What Is Gotu Kola?
Gotu kola (GATU KOALA) is a plant belonging to the mint family which includes mints such as spearmint, basil, and oregano. It grows naturally in tropical regions of Asia, Africa, South America and Australia. It is one of the most popular herbal remedies used worldwide for its medicinal properties. Its leaves are used to treat cough, colds, sore throat, diarrhea, vomiting and other gastrointestinal problems. It is commonly known as “Indian mint” or “Mint Tree”.
The dried leaves are often chewed and eaten raw or cooked with milk. They have been used traditionally in India for centuries as a digestive aid and tonic.
They were also used medicinally for treating stomach ulcers and cancer. Today they are widely used as a folk remedy for various ailments including asthma, arthritis, bronchitis, heart disease, diabetes mellitus and many others.
In the past it was believed that the leaves could cure diseases through their ability to stimulate the immune system. However modern science has proven otherwise.
In fact there is no scientific evidence whatsoever supporting any of these claims. There is some research showing that the leaves may reduce inflammation but this effect seems to be short lived and not long lasting. There is no evidence to support its use in asthma and only shows a little promise in treating diabetes.
Gotu kola has been used in alternative medicine for centuries. It is not well known in the west but is gaining some popularity as an herbal supplement.
Today it is available for sale in health food stores throughout the world. Many manufacturers produce supplements containing standardized extracts of gotu kola. It is often promoted as a “smart drug” or “nootropic”. It is believed to increase mental alertness and enhance memory. There is some scientific evidence suggesting that it may indeed improve cognitive function, but only in people who do not already have a fully functional and healthy brain.
Gotu Kola is generally considered to be safe when consumed in recommended quantities. It can be taken orally with water or juice.
Some people may have allergic reactions to it so it should not be used by those with known allergies to the plant. It should not be used by pregnant women or children.
You can experience some mild side effects such as headaches, dizziness and stomach cramps. Do not use gotu kola if you have bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, diabetes or kidney or liver diseases.
It may lower blood sugar levels and interfere with the medications for diabetes. It may also interact with blood thinners, diuretics, heart or asthma medications.
It is generally safe when used by healthy adults in recommended amounts. The recommended daily dosage is 400-900mg daily, unless otherwise directed by a health practitioner.
It can be taken with food but this may reduce its efficacy.
There are several different species of gotu kola, including Centella asiatica and asiabala. It is used both internally and externally.
Internally, it is used to boost energy, increase mental alertness and improve memory. Externally, it is used to heal cuts, burns and dermatitis.
Gotu kola is an annual herb that has small and fern like leaves and a slender stem. It grows in wet soil along stream beds and marshy meadows primarily in the subtropical regions of Asia, India, Madagascar and Malaysia.
It is used in traditional medicine as a general health tonic, to increase energy and to heal wounds. It has become popular as a natural remedy and is now available in most health food stores.
Gotu Kola may reduce the side effects of interferon and increase the effectiveness of treating Hepatitis B. However more studies are need to confirm these findings.
There doesn’t seem to be any evidence that it benefits patients with multiple sclerosis or any other related diseases.
There is some research that shows that gotu kola may have a benefit for patients with hepatitis B, specifically in lowering the amount of liver inflammation. Other studies show promise in using it for patients with multiple sclerosis and peripheral nervous system problems such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.
Gotu Kola has been used in traditional medicine for hundreds of years to promote circulation. It is also believed to increase the number of hemoglobin and red blood cells.
Some people believe it may help to treat acne, tuberculosis, ADHD and Alzheimer’s disease. More research is need to confirm these uses.
The recommended dosage for gotu kola is between 250-900 mg per day. It can be taken on an empty stomach or with food.
Use of this herb is considered safe when used appropriately. There are no major side effects. Some minor side effects may include allergic reactions, nausea and diarrhea. Avoid using if you have hypothyroidism.
Our Super Cuban has large green leaves and a very robust flavor. It tastes great in salads, soups and of course in brewed as a tea.
With a long history of use in tropical areas where it grows wild, it is also gaining popularity around the world as a nutritious and healthy food source. This one is a personal favorite.
Noni is one of the most nutritious herbs you can find. It contains a wide range of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
It also has some very beneficial effects on the immune system.
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Sources & references used in this article:
A double-blind, placebo-controlled study on the effects of Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica) on acoustic startle response in healthy subjects by J Bradwejn, Y Zhou, D Koszycki… – Journal of clinical …, 2000 – journals.lww.com
Gotu kola (Centella asiatica): nutritional properties and plausible health benefits by UG Chandrika, PAASP Kumara – Advances in food and nutrition research, 2015 – Elsevier
Evaluation of the anticonvulsant effect of Centella asiatica (gotu kola) in pentylenetetrazol-induced seizures with respect to cholinergic neurotransmission by G Visweswari, KS Prasad, PS Chetan, V Lokanatha… – Epilepsy & Behavior, 2010 – Elsevier
Health Information Gotu Kola by L Olenina, IP Patel, AP Portal – pierremontendocrine.com
Centella asiatica (Gotu kola) as a neuroprotectant and its potential role in healthy ageing by R Sabaragamuwa, CO Perera, B Fedrizzi – Trends in Food Science & …, 2018 – Elsevier
Trends in aging and skin care: Ayurvedic concepts by HS Datta, R Paramesh – Journal of Ayurveda and integrative …, 2010 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Effects of metal-contaminated soils on the accumulation of heavy metals in gotu kola (Centella asiatica) and the potential health risks: a study in Peninsular Malaysia by GH Ong, LS Wong, AL Tan, CK Yap – Environmental monitoring and …, 2016 – Springer
Centella asiatica in cosmetology by W Bylka, P Znajdek-Awiżeń… – … in Dermatology and …, 2013 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov