Jiaogulan – A Promising New Herb for Diabetics

Jiaogulan – A Promising New Herb for Diabetics

Many herbs are used and studied around the world to help in the fight against diabetes.

However, few, if any, show as much promise as a recently discovered Chinese “miracle herb” called Jiaogulan (pronounced gee-ow-goo-lan).

The Jiaogulan plant (Gynostemma pentaphyllum) is unique in many ways when compared to other herbs, including anti-diabetic ones.

While most plants with anti-diabetic properties will simply reduce blood sugar levels temporarily, many different studies are indicating that Jiaogulan may not only be able to help reduce blood glucose levels and improve insulin sensitivity in the body for the long term, but also has many additional benefits that can be invaluable for anyone suffering from diabetes.

Jiaogulan’s Benefits for Diabetics

  • Results from 3 different human clinical trials suggest that Jiaogulan is able to lower blood glucose and Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels by improving insulin sensitivity in cells.

  • Results from a number of animal studies show that Jiaogulan may be able to increase insulin concentrations in the blood both by stimulating the pancreas to produce more insulin and by improving sugar metabolism.

  • Jiaogulan does NOT cause hypoglycemia. In other words, the herb has been shown to lower blood glucose levels ONLY if they are already too high.

  • Evidence from studies suggests that Jiaogulan is able to protect the cardiovascular system, the liver and the kidneys from diabetic and non-diabetic damage.

    This is important for anyone, but especially for diabetics who are much more likely to suffer damage to these organs as a result of the disease.

  • A number of studies indicate that Jiaogulan revitalizes and energizes the body and helps with exercise and athletic performance, but without putting additional stress on the heart. This may be beneficial for diabetics, who can often experience prolonged periods of sometimes debilitating fatigue.

  • One human clinical study suggests that Jiaogulan, being a member of an elite class of substances called adaptogens, is beneficial in reducing and coping with stress, anxiety, and mood swings. This is important since diabetics can often experience extreme levels of one or more of these conditions.

  • Studies indicate that Jiaogulan may have a strong protective effect on the nerves and nervous system from damage. This could add a layer of defense against neuropathy. Jiaogulan may also help remove brain fog and improve concentration and memory.

  • Clinical studies have indicated that certain chemicals in Jiaogulan may promote weight loss, which is particularly beneficial for diabetics.

In this article I will only share with you the available scientific evidence directly related to diabetes (points 1-4 above).

If you want to examine the studies supporting points 5-8, I invite you to take a look at our complete Benefits page.

You can also join our mailing list and download our free e-bookHealth, Balance and Wellbeing with the “Herb of Immortality”.

We will also be adding more anti-diabetic herbs that we are very excited about, and will be notifying our subscribers when we do.

So make sure you stay up-to-date not only on Jiaogulan, but other herbs that could make an important difference in your life.

What is Jiaogulan?

I discovered Jiaogulan while living abroad in Thailand, not long after my father was diagnosed with pre-diabetes 2 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 harmful.

In addition, they are expensive and are a one-way street – once you start taking them, it is usually for life.

I wholeheartedly agreed with him, so I 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.

Jiaogulan (Gynostemma Pentaphyllum) HerbI started asking around and soon enough came across a herb called Jiaogulan, or Gynostemma pentaphyllum, which is still virtually unknown around the world (being discovered by science only around 40 years ago), yet it 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 herb’s numerous claimed benefits was that it can be used in the treatment of 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 40 years ago.

This interest was 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 for example, 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 174 of them – over 6 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 potentially 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 well be one of the healthiest plants on the planet!

Here is what Dr. Jialiu Liu, the leading scientific researcher for the Chinese government, had to say about it:

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

A Personal Story

Encouraged by my research, I was excited to find out whether Jiaogulan would have a positive effects on my father’s pre-diabetes.

Up to that point he had been trying to manage his blood sugar levels using only a cinnamon supplement, a healthy diet, and regular exercise.

During that time (around 1 year) his fasting plasma glucose (FPG) level had remained more or less stable around 7 mmol/L, with spikes whenever he wasn’t being careful enough about his diet.

So what happened once my dad started drinking Gynostemma tea daily?

After only 3 months of drinking Jiaogulan tea, his FPG level dropped all the way down to around 5.2 mmol/L – a perfectly healthy level.

And has remained in the normal range ever since, between 4.6 and 6.4 mmol/L – going up in the 6 mmol/L range when he eats too much food he’s not supposed to.

Not only that, but he has been feeling great overall, a lot more energetic and positive, yet calm at the same time.

The improvement has been so marked, in fact, that my entire family has started drinking Jiaogulan regularly, and loving it!

Nowadays my dad doesn’t even check his glucose level more than a couple of times per week, because it has remained in a stable and safe range.

