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 maintain healthy cholesterol levels?
A: Testing of the effect of gypenosides (jiaogulan’s active ingredient) on the serum lipids showed that gypenosides lowered serum LDL (low density lipoprotein), whereas they increased serum HDL. As for the mechanism by which gypenosides act on lipid metabolism, further studies are needed.
Q: How does it maintan healthy blood pressure levels?
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 will 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. When the central nervous system’s normal regulation on the endocrine glands and various systems and organs is disturbed, 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 an 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 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. Jiaogulan is non addictive so it can be taken for as long as you want. It works to improve the longevity of an organism as a whole so it can be taken regularly as a daily supplement. Jiaogulan is an adaptogen which means that it will not cause any additional stress or harm to the person who takes it no matter how long the herb is used for. Rather it will help to reduce stress as well as tone the natural longevity promoting mechanisms of the body
Q: Is jiaogulan addicting?
A: No. It is not addicting at all. Although it adjusts the function of the central nervous system, calming the brain when it is irritated, exciting it when it is depressed, it is neither a central
nervous system stimulant nor a sedative.
Q: Will it keep me awake at night?
A: Since gypenosides exert a bi-phasic action on the central nervous system, jiaogulan will help you get to sleep easier, because it will calm the nerves and mental irritations by helping to balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves. But if you want to work at night, take a bigger dose of jiaogulan (twice the ordinary dose); then it will keep you awake, and in good spirits, as well.
Q: I’m a distance runner. What is jiaogulan going to do for me?
A: Jiaogulan increases cardiac output and improves oxygen absorption, thereby delaying lactic acid production and fatigue; and as an antioxidant it speeds recovery. Besides, it increases the excitability and stability of the brain, hence making you more adapted to the intensity of competition, to heighten your performance.
Q: How long do the effects last?
A: During non-training, non-workout, or non-exercise, four hours. During medium intensity training, workout, or exercise, three hours. During events, high intensity training, workouts, or exercise, two hours.
Q: What will jiaogulan do for my menstrual cramps?
A: There is no information about the effect of jiaogulan on menstrual cramps. It has been noted that a tonic made of gypenosides in combination with Dong Quai and other herbs to treat menorrhagia has gotten good effects. In such case, jiaogulan, as an adaptogen, acts in synergism with Dong Quai, adjusting the activity of the genital tract directly and through the neuro-endocrine regulation as well.
Q: I have mitral valve prolapse. Will jiaogulan help?
A: Jiaogulan can be helpful. Mitral valve prolapse occurs in middle-aged and aged persons, due to a degenerative change of the valve. It creates an overloading of the heart cells and causes
mitral valve insufficiency in severe cases. Jiaogulan improves the nourishment and metabolism of the overloaded and weakened myocardium, thus benefiting the heart.
Q: Is jiaogulan beneficial for menopause?
A: Yes, it is. Jiaogulan calms the brain, balances the activity of central nervous system, the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, and adjusts the neuro-endocrine regulation of the genital system, thus relieving menopausal symptoms.
Q: I’m sixty-five and suffering from impotence. Will jiaogulan improve my sexual ability?
A: Jiaogulan may help in some forms of impotence because of jiaogulan’s ability to improve circulation. Many men suffer from impotence because of impaired circulation.
Q: I get pretty bad PMS each month. Will jiaogulan help?
A: Jiaogulan acts by the mechanism similar to that in the case of menopausal syndrome; therefore, it tends to be beneficial to persons suffering from PMS symptoms.
Q: Will jiaogulan do anything for my arthritis?
A: There are a few studies reporting that jiaogulan improved the symptoms of arthritis.