The use of the herb Jiaogulan or Gynostemma is very effective for control of blood pressure (B.P.). Your blood pressure measurement tells how quickly blood is passing through your veins and amounts of resistance it meets along the way. Narrower arteries have higher blood pressure.
The qualities of jiaogulan, as an adaptogenic herb, is directly related its compounds saponoin and gyenosides.
An adaptogenic herb helps with stressors in the body by balancing out both sides, like either low or high, to bring the body to homeostasis.
Jiaogulan also has a good number of polysaccharide compounds all of which has potential for lowering blood pressure, plus decreasing cholesterol and sugar levels.
Of course, when you see your doctor they tell you to lower your cholesterol to help keep your blood pressure in control. So, here you have an herb, jiaogulan, that can do both; help control your blood pressure and your cholesterol.
There are two types of High BP:
1. Primary Hypertension or essential hypertension which develops over time with no identifiable cause. Possible roles could be genetic or physical malfunction in the body, like imbalance of fluids and salts (electrolyte). Or environmental lifestyle such as, poor diet, stress or obesity can increase your risk.
2. Secondary Hypertension occurs more quickly and is more severe. This could be results from kidney disease, obstructive sleep apnea, congenital heart defects, cardiovascular disease, thyroid issues or adrenal gland problems. Even illegal drug usage, alcohol abuse or other medications can cause this hypertension.
In primary hypertension; it is important to balance your fluids and electrolytes, jiaogulan is good at keeping blood pressure in balance. Jiaogulan contains the minerals, magnesium and calcium, which are necessary to help control blood pressure. If these minerals are decreased it may affect your blood pressure reading.
When primary hypertension is a problem due to overweight, again jiaogulan comes to the rescue, for it helps you lose the weight.
When secondary hypertension occurs it is a result of severe health issues. Some can be controlled by compounds in Jiaogulan; because they help with decreased heart rates and dilated blood vessels and help adrenal glands affected by stress overload.
Nitric oxide is the key to lowering blood pressure.
Dr. Tanner from Vanderbilt University Medical Center investigated the vaso-relaxation effects from Jiaogulan. Gypenosides, one compound from this herb, cause the lining of the blood vessels to relieve nitric oxide. This release of nitric oxide relaxes the blood vessels for more efficient blood flow.
There have been other studies on Nitric oxide production by several different herbs. Researchers in Canada and Malaysia teamed up and showed that Nitric Oxide is believed to reduce blood pressure when released by the surface of cells and results in relaxing of arteries. Jiaogulan was found to be one of the best herbs effective in stimulating this reaction.
Jiaogulan is effective for lowering high blood pressure reports a study by Lu, G.H. on effects of gymenosides with Ginseng and Jiaogulan. This comparative study was done with a drug, Indapamide, as comparison. After three months, the drug was effective up to 93%, but Jiaogulan was 82% effective and Ginseng was much lower at 46% effective for controlling blood pressure.
Another study done in China by Li Y, in 1990, showed gypenosides did decrease heart rate, dilated blood vessels and reduced blood pressure.
Pure gypenosides were found to lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure by Chen in Pharmacology Toxicology (1990). It also affected coronary, brain and peripheral blood vessel resistance and lowered heart rates. These last two studies were done on dogs, so effect may not be quite the same in humans. More studies are needed in this direction.
- Tanner, MA et al. The Direct Release of Nitric Oxide by Gypenosides Derived from the Herb Gynostemma pentaphyllum. Nitric Oxide Oct. 1999.
Achike, F.I., et al. Nitric oxide, human diseases and the herbal products that affect the nitric oxide signaling pathway. Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology, September 2003.
Li Y, et al. Effects of total gypenosides on heart function and blood pressure of rabbits. Acta Academiae Medicinae Shandong . 1990; 28(3):34–36.
Chen L, et al. Comparison between the effects of gypenosides and ginsenosides on cardiac function and hemodynamics in dogs. Chinese J Pharmacol Toxicol . 1990; 4(1):17–20
Lu, G.H., etal. Comparative Study of the anti-hypertensive effects of Gymenosides, ginseng and Indapamide in patients with essential hyperetension. Guizhou Medical Journal. China 1996.
- http://www.herb.com/jgl.html Check out studies on this site.
Cindy Burrows, B.S., M.T., Herbalist and a Nutrition and Wellness Consultant help individuals with health programs to improve life and happiness. Cindy is a true believer in eating healthy greens and herbs to prevent illness and disease. She is a writer, speaker and owner of several businesses. Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org