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What is Jiaogulan?

By Edited Dec 14, 2015 0 0

With over 300 documented studies and research papers on the jiaogulan plant we cannot deny the benefits!

Jiaogulan (pronounced jee-ow-goo-lahn) has been acknowledged as perhaps one of the most health-giving herbs in all of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), but it hasn't always been so.  For thousands of years, this remarkable plant wasn't even known to Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners.  It has only been in use for about 700 years and by Chinese standards in herbal medicine, this is just a short time! 

The reason jiaogulan wasn't discovered earlier was because most of the ancient Chinese physicians and academicians were in the Emperor's court in Beijing located in the northern part of China.   They chose their medicinal herbs from those plants that were familiar to them and grown in the northern and central parts of that vast country.  In ancient days, it was almost impossible for them to travel to the nearly inaccessible mountain forests of southern China where jiaogulan was grown. 

Jiaogulan has been used as a daily tonic in China for hundreds of years, but is now gaining popularity worldwide because of new scientific research supporting the wide range of health and longevity benefits.  Many expect jiaogulan to outshine any other plant that has been discovered and studied.  To date, there are more than 300 research papers and studies that have been performed and written to attest to jiaogulan's many benefits.

The jiaogulan plant is a twisting vine with five-leafed clusters that are called xiancao, or the "Immortality Herb."  The jiaogulan plant ((literally the twisting vine orchard) is a member of the same family which includes cucumbers, melons, and gourds.  Jiaogulan has the botanical name Gynostemma pentaphyllum which is from the Greek penta="five"+phyllon="leaf."

Jiaogulan Plant

Although jiaogulan is now cultivated in many Asian countries, it is widely acknowledged that the best and most effective jiaogulan is grown in the rainforests and foothills of its original home in southern part of China.

Among herbalists, jiaogulan is considered to be the most potent herbal adaptogen known to man.  An adaptogen means that special plants can increase the body's resistance to everyday stress, trauma, anxiety, and fatigue.  In other words, they help us to adapt in a healthy way to the world around us.  Adaptogens are able to accomplish this by a unique two-way balancing action on neuro-endocrine and immune function.

Chemical analysis has shown that adaptogens work because of active principles called saponins.   An example of a popular well-known adaptogen is ginseng.  It is renowned as an adaptogen because of its complement of 28 saponins, but jiaogulan contains more than 100 different saponins!  This is an astounding number that experts claim to be the broadest and most powerful range found in nature. 

Jiaogulan's saponins include the major ones found in ginseng, plus unique forms called gypenosides which are found in jiaogulan alone.  Different gypenosides are found in all of the different parts of the plant.  Because of this, it is best to use the whole plant to get the most benefits.

Jiaogulan is also a powerful antioxidant.  Antioxidants are fighters against toxins, poor dietary habits, chemicals, and other sources of free radicals.  Free radical damage, also known as oxidative stress, is a major contributor to many health concerns.  Jiaogulan has been shown to improve health by promoting the body's own production of its most important antioxidant enzymes.

Jiaogulan is primarily known as delicious tea and has been consumed for years mainly for its taste.  But research has suggested that there are many medicinal benefits from the use of jiaogulan.  Studies have shown improvement in many ailments and have found benefits such as:

  • High blood pressure
  • Cancer Therapy
  • Reducing strokes and heart attacks
  • Erectile disfunction
  • Diabetes
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Jet lag
  • Reducing cholesterol
  • Improved athletic performance
  • Helping the body adjust to all types of everyday stress
  • Balance
  • Longevity
  • Insulin response
  • Circulation
  • Bowel function
  • Healthy cell growth
  • Free radical damage
  • Increased energy

(None of these statements have been evaluated by the FDA.)

Jiaogulan herbal tea can be made and brewed like you would treat a high quality green tea.  Many believe the stronger the better.  Other ways of consuming jiaogulan is an alcohol extract or taken as a capsule, raw, dried, or in high quality juices and tonics.

With a reputation as the "Immortality Herb" in China and having over 300 clinical studies demonstrating such a broad range of health benefits, more than any other plant we know, jiaogulan is now being considered the ultimate supernutrient in the herbal medicine world. 

Would you like to more about the health benefits of jiaogulan?  Read the published studies and do your own research on jiaogulan at PubMed.Gov

"Jiaogulan is not only the rainforest's most precious gift, but it is, in fact, nature's greatest treasure."  Dr. Jialiu Liu



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