Gynostemma pentaphyllum: “Twisting-vine orchid” creeper

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.

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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.

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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.

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