Gynostemma pentaphyllum

Gynostemma pentaphyllum Common Name

Gynostemma | Southern Ginseng | Jiaogulan

Top Benefits of Gynostemma pentaphyllum

  • Supports healthy weight*
  • Supports metabolism*
  • Supports exercise performance*
  • Supports mitochondrial structure and function*
  • Supports cellular responses and antioxidant defenses*
  • Supports brain health*
  • Support cardiovascular health*
  • Supports kidney health*
  • Supports liver health*
  • Supports gastrointestinal health*
  • Supports healthy gut microbiota*

What is Gynostemma pentaphyllum?

Gynostemma pentaphyllum (Southern Ginseng) is an herb given Ginseng status although not related to Panax Ginseng. Until recently it was a locally-known herb used primarily in mountainous regions of southern China and in northern Vietnam. It is described by the local inhabitants as the "immortality herb,” because people within Guizhou Province, where jiaogulan herbal teas are consumed regularly, are said to have a history of unusual longevity. 

Neurohacker’s Gynostemma pentaphyllum Sourcing

A Gynostemma pentaphyllum extract was selected to be standardized to contain 98% gypenosides.

We opted for a standardized extract for two reasons. Gypenosides are thought to be responsible for much of this herb’s functional benefits. And they have been the primary focus of the majority of the research on this plant.

Studies of this extract suggest it supports cellular and metabolic adaptations similar to what might be expected with exercise. *

Gynostemma pentaphyllum Dosing Principles and Rationale

We consider Gynostemma pentaphyllum to be an herbal adaptogen, which would follow hormetic dosing principles (see Neurohacker Dosing Principles). It contains a category of triterpenoid saponin compounds called gypenosides. These share many structural and functional similarities with the ginsenoside compounds found in well-known ginseng adaptogens. We’d expect this extract to produce an additive or complementary response when combined with other polyphenol ingredients, based on existing experimental evidence. The dose we’ve selected is within the hormetic range, a dose range we expect will produce positive adaptive responses over time.

Gynostemma pentaphyllum Key Mechanisms 

Mitochondrial Structure

  • Supports mitochondrial membrane integrity [1]
  • Protects mitochondrial structure [2]

Mitochondrial Function

  • Stimulates ATP Production/Output [1]
  • Supports mitochondrial complex I-V performance [1]
  • Supports citric acid cycle function — upregulates citrate synthase [1]
  • Supports mitochondrial β-oxidation [3]
  • Protects mitochondrial function [2]

Signaling pathways

  • Upregulates AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) siganling [3,4]
  • Downregulates mTOR signaling [5]
  • Upregulates peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARα) [6–9]

Exercise performance (ergogenic effect)

  • Supports endurance performance [10]
  • Downregulates lactic acid production [10]
  • Supports oxygen supply to tissues by hemoglobin [10]
  • Supports glucose uptake in muscle cells (in vitro) [3]


  • Supports healthy insulin sensitivity [11–16]
  • Supports healthy blood glucose levels [11,17]
  • Supports metabolic homeostasis (activates AMPK, an energy sensor and metabolic regulator) [3,4]

Body weight 

  • Supports β-oxidation (fatty acid metabolism) [3]
  • Downregulates adipogenesis - downregulates peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) [3]
  • Supports healthy body weight [3,18]
  • Downregulates fat accumulation and blood/liver lipid levels [3,8,17]
  • Supports healthy abdominal/visceral fat levels [18]
  • Upregulates brown adipose tissue production [16]

Antioxidant defenses

  • Upregulates antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase [SOD], glutathione peroxidase [GPx]) [1,8,19–21]
  • Replenishes glutathione (GSH) levels [20–22]

Cellular signaling

  • Downregulates proinflammatory signaling (inducible nitric oxide synthase [iNOS], nuclear factor kappa B [NF-κB]) [6,23]

Brain function

  • Protects cognitive function [19,24]
  • Supports resistance to stress and mood — adaptogenic effect [25]
  • Protects neurons from oxidative damage [19–22]
  • Protects neurons from hypoxia [2]
  • Protects neurons from neurotoxic agents [20–22,26]
  • Upregulates brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression [24]

Protection of organs and systems

  • Protects from cardiac injury and dysfunction [1,27]
  • Protects from vascular injury and dysfunction [7,28]
  • Protects liver structure and function [8,29,30]
  • Protects kidney structure and function [31,32]
  • Protects gastrointestinal structure and function [32,33]

