Centella asiatica, or more commonly referred to as gotu kola, is a small, aquatic plant that is a member of the parsley family. It is an herbaceous plant native to Asia and grows in swamps and other wetlands. Of all the herbs out there, it is India’s most renowned herb.
Yogis and those in the Himalayas use gotu kola to improve their meditations, as it is a rejuvenating herb that balances the right and left hemisphere of the brain. Gotu kola is used not only as medicine in Indian cultures, but it also has a place in traditional African and Chinese medicine.
Other common names: Gotu Kola, Indian Pennywort, Water pennywort, man t’ien hsing, Brahma-manduki, Chi-hsueh Ts’ao, Marsh penny.
Health Benefits of Gotu Kola
The leaf and root of gotu kola are used to make medicine. Because of its properties that harmonize the body, it is used to balance the nervous system. It promotes mental clarity and alertness. It also helps alleviate stress, treats bacterial and other infections, shingles, cholera, tuberculosis, dysentery, as well as the common cold and flu.
Gotu kola also has psychological benefits, as it helps treat depression, anxiety, fatigue, and other psychiatric disorders. It heals wounds and improves blood circulation in the body to prevent blood clots.
Cosmetically, it benefits the hair, nails and skin. It restores damaged tissue of the skin, thereby improving the condition of the skin and scalp. It increases circulation of the scalp to prevent hair loss and to stimulate hair growth.
Additionally, Gotu Kola is used to treat:
- High blood pressure
- Venereal diseases
- Blood diseases
- Urinary tract infections
- Congestive heart failure
- Increase libido
- Premature aging
- Abnormal tingling
- Leg cramps
- Varicose veins
- Bowel disorders
- Slowing retinopathy (the steady breakdown of the retina in the eyes)
- Minor burns
- Skin ulcers
- Intermittent fevers
How to Use Gotu Kola
There are plenty of ways to incorporate gotu kola into your diet. Dry or fresh leaves can simply be added into any salads for a boost of nutrition.
To make gotu kola tea, take 2 teaspoons of dried gotu kola leaves, boil is covered in water for ten to fifteen minutes. Uncover and strain out the leaves. Add honey or lemon to enhance flavor.
Fresh Gotu kola extracts are the most potent. It can be applied externally onto the skin or taken orally to consume the most nutrition it can offer.
How and Where to Buy Gotu Kola
You can purchase Gotu Kola capsules, tincture, or dried herb at most health food stores or online.
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