Resists Immune suppression and restores healthier immune function.
Lower Cholesterol and Reduce Liver Damage
Has Potential Preventive Effects on Myocardial Infarction
Jiaogulan Linked to Nitric Oxide Production in Blood Vessels
Found to be an “anti-thrombotic agent.
May Produce Higher Coronary Flow and Lower Heart Rate
Jiaogulan Linked to More Efficient Cardio Function
Gynostemma also known as 'Jiaogulan,' this variety is said to have immune-strengthening properties; some even call it the 'anti-aging' or the 'cure-all' herb! Brew 'Immortality' and enjoy the healthy benefits of this sweet-flavored curing tea!
The use of the herb Jiaogulan or Gynostemma is very effective for control of blood pressure (B.P.). Your blood pressure measurement tells how quickly blood is passing through your veins and amounts of resistance it meets along the way. Narrower arteries have higher blood pressure.
The qualities of jiaogulan, as an adaptogenic herb, is directly related its compounds saponoin and gyenosides.
An adaptogenic herb helps with stressors in the body by balancing out both sides, like either low or high, to bring the body to homeostasis.
Jiaogulan also has a good number of polysaccharide compounds all of which has potential for lowering blood pressure, plus decreasing cholesterol and sugar levels.
Of course, when you see your doctor they tell you to lower your cholesterol to help keep your blood pressure in control. So, here you have an herb, jiaogulan, that can do both; help control your blood pressure and your cholesterol.
In China Gynostemma pentaphyllum or Jiaogulan, is considered as the herb of immortality. (1) It is an herbaceous climbing vine of the family Cucurbitaceae (cucumber or gourd family) indigenous to the southern reaches of China, Korea, Japan and Vietnam. (2) Gynostemma pentaphyllum has been widely used in Chinese medicine for the treatment of various diseases, including hepatitis, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Modern medical research has s hown that Jiaogulan exhibits a variety of pharmacological properties, including anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, lipid metabolism regulatory, antiproliferative, neuroprotective and anxiolyticactivities. Therefore, Jiaogulan has been used for the treatment of chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, obesity and others. Gynostemma pentaphyllum is also widely used as a health supplement in noodles, beverages, biscuits, face washes and bath oils.(3)
More than 200 compounds have been identified as being derived from Jiaogulan and can be categorized according to their chemical structures into sterols, flavonoids, saponins, polysaccharides and others.(3) Jiaogulan can be drunk as a tea, as a liquid extract, or taken as a concentrated extract in capsules. The standard dose is 450 mg daily. It is non-toxic so can be used for several months without adverse effects.
What AMPK is
Among others, Gynostemma pentaphyllum promotes the activation of an enzyme called AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). AMPK is a sensor of cellular energy that helps to maintain energy balance at both the cellular and body levels. Since type 2 diabetes is considered as a disorder of energy balance caused by high caloric consumption and obesity, there has been much interest in AMPK as a drug target. It isalso becoming apparent that two other major causes of human death and morbidity, cancer and inflammatory disease, can be viewed as metabolic derangements. AMPK inhibits cell growth and proliferation, and promotes the glucose-use and energy-efficient mitochondrial oxidative metabolism rather than glycolysis, making it a potential drug target in the fields of cancer and inflammatory disease.(4)
Upon activation, AMPK phosphorylates downstream targets and inhibits ATP-consuming anabolic pathways including fatty acid and cholesterol synthesis. At the same time, catabolic pathways that produce ATP, such as glycolysis, fatty acidoxidation, and glucose uptake, are stimulated.
Cellular AMPK activation decreases with age. Additionally, factors like over-nutrition, obesity and sedentary life reduce AMPK activity. AMPK is found inside every cell and serves as your body’s “master regulating switch.” It determines body fat composition and to an extend it controls longevity. Increasing AMPK activation, we can reduce many of the destructive factors of aging, thus enabling cells to return to their youthful vitality.
The reduced AMPK signaling, results to a range of damaging conditions including elevated blood sugar, insulin resistance, increased belly fat, chronic inflammation, high cholesterol and triglycerides, decreased numbers and function of mitochondria, increased accumulations of abnormal or damaged proteins in our cells that lead to neurodegeneration. There are studies showing that when AMPK signaling is boosted, these deteriorating processes are reversed, restoring metabolism, preventing several chronic diseases, and contributing in longevity and better quality of life.
What are the secrets to a long, healthy life?
Scientists, researchers, and medical specialists search for such secrets all over the world. However, ancient cultures have already found their own secrets to good health – and closely guarded them for centuries.
One of these secrets is the little known herb jiaogulan (Gynostemma pentaphyllum), a plant native to China and similar to ginseng.
Also called “herb of immortality,” it was put on the map when regular drinkers of jiaogulan tea in southern China were observed living to unusually long ages – and in great health!
