Gynostemma pentaphyllum, also known as jiaogulan, is a vine that grows naturally in Asia and is also grown and cultivated on farms. Jiaogulan is a common herbal tea in China, and folklore holds that the herb is beneficial for longevity, according to the website Mountain Rose Herbs. Some research indicates potential medicinal uses for jiaogulan tea. Consult a qualified medical care provider before using jiaogulan tea for any health condition.
Benefits in Diabetes
A study published in the May 2010 issue of Hormone and Metabolic Research investigated the antidiabetic effects of Gynostemma pentaphyllum. Twenty-four participants with type 2 diabetes who were not taking medication to regulate blood sugar drank either Gynostemma pentaphyllum tea or a placebo tea for 12 weeks. A significant decrease in blood sugar as well as a significant decrease in insulin resistance occurred in the Gynostemma pentaphyllum group compared with the placebo group. No participants developed low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, or negative effects involving the kidneys, liver or digestive system.
Benefits in Fatty Liver Disease
Weight reduction is the main medical treatment for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. During research appearing in the May-June 2006 issue of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 56 participants with this condition ate a specific diet for two months, after which one group of participants continued to diet and took 80 mL of jiaogulan extract for four months, while the other group continued to diet and took a placebo. After six months, both groups had experienced significant improvements in body mass index, triglyceride levels, insulin resistance, liver enzymes and fatty liver, but the group that took jiaogulan extract had higher levels of improvement. The study authors concluded that Gynostemma pentaphyllum is an effective complementary therapy to diet in people with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
Benefits for Asthma
Gynostemma pentaphyllum has traditionally been used to treat lung inflammation. Animal research published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine in 2008 found that Gynostemma pentaphyllum extract significantly lessened airway hyperresponsiveness, which causes a greater tendency for a person to have bronchospasms. These smooth muscle contractions in the lungs are common in asthma. Gynostemma pentaphyllum also suppressed a certain form of immune system activity that contributes to inflammation associated with asthma.
- Mountain Rose Herbs: Gynostemma Herb Profile
- Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine: The Add-On Effects of Gynostemma Pentaphyllum on Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
- Hormone and Metabolic Research: Antidiabetic Effect of Gynostemma Pentaphyllum Tea
- American Journal of Chinese Medicine: Gynostemma Pentaphyllum Decreases Allergic Reactions in a Murine Asthmatic Model
- teapot image by Gina Smith from Fotolia.com
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.