Q: What is jiaogulan?

A: Jiaogulan (jow-goo-lahn) has such a long list of rejuvenating properties that in China it’s called the ‘immortality’ herb. It is in a rare class of herbs called ‘adaptogens’ that helps your body without causing any harm or imbalance. Jiaogulan is especially helpful in building your body’s natural resistance to stress. The amazing effect it has on cardio-vascular health has earned it the title: “herbal heart defender”.


Q: How does it reduce cholesterol?

A: Testing of the effect of gypenosides (jiaogulan’s active ingredient) on the serum lipids showed that gypenosides  lowered serum LDL (low density lipoprotein), thus reducing blood cholesterol and tri-glycerides, whereas they increased serum HDL, protecting the arteries against atherosclerosis. As for the mechanism by which gypenosides act on lipid metabolism, further studies are needed.


Q: How does it reduce cholesterol?

A: It has a regulating effect, in that it helps to lower high blood pressure and raise low blood pressure. If your blood pressure is within the normal range, it does not affect your blood pressure at all.


Q: How can jiaogulan relieve stress?

A: Stress caused by various strong environmental and psychological stimuli creates stress syndrome by which the equilibrium of the central nervous system is disturbed. Then the central nervous system’s normal regulation on the endocrine glands and various systems and organs is disturbed, and then equilibrium between various organs and the interior stability of the organism (homeostasis) is disturbed. Human and animal testing has proven jiaogulan/gypenosides to be a highly effective adaptogenic tonic. It exerts a bi-phasic action on the central nervous system, calming the nerves when they are irritated while exciting the nerves when they are depressed. Through adjusting the balance of the central nervous system (including the brain), the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, and toning the endocrine system, it maintains and normalizes the functional equilibrium between the organs and the stability of the organism, hence relieving stress.


Q: I already take plenty of antioxidants, why should I take jiaogulan?

A: Antioxidants act at various levels and by different mechanisms. Jiaogulan induces the production of your body’s most powerful antioxidant (SOD), a strong natural scavenger for free radicals, thus protecting the cells from free radical damage. It acts in synergy with other anti-oxidants, increasing the over-all benefit.


Q: How can it give me energy when I’m tired, yet relax me when I go to bed?

A: When you are tired jiaogulan first of all excites your brain, and sympathetic nervous system, which in turn stimulates the secretions of the adrenal gland and thyroid gland. By jiaogulan’s effect on neuro-endocrine adjustment, the metabolism increases, thus supplying you more energy. It calms down your nerves and mental irritation when you need to relax by helping to balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves.


Q: Will jiaogulan speed up my heart rate?

A: No. Research shows that after taking jiaogulan, cardiac output increases mainly through increase in stroke volume, not through ncrease in heart rate. This means that the heart contracts more powerfully, and hence works more efficiently.


Q: Are there any side effects from taking jiaogulan?

A: There are no known side effects at normal dosages (40-360 mg). Side effects appear from overdosing. One study showed that at very high doses subjects suffered from severe nausea and increased bowel movements.


Q: Are there precautions for people taking prescription drugs?

A: Very few. In studies jiaogulan has been shown to increase the time blood needs to clot. When taken with antiplatelet (e.g. Plavix) or anticoagulant (e.g. Coumadin) drugs the effect of the drug may be increased, resulting in uncontrolled bleeding.Because jiaogulan enhances the immune system function, it may interfere with the effects of drugs used to suppress the immune system after organ transplants or in other conditions.Women who are pregnant and/or breastfeeding, as well as young children are advised to consult their physician before taking jiaogulan.


Q: How long before I see results?

A: Some people start seeing results in a few days or a week or two. Generally sustained results are experienced after 6-8 weeks.


Q: How long should I take jiaogulan?

A: This herb is non-addicting and safe for continued daily use. It will promote and support better health as long as you take it.