Are you looking for “the herb of immortality” then you are looking for Gynostemma? Although Gynostemma is not the real fountain of youth or the holy grail. Admittedly, the ancient word-of-mouth marketing did exaggerate the claims of Gynostemma Benefits. However just because the claims have been exaggerated doesn’t mean it is not the supplement that you need. In other words, even though Gynostemma, can’t make you immortal it does have a lot of benefits. As a result, these benefits might be just what you need.
What is Gynostemma Pentaphyllum?
Also known as Jiaogulan and sometimes called “Southern Ginseng” or “Cheap Ginseng”. Gynostemma was previously a cheap alternative to Panax Ginseng. Although, the high demand for Panax Ginseng has caused the number of Panax Ginseng farmers to rise and the price to drop. So now you may find that you can get Panax Ginseng for much cheaper than Gynostemma. Just because it was previously called “Cheap Ginseng” doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have some great benefits, remember it is also called “the herb of immortality.”
Why take Gynostemma Over Ginseng?
You might be surprised that Gynostemma and ginseng are unrelated, even though both contain similar beneficial compounds called ginsenosides that are not found in other plants (1). Many of the Gynostemma Benefits are the same as Panax Ginseng, but Gynostemma has Gypenosides not found in Ginseng. Accordingly, Gypenosides provide Gynostemma benefits not found in Ginseng such as anti-diabetic effects. Gypenosides also boost some of the Gynostemma benefits that are also found in Ginseng (2).
Benefits of Gynostemma
Gynostemma is now grouped in the Adaptogen category of herbs, which you may be hearing more and more about. Adaptogens are a category of herbs that promote your body’s natural processes to better deal with stress and anxiety. These herbs help you adapt and overcome stress. Of course, the Gynostemma Benefits are much more numerous than just dealing with stress. Gynostemma Benefits also can boost your immune system and energy, support weight loss, and much more.
1 Reduces Allergy Symptoms
Gynostemma can help regulate your body’s T-helper cells. Accordingly having your T-helper cells in balance will support your immune system and relief some of your seasonal allergies and asthma (3, 4). Gynostemma supplementation balances your T-helper cells by boosting T-helper 1 cell production balancing the overactivated immune system with high T-helper 2 cells (5, 6, 7). Additionally, your increased T-helper 1 cell activity can activate Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPAR-alpha) (2).
PPAR-alpha is also known as NR1C1 (nuclear receptor subfamily 1, group C, member 1).
An increase in PPAR-alpha is a likely contributor to many of the Gynostemma Benefits
PPAR-alpha increase can explain how Gynostemma can reduce allergy symptoms but also some of the diabetic support properties. Additionally, PPAR-alpha is a transcription factor and a major regulator of fat metabolism in your liver. Moreover, PPAR-alpha is normally activated under conditions of energy deprivation and is necessary for your body to enter into ketosis (8, 2).
2 Control Stress and Anxiety
Gynostemma is an adaptogen that may defend you against stress at the individual cell level. The PPAR alpha pathway also raises the amount of available fuel and energy for your cells (8, 2). This increased cellular energy could be the method that Gynostemma shields your cells from various types of stress. Your learning ability degrades under stress, Gynostemma can reduce the negative changes in learning rates under stress (9). Best of all Gynostemma has a biphasic effect on your brain functions. Specifically, it can energize or calm your mind depending on what you need. This biphasic effect is truly an adaptogenic benefit of Gynostemma. Specifically, Gynostemma can reduce symptoms of anxiety disorder and help you through stress (10, 11). If you are suffering from depression from stress, you may be intrigued that Gynostemma showed comparable anti-depressant effects compared to prescribed anti-depressants (12).
Looking for other Adaptogens for stress control, check out Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, and He Shou Wu.
3 Manage the Effects of Diabetes
You may conclude that when Gynostemma increases PPAR-alpha will help regulate your blood sugar. But you may be surprised that in addition to PPAR-alpha production Gynostemma can also boost your antioxidant enzymes and improve insulin sensitivity (13, 14). Additionally, Gynostemma can reduce your insulin-regulating proteins and has been experimented with as a treatment for obesity and diabetes (15, 16, 18). Consequently, you may have better blood sugar levels and antioxidant activity as one of the Gynostemma benefits (13).
4 Promotes Heart and Cardiovascular Health
When you are heart conscious, you are concerned with narrowed arteries and know that narrowed arteries are a leading cause of heart disease (19). Fortunately for you, Gynostemma extracts can help to maintain healthy blood flow and reduce arterial narrowing (2). Additionally, Gynostemma extracts didn’t widen open arteries, reducing the likely hood of side effects such as flushing and nasal congestion. Interestingly, you may see some aspirin-like protection from heart damage during a heart attack (20, 19). Similarly, you could see a reduction of cholesterol and lower pathways that lead to cholesterol production (21). Finally, you may have better cardiovascular health from taking Gynostemma when your cells have more energy (14).
