Gynostemma did not get the nickname “miracle grass” without reason. This highly medicinal herb is known to be the most powerful adaptogen on the planet. The anti-aging benefits of Gynostemma are due to its many rejuvenating properties, which all actually serve to protect the body from the damaging effects of stress.
What is Gynostemma?
Commonly referred to as Jiaogulan, Gynostemma is a vine that is regularly used as a delicious, sweet, and healing tea throughout China. It thrives in high elevations, between 1,000-10,000 feet, but can be easily grown in a garden in most places. Its leaves are usually harvested for use.
Modern research has begun looking at the benefits of Gynostemma recently, but traditional medicine has been speaking about them for thousands of years. However, there is compelling science and research emerging which only seems to validate what the ancient texts have been saying for centuries.
The Science Behind Gynostemma’s Abilities
Gynostemma’s medicinal benefits are not by accident. It contains highly therapeutic compounds, namely, triterpenoid saponin gypenosides. Referred to as immunomodulatory, they work to provoke innate immunity; stimulating the immune system when needed and slowing it down if overactive.
However, that’s not all that that they do, gypenosides have antioxidant properties that protect against the two main culprits of aging and disease, oxidative stress and inflammation.
Gynostemma contains some of the most powerful antioxidants on the planet; superoxide dismutase and glutathione. These are both known to reduce many signs of aging.
One of the primary causes of aging, be it wrinkles, hair loss, or cognitive decline, is oxidative damage. These antioxidants neutralize free radical damages, which inhibits oxidative stress and the related diseases. To learn more about how physiological stress ages your skin, read our previous blog post on the skin-brain connection.
Inflammation is the healing response to injury or oxidative damage in the body. When chronic, it can lead to the degeneration of the cells and tissues, as well as overstimulation of the immune system.
Inflammation is also a known underlying factor in various difficulties that come with aging, like hair loss, wrinkles, and joint problems. The saponins in Gynostemma provide relief from inflammation by modulating cytokine production (proinflammatory chemicals) and by positively modulating the immune system.
By acting as an anti-inflammatory, Gynostemma may serve as a helpful anti-aging herb. It also protects from inflammation-related skin conditions like acne, psoriasis, eczema, and hair loss.
Reaping the Benefits of Gynostemma
There are many ways to get the benefits of Gynostemma. The most popular way is to consume it in the form of extracts either in a powder, liquid, or capsule. There are various supplements and herbal formulas that contain this herb, such as The Alitura Revitalize Adaptogenic Supplement.
Are you taking any adaptogens? Let us know which ones in the comments below.