This plant grows in a widespread distribution in tropical, swampy areas, including parts of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, and South Africa. This slender, creeping plant flourishes in and around water. The roots and leaves are used medicinally.
Gotu kola has been important in the medicinal systems of central Asia for centuries. In Sri Lanka, it was purported to prolong life, as the leaves are commonly eaten by elephants. Numerous skin diseases, ranging from poorly healing wounds to leprosy, have been treated with gotu kola. Gotu kola also has a historical reputation for boosting mental activity and for helping a variety of illnesses, such as high blood pressure, rheumatism, fever, and nervous disorders. Some of its common applications in Ayurvedic medicine include heart disease, water retention, hoarseness, bronchitis, and coughs in children, and as a poultice for many skin conditions.
What it does
Gotu kola contains compounds called triterpenoids which have complex actions, but are generally involved in connective tissue repair and stimulation of the healing processes, whilst reducing scar tissue formation. Generally gotu kola is also thought to improve the structure of connective tissue surrounding veins. It is also anti-biotic and a detoxifier.
|Skin ulcers||Wound healing||Varicose veins|
|Raynauds disease||Keloid scars||Cellulite|
Research has shown that gotu kola extracts improve concentration, attention, and have anti-stress and anti-anxiety effects.
Gotu Kola is used by herbalists for the treatment of chronic venous insufficiency, wound healing, minor burns, mental function and cellulite. The positive effect of gotu kola on the integrity of skin dermis (the second layer of skin tissue) is associated with its promotion of glycosaminoglycans, a major component of connective tissue.
Gotu kola appears to enhance the connective tissue structure and improve venous circulation.
Generally, there are no side effects or contra-indications from using gotu kola.
At the time of writing there were no well known negative drug interactions with gotu kola.
If you are taking sedatives, anti-diabetic drugs or anti-lipidemics consult your doctor before taking gotu kola.