5 Energy Booster
You will get a boost of energy from Gynostemma at the cellular level. As a result, you can recover from exercise more quickly (14). As a result, you will be less physically fatigued after exercise and be able to challenge yourself more and more with your workout routine. You are not going to get the same jolt and jitters that you get from caffeine with Gynostemma. But, you will likely have improved blood flow during exercise and therefore be able to exercise harder (22). As discussed earlier Gynostemma activates the PPAR alpha pathway, enabling energy production and managing your glucose available for energy (8, 2). So, if you are looking to lose weight, being able to exercise longer can help you produce faster results.
6 Supports Weight Loss
Many of the same Gynostemma benefits that help manage diabetes can help you lose weight. If you are suffering from obesity like over 30% of the U.S. population is, you will be thrilled to know that Gynostemma can help you lose weight more successfully (17). Additionally, Gynostemma can reduce the production of protein-tyrosine phosphatase 1B PTP1B. As a result, your body would be less sensitive to insulin and more successful at weight management (18, 15, 16). Finally one of the greatest Gynostemma benefits for weight loss is that it can boost your bodies fat burning abilities (ketosis) (14).
7 Improves Brain Function and Memory
You may want to improve your brain function for many reasons. If you are a student, you want to be able to learn faster and remember more. Likewise, if you are a professional, you want your mentally challenging tasks to be easier. But, if you or someone you love is suffering from Alzheimer’s, dementia, or Parkinson’s disease you need relief from the symptoms of a disease. Understandably, Gynostemma is not a medicine to treat a disease, but scientists do have evidence that Gynostemma could provide you with some relief (23, 24, 25, 26, 27). Also, you may get some brain protection support from Gynostemma, and some people may even use it for stroke recovery (28, 14, 29, 30).
8 Has Antioxidant Properties
Gynostemma has strong antioxidant compounds that contribute to or produce many of its benefits (31). If you have too many free radicals, then phytochemicals in this herb will help you scavenge. Consequently will help you fight off illness, disease, degeneration, and inflammation. Additionally, the enhanced antioxidant enzyme activity can reduce oxidative damage to your cells (32, 9). This increase in antioxidants can also boost your immune system and immune cells (5).
9 Boost Immune System
Taking Gynostemma will help your immune system from being overworked. When you have fewer free radicals, inflammation, and degeneration in your body is your immune system will be available to handle other issues. Interestingly some people suffering from immune suppression had there immune functions restored with the help of Gynostemma (33). Additionally, you may be able to use Gynostemma to reduce autoimmune inflammation (34). Your immune system will have less to do with the antioxidant properties of Gynostemma. Plus your boosted immune system will have no problem dealing with the common cold and flu, but maybe also cancer and tumors.
10 Anti-Cancer and Tumor Properties
It is amazing how prevalent cancer and tumors are nowadays. Like many antioxidant-rich herbs, Gynostemma could help fight or reduce the risk of cancer. Some studies indicate that Gynostemma may boost your immune system enough to resist tumors, carcinoma, and other cancers (35). Other studies show that it can stop the growth or spread of cancer (36). Specifically reducing lung and colon cancer in people (37, 38). Similarly, Gynostemma can reduce excess T-helper 2 Cells. This reduction could reduce your chances of developing breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, and colorectal cancer (5, 7, 6).
11 Helps Respiratory Functions and Reduces Asthma Symptoms
If you have narrowing blood vessels in your lungs, then you are used to wheezing and shortness of breath from suffering from asthma. You may get some relief from better blood vessel dilation Gynostemma has been shown to produce. This could help you prevent or treat asthma symptoms (2). Another cause of asthma symptoms is allergic inflammation in the lungs which could also be prevented by Gynostemma extract (39, 2). For example, you may be able to use Gynostemma as an antihistamine, and it might work as well as cromolyn sodium (40).
12 Boosts Liver Function
Another benefit of Gynostemma is its ability to improve your liver health. Gynostemma is likely to help protect your liver cells from damage or degeneration when dealing with fatty liver disease and diabetes (41). Equally important Gynostemma can reduce liver fat accumulation and liver cell death (42, 43). Or you may want to consider taking Gynostemma to repair your liver from a chronic injury (44, 42). If you are reading this, you likely don’t have an unhealthy diet high in fat and cholesterol. But if you have a healthy keto diet that is high in fat and cholesterol, you may consider taking Gynostemma to protect against fatty liver disease (43). You would also get the added benefit of Gynostemma protecting your liver during oxidative stress and inflammation (45).
13 Support Pain Management
Gynostemma may help you with many types of pain management from headaches to pain from inflammation. If you are dealing with migraines, they can go from a nuisance to a total loss of all useful functions. You may be able to use Gynostemma to reduce the effects of migraines, by reducing inflammation in the nervous system that can trigger headaches (46). Alternatively, if you are suffering from chronic pain due to other inflammation, you could see benefits from Gynostemma. So if you are suffering from Rheumatoid, Psoriatic, or Gouty Arthritis, you may want to consider Gynostemma as a possible herbal remedy to your pain.