Gynostemma Leaf - Jiao Gu Lan
Products Featuring This Herb:
Gynostemma Extract Powder 200 grams
Gynostemma Extract Powder 1 kilogram
Gynostemma Extract Powder 5 kilograms
Hair & Nails
Spring Dragon Drops
Spring Dragon Longevity Tea
Super Pill No.1
Super Pill No.2
Tao in a Bottle
Young at Heart
Other Common Names
Page # In Ancient Wisdom of the Chinese Tonic Herbs
Jiao Gu Lan
Jing, Qi, Shen
Slightly Bitter, Cold
Organ Meridian Systems
Spleen, Lungs, Kidney, Liver and Heart
Part Used and Form
Leaves and Stems
Primary Traditional Functions
Tonifies Qi, cooling, adaptogenic, anti-inflammatory
Pure Gynostemma is also known as “southern ginseng” and the “miracle herb”. It is a quintessential adaptogenic herb. It is regarded as one of Asia’s premier longevity herbs. Currently one of the most popular herbs in all of Asia. It is adaptogenic, antioxidant, immune modulating, anti-inflammatory and anti-aging. It also has been found to be anti-ulcer, respiratory tonic, platelet regulating, anti-hyperlipidemic, cholesterol regulating, anti-obesity, liver protecting, triglyceride lowering, cardiovascular protecting and anti-thrombic. It tonifies the immune system. It is one of the great herbs in the world.
Scientific Data: Following are the results of studies done in China, Korea and Japan on Gynostemma pentaphyllum (GP) and its gypenosides:
1. Gypenosides have been shown to protect vascular endothelial cells from oxidant injury. The data therefore suggests that gypenosides may be beneficial for the prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis and for retardation of the aging process. Studies have shown that the water extract of GP can decrease the activity of multiple coagulation factors. This extract can accelerate the erythrocyte electrophoresis rate. The studies revealed that GP is an antithrombotic agent affecting the links of thrombotic chain.
2. The total saponin of GP can markedly act against the immunity inhibition due to Cy management in experimental animals. The total saponin showed a definite bi-directional immuno-modulatory action in normal healthy mice, recovering the immune indices to normal value from either originally lower or higher than the medium figure, by significant difference in comparison with the Cy groups. The total saponin also had actions to prevent from fatigue and to tolerate hypoxia under usual atmospheric pressure. These data indicate that the total saponin of GP is an effective immuno-modulator, similar in action to Ginseng, Astragalus, Ganoderma and several other Chinese herbs.
3. GP can improve exercise endurance of white rats, especially healthy and trained rats. Studies showed that the muscle cells of rats having taken GP for 45 days were less injured after physical exhaustion than those of the control group. Both phosphate and liciferase assays showed that GP saponin could to some extent extend or activate (Na+K+) ATP-ase in membrane.
4. Gypenosides regulate lymphocyte transformation and DNA synthesis by regulating DNA polymerase II activity.
5. In search of new products for the treatment of hyperlipidemia with a low frequency of side effects, a decoction of Crataegus cuneata, Nelumbo nucifera and GP has been tested. A reduction of triglyceride and cholesterol was seen.
6. The action of gypenosides as an antioxidant was studied using various models of oxidant stress in phagocytes, liver microsomes and vascular endothelial cells. It was found that GP decreased superoxide anion and hydrogen peroxide content in human neutrophils, etc. It was also found that GP protected biomembranes from oxidative injury by reversing the decreased membrane fluidity of liver microsomes and mitochondria, increasing mitochondrial enzyme activity in vascular endothelial cells and decreasing intracellular lactate dehydrogenase leakage from these cells. The extensive antioxidant effect of GP may be valuable to the prevention and treatment of various diseases such as atherosclerosis, liver disease and inflammation.
7. GP water extract was shown to have significant anti-inflammatory and liver-protective effects in rats.
8. The immuno-potentiating effects of gypenosides in relation to the network of neuroendocrine-immune modulation (NIM) were examined. The results indicate that the mechanism of immunomodulating effects of gypenosides may be mediated through the NIM network and suggest a close relationship between the neuroendocrine activities and the immunofunctions.
