a molecule that widens the blood vessels and improves blood circulation. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for CVD and can damage the heart and other organs.

Gynostemma has also been shown to lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglyceride levels, while raising good cholesterol (HDL) levels. High levels of LDL and triglycerides can contribute to plaque buildup in the arteries, while HDL helps remove excess cholesterol from the body.

Gynostemma can also help prevent blood clots by inhibiting platelet aggregation, which is the sticking together of blood cells that can block the arteries. Blood clots can cause heart attack, stroke, or pulmonary embolism (a clot in the lungs).

Jiaogulan may also reduce the severity of injury to the heart and brain after a heart attack or stroke and can accelerate the healing and recovery process. It may also protect against other heart problems such as arrhythmia, cardiomyopathy, and coronary spasms.

Jiaogulan and Cancer

Research has shown that Jiaogulan has many anti-cancer effects on a wide variety of cancers.

It works on several levels to prevent and fight cancer:

  • It enhances the body's own defenses by protecting and boosting the immune system. A strong immune system is important for preventing the formation of tumors.
  • With its exceptional antioxidant effects, Jiaogulan scavenges free radicals within the body, minimizing DNA mutations that lead to tumors.
  • Its chemical components like saponins (gypenosides), flavonoids, and polysaccharides have direct anticancer action.

Jiaogulan has been shown in studies to reduce tumor size, inhibit tumor growth and metastasis (spreading), cause apoptosis (tumor cell death) by increasing free-radical damage to cancer cells, and inhibit energy production in cancer cells.

These effects have been demonstrated in many types of cancer, including:

  • Liver (hepatoma)104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113
  • Lung114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 120
  • Prostate121
  • Colorectal122, 123, 124, 125
  • Esophageal 122, 126
  • Oral127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 134, 135
  • Brain136
  • Stomach 137, 138
  • Skin (melanoma)139, 140
  • Uterus/cervix141, 142, 143
  • Leukaemia 144, 145, 146, 147
  • Sarcoma 147, 148

Jiaogulan has also shown to be an invaluable ally for people who are undergoing chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

It provides strong protection against the damaging effects these treatments have on the immune system and other organs, while at the same time increasing their effectiveness.125,137,148,149, 150, 151, 152, 153, 154

A Word of Caution
While Jiaogulan's cancer-fighting properties are indisputable, we do not recommend using it as a stand-alone cancer treatment.

However, you should certainly consider it for cancer prevention.

If you are interested in using it as an add-on therapy to conventional treatment, please make sure to consult with your healthcare provider first.

Jiaogulan Slows Down Aging and Increases Longevity

Longevity isn’t just about reaching a ripe old age – it’s also about feeling and looking good as you get there!

Jiaogulan was first discovered in China because of the unusually long life spans and good health of so many of its users in the mountainous regions where it grows.

The herb slows down aging from the inside out. It has a rejuvenating and healing effect on all organs and major systems due to its unrivaled ability to neutralize the free radicals that damage and age your body by boosting the production of the two most important internal antioxidants - superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione.

Jiaogulan Prevents and Fights Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes is a serious condition that can have two main causes: either the pancreas does not make enough insulin, or the body’s cells do not respond well to insulin.

Insulin is a hormone that helps lower blood sugar levels. When insulin is lacking or ineffective, blood sugar levels rise and can harm the nerves and blood vessels. This can lead to serious problems like heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, and amputations.

Jiaogulan has many benefits for diabetics.

It has been shown to help lower blood sugar and HbA1C levels in a short time. HbA1C is a measure of how well blood sugar is controlled over time.

Jiaogulan seems to work by making the cells more sensitive to insulin, so they can use it better. It may also help the pancreas make more insulin.

It also protects the heart, brain, liver, and kidneys from damage caused by diabetes or other factors.

And the best part? The herb does not cause low blood sugar levels. It only seems to lower blood sugar when it is too high.

Jiaogulan Protects and Boosts the Immune System

Numerous human and animal studies have shown Jiaogulan to protect and strengthen the immune system function.

The immune system is a network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to protect the body from infection and disease.

It is your body's only natural defense against viruses, bacteria, parasites, and diseases like cancer.

It is hardly surprising that a strong and properly functioning immune system is crucial to lasting good health.

Jiaogulan's beneficial effects on the immune system are mostly due to its antioxidant properties and ability to balance Nitric Oxide production.

Nitric oxide regulates the functional activity, growth and death of many immune and inflammatory cell types. Certain immune cells produce it in high enough concentrations for it to become toxic and use it as a weapon against invading bacteria, viruses, parasites, as well as to defend against tumors.

