Herb of the Month: Gotu Kola

Author: Jillian Foster   Date Posted:1 October 2019 

Centella asiatica, also known as gotu kola, pennywort or tiger herb, is a multi-functional herb with uses in minor wound healing, vein health, memory, and stress adaption. It has a long traditional use in Ayurvedic medicine, as well as African and Chinese medicine.

Gotu kola has been nick-named the ‘elixir of life’ mainly due to its ability to improve skin texture and for its minor wound healing properties. Its positive effect on memory and concentration as well as beneficial effect on stress and mild anxiety certainly adds to this title.

 

Wound healing

Gotu kola has demonstrated wound healing properties and is used to help heal minor wounds. The triterpenoids, which are natural chemicals within gotu kola are believed to speed up the wound healing process as well as strengthen the skin and improve blood supply to the area.

 

Vein health

Due to its effect on connective tissue and supporting circulation, gotu kola can help varicose veins as well as reduce fluid retention and improve circulation. The triterpenic fraction of gotu kola helps stimulate the production of collagen and elastin which helps strengthen the walls of the veins.

 

 

Memory & Concentration

Gotu kola is referred to as a cognition enhancer and it works in a number of ways to help with memory and concentration. It improves blood flow to the brain, has an anti-inflammatory action, has antioxidant capabilities that eliminate free radicals within the brain, it helps reduce stress and it reduces the breakdown of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine that is involved in memory and learning.

 

Mild Anxiety and Stress

Considered an adaptogen, gotu kola can help you adapt to stress. A review conducted in 2016* found taking gotu kola can decrease feelings of stress and mild anxiety. It has been traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine to promote relaxation and calmness for the practice of meditation.

 

Gotu kola is a great all-rounder herb to help with a variety of health concerns. With so many different functions this herb is a must for the herbal dispensary!

 

References:

*Lokanathan Y. Norazzila O. et. al. 2016. Recent Updates in Neuroprotective and Neurogenerative Potential of Centell asiaticaMalays J Med Sci. 2016 Jan; 23(1):4-14.

 

Written by Jillian Foster

Jillian (BHSc Naturopathy) is a qualified naturopath who believes through a healthy and balanced diet and lifestyle, we have the power to influence our health and the health of future generations. With a passion for herbal medicine, Jillian loves helping people find the right solution for their health needs and educating people on how they can lead a healthy and happy life. 

Jillian enjoys keeping active with her two young children and baking them delicious and healthy treats.


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