Cholesterol Spinach

Cholesterol Spinach

Common Names

  • Dawn Dewa
  • Leaves of the Gods
  • Googoolipid
  • Mollucan spinach

For Patients & Caregivers

How It Works

Despite anecdotes about this plant being able to lower cholesterol, there is no scientific evidence that it works.

Cholesterol spinach is a plant originally cultivated in Nepal. It has received attention for its use in Hawaii as a cholesterol-lowering nutritional supplement. Despite enthusiasm over this botanical, there is no evidence that explains why it might work to lower cholesterol.

Although it has not been tested in animals, a related plant species was found to reduce blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides when fed to rats with diabetes. However, scientists are not sure that this related species would have the same biological effects as cholesterol spinach.

Purported Uses
  • To lower high cholesterol
    There is no scientific evidence to support this claim.
Do Not Take If
  • You have a weakened immune system due to chemotherapy, HIV infection, immunosuppressant drugs, or other causes: There is the potential for raw vegetables to be contaminated with bacteria, fungi, or other pathogens.
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For Healthcare Professionals

Scientific Name
Gynura nepalensis
Clinical Summary

Native to Nepal, cholesterol spinach is a hardy, fast-growing plant related to Okinawan spinach. It has gained popularity in Hawaii based on anecdotal evidence of its cholesterol-lowering effects (1).

Preliminary laboratory studies suggest some compounds derived from this plant may have cardioprotective effects (4). Another plant that belongs to the same genus as cholesterol spinach was shown to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels in diabetic rats (2). However, cholesterol spinach has not yet been studied for any indication in humans.

Purported Uses
  • High cholesterol
Mechanism of Action

An extract of a related species, Gynura procumbens, reduced serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels in diabetic rats. G. procumbens did not affect cytochrome P450 activity. Whether the effects or mechanisms of G. procumbens are similar to G. nepalensis has not been determined.  (2)


Immunocompromised patients should be cautioned when consuming raw vegetables due to possible contamination (3).

  1. Tswei, S. In The Garden. Honolulu Star-Bulletin. January 21, 2000. Accessed May 9, 2011.
  2. Zhang XF, et al. Effects of an ethanolic extract of Gynura procumbens on serum glucose, cholesterol and triglyceride levels in normal and streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Singapore Med J 2000;41:9-13.
  3. Wu ML, et al. Food poisoning due to methamidophos-contaminated vegetables. J Toxicol Clin Toxicol 2001;39:333-6.
  4. Yu BW, Li JL, Guo BB, et al. Chlorogenic acid analogues from Gynura nepalensis protect H9c2 cardiomyoblasts against H2O2-induced apoptosis. Acta Pharmacol Sin. Nov 2016;37(11):1413-1422.
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