Common Name: Jiaogulan (Gynostemma pentaphyllum)
Adaptogen that originates in Asia; also known as Southern Ginseng. Parts used: leaf.
My Experience With Gynostemma Pentaphyllum:
Gynostemma benefits: I’ve used Jiaogulan on and off for a few years. This herb is purported to help with candida albicans, and is said to help stave of yeast infections when women have to take antibiotics for prolonged periods of time. I’ve used it for both, and have noticed less sugar cravings while on it. When I had to take antibiotics and started to have signs of a yeast infection, I started Jiaogulan (approx. 450mg daily) and the signs disappeared.
“Recent studies have shown that this plant may possess great antioxidant properties, which can be very beneficial in combating oxidative stress… Schild et al. demonstrated the protective action of Gynostemma pentaphyllum extract on brain slices that were deprived of oxygen and glucose. This deprivation led to the onset of cell injury due to oxidative stress. Results showed that the use of this extract, within 48 hours of cultivation of cells, increased protein and activity levels of the antioxidative enzymes manganese superoxide dismutase (Mn-SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx).” 1
Jiaogulan is an adaptogen, like ashwagandha, so it helps a plethora of issues and supports many different functions/systems, which is one of the reason it’s part of my daily regimen now.
820mg daily is a good starting dose for humans. I take about half that amount, as I take a few different herbs daily so smaller amounts of synergistic herbs seem to work best for me. Doses up to 10g daily have been used for up to 4 month periods.
Antioxidant: I take a LOT of herbs, so it’s hard to tell which one contributes the most to this, but I do notice that jiaogulan, in particular, helps to keep me feeling well.
Candida Albicans: I suffered candida issues in my early 30s, and saw a massive improvement once I started jiaogulan. I’ve also stopped an antiobiotic-induced yeast infection with this herb.
Jiaogulan for horses: this herb really helped my horse to get through metabolic symptoms and low grade laminitis. I don’t use it daily for him, but add it and chasteberry if he starts to get a cresty neck.
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Jiaogulan For Horses and Pets:
According to Dr. Eleanor Kellon, Jiaogulan can help horses with IR (insulin resistance) and Cushings. Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) supplements have been found to be of great benefit to horses with muscle disorders. I’ve used Jiaogulan for my PSSM horse at a rate of 1 tsp (1,790 mg) daily – at first for it’s IR benefits (to help combat low grade laminitis) but also for it’s potential effects on raising SOD. While on this dose the LGL symptoms subsided and, even off Jiaogulan he’s showing no signs of IR now. He’s also had very few symptoms from his muscle disorder since using Jiaogulan.
This herb was used in conjunction with management for his disorders (he has multiple variants of muscle disorder) and is not the only reason for his improvement – but this supplement, the addition of Chasteberry for possible Cushings (which can also cause laminitis), and raising magnesium to very high levels (which helps with muscle disorders and can also help both animals and humans with IR) caused a vast improvement in his hoof health and were being used when he made his turn for the better. Jiaogulan has also been found to help with bronchospams, which my horse is prone to. The recommended dose for horses is 2,000mg twice per day, 20 minutes before feeding.
[Update 1/19/23: magnesium in high doses helps some PSSM horses, but long term it came with side effects for mine so use caution]
As always, take care when adding herbal supplements to an animal’s ration – they can’t always tell us when something doesn’t agree with them! If you’d like to learn more about my horse with Polysaccharide Muscle Myopathy, or PSSM, see my Jax’s Story site.
Do not take Jiaogulan if your are pregnant or breastfeeding. Jiaogulan causes the immune system to be more active, so shouldn’t be taken by those with auto-immune disorders. Jiaogulan may slow blood clotting and lower blood sugar. See WebMD for more.
Jiaogulan should not be taken with immunosupressants or anticoagulants.
Where To Purchase:
Note: I earn a commission on some links, at no cost to you. Purchasing through these links is a great way to support this site!
I purchase my Jiaogulan powder through Bulk Supplements. There’s no sugar, soy, dairy, yeast, gluten, or other additives. Last I checked, MRH didn’t carry Jiaogulan, but it is a great source for herbs, seeds, and tinctures!
Bulk Supplements’ Jiaogulan has no sugar, soy, dairy, yeast, gluten, or other additives. This is the company I use for pea protein, and bulk herbs in larger amounts, etc. Some of my herbs, like cissus quadrangularis, can be found here when MRH doesn’t carry them.
Research Articles and Sources:
The Effect of Gynostemma pentaphyllum Extract on Mouse Dermal Fibroblasts – Our study reveals that Gynostemma pentaphyllum extract has a positive effect on the viability of mouse dermal fibroblasts that have been damaged by UVC light-induced oxidative stress. There is a very high level of association between the use of Gynostemma pentaphyllum and the prolonging of cell life. The potential repercussions of such an investigation are clearly visible, since this investigation creates a foundation for further studies in this field of dermatology. In addition, more profound research is required on this particular topic in order to establish valid comparisons between the results obtained and to isolate the actual compounds that are responsible for protecting the cells.