For all intents and purposes his pre-diabetes is now under control (to the great surprise of his doctor), and my dad can be much less careful about what he eats.

How Does Jiaogulan Work?

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 might be 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.

Evidence suggests that Jiaogulan may also be able 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 may also able to increase blood insulin levels and to stimulate the pancreas to produce more insulin.

In addition to potentially attacking the underlying causes of diabetes, studies have indicated that Jiaogulan may 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 ever recorded in any Jiaogulan study. The herb has an effect on blood sugar ONLY IF levels are too high.

So let’s take a look at the actual studies.

Clinical Trial 1

Jiaogulan Diabetic Study ResultsIn one human clinical study, patients with type 2 diabetes who had never previously taken anti-diabetic drugs were divided in 2 groups: a placebo and a Jiaogulan treatment group.

The two groups did not differ in baseline characteristics and diabetic parameters, and all participants received the same diet and exercise therapies.

The study took place over a 10-week period. For the first 4 weeks, one group was given Jiaogulan tea, while the other was given green tea as a placebo.

This was followed by a 2 week break period.

For the last 4 weeks of the study the treatments were reversed so that the initial Jiaogulan group was now given green tea, and the original green tea group was given Jiaogulan.

During the first 4 weeks, the Jiaogulan group saw a decrease in their fasting plasma glucose (FPG) levels from an average 8.2 mmol/L to 5.8 mmol/L, or an average drop of 2.4 mmol/L. Meanwhile, the green tea group saw a drop of only 0.2 mmol/L on average, and there were MUCH larger variations between individuals.

When the treatments were reversed between the groups, the new Jiaogulan group saw a decrease in FPG from an average of 8.0 mmol/L to 6.6 mmol/L, or an average drop of 1.4 mmol/L, with all subjects in a tight range below 7 mmol/L, while the green tea group again saw a drop of only 0.2 mmol/L.

Over the entire experiment, people taking Jiaogulan saw an average FPG drop of 1.9 mmol/L as a result of only 4 weeks of treatment, while those on green tea only dropped 0.2 mmol/L.

It is important to make 2 observations here.

First, that the FPG of the group initially on Jiaogulan remained lower by close to 1 mmol/L than their original values (prior to the start of the study) during the entire 10 weeks, even though they had only taken Jiaogulan during the first 4 weeks.

This may suggest there was a lasting improvement in their condition.

Second, the differences in FPG between individuals on the Jiaogulan treatments were much smaller than the placebo, indicating that Jiaogulan was equally effective in lowering FPG in ALL subjects. 1

Clinical Trial 2

In a 12-week long study, patients with diabetes type 2 who had never previously taken anti-diabetic drugs were divided in 2 groups: a placebo and a Jiaogulan treatment group.

The study measured fasting plasma glucose (FPG) levels and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1C).

The study showed that the FPG of patients on the Jiaogulan treatment decreased an average of 3 mmol/L compared to a decrease of only 0.6 mmol/L in the placebo group.

In addition, HbA1C dropped by 2% in the Jiaogulan group compared to 0.2% in the placebo group.

Finally, the insulin resistance of the Jiaogulan group as measured by Homeostasis Model Assessment-Insulin Resistance (HOMA-IR) decreased by 2.1 points, while it increased by 1.1 point in the placebo group. 2

Clinical Trial 3

Jiaogulan + Anti-Diabetic Drug Study ResultsIn a 12-week long randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, type 2 diabetes patients were divided into two groups: one treated with the anti-diabetic drug Gliclazide (sulfonylurea) and Jiaogulan, and another with Gliclazide and green tea as a placebo.

During the first 4 weeks all patients were treated daily with a single dose of 30 mg Gliclazide only.

They saw an average decrease in fasting plasma glucose (FPG) levels from 11.4 mmol/L to 9.3 mmol/L, while their HbA1C dropped 1% from 9.9% average to 8.9%. An increase in insulin levels was also observed.

For the remaining 8 weeks of the study, the two groups continued on the same dosage of Gliclazide, with the addition of Jiaogulan in one group and green tea in the other.

By the end of the study, the FPG of the Jiaogulan + Gliclazide group had decreased further by an average of 2.9 mmol/L compared to 0.9 mmol/L in the green tea + Gliclazide group.

In addition, HbA1C in the Jiaogulan group dropped by an additional 2% compared to 0.7% in the green tea group.

Therapy with Jiaogulan also reduced the 30 and 120-minute oral glucose tolerance test postload values by 1.8 mmol/L and 3.6 mmol/L respectively, while in the green tea group these values INCREASED by 1.2 mmol/L and 1.3 mmol/L respectively. Other improvements were also observed, but were not statistically significant.

