Gynostemma pentaphyllum, also called jiaogulan, is an herbaceous climbing vine of the family Cucurbitaceae, indigenous to southern China, northern Vietnam, southern Korea, and Japan. Jiaogulan is best known as an herbal medicine, reputed to have powerful antioxidant and adaptogenic effects to increase longevity. Pharmacological research has indicated a number of therapeutic qualities of jiaogulan, such as lowering cholesterol and high blood pressure, strengthening immunity, and inhibiting cancer growth.
Jiaogulan is a vine hardy to USDA zone 8 in which it may grow as a short lived perennial plant. It can be grown as an annual in most temperate climates, in well-drained soil with full sun. It does not grow well in cold climates with temperatures below freezing.