Herbs > Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica)
Also know as Bramhi, hydrocotyle, Indian pennywort and tiger grass, Gotu kola has become a popular
ingredient of "smart drinks" as are now
found widely in Western Culture. Gotu Kola is native
to India and islands in the Indian Ocean, and it is
widely used throughout these areas. It is an
important herb in Aruyvedic (traditional Indian)
medicine. Its Aruyvedic
name, bramhi, means "bringing the knowledge of
Gotu kola is an excellent herb
for mental power. Unlike many other herbs which are
said to boost mental capabilities, gotu kola has been
the subject of clinical tests to prove its potential.
It has been shown to increase concentration and the
attention span of intellectually disabled children.
In the elderly, it can prevent senility and memory
loss. For these conditions, a dosage of 4 capsules
per day is recommended.
In healthy individuals a dosage
of 1-2 capsules per day will revive the memory and
boost brain speed. In addition, it has a soothing
effect on the nerves, making it an excellent
supplement prior to sitting an exam.
As well as boosting the mind,
gotu kola is good for the body. It increases stamina
and physical power. It also speeds the healing rate
There is anecdotal evidence
that gotu kola reduces varicose veins. Some sufferers
have found that by taking 3-4 capsules each day,
varicose veins shrank and the pain associated with
them was reduced. This dosage has also been known to
aid in the healing of phlebitis.
In large amounts, or with long-term use,
gotu kola can cause headaches, vertigo and photosensitivity.
Avoid if suffering from hypertension, cardiovascular disorders or peptic
Gotu kola can be used in cooking. The leaves
of the plant can be added to salads and curries.
Growing gotu kola: Gotu kola is
propagated from seed, which is sown in Spring. It
prefers a tropical climate very hot and wet
and it flourishes in areas such as rice
paddies. Either the whole plant or just the leaves
can be harvested at any time once mature.
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