9. A study on rabbits indicates that GP has the protective effect on acute cerebral ischemia injury.
10. A comparison study between the effects of gypenosides and ginsenosides (from Panax Ginseng) on cardiac function and hemodynamics was done on dogs. It was found that the coronary flow was raised and the heart rate lowered by both gypenosides and ginsenosides. The lowering of myocardial oxygen consumption after the administration of gypenosides and ginsenosides could be explained by the decreasing of cardiac tension-time index and the slowing of heart rate. Nevertheless, it was insignificant that gypenosides and ginsenosides affected the myocardial contractility and heart pump function. The effects of gypenosides are slightly more potent than ginsenosides.
11. Gypenosides is a potent inhibitor to platelet aggregation and its action mechanism may be related to inhibiting the platelet from releasing reaction and increasing the platelet cAMP level.
12. Gypenosides was shown to have a platelet aggregation factor which was completely inhibited by prostaglandin 12, but was not affected by aspirin. Studies indicate that the active principle is most likely a kind of glycoside or polysaccharide.
13. Crude saponins isolated from GP were tested for their effect on lipid metabolism in corn oil-containing, high sugar diet-fed rats. Oral administration of such high sugar and fat diet caused hyperlipemia, liver injury with increased serum level of glutamic pyruvic transaminase (GPT) and accumulation of lipid peroxide in the liver. Administration of the crude saponins from GP reduced serum levels of triglycerides, lipid peroxide, total cholesterol, phospholipids and GPT in such high sugar and fat diet-fed rats.
14. Pharmacological and clinical investigation has pointed out that gypenosides (also called “gynosaponins” by Hu) can effectively inhibit cancer cells in the liver, stomach, lung, skin and uterus.
15. The basic chemical structure of the gynosaponins is of the dammarane type.
16. The sweet flavor in the leaves of GP is due to phyllodicin. Other constituents of GP include Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin C, calcium, sodium, iron, phosphorus, carotene, protein, fat, fiber and sucrose.
17. Animal tests proved that crude gynosaponins possessed obvious anticancer and antiulcer action, inhibited the side effects of glucocortico-hormones, promote cell metabolism, benefit sleep and lower blood lipids. Gynosaponins might be able to inhibit the multiplying of cancer cells in liver, uterus, lung, etc. by as much as 20~80%. In mice with experimental sarcoma-180, the cancer may be reduced by 40% at the dose of 50 mg/kg of GPS every day for seven days.
18. If mice were injected with dexamethasone beforehand i.e. at the dose of 10 mg/kg a day for 10 days and then injected with gypenosides at the dose of 10 mg/kg a day for 10 days, GPS might prevent the side effects of dexamethasone, such as atrophy in the adrenal gland and thymus.
19. Gypenosides 22, 30 and 41 have obvious antiulcer activity.
20. Extended administration of GP might inhibit the forming of experimental cholelithiasis, lowering the cholesterol in blood and bile. The experimental group used a feed containing 1.2% cholesterol and into it was added the fine powder of Gynostemma. The mice were fed with this kind of feed. Three weeks later, cholesterol value, total bile acid value and phospholipids value were determined in animal bile and observation was made to see if any stone was formed in the gall bladder. The results indicated that in 3 mice of the experimental group, stone was formed; and in 6 mice of the control group, stone was formed. In 2 mice of the experimental group, more than 11 stones were formed, but in 4 mice of the control group, 11 stones were formed. In the mice of the controlled group mucous membrane multiplying, bleeding and swollen fat liver was found. The experimental group’s cholesterol value and total bile acid concentration in blood and bile were markedly decreased compared to the control group.
21. In a swimming test in which mice fed gypenosides at the dose of 200 mg/kg had obviously better body force and tolerance than the control group that were not given GPS.
22. The LD50 of mice i.p. GPS is 755 mg/kg. The LD50 of rats i.p. is 1.85 g/kg. Oral administration at the dose of 10 g/kg was non-toxic which was more than the determination limitation of LD50. Therefore, gypenosides are very safe for consumption.
Table 2. Content Determination of Amino Acid
Amino Acid Content (mg/g)
leucine, Leu 0.0549
lysine, Lys 1.5563
glutamic acid, glutaminic acid 0.6872
glycine, glycocoll 0.8600
methionine, Met 0.3289
aspartic acid, ASP 0.0929
23. Gynostemma contains trace elements, of which 5 are fundamental to human body. Mineral analysis indicates that GP contains: Se, Mg, Zn, Ca, Fe, K, Mn, P, etc.( See table 3. Content determination of trace element)
Table 3. Content Determination of Trace Elements
Trace elements Content (mg/g)
calcium, Ca 19475.00
zinc, Zn 178.75
iron, Fe 786.30
manganese, Mn 87.50
magnesium, Mg 2045.00
GP contains water-soluble amino acids, various vitamins, protein.
24. The use of glucocorticoids in therapy can preserve life. However the side effects may include excessive appetite, lack of energy, dropsy or obesity, keratitis, pigmentation and hypertension, etc. It is usually accompanied by severe damage to the adrenal glands, thymus and other organs, resulting in early aging syndrome. The thymus is the center of the immune system, though it atrophies with age. Therefore, protecting the thymus and adrenal glands from atrophying is essential in anti-aging efforts. Gypenosides can prevent these side effects from happening and restore the organs that have atrophied due to the damaging effects of glucocorticoids. GP and gypenosides can greatly improve the suppressed immunity caused by steroids abuse. It can also strengthen the phagocytosis of the phagocytes in the abdominal cavity of mice, it increases the weight of the spleen and adrenal gland. This is why GP is called an “immunity strengthener”. Researchers (Ma Bing Xuan, et al) believe that GP has strong preventive and curing effects against the damage due to steroids. The use of gypenosides to prevent and cure the side effects of steroid use has been granted a patent in Japan. The patent recommends dosages for adults of 5~500 mg/day, usually 10~250 mg/day, 3~4 times, orally.
25. The adrenal cortex is a superbly developed organ for the regulation of homeostasis. It is essential for life. The hormones of the adrenal cortex can be divided into two main categories:
(1) glucocorticoids which affect carbohydrate metabolism and
(2) mineralocorticoids which affect water and salt metabolism.
It is fairly well established that GP influences the glucocorticoids produced in the innermost zone of the adrenal cortex, the zona reticularis and has a regulatory influence on the secretion of the glucocorticoids, hormones that influence carbohydrate and protein metabolism. Cortisol, also known as hydrocortisone is the most important glucocorticoid, its secretion being regulated by ACTH. The drug cortisone is the synthetic cortisol analogue. GP may help regulate the secretions of the outermost zone of the adrenal cortex as well, including the mineralocorticoids, the most important of which are aldosterone and deoxycorticosterone, which regulate the water and electrolyte metabolism of the body.
26. Gynostemma can help adjust & regulate blood sugar levels.
27. In the test in vitro where 0.38-0.75% Gypenoside is used directly to kill S-180 sarcoma cell, the killing rate is 54~87.5% while the control group only has 28.84% death rate.
28. Zhe Jiang Traditional Medical Research Institute used Gynostemma instant granule (each bag contains 400 mg Gypenoside) on cancer patients after their operation. All the patients improved their conditions. The total effectiveness rate reaches 89.47%. It improves the cell immune function, lowers the IgG, IgM. It can also induce the thymus dependent lymphocytes to differentiate and sensitize so that they can kill the relevant target tumor cells on contact
Gynostemma has real potential as a biological reaction regulator in treating malignant tumor. Gypenoside can not only directly kill cancer cells, it also increases the titer of PFC plaque forming cell and hemaglutination antibody, strengthens the delayed hypersensitivity of mice and therefore improves the immunity of tumor carrying animals. These might be some of the reasons why Gypenoside has anti-cancer and anti-tumor effects and can prevent the growth of tumors.
29. It was reported in Yunnan Province that it was used to treat senile chronic bronchitis in 537 cases. The total effective rate was 79% after the treatment of one therapeutic period. It was found that the stemona was more effective in treating bronchitis than the leaves. It was taken 2.5 3.9 g tid, for ten days as one therapeutic course.
30. The gypenosides 3, 4, 8 and 12 are virtually identical to ginseng saponins Rb1, Rb3, Rd and F2 in structure, respectively.