"Gotu Kola" is a herb used widely in Chinese, Indonesian and ayurvedic traditional medicine for its wound healing and anti-inflammatory capabilities. It is often termed as the herb of longevity by practitioners. There are many Centella Asiatica Benefits. These practitioners swear by the Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica) Plant Health Benefits and claim that it boosts brain function and promotes liver and kidney health. Gotu kola benefits for skin are also numerous. In Indian traditional medicine, it is believed that there is a cure for all ailments naturally found in nature because back then, people lived natural lives. It also helps in treating painful knees. There were no processed foods, no chemical-laden foods. Hence, if people came across body ailments, they could cure them naturally with Centella Asiatica Benefits. They should include plants, herbs, potions found in mother nature. In recent times, trends have changed, and people rely heavily on modern medication because modern problems require modern solutions. However, some herbs have found their place outside of the "traditional medicine" umbrella and have made their own space. Gotu Kola is one such herb.
What is Gotu Kola?
Its scientific name is Centella Asiatica [CA] - a perennial herbaceous creeper that belongs to the family of Umbelliferae (Apiaceae). Throughout India, it is found to an altitude of 1800m growing in moist places and known as Indian pennywort. Centella Asiatica Benefits many people. It is also found in most tropical and subtropical countries growing in swampy areas, such as Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Madagascar, South Pacific, Eastern Europe, and South Africa. Many countries have understood the Centella Asiatica Benefits.
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About 20 species related to this herb growing in the tropic or wet pantropical areas such as rice paddies, and also at times on rocky higher altitudes. Centella Asiatica Benefits are also confused with Brahmi at times.
Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica) Plant Health Benefits are abundant and it is a tasteless and odourless plant that thrives in and around water. Its leaves are fan-shaped green in colour with white or light purple-to-pink or white flowers and have small oval fruits. The complete plant can be used for medicinal purposes. Centella Asiatica Benefits primarily as a blood purifier and for treating high blood pressure, memory enhancement and promoting longevity. Gotu kola is one of the primary herbs for revitalizing the nerves and brain cells, as per Ayurveda. Eastern healers relied on Centella Asiatica Benefits to treat emotional disorders, such as depression, that were thought to be rooted in physical problems. In Western medicine, during the middle of the twentieth century, Centella Asiatica Benefits and its alcohol extracts reported positive results in the treatment of leprosy.
Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica) Plant Health Benefits
Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica) Plant Health Benefits for burns and poor circulation that leads to chronic venous insufficiency. It is also used for scars, curing stretch marks, and many various other conditions. The herb contains a specific set of chemicals known to decrease inflammation and reduce blood pressure in veins. It also seems to increase collagen production, an integral part of wound healing, thus Centella Asiatica benefits are abundant.
Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica) Plant Health Benefits #1: Wound Healing and Minimize Scarring
In a 2015 study conducted on rats, researchers found that wound dressing containing the medicinal plant Gotu kola affected multiple wounds. These included clean cuts by sharp objects, jagged tears caused by blunt-force trauma, and infected tissue. This is one main gotu kola benefits.
The Centella Asiatica Benefits are many. Gotu kola extract-treated wounds were found to epithelialize faster. The rate of wound contraction was higher than in control wounds. These results indicated that the herb produced different actions on the various phases of wound repair by exhibiting significant wound healing activity in regular and delayed healing models. Therefore, Gotu kola health benefits are significant.
Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica) Plant Health Benefits #2: Boosting Cognitive Function
The effects of Centella Asiatica is known to revitalize the brain, increase attention span, and concentration and combat ageing. A small study revealed Gotu kola extract and folic acid results in boosting cognitive function after stroke. It was found that Gotu kola and folic acid were equally beneficial in improving overall cognition. The former was more effective in improving the nervous system. Such Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica) Plant Health Benefits make it an important addition to the diet.
Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica) Plant Health Benefits #3: Alzheimer's Disease
Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica) Plant Health Benefits can enhance memory and nerve function, which gives it potential in treating Alzheimer's. In fact, one mice study in 2012 found that Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica) Plant Health Benefits positively affected behavioural abnormalities in mice with Alzheimer's disease.
