What is Jiaogulan and what are its benefits?

What is Jiaogulan and what are its benefits?

Jiaogulan is a plant known as a supplement against diabetes and obesity. Works? Here we discuss it.

What is Jiaogulan and what are its benefits?

Last update: 08 April, 2022

In traditional Chinese medicine, jiaogulan (Gynostemma pentaphyllum) It has been valued for its interesting health benefits. In particular, this vine is abundant in bioactive compounds that are associated with good metabolic and nervous system health. In fact, some studies speak of its properties.

As stated in a publication in the magazine molecules, many of its properties are due to its gipenoside content. It is a series of triterpene saponins that have antiproliferative, antioxidant and adaptogenic qualities. What are its main applications? In this space we detail them.

What is jiaogulan?

Jiaogulan, scientific name Gynostemma pentaphyllum, is a vine plant that belongs to the cucurbitaceae family. It is native to Asia, specifically from countries like China, Korea, Japan and Vietnam. Also known as yiaogulan“Southern ginseng” or “longevity plant”.

Its first applications in traditional medicine date back to the fifteenth century in China. Since then, its properties have been used to promote well-being, especially in cases of diabetes, high cholesterol and obesity, among other conditions.

Main uses and benefits of jiaogulan

Like other herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine, Jiaogulan is used as a supplement to promote health against certain chronic diseases. Despite this, there is still not enough scientific research to support its properties. Therefore, its use is recommended with caution.


One of the main benefits of jiaogulan has to do with lowering blood glucose levels. According to a clinical trial published in Hormone and Metabolic Researchthe consumption of tea from this plant favors glycemic control and insulin sensitivity.

For its part, a later study shared via Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism He reported that Jiaogulan tea helps improve insulin response. In this way, it favors the health of patients with type 2 diabetes.

A research more recent exhibited similar findings. In the animal study, those fed a jiaogulan extract showed lower blood sugar levels in fasting tests. Despite this, more evidence is required.

Jiaogulan tea could be an interesting addition to the diet of diabetic patients.

Body weight

Jiaogulan supplements they are not a miracle treatment against overweight and obesity. It must be remembered that weight loss requires a multidisciplinary approach, especially when it comes to diet.

With this clear, it is worth noting that the herbal remedy has been shown to be an adjuvant for losing body weight. A shared study via Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics determined that oral consumption of an extract from this plant improves body composition in overweight men and women.

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High cholesterol

In oriental medicine, jiaogulan and its derivatives have been used as a supplement to lower high cholesterol levels. Regarding this, a I study in Journal of Functional Foods reported that the saponins present in this plant contribute to the modulation of intestinal gene expression associated with plasma cholesterol.

Even these assets promote the expression of genes for the synthesis and excretion of bile acids, which allows to regulate the production of hepatic cholesterol. Still, other studies are needed.


Both the extract and the jiaogulan tea are used for their benefits to combat stress states. To be more precise, is recognized as an herb with adaptogenic qualities that stabilizes the adrenal glands to reduce physical and mental responses to stress.

On this, a study carried out in South Korea and disclosed in Phytomedicine, showed lower levels of stress in people who consumed a jiaogulan leaf extract compared to the placebo group. The supplement was supplied for 8 weeks.

Possible Side Effects of Jiaogulan

For most healthy adults, jiaogulan is considered safe. However, its consumption must be moderate, according to the instructions of the manufacturer of the supplement. In some it causes sensitivity reactions, with nausea, digestive discomfort and diarrhea.

Since the evidence is still limited, it is unknown how it can act or interfere in the presence of certain conditions. Therefore, its use is not recommended in the following cases:

  • Autoimmune diseases (lupus, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.).
  • Circulatory problems or diseases that affect blood clotting.
  • Patients in treatments with anticoagulants, antidiabetics and antidepressants.
  • Pregnant or lactating women.
  • People about to undergo surgery.
  • Kids.

Usually, it is recommended to consume the plant supplements after eating food. When taken on an empty stomach it can irritate the stomach. Even lead to other adverse effects, such as fatigue, dizziness, sweating or tachycardia. If so, it is best to consult a doctor.

The herb is capable of altering stomach function, especially if consumed on an empty stomach.

How is jiaogulan consumed?

Right now, the jiaogulan is available in presentations such as teas, powders, capsules and extracts. These are usually found in herbal or natural food stores. It is essential to follow the consumption recommendations given by the manufacturer and not exceed the dose. How to prepare it in infusion?


  • 5 grams of dried and pulverized jiaogulan.
  • 250 milliliters of water.


  1. Bring the water to a boil and add the dried jiaogulan to it.
  2. Cover the drink and let it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.
  3. After this time, strain and consume.

You can drink 2 cups a day (500 ml).

What to remember about jiaogulan?

Exploring the remedies of traditional Chinese medicine you can find references to jiaogulan. It is a plant widely used as a natural adaptogen, ideal to combat stress and endocrine system problems.

However, to date there is not enough evidence to confirm its safety and efficacy. Therefore, it should not be a treatment of first choice. It is even recommended to consult the doctor before starting its consumption.

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