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 synergistic 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


  • Grape seed extract (insulin sensitivity) 15


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