Health Benefits of Gotu Kola

Things You Most Likely Didn’t Know About The Science of Gotu Kola

GotukolaGotu kola bears the scientific name, Centella Asiatica. The name itself should give you an idea as to where it is found. Gotu kola is a slender plant that commonly found in India, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, South Africa, and the tropics. The Gotu Kola plant likes moist areas, thus it creeps across the swampy areas and moist, watery regions. The leaves of the Gotu Kola plant are shaped like a fan. They are small, about the size of an old British penny. For this reason, it is commonly known as Indian pennywort, marsh penny, and water pennywort.

Folk Remedy

The Gotu Kola is regarded as one of the most spiritual and rejuvenating herbs. It plays a significant part in Ayurveda medicine as an herb to improve meditation. The reason for its being revered as an almost sacred plant by the Indians is that it is said to develop the crown chakra which is the energy center of the head. Gotu kola is said to balance the right and left hemispheres of the brain, a property attributed to the leaf’s resemblance to this vital organ of the body.

For thousands of years, Gotu kola has been widely used for a number of conditions. It was used particularly in traditional Eastern health care as a folk remedy for all sorts of diseases and disorders. Ayurveda delegates the Gotu kola as one of the main herbs that help revitalize the nerves and the brain cells. Gotu kola is believed to boost the immune system and fortify it against infection and other diseases. By cleansing and feeding the adrenals, the herb is supposed to strengthen this organ’s function.

In China and Indonesia, the Gotu Kola plant is a stuff of legends. According to olden stories, a Chinese herbalist used the plant and consequently lived for more than 200 years. For this reason, it has been dubbed as one of the “miracle elixirs of life.” Extracts made from Gotu Kola leaves were used to heal wounds. Ancient herbalists also believed that the herb can improve mental clarity and treat skin conditions such as leprosy and psoriasis.

Historically, Gotu Kola was used to treat syphilis, hepatitis, stomach ulcers, mental fatigue, epilepsy, diarrhea, fever, and asthma. Although the foundations of some claims seem vague, today’s scientific community has confirmed the plant’s many uses.

The Science

Stress causes a lot of complications in the body. People with stress-related disorders like anxiety and panic attacks are believed to have an overactive startle response. Researchers and scientists theorize that triterpene acids in Gotu Kola have a soothing effect on the nervous system. According to studies, these compounds bind to receptors in your central nervous system and reduce your startle response.

Gotu kola has a strengthening effect on the collagen lining of your vein walls. Due to this, circulation is enhanced and inflammation may be reduced, making it also an effective treatment for varicose veins.

In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology in 2000, 40 healthy adults were given either a very high one-time dose of 12 g of Gotu kola or a placebo. Scientists then measured the subjects’ startle responses using loud bursts of noise. Sixty minutes later, the group who were given Gotu kola displayed less than half the startle response of the control group.

There are studies conducted on the benefits of this plant but so far, the only controlled one is the clinical trial mentioned above.