The researchers noted that using Gliclazide (sulfonylurea) with Jiaogulan gave similar results to a combiation therapy of Gliclazide and Metformin, but without any of the side-effects reported in those studies, which included diarrhea, nausea, epigastric discomfort, and anorexia.

It is also important to note, one again, that at the end of the study the difference in FPG levels between participants on Jiaogulan was MUCH smaller than those who were on placebo and Gliclazide. This indicates that Jiaogulan was equally effective for ALL patients.3

These results indicate that Jiaogulan may be 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.

Animal Studies

Animal studies indicate that Jiaogulan may reduce blood glucose levels and inhibit increases in blood glucose after a glucose challenge test4, 5, 6 due to the ability to improve glucose tolerance in the body.7, 8, 9, 10

Studies also indicate that Jiaogulan may increase insulin concentrations in the blood by improving the liver’s capacity to metabolize glucose,4, 5, 8, 16 and may stimulate pancreatic beta-cells (islets) to secrete more insulin.4, 11, 12, 13, 17

Increased insulin secretion was found to be proportionally stronger with increases in both blood glucose levels and Jiaogulan concentrations.16

There is also evidence that Jiaogulan may protect the heart and cardiovascular system of diabetic rats from diabetic damage, which is an important additional benefit.14, 15

Moreover, there is evidence it may protect the liver, inhibit weight gain, and reduce blood fat levels in type 2 diabetic rats with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.17.


While the results from these studies are already very encouraging, please keep in mind that the longest human study duration was of only 12 weeks.

Taking Jiaogulan on a daily basis for longer periods may possibly yield even better results.

It is important to note that Jiaogulan is a natural herb that is potentially very beneficial to people suffering from type-2 diabetes, but without any of the drawbacks of pharmaceutical drugs:

  • Safe to Use

    Jiaogulan has NO negative side effects aside from rare cases of temporary nausea. It has been repeatedly shown to be completely non-toxic and safe for long-term use.

    It does not cause hypoglycemia (below normal blood glucose level), because it is an adaptogen that has a strong balancing effect on the body. It will act to lower blood glucose only if your level is above normal.

  • Multiple Benefits

    In addition to attacking diabetes on multiple levels, protecting your body from diabetic damage, and increasing your energy levels, Jiaogulan may be beneficial to MANY aspects of your health, including the cardiovascular system, brain and nervous system, liver, kidneys, immune function, lungs, and skin.

    There is abundant evidence that it has anti-cancer, anti-aging, anti-stress, and anti-anxiety effects, and may also promote weight loss, balance blood pressure and cholesterol, help with depression, and more.

  • Inexpensive

    Jiaogulan is inexpensive – a single pack is usually enough for one month of daily usage. However, if you are a diabetic and want to see quicker results, the dosage/concentration should be increased.

    In that case, 3 packs of tea should be sufficient for 2 months of use. That still adds up to less than $30 per month.

  • Easy to Use

    Using Gynostemma is as easy as brewing a tea that is pleasant and mild, in taste similar to that of green tea.

    If brewing a tea is still too much hassle for you, or you just don’t have enough time in the day, you can always take Jiaogulan in capsule form to experience the same benefits.

    Life for a diabetic is already difficult enough and we want to make it easier, not harder!

Order Jiaogulan Today!

Free Shipping with $50 or more purchase

Being a true pharmacy in a cup, drinking Jiaogulan tea daily is certainly the easiest and most inexpensive way to make the greatest positive impact on your health!

We are so sure you’ll love the effects of Jiaogulan, we offer a 60-day Money Back Guarantee.

If you are not happy with the results, simply let us know within 60 days of purchase and we will give you a full refund. Moreover, you get to keep the tea!*

We also offer free shipping worldwide on orders over $50!

*Valid for single-item orders only. For larger orders, we ask that you return unopened items for a full refund.

Order Jiaogulan Today!

Free Shipping with $50 or more purchase

Being a true pharmacy in a cup, drinking Jiaogulan tea daily is certainly the easiest and most inexpensive way to make the greatest positive impact on your health!

We are so sure you’ll love the effects of Jiaogulan, we offer a 60-day Money Back Guarantee.

If you’re not happy with the results, simply let us know within 60 days of purchase and we will give you a full refund. Moreover, you get to keep the tea!*

We also offer free shipping worldwide on orders over $50!

*Valid for single-item orders only. For larger orders, we ask that you return unopened items for a full refund.


