Gotu kola has been used as a medicinal herb for thousands of years in India, China and Indonesia. Gotu kola (or centella asiatica) is a insipid, plant with no odor that thrives in and around water. Its capability to heal wounds, improve mental clarity, and treat skin conditions such as leprosy and psoriasis were important reasons for its extensive use in these countries. It has also been called one of the "miracle elixirs of life" as legend has it that an ancient Chinese herbalist existed for more than 200 years as a result of using the herb.
As per Ayurveda Gotu kola herb is one of the chief herbs for rejuvenating the nerves and brain cells; hence primarily known as a brain food in India. It has also been called one of the "miracle elixirs of life" as mythos has it that an ancient Chinese herbalist lived for more than 200 years as a result of using the herb. Gotu kola has small fan-shaped green leaves having 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 preferred for the variety of medicinal purposes.
Gotu kola best grows in tropical areas and in few places it is used as ground cover to retard soil erosion. Gotu kola mainly preferred 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 observed in animals, so gotu kola has been used to help people influenced by insomnia. Beta-sitosterol, another active compound, offers strong blood purifying action, and can help to reduce serum cholesterol levels. Broad variety of herbal preparations is based on compounds which are concentrated in both roots and leaves of gotu kola.
The leaves of this swamp plant have been known to produce effects which treat leprosy, cancer, skin disorders, arthritis, hemorrhoids, and tuberculosis. Also, Aadecoction of juice from the leaves absolve hypertension.
Gotu kola protects the blood vessels which supply oxygen to the brain, which helps increase the brain's oxygen supply. In Ayurveda Gotu kola is one of the prime herbs for revitalizing the nerves and brain cells. Gotu Kola have no cola or caffeine, as its name would suggest. This herb is called brain food by many. It have been used widespread for centuries to treat leprosy, cancer, skin disorders, arthritis, hemorrhoids, and tuberculosis.
Gotu Cola contains an oily substance, a resin, an organic acid, tannin, and soupçons of an alkaloid. Another analysis evinces a substance called vallerine (0.8 - 1%), resin, fat (8.9%), tannin and carbohydrates (24.5%), gum and salts (11.5%), albumoid matter (12.5%), and ash (2.4%). Vallerine is a anemic yellowish color with a bitter, pungent, persistent taste and odor. It has been reported to be beneficial in treating eye lesions and cataracts.
Many people in India have assigned mind and memory improving qualities to this herb. Dosage-Goto-kola take two capsules with a meal twice daily. Side effects are scarce but may include skin allergy and burning sensations (with external use), headache, stomach upset, nausea, dizziness, and extreme drowsiness. These side effects tend to arise with high doses of gotu kola. Gotu kola causes contact dermatitis in few individuals. In large amounts or with long-term use, gotu kola can cause headaches, vertigo and photosensitivity. Topical application may cause rash or photosensitization.