Gotu Cola and Its Use in Herbal Medicine
Gotu kola (or centella asiatica) is a tasteless, plant with no odor that thrives in and around water. This perennial plant is native to India, Japan, China, Indonesia, South Africa, and Sri Lanka. Gotu kola has small fan-shaped green leaves with white or light purple-to-pink flowers. It also bears small oval fruit. The plant belongs to the parsley family. In herbal medicine leaves and stems of the gotu kola are favored for the variety of medicinal purposes.
Gotu kola best grows in tropical areas and in some places it is used as ground cover to retard soil erosion.
Wide variety of herbal preparations is based on compounds that are concentrated in both roots and leaves of gotu kola. The leaves of this swamp plant have been known to produce effects that treat leprosy, cancer, skin disorders, arthritis, hemorrhoids, and tuberculosis. Also, Aadecoction of juice from the leaves relieve hypertension.
Gotu kola is available in various forms: dried (for teas), powdered herb in capsules, tinctures and standardized extracts. The latter should contain 40% asiaticoside, 29% to 30% asiatic acid, 29% to 30% madecassic acid, and 1% to 2% madecassoside. The herb usually used as an active ingredient in tonics, body-beautiful preparations, oral slimming formulas, body firming products, wound healing, anti-aging skin care products
Gotu kola mainly favored for its components called triterpenoids, which have been shown to aid in wound healing, to soothe anxiety and boost mental function. Some sedative effects of the herb have been noticed in animals, so gotu kola has been used to help people affected by insomnia. Beta-sitosterol, another active compound, provides strong blood purifying action, and can help to lower serum cholesterol levels.
Other cctive ingredients are brahmoside and brahminoside (both saponin glycosides), madecassoside (a glycoside with strong anti-inflammatory properties), madecassic acid, thiamine, vitamin K, riboflavin, pyridoxine, asparate, glutamate, serine, lysine, histidine, magnesium, threonine, alanine, calcium and sodium. It contains narcotic elements, agents that depress the function of the central nervous system, inducing sleep and lessening pain. Sedatives components function to quite nervous excitement and reduce motor activity without inducing sleep. Gotu kola belongs to the class of diuretics drugs which increase the volume of urine produced by the kidneys and thus being benefit for chronic and degenerative diseases. Tonic agents of gotu kola strengthens and tones the body.
For centuries gotu kola has been used as a medicinal herb in India, China and Indonesia. Its ability to improve mental clarity, heal wounds and treat skin conditions such as leprosy and psoriasis have been greatly favored and widely used by herbalists.
Gotu kola has also been known to treat syphilis, mental fatigue, epilepsy, hepatitis, stomach ulcers, diarrhea, fever, and asthma. Today, western herbalists use gotu kola for disorders that cause swelling of the connective tissue, such as scleroderma, anklylosing spondylitis (arthritis of the spine), psoriatic arthritis (arthritis occurring in conjunction with psoriasis) and rheumatoid arthritis. Lowering high blood pressure, treating venous insufficiency, easing anxiety, boosting memory and intelligence and speeding wound healing are also considered to belong to gotu kola’s benefits.
It relieves my cough instantly after I use a capsule..
I used the leaves as antioxidant . I Chew 3 fresh leaves daily to boost my energy level before I exercise. Are there any side effects?.
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