Scientifically called Centella Asiatica, Gotu kola is a plant well known in Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine, where it is used to treat kidney and skin diseases and malaria. Part of the same family as parsley, Gotu kola has many psychiatric effects, including the improvement of cognitive skills and reducing anxiety.
Throughout history, Gotu kola has been used to treat a variety of medical disorders including mental fatigue, syphilis, ulcers, hepatitis, diarrhea, epilepsy, fever and asthma. Currently, American specialists use Gotu kola to treat diseases such as psoriatic arthritis, scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis and depression, due to its ability to reduce tissue inflammation.
Recent studies have come to confirm some traditional uses, and some new uses of the plant, such as the capacity to help lower blood pressure, increase mental acuity and accelerate wound healing.
Which are the benefits of Gotu kola supplementation?
Gotu Kola contains a component called triterpenoid, an element that has been shown to help heal wounds.
Animal studies with this compound have shown that the triterpenoid strengthens the skin while increasing the concentration of antioxidants in the wounds. It also increases blood flow around the areas, regenerating tissues.
When your blood vessels lose their ability to stretch and adjust over the years, the blood and fluids start to leak – this makes your feet swell and is known as venous insufficiency. These are those unaesthetic “bloodlines” that normally are visible in older people.
In a study conducted on almost 100 people suffering from venous insufficiency, those who consumed Gotu kola reported that they had noticed a drastic improvement in symptoms compared to those taking an only placebo.
Compounds that can be found in Gotu kola, known as triterpenoids have shown the ability to increase mental acuity and decrease stress in mice. A new study has shown that people who have taken Gotu kola were less affected by noise, a precursor to anxiety. While these results are very promising, the dosages that were used to get to these conclusions were extremely high.
One study showed that those who consumed Abana, a mixture of herbs with Gotu kola, and had heart disease and hypertension, have seen a great reduction in diastolic blood pressure. This result was compared to patients who only took a placebo.
Healers have used Centella Asiatica for a long time to treat a variety of diseases including leprosy, psoriasis, respiratory infections, ulcers, colds, hepatitis, epilepsy, fatigue, fever, asthma, and syphilis.
In the Chinese medicine, Centella Asiatica is also known as the “fountain of youth” because, it supposedly increases longevity. Although not study has been conducted so far in order to prove the efficacy of Gotu kola in treating these disorders, some specialists recommend this plant to treat insomnia, scleroderma, cancer, circulatory disorders, hypertension, memory loss, scars and cellulite.
Gotu Kola Side Effects
Although Gotu kola is safe to use when is administered accordingly, you must keep in mind that the plant must not be utilized for a period longer than six weeks without consulting a doctor.
Always speak with your physician before you follow treatment, especially if you are taking prescribed medications.
The side effects are rare, but they can appear. Some of them include burning sensation, allergic skin reactions, headache, dizziness, nausea, stomach upset and drowsiness.
It is contraindicated during pregnancy or lactation. Also, people who suffer from liver disease or have a known history of skin cancer lesions should not take Gotu kola.