The Medicinal Herb Info site was created to help educate visitors about the often forgotten wisdom of the old ways of treating illnesses. Many of today's drugs and medicines were originally derived from natural ingredients, combinations of plants and other items found in nature.

We are not suggesting that you ignore the help of trained medical professionals, simply that you have additional options available for treating illnesses. Often the most effective treatment involves a responsible blend of both modern and traditional treatments.

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Gotu Kola

Scientific Names

Gotu Kola

  • Centella asiatica L.
  • Hydrocotyle asiatica L.
  • Umbelliferae
  • Umbel family

Common Names

  • Brahmi (Sanskrit name)
  • Man-t’ien-hsing (Chinese name)
  • Centella
  • Indian pennywort
  • Marsh pennywort
  • Hydrocotyle

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Parts Usually Used

Seeds, aerial parts
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Description of Plant(s) and
Culture

A low creeping vine.
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Where Found

Cultivated in the United States. Native to Asia and the South Pacific. Commonly grows in
the Himalayas.
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Medicinal Properties

Alterative, antipyretic, diuretic, febrifuge, antispasmodic, nervine,
sedative, tonic
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Biochemical Information

Catachol, espicatechol, magnesium, theobromine, and vitamin K
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Legends, Myths and Stories

Gotu Kola was probably first used in India, where it is part of the Ayurveda, the traditional herbal medicine. It was also mentioned in the Shennong Herbal compiled in China about 2,000 years ago. In recent years it has become popular in the West.

Probably the most important rejuvenative herb in Ayurvedic medicine. It is said to increase intelligence, longevity, memory; it decreases senility and aging. It fortifies the immune system, both cleansing and feeding it.

Gotu Kola is used by yogis as food for meditation. A cup of the herbal tea can be taken with honey before meditation.
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Uses

A mildly bitter herb that stimulates the central nervous system, aids in the elimination of excess fluids, shrinks tissues, decreases fatigue and depression. Used for rheumatism, neuralgia, blood diseases, congestive heart failure, sore throat, tonsillitis, colds, coughs, swelling due to phlebitis, hay fever, leg cramps, swelling of the legs, hepatitis, epilepsy, premature aging, senility, leprosy, syphilis, eczema, psoriasis, malaria, a blood purifier, urinary tract infections, venereal disease, measles, insomnia, nervous and distressed emotions, and stress. Acts as a diuretic. May neutralize blood acids and lower body temperature. Good for liver and heart function. May promote hair growth when combined with eclipta.

Gotu Kola is known as the “memory herb”. It stimulates circulation to the brain. Given for forgetfulness or confusion. Considered to be one of the best nerve tonics and many people use Gotu Kola to increase learning ability. It promotes mental calm and clarity and assists in the practice of yoga and meditation.
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Formulas or Dosages

Capsules: take 1 capsule up to 3 times daily.

Extract: mix 5 to 10 drops in liquid. Take 3 times per day.
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Warning

Do not use during pregnancy. One manufacturer cautions to avoid this herb if an over-active thyroid is diagnosed.

High doses can cause headaches or aggravate itching, and even temporary loss of consciousness.
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Resource Links

LiveStrong.com: Medicinal Uses for Brahmi

LiveStrong.com: Gotu Kola & High Blood Pressure

LiveStrong.com: Brahmi & Fertility

University of Maryland Medical Center: Gotu Kola

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center: Gotu Kola

Drugs.com: Gotu Kola

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Bibliography

Buy It! Planetary Herbology, by Michael Tierra, C.A., N.D., O.M.D., Lotus Press, PO Box 325, Twin Lakes. WI 53181., Copyright 1988, published 1992

Buy It! The Complete Medicinal Herbal, by Penelope Ody, Dorling Kindersley, Inc, 232 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, First American Edition, copyright 1993

Buy It! Earl Mindell’s Herb Bible, by Earl Mindell, R.Ph., Ph.D., Simon & Schuster/Fireside, Rockefeller Center 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10020

Buy It! The Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine, by Dr. David Frawley & Dr. Vasant Lad, Lotus Press, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, Second edition, 1988.

Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Fifth Edition: A Practical A-to-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies Using Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & Food Supplements, by James F. Balch, M.D. and Phyllis A. Balch, C.N.C., Avery Publishing Group, Inc., Garden City Park, NY

Buy It! A Useful Guide to Herbal Health Care, HCBL (Health Center for Better Living).,1414 Rosemary Lane, Naples, FL 34103., Special Sale Catalog, 1996

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