Jiaogulan for horses (jow-goo-lawn) grows wild in China, as well as many other countries throughout Asia, and is known there as the 'immortality' herb as it has such a long list of rejuvenating properties.
It is classed as an 'adaptogen' - a herb that helps the body without causing any harm or imbalance. It has also been called "the herbal heart defender" due to the positive effects this herb has on cardio-vascular health.
Japanese scientists began discovering it's illness-prevention and therapeutic qualities in the late 1970s.
They found that it functions as both an adaptogenic and an antioxidant herb and it contains many health giving saponins (chemical compounds which have a soapy characteristic), as well as amino acids, trace minerals, proteins and vitamins. These saponins are responsible for the herb's effectiveness as an anti-inflammatory.
Recent trials by Eleanor Kellon VMD on the Equine Cushing Yahoo Egroup have shown that Jiaogulan helps address the problems with circulation during laminitis that can contribute to pain and delay healing. It must, however only be used after you have identified and removed the cause of the laminitis and applied a rigorous hoof care regime.
If the horse or pony is insulin resistant or has Cushing's disease then these issues need to be dealt with first.
An approximate dosage of Jiaogulan for horses would be in the region of 1/2-2 tsp per day of the powdered form for a 1000 lb horse. However, this is a wide range and some horses do better with less so you will need to adjust for your horse: increased energy levels and alertness are key signs of improvement along with pinker gums.
Ideally it should be administered twice a day (halving the daily dosage), 20 minutes before feeding.