Gotu Kola Background and Benefits
Gotu kola is a common name for an herbaceous plant known scientifically as Centella asiatica. Additional common names for this plant include Indian pennywort and Asiatic pennywort. Goto kola originates from Southeast Asia, although it also grows in other tropical regions of the world. This plant is commonly used in many systems of traditional medicine, including the Ayurvedic system in India, traditional Chinese medicine and traditional African medicine.
Goto kola typically grows in low, wet areas such as ditches. Its stems creep along the ground to connect individual plants to each other. The leaves have a round shape and grow on long stalks. Goto kola has cream-colored rhizomes that grow straight down. The hermaphroditic flowers are less than 1/8-inch in diameter and grow in small bunches known as umbrels. The fruit is edible and bears a complex reticulate pattern on its skin.
Gotu kola typically matures within three months in a tropical climate. The entire plant is usually harvested by hand, even in commercial cultivation. Gotu kola is especially sensitive to water pollutants since it’s an aquatic plant.
The biologically active components in gotu kola are primarily pentacyclic triterpenoids such as asiaticoside. Additional components in this category include Asiatic acid, brahmoside and brahmic acid. Gotu kola also contains active components such as centelloside, centellose and madecassoside.
Uses of Gotu Kola
The primary uses of gotu kola as a health supplement generally involve the circulatory system. These uses include the management of fluids and plaque as well as neurological function.
Neurological health support
Some supplements that contain gotu kola may help to maintain neurological functions.
Gotu kola may help support your body’s ability to manage levels of plaque build-up in the arteries, making them less likely to form blockages. Current research indicates that it can require up to one year to obtain this benefit.
Oral supplements of gotu kola extract may support circulation, especially in the legs. This regimen may require up to eight weeks to achieve the best results.
Gotu kola extract may help to manage fluid retention, especially in people with damaged capillaries.
Signs You May Need Gotu Kola
The signs of venous insufficiency are the most common reasons for needing gotu kola, which typically include blood clots and varicose veins. Infections may also benefit from gotu kola, whether the cause is bacterial, parasitic or viral. Neurological signs that could mean you need gotu kola extract include anxiety, stress, fatigue and low moods. Digestive signs that may benefit from gotu kola include stomach discomfort, diarrhea, indigestion and ulcers.
Synonyms and Similar Forms of Gotu Kola
Centella asiatica, Indian pennywort, Asiatic pennywort