Today, this ancient herbal tea is still used as a powerful remedy and health tonic, drawing from its traditional use by modern herbalists and those of the past.
Like its name, can the herb really grant immortality?
In this day and age, it brings those who enjoy this tea the closest thing to it: excellent health, robust protection against chronic disease, and so much more.
This is evident not only in its longstanding reputation for extending life, but in many studies that have unlocked its proven longevity-granting powers. In fact, jiaogulan has at least 5 confirmed impacts on health that could change your health (and your life!) if you drank the tea every day – while more discoveries are researched every day.
We’ve explored 5 of the very best and well-researched health benefits of jiaogulan, just to show you why you must absolutely give this powerful herbal remedy of old a try for yourself.
Powerful Immune Booster and Adaptogen
Jiaogulan over the years has earned itself another nickname besides the herb of immortality: southern ginseng, or cheap ginseng.
Like the true Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) also reputed to extend life, jiaogulan boosts immunity as a gateway to tonifying health and increasing longevity. Both ginseng and jiaogulan are considered “adaptogens:” plants rich in phytochemicals that protect the body from stress, damage, and disease, while boosting the immune system.
Because ginseng is used extensively but is expensive in price (and is ecologically threatened), our herb of immortality has been and is still used as a cheaper, environmentally aware replacement for ginseng due to its adaptogenic, immune-stimulating effects.
In fact, jiaogulan happens to contain wondrous adaptogenic phytochemicals called ginsenosides, once thought to be present only in ginseng but found aplenty in this Chinese tea as well.
While its effects are nowhere near as researched nor as potent as ginseng, trials pointedly demonstrate similar immune-enhancing effects that bolster health, contribute to longevity, and protect against chronic disease – particularly diabetes.
Ever wanted to try ginseng as a tonic? Instead, try jiaogulan: it has the same phytochemicals and health effects, while being more affordable and environmentally stable.
Regulates Blood Sugars
Next to its ginseng comparisons, jiaolugan has also been dubbed the “ginseng for diabetics.”
In addition to being a general immune stimulator and protector against disease, this ancient Chinese herb also has some specific impacts on blood sugars and glucose control. All these effects could be an incredibly useful preventive for diabetics, beyond being a general health tonic.
Jiaogulan’s saponins (including its very own ginseng-like ginsenosides and gypenosides) were observed reducing carbohydrate absorption in trials. They also protect the pancreas, increase the secretion of insulin, and preserve the functions of insulin receptors in the body, which naturally helps increase sensitivity and uptake of insulin – thus reducing high blood sugar counts in diabetics.
Worried about blood sugars and diet? Give jiaogulan a try to put your mind at ease. Even today, it’s used as an adjunct therapy for insulin resistance and diabetes, with strong evidence supporting its use.
Stimulates Antioxidant Activity
Jiaogulan protects health with adaptogenic and immune-boosting properties, though it apparently has some antioxidant action as well.
Before you start thinking of it like acai berry, green tea or even chocolate, think again! Jiaogulan is not exactly a source of antioxidants in and of itself, like these widely popular foods.
Rather, it stimulates the body’s own anti-oxidizing capabilities to work for themselves. That’s right: trials observed an extract of the immortality herb stimulating the body to produce more glutathione amounts, without a single supporting supplement of glutathione needed.
Such effects have far-reaching implications. Damage to DNA, neurons, even heart and skeletal tissue were observed, showing that this ancient tea could protect and even repair the body from oxidative stress and diseases of all kinds.
Lowers Blood Pressure
As it turns out, jiaogulan has a particular affinity to the cardiovascular system. Trying out the herb of immortality could do some amazing favors for your heart, and especially blood pressure.
Studies in vitro show that the Chinese herb encourages the body to produce its own nitric oxide, which dilates blood vessels, assists blood flow, reduces hypertension, and reduces the chance of heart disease.
Try a little jiaogulan tea if you are worried about your heart health – plus, its anti-oxidative activity and other health effects can’t hurt as added benefits!
More good news for the heart: saponins in the tea may very well have a cholesterol-reducing effect.
One trial showed a 22% drop in LDL levels (bad cholesterol), while HDL (good cholesterol) remained unchanged. This bodes well for heart health, reducing the chances for hypertension, heart disease, atherosclerosis, and many other connected health problems besides.
Looking for a natural way to manage your cholesterol? Jiaogulan may help.
Beyond lowering cholesterol, this health benefit isn’t the only reason you should give the herb a try for better health.
Jiaogulan also protects your body from stress and disease, heals the heart, combats diabetes – and will get you the closest to immortality you can get!
Jiaogulan ( gynostemma pentaphyllum) is a very unique herb which can have many positive effects on our health and will even help us to prevent aging. Many factors play a role when it comes to aging, and scientists are just beginning to appreciate that infections caused by viruses have a huge impact on aging and our general well-being. Pharmaceutical companies around the world are spending millions of dollars researching the relationship between aging and viruses
If, we can prevent infections, and boost our immune systems, we will age at a slower pace and live healthier lives. Often in the fight against infections caused by viruses and bacteria, we employ a spectrum of antibiotics or virus suppressing drugs. HIV is a perfect example of a virus which is suppressed by drugs and we treat the most common throat infections with a plethora of antibiotics. But, shouldn’t we really be asking ourselves if we are taking the right approach, and shouldn’t we be boosting our immune systems instead. Perhaps, it is time to turn to nature to help us provide a permanent solution which would allow us to focus on prevention rather than cure.
Understanding Viral Infections
Doctors often talk about that viruses can be difficult to detect. It is true and has to do with the way they reproduce. A virus is not a cell in its own right, it is a genetic code which uses our cells to reproduce.
A virus can invade a cell and not start to reproduce straight away. HIV and herpes are perfect examples of this process. They can lay dormant in a cell for a long time, and all of a sudden as the cell starts to reproduce, they switch on and start to copy their genetic code.
The virus genetic code becomes part of the host cell, and the cell now reproduces with the new genetic information. It is called the lysogenic cycle and the cells are referred to as lysogenic cells. In other words, they are cells that contain a genetic virus code and behave differently than other cells. They are reproducing complete with their original code PLUS the viral genetic code.
But viral infections do not age us, do they?
Yes, they do and we know that viruses are probably behind many diseases such as cancer and heart disease. We already know that some cancers are caused by viruses, and scientists are trying to ascertain how many more types of cancers are experienced as a result of viruses.
Some of the most common cancers such as cervical cancer are caused by one or more of 150 virus strains belonging to the Human papilloma viruses ( HPVs). Even the common Epstein Barr virus is now being linked to some stomach cancers.
However, we are not sure what switches these viruses on and what makes them turn a cell into a cancer cell.
Viruses also cause other problems which are associated with aging such as heart disease and liver health problems. Scientists even suspect that many of the other signs of aging such as eye sight problems and wrinkles may be caused by viruses.
The problem is that there are millions of viruses, and one group of virus may be made up out of thousands of virus offsprings (strains) and mutated viruses. We need to learn a lot more about viruses and what makes them mutate to lead to disease and aging.
Free Radicals and Viruses
Free radicals are atoms, or groups of atoms, with one unpaired electron or more. These electrons are always looking for a friend to pair up with and they can by doing so, cause cellular damage or damage to DNA.
This may sound very complicated, but it simply means that they may have the ability to switch on a dangerous invasive virus, or cause a harmless bacteria to act differently. This is what many scientists believe cause viruses to start to behave differently and become dangerous.
The body has its own range of weapons against free radicals called antioxidants, but we can also eat foods and use herbs to increase our body’s range of weapons against free radicals.
Herbs and Antioxidants
Gynostemma pentaphyllum (Jiaogulan) is very special in terms of it’s antioxidant benefits. Usually, we consume antioxidants in foods. This is why, for example, we are told to drink orange juice when we have a cold. Oranges are rich in antioxidants. However, the reality is that up to 90% of the antioxidants are actually lost during the digestive process.
Gynostemma works differently. Gynostemma stimulates your body to increase production of an enzyme called Super Oxide Dismutase (SOD). SOD is your own body’s most powerful antioxidant. Because it is internally produced, none of the benefit is lost during digestions.
This may explain why gynostemma has been used for many thousands of years in Chinese Traditional Medicine (TCM) to combat different types of diseases. In recent studies Chinese scientists have discovered that Jiaogulan can boost a cell’s immune defense system by inhibiting a virus coping its genetic code. The rate of inhibition, rate of genetic copy, was reduced by 70% giving the body’s own system of antioxidants more of a chance to fight the virus and reduce the amount of free radicals.
How Can This Help Me to Prevent Disease?
All this talk about viruses, free radicals and antioxidants can sound like something for the ears of scientists only, but the way it works is very straight forward. If, the cells in our bodies can copy their genetic material without the interference of viruses and free radicals, they would be able to do so in a much better way.
It would result in better and healthier cells which would be less likely to carry any type of genetic material that can potentially cause disease and aging. We would have a much better chance to fight off infections and therefore live longer. The best way to explain it, would be that we would consist of better copied material which would be stronger and more disease resistant.
We should not try to suppress our immune system in all cases. Most of the time we should boost our immune system to help us fight of viruses, bacteria and free radicals. Hidden or “sneaked in” viruses cause a lot of the health problems we face today. By a herb such as Gynostemma, we can help our bodies to boost its defense system and help us to live both longer and healthier lives. Adding Gynostemma to your health routine would allow you to prevent disease rather than cure it.