Gynostemma Benefits

Latin Name

Gynostemma pentaphyllum

Also Known As

Gynostemma / Jiaogulan is commonly referred to in Western languages as jiaogulan, five-leaf ginseng, poor man's ginseng, miracle grass, fairy herb, sweet tea vine and gospel herb. In Chinese as jiaogulan (twisting-vine-orchid) or Xiancao, (immortal grass or herb of immortality). In Japanese as amachazuru (sweet, tasty tea, vine, creeping plant). In Korean as dungkulcha or dolwe. In Taiwanese as sencauw. In Thai as jiaogulan and in Vietnamese as giao co lam


China, Korea and Japan

Parts Used

Root and aerial parts

Traditional Use and Health Benefits
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, Gynostemma / Jiaogulan is slightly bitter, cold, and enters through the lung and heart channels. The primary therapeutic actions are to clear heat and eliminate toxins, moisten the lungs, promote the generation of body fluids and dispel phlegm. Gynostemma / Jiaogulan also has a general effect of nourishing and strengthening the body and is commonly used to treat chronic disorders such as asthma; migraine; neuralgia; impaired function of the respiratory and gastrointestinal tract and syndromes characterized by deficiency. Many laboratory and clinical studies have been conducted on Gynostemma / Jiaogulan which have confirmed its efficacy for various therapies including;    Hypercholesterolemia Anti-aging Headache Chronic trachitis Chronic atrophic gastritis  
Typical Use

Add ½ - ¾ teaspoon of powder per 1 cup of hot water, leave to infuse for 15 minutes. Goes well with a herbal tea blend, and/or 3/4 to 1 gram as powder up to 3 times per day or as directed by your herbal practitioner

Folklore and History
Gynostemma / jiaogulan is an herbaceous vine of the family Cucurbitaceae (cucumber or gourd family).    Legend has it that the Chinese Emperor Fu Shou (lucky immortal) was busy visiting a distant region of his empire one day. Whilst stopping for respite, his servants boiled some water for everyone to drink (as was their custom to sanitize the water). As the water boiled, dried leaves from a nearby plant fell into it and an aromatic liquid was infused. Curious, the emperor drank some and found it very refreshing, slightly bitter and a little sweet. Thus Gynostemma / Jiaogulan tea was discovered.   By the 13th century Gynostemma / Jiaogulan tea appears in Chinese meditation texts. By the 16th century, the immortality herb is listed in a variety of holistic texts throughout China.   In the 70s, a nationwide census in China identified a mountainous area with the largest percentage of centenarian inhabitants. Research into the lifestyle of these centenarians revealed a common dietary element; they all drank Gynostemma / Jiaogulan tea regularly.  Gynostemma
Gynostemma / Jiaogulan contains many amino acids, vitamins and minerals that are important for maintaining good health, including selenium, magnesium, zinc, calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, phosphorus, and more.   Gynostemma / Jiaogulan is renown as being like ginseng but better than ginseng. Although completely unrelated botanically,these two plants contain most of the same major components. Panax ginseng has 28 saponins, and Gynostemma / Jiaogulan has 82, including most of the ones in ginseng.

Gynostemma / Jiaogulan appears to be relatively safe. Mild side-effects may include fatigue, lethargy, feeling of chest oppression, dry nose, dry throat, increased heart beat and rash. There are no reports of severe adverse reactions or complications.