The most interesting health benefits of gotu kola include its ability to prevent hair loss, speed wound healing, aid in skin care, boost cognition, soothe nervous disorders, treat respiratory issues, reduce toxicity, protect the heart, enhance mood, and heal the circulatory system.
What is Gotu Kola?
Gotu kola is a small perennial herbaceous plant from the wetlands of Asia that can have remarkable effects on the body when consumed. This herb is also known as Centella Asiatica, Centella, Brahmi, and Asiatic pennywort. Centella Asiatica was used in ancient India, Africa, and China for its powerful medicinal properties. The plant grows in tropical, wet areas and bears a small white or pink flower from a leaf that looks like a fat half moon.
These strangely shaped leaves are the most valuable part of the plant and are most commonly used in herbal medicine. They can be made into gels, creams, capsule supplements, ointments, and other forms to treat everything from anxiety to cardiovascular conditions. The high concentration of unique triterpenoid compounds (also known as saponins) found in it is the reason behind this plant’s power.
Health Benefits of Gotu Kola
Let us look at some of the powerful health benefits of gotu kola in detail below:
Prevents Hair Loss
Gotu kola lowers stress and free radicals, which are known to cause hair loss. For healthier hair growth, apply a mixture of Centella Asiatica, aloe vera, Eclipta alba (false daisy), Ocimum sanctum (holy basil), and Emblica Officinalis (Amla).
Speeds Wound Healing
Saponins and other organic compounds found in gotu kola stimulate the healing process at the site of wounds. By stimulating blood flow to the cells and protecting against infections, it can rapidly speed the healing process.
Gotu kola is rich in antioxidants and contains saponins which improve the appearance of the skin. Many cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies are interested in it because of its ability to reduce the appearance of scars, wrinkles, and other blemishes. In particular, it inhibits the accumulation of scar tissue, which helps keep your skin beautiful, even after an injury or a surgery. Thus, it reduces major signs of aging.
Gotu kola actually plays two important roles in the circulatory system. Firstly, the plant extract can protect and strengthen the walls of blood vessels and capillaries, which prevents blood leakage and optimizes the circulatory system. Secondly, it stimulates the flow of blood, which increases oxygenation in different parts of the body and important organ systems. This also alleviates problems caused due to poor blood circulation such as swelling, leg heaviness, and pain.
Gotu kola prevents blood clotting. Therefore it cures thrombosis, which is blood clotting in the blood vessels.
Gotu kola has anti-inflammatory properties which fight the bacterial infections. It also helps in reducing the swelling and pain caused by inflammation.
Cures Stomach Ulcers
Asiaticoside present in gotu kola acts as an anti-gastric ulcer drug. It increases cell healing and reduces the ulcers.
Treats Anxiety & Depression
Gotu kola can have a positive effect on anxiety issues as it lowers the stress hormone, cortisol, and increases serotonin and dopamine levels. It effectively decreases the frequency and severity of anxiety attacks and episodes in a group of subjects who suffered from some form of GAD (General Anxiety Disorder). The anti-inflammatory properties of this herb can lower the signs of depression and despair. It is also known to enhance spirituality, thus, sometimes referred to as the ‘Herb of Enlightenment’.
Gotu kola extract has a positive impact on the circulatory system, thereby oxygenating more of the brain and allowing cognition to improve. The antioxidant effects of this herb are also somewhat responsible, as they can stimulate neural pathways by eliminating plaque and free radicals from the brain.
Prevents Nervous Disorders
Gotu kola has an anxiolytic activity which helps relieve stress, enhance mood, and induce sleep, thereby calming the nervous system. For those who suffer from disorders like epilepsy, it can have a powerful effect on the quality of life and the severity of the conditions if taken regularly.
The gotu kola extract has been traditionally used to improve memory in India as an Ayurvedic treatment. Studies done on lab rats confirm that it has a memory-enhancing property, and therefore it can slow down the effects of Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, and dementia.
Prevents Stomach Upset
Traditionally, Centella Asiatica leaves were used to treat severe pain in the stomach, which we now link to gastric ulcers. This treatment is still considered viable, and the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of the leaves can clearly improve the health of the gut and colon.
Detoxifies the Body
Gotu kola has long been known as a mild diuretic and can, therefore, stimulate the release of excess toxins, salts, water, and even fat from the body through urination. This release helps ease tension on the kidneys and generally removes toxins quickly while keeping our energy up and our fluid balance even.
Regulates Blood Pressure
By relieving tension and anxiety in the arteries and blood vessels, gotu kola is able to regulate blood pressure and reduce strain on the cardiovascular system. This protects the heart and prevents diseases like atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes from occurring.
Enhances Sex Drive
There is traditional evidence showing that gotu kola is used for an energetic boost in the bedroom. Increasing libido is often a side effect of other herbal remedies, and this herb is no exception. In addition to eliminating mental fatigue and increasing energy stores in the body, it can also bring some fire back to your relationship.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women, those undergoing surgery, as well as individuals with the liver disease are advised to avoid gotu kola. Some common side effects are as follows: