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Gotu Kola - A Wonder Herb
Gotu Kola - (Centella asiatica) is a wonder herb that not only provides a multitude of vitamins and minerals, but can benefit our bodies and minds in many other ways. Gotu Kola grows wild in subtropical areas including China, India, Sri Lanka, Africa, the United States and Australia. It is a creeping perennial that behaves in a similar way to strawberries, growing roots where sections of the plant touch the ground. It grows well in swampy moist areas.
The number of remedies Gotu Kola is responsible for are numerous. It has been used to help with ADD/ADHD, digestive problems, urinary tract issues, healing of wounds and sores, high blood pressure, congestive heart disease, as well as being beneficial for meditation. It is also highly regarded as a longevity herb, helping to retain youthfulness in its' users.
Gota Kola contains Vitamins A, B, C, D and K. It also contains calcium, chromium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium and zinc, making it a useful vitamin and mineral supplement.
Gotu Kola is well known for its ability to improve memory and cognitive function. In Ayurvedic medicine it is highly valued for its' rejuvenating properties, particularly in brain and nerve cells, enhancing memory and concentration and increasing calmness.
This wonder herb has anti spasmodic, anti fungal, antiviral, anti bacterial and anti inflammatory properties making it an important herb to include in your garden. Aside from these advantages Gotu Kola is a blood purifier, a tonic and a sedative.
Use as a cream or poultice to treat sunburn as well as skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. It is also noted for its' ability to improve circulation in the lower limbs and help with varicose veins. Gotu Kola reportedly helps to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It is also helpful in the fight against arthritis not only reducing swelling but also alleviating pain associated with this condition.
As this herb can benefit everyone it is suggested you eat two or three leaves per day. After a few weeks this should be increased to five or six leaves per day. This dose is based on leaves that are two to three centimeters across. If your leaves are smaller you will need to eat more. I have a Gotu Kola plant in my garden and I think I will take up the challenge and see if I notice any improvements. I have started eating two leaves a day as of today and I have written a reminder on my board as we all know it takes time to create a new habit.
Women who are trying to conceive, are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use this herb, nor should children or teenagers. It can also affect some medications, such as those used for cholesterol, diabetes, sedatives, diuretics and drugs that affect the liver. In these cases it is wise to consult your doctor or registered herbalist before using.
If you find eating the leaves less than appetizing Gotu Kola extract is available in capsule form from Health Food Shops and online websites.