However, under certain conditions this process can backfire, resulting in the production of too much Nitric Oxide by the immune system. This can cause a variety of problems, including inflammation, sepsis, and autoimmune diseases.

Jiaogulan's ability to reduce Nitric Oxide when the immune system is overactive is therefore vital in the prevention of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, including some cancers, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, heart disease, periodontitis, and hay fever.

The herb also fights inflammation by decreasing free radical damage and inhibiting Nuclear Factor-kappaB (NF-kB) - a protein involved in cell survival and signaling – both important factors in the generation of inflammation.30, 32, 62, 93, 94, 178, 179, 180, 181

As an antioxidant, the herb protects the integrity of the immune system from free radicals and environmental toxins 26, 30, 32

Gynostemma also protects the immune system from the effects of stress 6, rigorous or exhaustive physical exercise 182, 183, 184, and cancer chemotherapy and radiation therapy149, 150, 151, 152, 153, 154.

Finally, Jiaogulan increases the potency of the immune response to foreign invaders, toxins,6, 30, 185, 186, 187, 188, 189, 190, 191, 192, 193, 194, 195, 196 and cancer 118, 119, 138, 139, 186.

Jiaogulan Protects and Strengthens the Nervous System

Jiaogulan protects and enhances the function of the central and peripheral nervous systems, mainly through its antioxidant properties and its ability to regulate Nitric Oxide production.

Nitric Oxide plays an important role in learning and memory by helping nerve cells in the brain to communicate with each other.197, 198 It is involved in neurotransmitter release, neural development and regeneration, synaptic plasticity and regulation of gene expression.199

At normal concentrations, Nitric Oxide protects the nerve cells from damage and cell death. However, at high concentrations it becomes toxic to the nerve cells and can cause cell injury and cell death.200

Overproduction of Nitric Oxide in the nervous system has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Huntington’s disease, and depression.201

In addition, free radical damage has been shown to play a major role in the development of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.202, 203

In light of this, it's not surprising that Jiaogulan has been shown to help prevent both Alzheimer's 204, 205, 206, 207 and Parkinson’s 37, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212, which are the 6th and 14th leading causes of death in the United States respectively. It may also be effective against optic neuritis, although further studies are needed.213

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

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 consumption of the popular flavor enhancing food additive Monosodium Glutamate (MSG).230, 231, 232, 233

Lastly, the herb was found to increase the excitability and stability of the brain during athletic competition. A Guiyang Medical College research group carried out testing on more than 300 professional athletes, including athletes of the China National Skating Team. All of the tested athletes reported that a Jiaogulan/Danshen recipe taken before the competition made them vigorous and alert, with quick reflexes and less nervousness. A control group taking Danshen alone did not feel increased stability and excitability of the nervous system during competition, although they also felt increased energy and endurance.234, 235

Jiaogulan Improves Athletic Performance

Many top athletes and bodybuilders use Jiaogulan because it enhances their performance by energising the body and increasing physical strength, stamina, endurance and muscle tone.

This is also why Jiaogulan is given to race-horses.

If you're involved in sports or workout at the gym, you will find that you can go through your usual training routine with less effort, or that you can endure a harder workout by only expending the same amount of effort as you did before.

Jiaogulan is able to increase athletic performance in several ways:

  1. By regulating the production of Nitric Oxide.
  2. By improving heart function efficiency.
  3. By stimulating the production of the endogenous antioxidants glutathione and superoxide dismutase.

Since one of the main functions of Nitric Oxide is to widen the arteries (vasodilation), it has the effect of increasing blood circulation throughout the body. This provides more of the oxygen and glucose the muscles need to be able to work at peak levels longer, improving stamina and energy levels.

Nitric Oxide also stimulates growth hormone production236, which encourages fat reduction and muscle building.

Jiaogulan also improves the efficiency of the pumping action of the heart, so that it doesn’t work as hard to produce the same amount of blood flow. Again, more oxygen and nutrients reach the muscles and performance is improved.

A clinical study at the Guiyang Medical College with 30 normal healthy persons and 220 athletes showed that within 30 minutes after oral administration of a single dose of Jiaogulan combined with other Chinese medicinal herbs, all subjects responded with increased cardiac output and stroke volume, while heart rate and blood pressure did not change.237

Animal studies have confirmed this positive effect on heart function and have concluded that Jiaogulan's effect is more potent than that of ginseng 103, 238

A number of studies involving forced swimming tests with animals have proven that Jiaogulan has a significant anti-fatigue effect and increases the endurance capacity in animals, enabling them to swim significantly longer before they get exhausted. In addition, these effects become stronger as the dose is increased.239, 240, 241, 242, 243, 244, 245, 246

Jiaogulan significantly increases glucose levels in the blood, liver and muscles, which is the fuel the muscles use and is therefore very important for the prolongation of endurance exercise.