In lab and animal studies, the Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica) Plant Health Benefits on protecting brain cells from toxicity. This could also save the cells from forming the plaque associated with Alzheimer's. Still, further research is needed to determine precisely how Centella Asiatica benefits can reach people with Alzheimer's.
Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica) Plant Health Benefits #4: Reduces Disorders Such as Anxiety and Stress
An animal study from 2016 established that Gotu kola had anti-anxiety effects on male mice sleep deprived for 72 hours, as sleep deprivation is known to cause anxiety, neuroinflammation and oxidative damage.
Such are the Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica) Plant Health Benefits where the mice treated with gotu kola for five successive days before undergoing sleep deprivation displayed significantly less anxiety-like behaviour. The mice also experienced improved locomotor activity and less oxidative damage. A medical review in 2013 suggested that the herbal formulations of Gotu kola has an acute anti-anxiety effect. Such centella asiatica benefits make it highly desirable. You should also know about unwinding after a stressful day: a 5 step wonder.
Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica) Plant Health Benefits #5: As an Antidepressant
The Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica) Plant Health Benefits on cognitive and brain functions make it an excellent natural source of antidepressants. A 2016 study aids these findings. In a survey of 33 people with generalized anxiety disorder, the participants took Gotu kola instead of their antidepressant medication for sixty days. Centella Asiatica Benefits are many as they self-reported decreased feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression.
Another animal study mentioned in a review outlined the effect of Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica) Plant Health Benefits on rats with chronic depression. This Ayurvedic medicine positively impacted behavioural depression, including body weight, body temperature, and heart rate. However, one must be wary and check with their doctor before going off antidepressant medication and transitioning to herbal healthcare.
Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica) Plant Health Benefits #6: As Detox
Newer research is taking a look at this herbs effect on liver and kidney toxicity. According to one 2017 animal study, Centella Asiatica benefits were seen on suppressing the toxic adverse effects of the antibiotic isoniazid, which is used as a treatment for tuberculosis.
Rats were administered 100 mg of Gotu kola for 30 days before they were treated with antibiotics. These rats experienced less toxicity. The rats that did experience toxicity in the liver and kidneys resumed to near-normal levels after being treated with Centella Asiatica extract, aka Gotu kola. However, more research is needed to further the case of how prominent are Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica) Plant Health Benefits in this regard.Also read unwinding after a stressful day: a 5 step wonder.
Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica) Plant Health Benefits #7: Circulation and Lowers Swelling
Research suggests that the herb can reduce problems with fluid retention, edema, ankle swelling, and circulation tied to taking air travel that lasts longer than four hours. Participants of the research study who suffered from mild-to-moderate superficial venous disease were asked to take a dietary supplement of Gotu kola for two days before their air travel, the day of their air travel, and the day after their flight.
Researchers found that participants who took the nutritional supplement experienced significantly less fluid retention and ankle swelling than those who didn't. Studies have also suggested that Gotu kola can be handy in treating varicose veins, known as venous insufficiency. The reason being, Gotu kola has a positive metabolic effect on the connective tissue of the vascular wall and blood vessels.
Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica) Plant Health Benefits #8: Insomnia Treatment
Given its traditional ability to treat anxiety, stress, and depression, Gotu kola can also treat insomnia that sometimes accompanies these conditions. Some ayurvedic practitioners consider this herbal remedy to be a safe alternative to prescription medications used to treat insomnia and induce drowsiness. Such Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica) Plant Health Benefits make it a perfect addition to your diet.
Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica) Plant Health Benefits #9: Reduce Stretch Marks Appearance
A published study in 2013 suggested Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica) Plant Health Benefits for skin are great as the appearance of stretch marks. It's assumed that the terpenoids found in the herb increase collagen production in the human body. This action helps prevent new stretch marks from forming and support healing or decrease signs of any existing blemishes. One may also try applying a topical cream containing 1 per cent Gotu kola extract to the affected area to reduce the appearance of stretch marks, which is one of the Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica) Plant Health Benefits.
Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica) Plant Health Benefits #10: Treating Painful Knees and Joint Pain
Do you know Ayurveda helps in treating painful knees? The anti-inflammatory properties of this herb help in Treating Painful Knees. Research studies on collagen-induced arthritis in rats found that oral administration of Gotu kola reduced joint inflammation, cartilage erosion, and Treating Painful Knees. Its antioxidant effect also had a positive impact on the immune system.
Active Ingredients of Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica)
The primary active constituents of Gotu kola are saponins (also called triterpenoids), which include asiaticosides. A trisaccharide moiety is linked to the aglycone Asiatic acid, madecassoside and madasiatic acid. These triterpene saponins and their sapogenins are mainly responsible for wound healing and vascular effects by inhibiting collagen production at the wound site. Other components isolated from Gotu kola, such as brahmoside and brahminoside, may be responsible for CNS and uterus relaxant actions but are yet to be confirmed by clinical studies. Some derived ingredients from the herb are found to be effective in the treatment of venous hypertension. Such are the Centella asiatica benefits.
Side Effects of Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica)
Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica) has no proven toxicity in recommended doses. Side effects are few, but they can cause skin allergies and burning sensations if applied externally. Other side effects include headache, stomach upset, nausea, dizziness, and extreme drowsiness, which tend to occur with high doses of the herb. The fresh plant may have a lower potential for skin irritation.
Oral Intake: For most people when Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica) is taken orally for up to 12 months, it may cause nausea and stomach pain as the dosage is excess.
Topical Application: Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica) is safe for most people for skin application up to 10 weeks. However, in rare cases, it may cause itchiness and redness.
Interaction With Other Drugs: There have been no documented reports on harmful interactions between the herb and medications to date.
Since high doses of the herb cause sedation, it is warned that people on sleeping pills and anti-anxiety medication should refrain from taking this herb without checking with their doctor or physician.
Theoretically, the herb was also found to interfere with blood glucose levels and thus also possibly interfere with the existing hypoglycaemic therapy and cholesterol-lowering agents.
Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica) Precautions
In the case of the following, it is best to avoid the use of Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica) to be on the safe side.
Pregnancy: Gotu kola is safe for skin application on pregnant women. However, there isn't sufficient information to know if Gotu kola is safe for oral intake.
Lactation: There isn't sufficient information to know if the herb is safe to use during breastfeeding.
Liver disease: There are concerns that Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica) may cause liver damage. Folks who are on medication for liver conditions should avoid the use of this herb. It can complicate liver problems.
Surgery: The herb might cause too much sleepiness if combined with medications used during and after surgery. Do not consume the herb at least two weeks before surgery.
In conclusion, I'd like to add that natural and traditional remedies are available for many health issues that one faces. Centella Asiatica Benefits are many. One can find solace and healing in the same. However, one must ensure that one must also have a simple and holistic lifestyle for natural remedies to work. One cannot expect to live an unhealthy lifestyle and continue taking natural and herbal supplements and wait for a miracle. Take your health in your hands, educate yourself about what you consume, and slowly transition to a more balanced suitable lifestyle tending to your body's daily needs.
However, if already on medication, please do not stop these medications and self diagnose and medicate yourself with traditional and herbal remedies. Always speak to your physician or certified ayurvedic practitioner before stopping any medication. Consider including herbal traditional ayurvedic herbs in your diet. Auric's natural beverages are made without preservatives and are organic.
Have you wondered what’s the hype of Auric Beverages and why it’s trending all over the Internet? It is widely consumed by celebrities and is a preferred ayurvedic drink.Also read; how to treat knee joint pain using Ayurvedic medicine?
Authored by: Padmaja Rai
About the Author: Padmaja is a healthcare consultant and avid fitness enthusiast. She holds a masters' in bio-innovation and rare diseases from University of Pennsylvania. She is a firm believer in ancient Indian holistic healing.