Gynostemma – Many Powerful Benefits, Does The Research Agree?
Many healing herbs have been launched to great fame for their health benefits.
But only a few have had impacts so significant on health that they’ll remain in our historical memory and medical texts for eternity.
These include world-famed herbs such as ginseng, reishi mushroom, he shou wu, and a few others.
And then there is gynostemma, also known as jiaogulan or “the herb of immortality.”
Among people who consumed gynostemma regularly, there were better chances of living long, healthy lives in the population, with fewer encounters with chronic illness or disease.
POWERFUL BENEFITS of GYNOSTEMMA
Research shows the herb’s ability to boost longevity is owed to approximately 12 prized and research-supported health benefits.
Some of the ancient Chinese locals that took gynostemma regularly were known to live to ripe old ages of 100 years or more, at a higher rate than other populations around the world—and in relative health, wellness, and ability.
Though there are lots of factors that go into abundant health like this, here are the 12 research-backed benefits in gynostemma that might just make this possible.
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Really, all benefits found in gynostemma start here: its antioxidant powers.
This herb contains phytochemicals which help scavenge free radicals, which in turn help fend off illness, disease, inflammation, and degeneration.
No wonder gynostemma helped those who took it daily age better and more gracefully. It literally protects the body from the inflammation and cellular breakdown that pave the way to tissue breakdown, weakness, and—ultimately— the illness that often comes with old age.
Not so with this powerful Chinese herb, which boasts plenty other health benefits that branch out from this single scientifically-supported truth: as an antioxidant, gynostemma holistically protects whole health and aging in many ways.
ENHANCE THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
One of the best things about less free radicals, inflammation, and degeneration in the body? There’s less for the immune system to deal with.
That’s right: gynostemma may also be one of those excellent herbs for helping boost immunity.
Without all that extra stuff in the way, the immune system is free to do a better job of keeping colds and flu at bay for example. Not to mention, in a 2012 study, gynostemma appeared to restore full immune function in immune-suppressed subjects.
What’s more, another study shows gynostemma could have the potential for reducing autoimmune inflammation, which could be of huge support to autoimmune disorders.
SUPPORTIVE FOR DIABETES
This ancient Chinese herb’s benefits to the liver are a real boon for people experiencing type 2 diabetes. But, as research shows, it may have more perks for this chronic disease besides all that.
One study on gynostemma showed it helping improve insulin sensitivity in diabetics.
This can both help reduce the risk of getting the condition, while also providing added support for the condition itself. But not only that: another study showed that gynostemma could help with blood glucose levels, or help manage blood sugar levels.
Both of these effects from such a powerful botanical give it multiple angles on how it could support diabetes.
HELP PROTECT THE HEART AND OTHER ORGANS
Protection against free radicals, damage, and oxidation in general means that this level of cellular protection could literally take place anywhere in the body.
As such, inflammation and damage can be shielded against in tissues and organs of every system.
And of all the research on such benefits thus far, studies show the best potential from gynostemma may be in its effects on the cardiovascular system: namely, in improving heart health.
One study, in particular, showed that compounds from gynostemma helped lower blood pressure to healthier levels in subjects, which can help lower chances of heart disease as well as lower stroke risk.
Addicted to caffeine? A daily dose of gynostemma could help kick that habit, maybe even for good.
This could be due to gynostemma’s ability to naturally lift energy levels, studies suggest—and especially when dealing with physical fatigue.
As another benefit from antioxidant action and neuroprotection of the nervous system, the body may be able to feel and experience energy a whole lot easier with gynostemma’s help.
And, unlike coffee and other caffeinated drinks (like energy drinks), gynostemma doesn’t give a quick-fix and then an energy fallout later. For this reason, it may be the perfect natural support for issues like adrenal fatigue or high cortisol levels.
SUPPORT STRESS AND MOOD DISORDERS
Out of all research thus far on gynostemma’s antioxidant abilities, its abilities to help with stress and depression—and even anxiety—have popped out the most.
