Chances are, you’ve heard of ginseng. You may even take it as a daily supplement. Panax ginseng is a botanical, or herbal medicine, that’s taken by thousands upon thousands of us to help improve energy levels, concentration, and memory.
But have you ever heard of jiaogulan? Jiaogulan, or Gynostemma pentaphyllum, is a herb that has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine since the 15th Century, and is similar to Panax ginseng, but much less well known. In fact, it’s known as Southern ginseng, it has such similar qualities to ginseng. It’s known as the “herb of immortality” in the Guizhou Province of China where it’s been used as a tea to restore Qi, or life force for generations. The people of the Guizhou Province are reputed to live long and fulfilling lives, so it’s little wonder this herb has been given such a nickname.
Related to the same family as melons and cucumbers, the Jiaogulan plant grows like a vine. But unlike the other plants in its family, it doesn’t bear fruit. Just the bright, green leaves alone have valuable, health-giving properties. It happily grows in China, as well as Japan, Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam.
NuLiv Science’s JiaogulanEx™ is an adaptogen, which means that it helps the body deal with the effects of stress. When the human body is under stress the body releases the steroid hormone cortisol. Too much cortisol, in times of chronic stress, can cause adrenal fatigue, thyroid problems, anxiety, insomnia, weight gain and even heart disease.
An adaptogen, like JiaogulanEx™, may help to promote balance within the body, or a state of ‘homeostasis’, by helping to regulate the processes of the immune and endocrine (hormonal) systems, especially in conjunction with stressors. JiaogulanEx™ helps the body adapt to the stressful condition, rather than deal with the stress, so helping to protect and restore.
JiaogulanEx™ (Gynostemma pentaphyllum) contains a cellular enzyme within human cells that promotes vitality and reduces fat storage. It’s identified as AMPK.
In our younger years, AMPK is consistently activated. When activated in the body, this enzyme may help ward off extra fat and diabetes from developing. As the human body ages, cellular enzymes containing AMPK experience activation decreases. This occurs when the body is susceptible to the degenerative aging process.
AMPK is inside every human cell; it’s the master regularity switch. Think of it as flipping a light switch ‘on’ and ‘off’. The amassed effects of AMPK activation generally lead to beneficial states in the liver, muscle, and other peripheral tissues that are necessary for the pathogenesis of obesity, type 2 diabetes and related metabolic syndromes.†
There are 82 known saponins in Jiaogulan, known as gypenosides. A saponin is a plant-based substance that can form a foam and they are therefore used in shampoos and soaps. It might sound strange then, that there are internal health benefits to saponin. But when consumed in the likes of Jiaogulan tea, saponins can help reduce blood levels of bad cholesterol, or LDL, by blocking the absorption of it, therefore helping to protect against cardiovascular challenges.* By comparison, ginseng, another prized longevity herb, contains 28 saponins.
Aside from the heart health benefits, JiaogulanEx™ is high in immune-boosting antioxidants, too. It’s also known to increase the activity of certain white blood cells called phagocytes which help the body fight bacteria and other bugs.*
Adaptogens are also useful for helping the body to cope with stresses from pollution, household chemicals, pesticides, fried fast foods and hormonal imbalances during a woman’s normal monthly cycle and the menopause.* There are not many consumers in the market who can completely avoid all of these factors during everyday life, so could JiaogulanEx™ be an answer for dealing with all of them? Perhaps so.
Formulating with JiaogulanEx™
Both Kosher & Halal certified, JiagulanEx™ is a safe and high quality nutraceutical ingredient consistently passing all California Prop 65 heavy metal requirements. Prop 65 has the most stringent heavy metal requirements in the USA.
Sources to Explore on Jiaogulan (Gynostemma pentaphyllum) and AMPK
†Zhou G, Sebhat IK, Zhang BB. AMPK activators–potential therapeutics for metabolic and other diseases. Acta Physiol (Oxf). 2009 May;196(1):175-90.
Hardman SE, Hall DE, Cabrera AJ, Hancock CR, Thomson DM. The effects of age and muscle contraction on AMPK activity and heterotrimer composition. Exp Gerontol. 2014 Jul;55:120-8.
Yang Z, Kahn BB, Shi H, Xue BZ. Macrophage alpha1 AMP-activated protein kinase (alpha1AMPK) antagonizes fatty acid-induced inflammation through SIRT1. J Biol Chem. 2010 Jun 18;285(25):19051-9.
Mortensen B, Poulsen P, Wegner L, et al. Genetic and metabolic effects on skeletal muscle AMPK in young and older twins. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2009;297:E956–E64.
Liu F, Benashski SE, Persky R, Xu Y, Li J, McCullough LD. Age-related changes in AMP-activated protein kinase after stroke. Age (Dordr). 2012;34(1):157-68.
Salminen A, Kaarniranta K. AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) controls the aging process via an integrated signaling network. Ageing Res Rev. 2012 Apr;11(2):230-41.
Rojas J, Arraiz N, Aguirre M, Velasco M, Bermúdez V. AMPK as target for intervention in childhood and adolescent obesity. J Obes. 2011;2011:252817.
Ford ES, Dietz WH. Trends in energy intake among adults in the United States: findings from NHANES. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013;97(4):848-53.
Büsing KA, Schönberg SO, Brade J, Wasser K. Impact of blood glucose, diabetes, insulin, and obesity on standardized uptake values in tumors and healthy organs on 18F-FDG PET/CT. Nucl Med Biol. 2013 Feb;40(2):206-13.
Blaak EE. Fatty acid metabolism in obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Proc Nutr Soc. 2003 Aug;62(3):753-60.
Choi JH, Kim D. Effects of age and dietary restriction on life span and oxidative stress of SAMP8 mice with learning and memory impairments. J Nutr Health Aging. 2000;4(3):182-6.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.