Herb Spotlight: Gynostemma


Highly valued for its promotion of youthfulness and longevity, Gynostemma is an herb that has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for hundreds of years. 

To really understand aging, we have to recognize that it’s not an automatic result of time passing, but rather the result of reversible events that occur in cells, regardless of the tissue or organ system to which they belong. One of those events is a decrease in universal cellular energy (called AMPK), which will signal your cells to store harmful fats instead of using energy from your food efficiently to power vital processes. Studies are increasingly revealing the central role of AMPK in maintaining youthful function across the entire spectrum of cell and tissue types, resulting in increased longevity. Gynostemma is a potent AMPK activator.

Other actions of Gynostemma:

  • improves insulin sensitivity, as in diabetes & metabolic syndrome
  • expectorant cough remedy, as in chronic bronchitis
  • reduces fatigue & supports stress
  • relaxes the heart, helping with heart palpitations
  • strong anti-inflammatory effect
  • likely induces of p53, a tumour suppressor gene

This Gynostemma is from the Wu Dang Mountain in China, famous for its mysterious complex of Taoist Temples. Over 100 Taoist priests practice internal alchemy and inner spiritual development at Wu Dang. The tranquil beauty there makes it an ideal landscape for the harvesting of the purest, highest grade, wild Gynostemma. There, it’s grown totally on mountain spring water and natural rain, unlike the Gynostemma grown in the US (low altitude, around fumigated fields, exposed to pesticide-laden runoff). 

The primary active constituents of Gynostemma are gypenosides, over 100 of them in fact. There are also 3-4 times as many saponins in Gynostemma as compared to its relative, Panax Ginseng. This high number of active constituents account for its powerful regulatory effect on a number of body systems like blood pressure, the reproductive system, digestive & immune systems, mental functions, blood sugar and more.

Needless to say, Gynostemma is a powerful health promoting herb, and a staple in my personal supplement regime. 

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