Gut microbiota

  • Regulates the composition of the gut microbiota [16,34,35]
  • Regulates gut microbial metabolism
  • Modulates gut microbial gene expression
  • Supports healthy gut barrier function [34]
  • Downregulates gut oxidative stress 
  • Downregulates gut inflammatory signaling [34]

Complementary ingredients

  • Grape seed extract (insulin sensitivity) [15]


[1] Yu H, et al. Cell Stress Chaperones. 2016;21(3):429-437. doi:10.1007/s12192-016-0669-5
[2] Schild L, et al. Phytomedicine. 2009;16(8):734-743. doi:10.1016/j.phymed.2009.03.006
[3] Gauhar R, et al. Biotechnol Lett. 2012;34(9):1607-1616. doi:10.1007/s10529-012-0944-1
[4] Nguyen PH, et al. Bioorg Med Chem. 2011;19(21):6254-6260. doi:10.1016/j.bmc.2011.09.013
[5] Tai WC-S, et al. Proteomics. 2016;16(10):1557-1569. doi:10.1002/pmic.201500293
[6] Huang TH-W, et al. J Biomed Sci. 2006;13(4):535-548. doi:10.1007/s11373-006-9076-8
[7] Huang TH-W, et al. Eur J Pharmacol. 2007;565(1-3):158-165. doi:10.1016/j.ejphar.2007.03.013
[8] Qin R, et al. Arch Pharm Res. 2012;35(7):1241-1250. doi:10.1007/s12272-012-0715-5
[9] Huang TH-W, et al. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2007;218(1):30-36. doi:10.1016/j.taap.2006.10.013
[10] Lin-Na S, Yong-Xiu S. Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. 2014;11(3):112-117. PMID: 25371572.
[11] Yeo J, et al. J Med Food. 2008;11(4):709-716. doi:10.1089/jmf.2007.0148
[12] Huyen VTT, et al. J Nutr Metab. 2013;2013:765383. doi:10.1155/2013/765383
[13] Huyen VTT, et al. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:452313. doi:10.1155/2012/452313
[14] Huyen VTT, et al. Horm Metab Res. 2010;42(5):353-357. doi:10.1055/s-0030-1248298
[15] Zhang H-J, et al. J Food Sci. 2009;74(1):H1-H7. doi:10.1111/j.1750-3841.2008.00976.x
[16] Liu J, et al. J Agric Food Chem. 2017;65(42):9237-9246. doi:10.1021/acs.jafc.7b03382
[17] Megalli S, et al. J Pharm Pharm Sci. 2006;9(3):281-291.
[18] Park S-H, et al. Obesity . 2014;22(1):63-71. doi:10.1002/oby.20539
[19] Zhang G-L, et al. Behav Pharmacol. 2011;22(7):633-644. doi:10.1097/FBP.0b013e32834afef9
[20] Wang P, et al. J Int Med Res. 2010;38(3):1084-1092. doi:10.1177/147323001003800336
[21] Wang P, et al. Brain Res Bull. 2010;83(5):266-271. doi:10.1016/j.brainresbull.2010.06.014
[22] Shang L, et al. Brain Res. 2006;1102(1):163-174. doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2006.05.035
[23] Aktan F, et al. Nitric Oxide. 2003;8(4):235-242. doi:10.1016/S1089-8603(03)00032-6
[24] Hong S-W, et al. J Ethnopharmacol. 2011;134(3):1010-1013. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2011.02.002
[25] Zhao TT, et al. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2015;15:323. doi:10.1186/s12906-015-0856-4
[26] Choi HS, et al. Molecules. 2010;15(4):2814-2824. doi:10.3390/molecules15042814
[27] Ge M, et al. Am J Chin Med. 2009;37(6):1059-1068. doi:10.1142/S0192415X09007491
[28] Li L, et al. Cancer Biother. 1993;8(3):263-272. PMID: 7804367.
[29] Müller C, Get al. Phytomedicine. 2012;19(5):395-401. doi:10.1016/j.phymed.2011.12.002
[30] Chen JC, et al. Am J Chin Med. 2000;28(2):175-185. doi:10.1142/S0192415X00000222
[31] Zhang Y, et al. J Nephrol. 2011;24(1):112-118. PMID: 20540031.
[32] Hesse C, et al. Phytother Res. 2007;21(6):523-530. doi:10.1002/ptr.2086
[33] Rujjanawate C, et al. Phytomedicine. 2004;11(5):431-435. doi:10.1016/j.phymed.2003.07.001
[34] Chen L, et al. Oncotarget. 2016;7(21):31226-31242. doi:10.18632/oncotarget.8886
[35] Chen L, et al. PLoS One. 2015;10(5):e0126807. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0126807