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Gynostemma may help prevent stroke related brain damage

1. Vasodilation Reduces Likelihood of Strokes -  Numerous studies (i, ii, iii) have confirmed that Gynostemma stimulates increased cellular production of Nitric Oxide (NO). NO is a powerful vasodilator that is shown to improve blood flow throughout the body, including the brain and reduce the probability of stroke.

2. Reduce Damage Due to Stroke And Improve Recovery -  One common cause of brain injury is loss of blood flow to the brain. This is called ischemia or an ischemic stroke. It can be caused by any number of cardiovascular conditions, like blood clots, plaque build up in the arteries, sickle cell anemia or a heart attack.

When blood flow is lost to a part or all of the brain, brain cells begin to die within minutes. There is a double whammy caused by something called, reperfusion. When blood flow is restored to the damaged tissue, instead of aiding recovery the blood causes inflammation and oxidative stress.

However, a June 2012 study by the Institute of Biochemistry in Germany (iv) discovered a surprising effect of Gynostemma extract. Brain tissue treated with Gynostemma extract 48 hours in advance of ischemia were “completed protected from functional injury.” (Phytomedicine, Volume 19. issue 8-9, June 15, 2012)


The researchers found that Gynostemma significantly increased the cellular production of the antioxidants SOD and GPx. These antioxidants served to protect the brain cells from injury. 

 3. Gynostemma Also Shown To Improve Memory - Several studies in both mice and humans have found a positive effect of Gynostemma on memory and cognition. A 1997 study in China found that Gynostemma outperformed the drug Piracetam in helping infarct patients recover memory and cognition. 

 

Brain Health and Protection from Strokes - Another good reason to make a cup of Gynostemma tea (aka Jiaogulan) part of your daily routine!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 i.  M Tanner, XinBu., J. Steimle, P. Myers. The Direct Release of Nitric Oxide by Gypenosides Derived from the Herb Gynostemma pentaphyllum. Nitric Oxide, Oct. 1999. 

ii. Samer Megallia, Fugen Aktanb, Neal M. Daviesc, Basil D. Roufogalisa. Phytopreventative Anti-Hyperlipidemic Effects Of Gynostemma Pentaphyllum In Rats. J Pharm Pharmaceut Sci  8(3):507-515, 2005

iii. Achike, F. I. and Kwan, C.-Y. (2003), Nitric oxide, human diseases and the herbal products that affect the nitric oxide signalling pathway. Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology, 30: 605–615. doi:10.1046/j.1440-1681.2003.03885.x

iv. L. Schild, T. Cotte, G. Keilhoff, R. Brodeman. Preconditioning of brain slices against hypoxia induced injury by a Gynostemma pentaphyllum extract – Stimulation of anti-oxidative enzyme expression. Phytomedicine, June 2012. 

v. Y Jiongjiong, Y Wenhao, H Danchun, Effects of Gynostemma Pentaphyllum on Cognitive Functions of Cerebral Infarct Patients. Chinese Journal of Traditional Medicine, 1997

vi. Yan Jiongjiong, Yue Wenhao, Han Danchun et al. Effects of Gynostemma Pentaphyllum on Cognitive Functions of Cerebral Infarct Patients. Chinese Journal of Clinical Psychology 1997

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