Phytochemistry Reviews

, Volume 4, Issue 2–3, pp 197–219 | Cite as

Chemistry and Pharmacology of Gynostemma pentaphyllum

  • Valentina Razmovski-Naumovski
  • Tom Hsun-Wei Huang
  • Van Hoan Tran
  • George Qian Li
  • Colin C. Duke
  • Basil D. Roufogalis


In traditional Chinese medicine, Gynostemma pentaphyllum (Thunb.) Makino is a herbal drug of extreme versatility and has been extensively researched in China. The dammarane saponins isolated from Gynostemma pentaphyllum, namely gypenosides or gynosaponins, are believed to be the active components responsible for its various biological activities and reported clinical effects. This review attempts to encompass the available literature on Gynostemma pentaphyllum, from its cultivation to the isolation of its chemical entities and a summary of its diverse pharmacological properties attributed to its gypenoside content. Other aspects such as toxicology and pharmacokinetics are also discussed. In vitro and in vivo evidence suggests that Gynostemma pentaphyllum may complement the popular herbal medicine, Panax ginseng, as it also contains a high ginsenoside content and exhibits similar biological activities.

Key words

dammarane gynosaponin gynoside Gynostemma pentaphyllum gypenoside herbal medicine saponin sterol 




G. pentaphyllum

Gynostemma pentaphyllum












mean lethal dosage










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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Valentina Razmovski-Naumovski
    • 1
  • Tom Hsun-Wei Huang
    • 1
  • Van Hoan Tran
    • 1
  • George Qian Li
    • 1
  • Colin C. Duke
    • 1
  • Basil D. Roufogalis
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Pharmacy, Herbal Medicines Research and Education Centre, A15University of SydneyAustralia

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