Studies suggest it may be able to do this via antioxidant protection of the nerves and nervous system, which can have a soothing effect on stress and mood disorders over time.
In one study, extracts of the plant helped with symptoms of stress in test subjects. In another, it appeared to provide very useful support for symptoms of anxiety disorder.
And it doesn’t end there: another study showed it could be compared to the effects of certain anti-depressants.
Because of its touted antioxidant protection of nerves and the nervous system, gynostemma could be called a neuroprotector—and many studies agree.
This includes a 2015 study plus another in 2010 that showed gynostemma could be effective for treating or reducing Parkinson’s disease risk.
Branching out from this, gynostemma could possibly have a hand for either reducing the risk of—or even possibly treating—many neurological disorders. In yet another study, there was a lot of promise shown for gynostemma helping with Alzheimer’s one day.
For those not dealing with or fearing a neurological disorder, the herb’s neuroprotection could be helpful for problems with memory or brain fog.
HELP WITH HEADACHES AND MIGRAINES
Dealing with pesky headaches and migraines can be very challenging, and sometimes even a routine-wrecker.
Scientists aren’t clear on how it works exactly. But all the same, gynostemma is mentioned as a common alternative herbal approach to migraines specifically in many studies, including this one and this one.
How would an herb possibly help migraines? It may, again, be owed to its antioxidant properties.
While more likely than not the herb could never quickly and rapidly relieve a migraine as its happening, it may have a better benefit over the long-term instead when taken regularly to reduce inflammation in the nervous system that can trigger migraines.
HELP WITH LONG-TERM PAIN AND INFLAMMATION
Beyond just the pain of headaches in the brain and nervous system, gynostemma may have a lot more potential with other types of pain beyond that.
A study of the herb found that it contained two antioxidant polysaccharides with very powerful effects against inflammation.
This could be a great hope for people experiencing chronic pain caused by inflammation, and may even possibly reduce their need or dependence on certain medications with side effects and other harms.
In an old but still very relevant 2008 study as well, these anti-inflammatory antioxidant properties may even show promise for helping treat painful inflammatory issues like asthma and allergies.
BOOST LIVER HEALTH
Another interesting realm of protection gynostemma is making strides in is improving liver health.
Besides just heart health, liver health tops the list of organ systems that gynostemma shows great potential for according to research.
In fact, a 2012 study showed the herbal extract helping protect liver cells from damage or degeneration, specifically when they were dealing with fatty liver disease and diabetes.
But beyond support for serious chronic illnesses related to the liver, gynostemma may provide something simpler: completely natural detox support. By protecting and improving liver health, gynostemma enhances the very best way to achieve whole-body detox, and more successfully than store-bought cleanses or detox products.
BETTER WEIGHT MANAGEMENT
Though it could be considered just another benefit for people with type 2 diabetes, gynostemma brings yet another health advantage to the table—but it may also be of huge benefit to people without the disease, too.
Managing weight is a huge part of helping type 2 diabetes. Apparently, gynostemma can help with this aspect.
A 2013 study, which was double-blind and placebo-controlled, showed that gynostemma extract helped obese individuals lose weight more successfully.
Obviously, this can have huge perks for people without the chronic condition too—namely, people simply seeking more successful weight management or weight loss. Diabetes or no, it has great potential.
REDUCE ONE’S RISK OF CANCER
As all the best antioxidants and antioxidant-rich herbs are prone to do, gynostemma has amazing properties that could help fight or reduce the risk of cancer.
One study shows that gynostemma’s immune-boosting properties are strong enough to resist tumors, carcinoma, and other cancers.
In yet another study, extracts induced death and stopped the growth of certain cancers. Other studies have also shown great promise for cancers such as breast cancer, prostate cancer, and others.
In addition to all else, gynostemma is capable of already, more studies could eventually prove it to be an amazing ally against cancer one day.
It certainly can’t be considered a set in stone remedy for cancer. But that’s not to say there isn’t more to discover in future research for all it could do for those with cancer.
In the meantime, studies showcase it as a very beneficial and healthy supplement for overall health.
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