Furthermore, Gynostemma decreases the amount of lactic acid (the build-up of which causes sore muscles the day after rigorous exercise) in the blood significantly and this is an important indicator for judging the degree of fatigue and means that Jiaogulan is able to postpone the appearance of fatigue and accelerate the recovery from fatigue.239, 240, 241, 242, 243, 244

Jiaogulan Exercise Study

In parallel, the levels of uric nitrogen in the blood are decreased 241, 242, 243, 244, 245, 246, which means that not as much protein needs to be digested in order to produce energy.

Jiaogulan also helps us reach peak mental and physical function by boosting the levels of the endogenous antioxidants superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione, and lowering Malondialdehyde (MDA).241, 243, 244, 245, 246, 247, 248, 249, 250 This means less muscle damage resulting from exercise, quicker recovery time, increased strength, endurance and a shift in the metabolism from fat production to muscle development.

Finally, Gynostemma is able to regulate immune function during exercise, recovering immune indices to normal values from either originally lower or higher than the normal.182, 183, 184

This is important because it has been demonstrated that the immune system is suppressed after rigorous exercise. Marathon runners and the high frequency of respiratory tract infections immediately after a run are one example.

If you are involved in physical exercise, act like the pros and have some Jiaogulan before a workout for extra energy and stamina, and after workout to help your body repair more quickly from the damage physical exercise inevitably causes.

Jiaogulan for Weight Loss

If you are looking for a natural way to lose weight, you might want to consider Gynostemma for its beneficial effects on your metabolism.

One of the ways Gynostemma can help you lose weight is by activating a molecule called AMPK, which acts as a master switch for your metabolism. When AMPK is turned on, it tells your body to stop storing fat and start burning it for fuel.

Another way Gynostemma can help you lose weight is by improving your insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control. Insulin is a hormone that regulates how much sugar is in your blood and how much of it is stored as fat.

When your cells are sensitive to insulin, they can use sugar more efficiently and prevent it from accumulating in your blood and fat tissues. This not only lowers your risk of diabetes and heart disease but also prevents weight gain and obesity.

Gynostemma can also help you lose weight by influencing your gut microbiota - the trillions of bacteria living in your intestines. These bacteria play a vital role in your metabolism and appetite, and they can be either beneficial or harmful depending on their balance.

Gynostemma can restore the balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut, improving your metabolic health and preventing weight gain and obesity.

Besides these direct effects, Gynostemma can also help you lose weight indirectly by reducing stress and anxiety, which are common triggers for emotional eating.

Gynostemma is an adaptogen, which can help your body cope with stress and restore balance. By lowering your stress levels, Gynostemma can help you avoid using food as a comfort or reward, which can lead to overeating and weight gain.

Finally, Gynostemma can help you lose weight by boosting your energy and athletic performance. Gynostemma can enhance your endurance, strength, and oxygen uptake, which can make your workouts more effective and enjoyable. This can help you burn more calories and stick to your exercise plan for the long term.

Other Health Benefits of Jiaogulan

  • Being an adaptogen, Jiaogulan reduces mental and physical stress. It has also been shown to have a significant anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effect and to help recover dopamine and serotonin levels back to normal.6, 211, 251, 252, 253, 254

    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.255

    Jiaogulan has also shown promise in the treatment of depression.256

  • Jiaogulan has been widely reported to protect and cleanse the body from toxins.294, 295, 296 The herb is able to do that by stimulating the production of the antioxidant glutathione, which plays a vital role in detoxifying the body by binding to pesticides, heavy metals and other toxins until they are excreted.

  • Jiaogulan was found to completely cure Hepatitis B in a 5.5 years long clinical trial with an effective rate of 77.5%.262 In short-term clinical studies (3 months or less), Jiaogulan was also found to have positive effect on patients with a chronic hepatitis B infection.263, 264

    Prevents liver fibrosis - a scarring process that represents the liver’s response to injury - which can lead to cirrhosis of the liver, liver failure and liver cancer.45, 265, 266, 267, 268, 269, 270

    Effective both as a stand-alone treatment for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease caused by high fat and cholesterol diet271, and as an add-on treatment in a 6 month long human clinical study261.

    Jiaogulan prevents liver fatty degeneration in fatty liver disease by modulating fat metabolism, ameliorating liver dysfunction, reducing oxidative stress272, and protecting liver cells from injury and death61.

