A botanical image of Gotu Kola

Gota Kola

Centella asiatica

Family: Apiaceae

Description: A small low creeping herbaceous plant with rounded simple green leaves and inconspicuous small white to purplish-pink flowers.

Habit and cultivation: Commonly grows in the damp, swampy regions of India, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, South Africa, and many other tropical and subtropical regions of the world.

Actions (known for): Immune enhancing, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, laxative, stimulate bile secretion, wound healing

History: Originally an Indian herb and considered the most important rejuvenating herb in Ayurvedic medicine. Also known as Hydrocotyle asiatica Gota Kola in Singhalese translates as cup-shaped leaf. Noted in the Chinese Shennong Herbal 1st to 2nd century as A “Miracle elixir of life” due to the fact that herbalist Li Ching-Yun believed to be as old as 197 used it daily. The Sri-Lankans noting the fact that elephants had an extended life span and ate Gotu Kola began to eat a few leaves daily in the hope of extending their own lives. Used as an aphrodisiac and various other conditions it was accepted by the French as a drug in 1800″s and incorporated into the Indian Pharmacopoeia in the 19th century. Used to make incense sticks for meditation but not burnt during meditation.

Parts used: Dried whole plant

Constituents (bio available chemicals):Triterpenes, triterpenoid ester glycosides and volitile oil.

Indications: Speeds wound healing and new cell growth after surgery, supports soft tissue renewal in severe burns, connective tissue disorders, arthritis, builds collagen improving circulation, improves memory – boosts cognitive function, decreases anxiety and stress. Improves insomnia and joint pain.

Dosage:Dry herb: 2 grams daily. Liquid extract (1:2): 20-40ml per week

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