Gynostemma pentaphyllum, jiaogulan [Chinese pinyin: jiǎogǔlán, literally “twisting-vine orchid”] is an herbaceous vine of the family Cucurbitaceae [cucumber or gourd family] indigenous to the southern reaches of China, northern Vietnam, southern Korea, and Japan.
Jiaogulan is best known as an herbal medicine reputed to have powerful antioxidant and adaptogenic effects purported to increase longevity. Clinical research has indicated a number of therapeutic qualities of Jiaogulan, such as lowering cholesterol and high blood pressure, strengthening immunity, and inhibiting cancer growth.
Photos taken @ HortPark, SG 20120428
Jiaogulan is most often consumed as an herbal tea, and is also available as an alcohol extract and in capsule or pill form.