Jiaogulan (Gynostemma Pentaphyllum) - One of the Best Natural Home Remedies for Diabetes
Jun 9, 2023 | Read Time: 15 min.
There are many herbs around the world that can be used as natural home remedies for diabetes. They usually work by lowering blood sugar levels in a wide variety of ways.
However, very few of these herbs will actually have a positive impact on the underlying causes for diabetes: insulin resistance and insufficient insulin production. They may also have side-effects just like drugs (although usually much less common or severe), and can cause hypoglycemia (below normal levels of blood sugar).
The Jiaogulan herb (Gynostemma pentaphyllum) is unique in many ways when compared to other herbs, especially anti-diabetic ones.
It is not only one of the best home remedies for diabetes by helping to reduce blood glucose levels and fighting the root causes of diabetes, but it also has many additional benefits that are very important and valuable for anyone suffering from this daunting disease.
I discovered Jiaogulan while living abroad in Thailand, not long after my father was diagnosed with pre-diabetes some 7 years ago.
Like many people today, my dad wanted to avoid taking pharmaceutical drugs for as long as possible.
Despite his doctor's recommendation to start on Metformin, my father wanted to try a natural approach first.
He knew that pharmaceutical drugs have many side effects and can be potentially detrimental to overall health
They are also expensive and can be a one-way street - once you start taking them, it is usually for life.
I agreed with him and set out to find out if there were any home or herbal remedies that the Thai locals were using to fight diabetes.
Thailand is a country where traditional and herbal medicine is widely practiced, and Thai people in general tend to use herbal remedies to treat a variety of diseases.
I started asking around and soon enough came across a herb called Jiaogulan, or Gynostemma pentaphyllum, which is virtually unknown around the world, yet was very highly regarded by the locals.
They called it the "Herb of Immortality", because of its many health benefits and a folk legend that people who drink it on a regular basis tend to live to very old age and in excellent health.
One of the claimed benefits was that it is successful in treating and possibly even reversing diabetes.
What I heard intrigued me and so I started to research this plant both on the Internet and in the scientific literature.
I was surprised to find that there has been a lot of scientific interest and research on Gynostemma since its modern-day discovery over 50 years ago.
This interest was mainly due to the fact that Jiaogulan contains the largest variety of a class of plant chemicals known as saponins of any other plant in the world.
These saponins give many medicinal plants, like Ginseng, their therapeutic properties.
However, while Panax ginseng (one of the richest in saponins plants) contains around 28 different saponins, Jiaogulan is known today to contain at least 249 of them - almost 9 times as many!
After 3 months of research and examining over 300 published scientific studies on the plant's medicinal properties, I realized that Jiaogulan could be very beneficial to people suffering not only from diabetes but a large number of other conditions and diseases.
It became obvious that it may be one of the healthiest plants on the planet.
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, Leading Scientific Researcher of Jiaogulan for the Chinese Government
Why is Jiaogulan One of the Best Home Remedies for Diabetes?
There are two root causes for the onset of diabetes: insufficient production of the hormone insulin by the pancreas, and/or the inability of cells in the body to use insulin properly (insulin resistance).
Both lead to increased glucose levels in the blood.
Over time, elevated concentrations of blood glucose result in damage to nerves and blood vessels, leading to complications such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-limb amputations.
A number of human and animal studies show that Jiaogulan is able to significantly lower blood sugar and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1C) levels in a relatively short period of time, both as a standalone therapy and in combination with an anti-diabetic drug.
Jiaogulan was also shown to reduce the 30 and 120-minute post-load values of an oral glucose tolerance test.
The human studies concluded that Jiaogulan is mainly able to lower blood sugar by significantly improving the insulin sensitivity of the cells.
Although not yet confirmed by human studies, there is much evidence from animal studies to suggest that Gynostemma is also able to increase blood insulin levels and stimulate the pancreas to produce more insulin.
In addition to directly attacking the underlying causes of diabetes, Jiaogulan has been shown to have strong protective effects on the cardiovascular system, the nervous system, the liver, and kidneys from both diabetic and non-diabetic damage.
Finally, there have been NO instances of hypoglycemia recorded in any Gynostemma clinical trial to date. The herb seems to lower blood sugar only if levels are too high.
That being said, caution should still be exercised if taking the herb along with anti-diabetic drugs.
So let's take a look at the studies.
These results indicate that, when it comes to natural home remedies for diabetes, Jiaogulan is very beneficial to all diabetic patients, regardless of whether they choose a standard drug treatment or an all-natural one.
All 3 studies examined above concluded that the lower FPG levels were due to an improvement in insulin sensitivity, which was at least partially due to the suppression of protein-tyrosine phosphatase non-receptor type 1 (PTP-1B) - an enzyme which plays a key role in insulin resistance.
The results from these studies are encouraging, but please keep in mind that the longest human study duration was only 12 weeks.
While it is possible or even likely that taking Jiaogulan on a daily basis for a longer period could yield better results, this has not been scientifically proven yet.
The available studies seem to suggest that Jiaogulan may be a home remedy for diabetes as effective as some pharmaceutical drugs, like Metformin, but without any of their drawbacks:
Jiaogulan is generally safe and has rare and mild side effects. Multiple studies have indicated that it is non-toxic even when high doses are consumed daily.
There is also some evidence to suggest that it may not cause hypoglycemia (below normal blood glucose level) due to its adaptogenic properties.
However, because of the possibility of drug interactions with anti-diabetic medications, it is imperative to consult with your healthcare provider before taking Jiaogulan.
In addition to attacking diabetes on multiple levels, protecting your body from diabetic damage, and increasing your energy levels, Jiaogulan is beneficial to all aspects of your health, including the cardiovascular system, brain and nervous system, liver, kidneys, immune function, lungs, and skin. It was also found to have strong anti-cancer, anti-aging, anti-stress, and anti-anxiety effects, to promote weight loss, to balance blood pressure and cholesterol, help with depression, and more.
Jiaogulan is inexpensive - a single pack is usually enough for one month of daily usage.
Using Gynostemma is as easy as brewing a tea that is pleasant and mild, in taste similar to that of green tea. Life for a diabetic is already difficult enough and we want to make it easier, not harder!
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