What are the Medical Uses of Gynostemma Pentaphyllum?

Deborah Walker

Gynostemma pentaphyllum is a perennial vine in the Cucurbitaceae, or cucumber, family. The plant is native to China, South Korea, and Japan but can grow in the majority of temperate climates. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Gynostemma pentaphyllum is used as an adaptogen and anti-aging remedy. Clinical studies indicate that this plant may be useful in treating diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Side effects, such as nausea, as well as interactions with other medications, may occur.

Gynostemma pentaphyllum might be used as an anti-aging remedy.
Gynostemma pentaphyllum might be used as an anti-aging remedy.

This plant is also known as jiaogulan, five-leaf ginseng, poor man's ginseng, miracle grass, fairy herb, sweet tea vine, and southern ginseng. It is believed to improve overall health and well-being and increase the ability to tolerate stress. It is known in some areas of China as the immortality herb because people who live in the area drink the tea and apparently live to a very old age. It is also said to help increase appetite, reduce pain and swelling, and ease coughs. Gynostemma pentaphyllum may also be given to treat chronic gastritis, or stomach pain, improve memory, and prevent hair loss.

Severe nausea may be a side effect of gynostemma pentaphyllum.
Severe nausea may be a side effect of gynostemma pentaphyllum.

Recent research published in the peer-reviewed medical journal Hormone and Metabolic Research demonstrates that Gynostemma pentaphyllum may be appropriate in treating diabetic patients. In addition, studies show that this herb may also be useful in treating cardiovascular diseases, such as high blood pressure. Other studies also conclude that Gynostemma pentaphyllum may reduce total cholesterol levels and increase good cholesterol, or high-density lipoproteins.

Gynostemma pentaphyllum can be used as an anti-aging remedy and comes in both capsule and tea form.
Gynostemma pentaphyllum can be used as an anti-aging remedy and comes in both capsule and tea form.

Some people may experience side effects with long-term use of Gynostemma pentaphyllum including severe nausea or diarrhea. Women who are pregnant or nursing should avoid this herb because one of its chemical components may cause birth defects. Since it may slow blood clotting, those taking blood-thinning medication or who are undergoing surgery should let their doctors know that they are taking this herbal medication. People on immunosuppressants should probably avoid taking this herb because it can make those drugs less effective.

Gynostemma pentaphyllum is sold as an extract, pill, capsule or tea. In the U.S., it is marketed as Panta or Penta tea. The recommended dose according to the packaging is generally two to three 180 mg capsules twice a day. Participants in the cholesterol studies were given 10 mg of Gynostemma pentaphyllum extract three times a day. As with any dietary supplement regimen, those considering the use of this this herb may want to consult a qualified health care professional first.

Long-term use of gynostemma pentaphyllum can cause side effects such as severe nausea and diarrhea.
Long-term use of gynostemma pentaphyllum can cause side effects such as severe nausea and diarrhea.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discussion Comments


My daughter and I just started to take gynostemma pentaphyllium, and we both have felt very depressed, tired and nauseated. We were really hoping for the great effects, so I tracked one day of taking it and another day not taking it, and each time I took it, within an hour, a really deep depression came over me. For those who have depression, you may want to avoid this product.


Every time I drink Gynostemma tea, it makes me feel tried, depressed, slight nausea and gives me a sick feeling and my head doesn't feel right. This feeling is very hard to describe but it is not one of well being. I wonder if I should continue and will this get better?


I take gynostemma in a system made by a company called Qivana. It's part of their Qore system which will fix your immune system. They have a unique delivery system for it. They take the active ingredients and encapsulate them so you simply let it dissolve in your mouth. It enters your bloodstream directly. There are no side effects because the gyno doesn't reach your stomach.

Their health system cured a life threatening (and supposedly incurable) auto-immune disorder I had. Gynostemma has about 300 studies done on it now. It also stimulates the body to make more anti-oxidants on it's own, which is why it's considered anti-aging. It will help fix cholesterol issues, diabetes, immune problems, etc.

It's not a 'cure all" by any means. It won't counteract if someone is continuing to put toxic food in their bodies, but combined with a change in diet, it will help your body to cure itself.


@Azuza - I'm usually pretty skeptical about claims that an organic herbal tea has amazing anti-aging, anti-cholesterol or anti-whatever effects. I do think this herb sounds a little more promising because an actual scientific study was done.

If you want to try this herb I wouldn't let the side effects scare you away. The article does state that the side effects are from long term use and only some people experience them. I have a friend who worked as a research scientist for medications and she said if even one person has a possible side effect you have to log it. So the likelihood of actually experiencing the unpleasant side effects is probably low.


The gynostemma pentaphyllum side effects do sound rather unpleasant. I was pretty sold on trying it until the article mentioned nausea and diarrhea! No thank you.

The anti-aging and heart healthy effects of the herb sound pretty great but not at the expense of my stomach. I'm also a little unsure as to how its supposed to treat gastritis but all the side effects are stomach symptoms.

Post your comments
Forgot password?