What Is Gotu Kola
And what are its uses as an herbal remedy?
Gotu Kola is also known as centellaasiatica and it is a small plant native to India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Melanesia, and northern Australia.
It is used in traditional Ayurvedic, African, and Chinese medicine. It only takes three months for the plant to mature and harvesting is done entirely by hand.Below, you’ll find more information about this important medicinal plant and why it is used so frequently today.
The stems of the Gotu Kola are long and slender. There are creeping vines which connect the plants to each other. The flowers can vary in color from pink to red and bloom in bunches near the soil surface.
These flowers are very small, but contain both the stamens and the styles. The fruit from this plant is pitted, which is distinctly different from other members of the Hydrocotyle species.
It grows in low wet areas and ditches. Southeast Asian varieties are very susceptible to high levels of contamination from bacteria.
Gotu Kola is used as a leafy green in Sri Lanka and is usually served with curry and rice. It’s a nutritious plant and works well with coconut, jackfruit, turmeric, citrus fruit, and chilies. In Indonesia, the leaves are used in a salad, but in Vietnam, Thailand, and India, it is most often used in preparing a healthy drink.
The Health Benefits
The medicinal uses of this plant are many. It has mild antibacterial and antiviral properties, as well as anti-inflammatory properties. It can be used as a treatment for anxiety, but the leaves can also be used as an afternoon stimulant.
Reduction in Blood Pressure
Juice made from those same leaves is believed to cause a reduction in blood pressure, while a poultice can be applied to open sores.
It has long been used to treat leprosy. It is also a recommended as one of the most effective herpes remeides. Along with other herbs for herpes, it can shorten the duration and the frequency of the outbreaks.
In 1966, Richard Lucas published a book that said that this plant can increase longevity, promote healthy circulation, and cure several skin conditions. In fact, it has been shown to increase collagen production and is found in many scar minimizing creams.
In Thailand, the plant is also used for opium detoxification. For those that follow Sri Sri Thakur, one or two fresh leaves are taken with plenty of water as part of the morning rituals. Some research studies have shown this plant to be a potential growth inhibitor for many types of cancer.
A Few Final Thoughts
Gotu Kola has so many medicinal uses in today’s societies that it is difficult to carefully document them all. For most herbalists, this is considered one of the “wonder” herbs that can really provide comfort for a wide range of health conditions.
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