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Gotu Kola

  • Centella asiatica L.
  • Hydrocotyle asiatica L.
  • Umbelliferae
  • Umbel family



Common Names

herbsBrahmi (Sanskrit name)
herbsMan-t'ien-hsing (Chinese name)


Parts Usually Used

Seeds, aerial parts


Description of Plant(s) and Culture

A low creeping vine, not much description given on this herb.


Where Found

Cultivated in the United States. Native to Asia. Commonly grows in the Himalayas.


Medicinal Properties

Alterative, antipyretic, diuretic, febrifuge, antispasmodic, nervine, sedative, tonic


Biochemical Information

Catachol, espicatechol, magnesium, theobromine, and vitamin K


Legends, Myths and Stories

Gotu Kola was probably first used in India, where it is part of the Ayurveda, the traditional herbal medicine. It was also mentioned in the Shennong Herbal compiled in China about 2,000 years ago. In recent years it has become popular in the West.

Probably the most important rejuvenative herb in Ayurvedic medicine. It is said to increase intelligence, longevity, memory; it decreases senility and aging. It fortifies the immune system, both cleansing and feeding it.

Gotu Kola is used by yogis as food for meditation. A cup of the herbal tea can be taken with honey before meditation.


Uses

A mildly bitter herb that stimulates the central nervous system, aids in the elimination of excess fluids, shrinks tissues, decreases fatigue and depression. Used for rheumatism, neuralgia, blood diseases, congestive heart failure, sore throat, tonsillitis, colds, coughs, swelling due to phlebitis, hay fever, leg cramps, swelling of the legs, hepatitis, epilepsy, premature aging, senility, leprosy, syphilis, eczema, psoriasis, malaria, a blood purifier, urinary tract infections, venereal disease, measles, insomnia, nervous and distressed emotions, and stress. Acts as a diuretic. May neutralize blood acids and lower body temperature. Good for liver and heart function. May promote hair growth when combined with eclipta.

Gotu Kola is known as the "memory herb". It stimulates circulation to the brain. Given for forgetfulness or confusion. Considered to be one of the best nerve tonics and many people use Gotu Kola to increase learning ability. It promotes mental calm and clarity and assists in the practice of yoga and meditation.


Formulas or Dosages

Capsules: take 1 capsule up to 3 times daily.

Extract: mix 5 to 10 drops in liquid. Take 3 times per day.


Warning

Do not use during pregnancy. One manufacturer cautions to avoid this herb if an over-active thyroid is diagnosed.

High doses can cause headaches or aggravate itching, and even temporary loss of consciousness.

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