    Protects against liver damage and cell death caused by ischemia/reperfusion via its antioxidant activity.273

  • Three separate clinical studies with hundreds of patients suffering from chronic renal failure showed that Jiaogulan can decrease blood fats and improve kidney function, anemia, and the nutritional situation in these patients.274, 275, 276

    Protects the kidneys from damage due to toxins.277

    Suppresses the development of renal fibrosis.278, 279

    Protects against kidney failure and gout by lowering blood uric acid in cases of hyperuricemia (abnormally high level of uric acid in the blood), which can cause both of these conditions.280

  • Jiaogulan is effective against respiratory issues, such as cough, asthma, chronic bronchitis, and chronic tracheitis (inflammation of the trachea).191, 196, 281, 282, 283, 284

    In a clinical study of 86 patients with chronic bronchitis, Jiaogulan was found to effectively treat 93% of the cases.285

    In another clinical study of 96 cases, Jiaogulan was effective 92% in treating chronic bronchitis.286

    The herb is used traditionally as an expectorant and decongestant since it helps clear mucus from the airways, lungs, bronchia and trachea.196

  • Jiaogulan protects the GIT from damage due to toxins277 and improves digestion and metabolism.

    It protects against and heals gastric ulcers46, 287, as well as chronic atrophic gastritis288.

    It improves bowel movement function and alleviates constipation.

    Helps regulate the gut microbiome ecosystem by increasing the number of symbiotic bacteria. This may in part contribute to the anticancer effect of Gynostemma, since the gut ecosystem can play an important role in diseases such as cancer, autism, rheumatoid arthritis, and allergies.289

  • Jiaogulan normalizes and regulates the endocrine/hormonal system, especially adrenal function.2, 300

  • Jiaogulan improves sexual function and helps with Erectile Dysfunction because it regulates Nitric Oxide production. Nitric Oxide plays a key role in developing and maintaining penile erection due to its ability to dilate the arteries and increase blood flow to the whole body, including the penis.209, 290, 291 Increasing Nitric Oxide production is the biological basis of how the popular drug Viagra works.

    Nitric Oxide is also important in sperm production and motility, ovarian function and ovulation, oviduct (the tube that links the ovary to the uterus) function, formation of the placenta, pregnancy, labor, sexual behavior, and generation of steroid hormones.292

    Jiaogulan has been shown to protect the sperm from damage due to toxins39 and high blood fat content293.

  • Gynostemma has been used as an effective treatment for insomnia in folk medicine, especially when it occurs because of excessive stress or anxiety. This is because it soothes the nerves and has anti-stress and anxiety effects on the body. A Guiyang Medical College study with 112 patients showed that Jiaogulan could improve sleep with an effective rate of 89 – 95%.297

  • Jiaogulan has been shown to protect from UV radiation when applied directly to the skin.157, 298, 299 Even if consumed only as a tea, the herb will still have a protective effect against sunburn because it's a powerful antioxidant. This is important in the prevention of melanoma (skin cancer) and premature aging of the skin.

  • Jiaogulan has shown promise in the treatment of Psoriasis, a chronic inflammatory skin disorder.301

  • Jiaogulan has been used for hundreds of years in folk medicine for the prevention of colds and the flu.

    It has demonstrated strong anti-viral potential against Yellow Fever302 and Polio303, diseases that have no known treatment drugs. It was also shown to have potent and selective anti-retroviral potential against the HIV-1 retrovirus, which is reported to cause AIDS.304

    Jiaogulan inhibits growth in several types of fungi and bacteria.305

  • Jiaogulan has been shown to alleviate headaches and migraines.306

  • If you ever find you've had a few too many drinks the night before, have a couple of cups of Jiaogulan tea in the morning – you'll be pleasantly surprised!

Jiaogulan is Safe and Non-Toxic

Jiaogulan is a wonder herb that can boost your health and wellness without harming your body or altering your DNA.

Most people tolerate Jiaogulan well and experience no side effects.

But some may have mild and short-lived symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, or ringing in the ears, which usually go away after about a week or after adjusting the dosage.

More importantly, like any other natural remedy, Jiaogulan may not suit everyone and it may have interactions with certain medications or conditions.


  1. Guangxi Ribao (Guangxi Daily Newspaper). Chinese. March 4, 1972.
  2. Winston, David; Steven Maimes (April 2007). Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief. Healing Arts Press. ISBN 978-1-59477-158-3.
  3. Dr. Jialiu Liu, Michael Blumert (April 1999). Jiaogulan: China's "Immortality Herb"--Unlocking the Secrets of Nature's Powerful Adaptogen and Antioxidant. Torchlight Publishing. ISBN: 978-1-88708-916-6
  4. Bensky, Dan; Andrew Gamble; Steven Clavey; Erich Stöger (September 2004). Chinese Herbal Medicine: Materia Medica, 3rd Edition. Eastland Press. ISBN 978-0-939616-42-8.
  5. Liu et al., "