  1. Huyen VT, Phan DV, Thang P, Hoa NK, Ostenson CG; Gynostemma pentaphyllum Tea Improves Insulin Sensitivity in Type 2 Diabetic Patients; Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism; 2013;2013:765383. doi: 10.1155/2013/765383. Epub 2013 Jan 31.
  2. Huyen VT, Phan DV, Thang P, Hoa NK, Ostenson CG; Antidiabetic effect of Gynostemma pentaphyllum tea in randomly assigned type 2 diabetic patients; Hormone and Metabolic Research; 2010 May;42(5):353-7. doi: 10.1055/s-0030-1248298. Epub 2010 Mar 8.
  3. Huyen VT, Phan DV, Thang P, Ky PT, Hoa NK, Ostenson CG; Antidiabetic Effects of Add-On Gynostemma pentaphyllum Extract Therapy with Sulfonylureas in Type 2 Diabetic Patients; Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine; 2012; 2012:452313. doi: 10.1155/2012/452313. Epub 2012 Oct
  4. Lokman; Anti-diabetic and anti-inflammatory effects of medicinal plants in a type 2 diabetic animal model; Doctoral Thesis, Kirurgisalen, Karolinska University Hospital, Solna; 2015
  5. Yeo J, Kang YJ, Jeon SM, Jung UJ, Lee MK, Song H, Choi MS; Potential hypoglycemic effect of an ethanol extract of Gynostemma pentaphyllum in C57BL/KsJ-db/db mice; Journal of Medicinal Food; 2008 Dec;11(4):709-16. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2007.0148.
  6. Hoa, N.K., Phan, D.V., Thuan, N.D., Ostenson, C.-G; Screening of the hypoglycemic effect of eight Vietnamese herbal drugs; Methods and Findings in Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology; 2009, 31(3): 165; DOI: 10.1358/mf.2009.31.3.1362514
  7. Samer Megalli, Neal M. Davies, and Basil D. Roufogalis; Anti-Hyperlipidemic and Hypoglycemic Effects of Gynostemma pentaphyllum in the Zucker Fatty Rat; J Pharm Pharmaceut Sci (www.cspscanada.org) 9(3):281-291, 2006
  8. Zhang HJ, Ji BP, Chen G, Zhou F, Luo YC, Yu HQ, Gao FY, Zhang ZP, Li HY; A combination of grape seed-derived procyanidins and gypenosides alleviates insulin resistance in mice and HepG2 cells; Journal of Food Science; 2009 Jan-Feb;74(1):H1-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2008.00976.x.
  9. Yassin K, Huyen VTT, Hoa KN, Östenson CG. Herbal Extract of Gynostemma Pentaphyllum Decreases Hepatic Glucose Output in Type 2 Diabetic Goto-Kakizaki Rats; International Journal of Biomedical Science. 2011;7(2):131-136.
  10. Waranya Keapai, Sopida Apichai, Narissara Lailerd, Anchalee Pongchaidecha; Attenuation of Hyperglycemia and Hyperlipidemia in High Fat Diet and Streptozotocin Induced Diabetic Rats by Aqueous Extract of Gynostemma pentaphyllum; 12th Graduate Research Conference, Khon Kaen University, Thailand; 2011.
  11. Ake Norberg et al.; A Novel Insulin-releasing Substance, Phanoside, from the Plant Gynostemma pentaphyllum; The Journal of Biological Chemistry; October 1, 2004; 279, 41361-41367; doi: 10.1074/jbc.M403435200
  12. Hoa NK, Norberg A, Sillard R, Van Phan D, Thuan ND, Dzung DT, Jörnvall H, Ostenson CG; The possible mechanisms by which phanoside stimulates insulin secretion from rat islets; The Journal of Endocrinology; 2007 Feb;192(2):389-94.
  13. Lokman EF, Gu HF, Wan Mohamud WN, Östenson CG.; Evaluation of Antidiabetic Effects of the Traditional Medicinal Plant Gynostemma pentaphyllum and the Possible Mechanisms of Insulin Release; Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2015;2015:120572. doi: 10.1155/2015/120572. Epub 2015 Jun 23. PMID: 26199630
  14. Ge M, Ma S, Tao L, Guan S; The effect of gypenosides on cardiac function and expression of cytoskeletal genes of myocardium in diabetic cardiomyopathy rats; American Journal of Chinese Medicine; 2009;37(6):1059-68.
  15. GE Min ,LIU Tong, GUAN Su-dong, MA Shan-feng, WU Ying-liang; Effects of gypenosides on cardiac function in diabetic cardiomyopathy rats; Journal of Shenyang Pharmaceutical University; 2007-06
  16. DU Xiao-yan, HOU Ying, TAN Hua, HAN Yan, ZHANG Yan; Hypoglycemic Activity of Polysaccharide from Gynostemma pentaphyllum on Type 2 Diabetic Rats and its Mechanism; Science Technology and Engineering; 2011-24
  17. He Q, Li JK, Li F, Li RG, Zhan GQ, Li G, Du WX, Tan HB.; Mechanism of action of gypenosides on type 2 diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in rats.World Journal of Gastroenterology. 2015 Feb 21;21(7):2058-66. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v21.i7.2058. PMID: 25717238