|Gotu kola (Centella asiatica) :
- Botanical Name -Centella asiatica
- Family Name - Mackinlayaceae
- Common (Indian) Names:
- Hindi: Brahmi booti
- Philippines: Yahong yahong
- Part Used -The entire plant is used medicinally.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Class: Magnoliopsida
- Order: Apiales
- Genus: Centella
- Product Offered - Bark
- Habitat: This ground cover species is weed like
especially, in parts of India and Hawaii where it grows
prolifically in unusual conditions, such as drainage
ditches, gutters and neglected areas. Centella grows along
ditches and in low wet areas.
Gotu Kola has been used as a medicine in the Ayurvedic
tradition of India for thousands of years. It is regarded as one
of the most spiritual and rejuvenating herbs in Ayurveda and is
used to improve meditation. It is said to develop the crown
chakra, the energy center at the top of the head, and to balance
the right and left hemispheres of the brain, which the leaf is
said to resemble. Its fan shaped leaves are about the size of an
old British penny - hence its common names Indian pennywort,
marsh penny and water pennywort.Gotu Kola is also one of the
largest cultivated crops and thrives under organic farming
conditions. While popularly used as a food source in the form of
leafy greens within Bangladesh, Thailand and Sri Lanka it also
has been internationally recognized within many countries
pharmacopoeias and has been a valid, recognized, botanical
medicine since 1884.Gotu Kola is considered "food for the
In the nineteenth century, Gotu Kola and its extracts were incorporated into
the Indian pharmacopeia,wherein addition to being recommended for wound
healing, it was recommended in the treatment of skin conditions such as
leprosy, lupus, varicose ulcers, eczema, and psoriasis. It was also used to
treat diarrhea, fever, amenorrhea, and diseases of the female genitourinary
tract.Gotu Kola was first accepted as a drug in France in the 1880's.Gotu
kola has been widely used for a number of conditions, particularly in
traditional Eastern health care. In Ayurveda Gotu kola is one of the chief
herbs for revitalizing the nerves and brain cells. It is said to fortify the
immune system, both cleansing and feeding it, and to strengthen the
Gotu Kola is a perennial plant native to India and other tropical countries.
Its appearance changes, depending on growing conditions. In shallow water, the
plant puts forth floating roots and the leaves rest on top of the water. In dry
locations, it puts out numerous small roots and the leaves are small and thin.
Typically, the constantly growing roots give rise to reddish stolons. The leaves
can reach a width of 1 inch and a length of 6 inches. Usually 3 to 6 red flowers
arise in a sessile manner or on very short pedicels in auxiliary umbels. The
fruit, formed throughout the growing season, is approximately 2 inches long with
7 to 9 ribs and a curved, strongly thickened pericarp.
Gotu kola is a slender, creeping plant that grows commonly in swampy areas of
India, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, South Africa and the tropics. The gotu kola grows
native in most of the tropics, though it is believed to be a native species of
India; it also grows in the wild in the southern US states. At the same time,
wild populations of the gotu kola herb are also seen growing in the tropical and
subtropical parts of Australia, the Southern parts of Africa, as well as the
South American tropics.
The gotu kola herb tends to prefer marshy areas and
riverbanks in the tropics. While it is hard to grow, the gotu kola is
cultivated from seeds during the spring season, while commercially it is
usually gathered from the wild. Although usually gathered wild, gotu
kola can be cultivated from seed in spring. Harvesting of the aerial
parts of the herb is usually carried out throughout the year in many
|Pests and Diseases :
In Indian and Southeast Asian centella, the plant frequently suffers from
high levels of bacterial contamination, possibly from having been harvested
from sewage ditches. Because the plant is aquatic, it is especially
sensitive to pollutants in the water, which easily are incorporated into the
|Medicinal Applications :
- Gotu kola is an excellent vasodilator and blood vessel strengthener.
- Gotu kola is an excellent vasodilator and blood vessel strengthener.
- Gotu kola is widely used in Ayurvedic medicine and TCM to rejuvenate
both mind and body.
- Gotu Kola is a rejuvenative nervine recommended for nervous
disorders, including epilepsy, senility, and premature aging.
- It aids intelligence and memory. It is used as an aid for meditation
that is said to balance the two sides of the brain.
- It strengthens the adrenal glands while cleansing the blood to treat
- It is a mild diuretic that can help shrink swollen membranes and aid
in the elimination of excess fluids.
- It reduces scarring when applied during inflammatory period of the
- The herb has been used successfully to treat phlebitis (inflammation
of the veins), varicose veins, as well as leg cramps, swelling of the
legs, and "heaviness" or tingling in the legs. In modern health care it
has been used for venous insufficiency, localized inflammation and
infection, and post-surgery recovery.
- It works as a blood purifier and in strengthening the heart, as well
as with bowel problems, rheumatism, skin problems, and also promotes
blood circulation in the lower limbs and reduces the pain and swelling
due to phlebitis.
- When taken over time, gotu kola may also support the endocrine
system, which may lead to increased vitality.
|Commercial Applications :
- Centella is used as a leafy green in Sri Lankan cuisine. A variation
of the extremely nutritious porridge known as Kola Kenda is also made
with Gotukola by the Sinhalese people of Sri Lanka. Gotukola Kenda is
made with very well boiled redrice, cococnut milk and Gotukola which is
liquidised. The porridge is accompanied with Jaggery for sweetness.
- Centella leaves are also used in the sweet "pennywort drink."
- In Vietnam, this leaf is used for drink or can be eaten in raw form.
- It is one of the constituent of Indian summer drink "thandaayyee"
|Gotu Kola benefits and medical uses :
Depression. Effect of total triterpenes from Centella asiatica on the
depression behavior and concentration of amino acid in forced swimming mice
Zhong Yao Cai. 2003. Mice were randomly divided into control group, model group
and treatment group. The effect of total triterpenes from gotu kola on the
immobility time in forced swimming mice and concentration of amino acid in mice
brain tissue was observed. Imipramine and total triterpenes from gotu kola
reduced the immobility time and ameliorated the imbalance of amino acid levels.
The total triterpenes from gotu kola had antidepressant activity.
Periodontitis. Adjunctive periodontal treatment with Centella
asiatica and Punica granatum extracts. A preliminary study. J Int Acad
Periodontol. 2003. he purpose of this study was to investigate the
effects of the combined extracts from Gotu kola and P. granatum pericarp
on periodontal healing following scaling and root planing in adult
periodontitis patients. An innovative herbal medicament was formulated
in the form of biodegradable chips for subgingival application. Twenty
patients with initial pocket depth 5-8 mm were enrolled into the study.
After baseline examination, scaling and root planing of non-target
teeth, the target teeth received scaling and root planing followed by
subgingival delivery of medicated chips in the test group and
unmedicated chips in the placebo group. Probing pocket depth, attachment
level, bleeding on probing, gingival index, and plaque index were
recorded at baseline, 3 and 6 months. The results showed significant
improvements of pocket depth and attachment level in the test sites when
compared with the placebo sites at 3 months and with the placebo and
control sites at 6 months. All treatment sites exhibited a similar trend
of decreasing plaque score. However, the test sites seemed to show
slightly better percentage of bleeding on probing. The results indicate
that local delivery with Gotu kola and P. granatum extracts plus scaling
and root planing significantly reduced the clinical signs of chronic
Ulcer. The healing effects of Centella extract and
asiaticoside on acetic acid induced gastric ulcers in rats. Life Sci.
2004. In this study, the healing effects of gotu kola water extract and
asiaticoside (AC), an active constituent, on acetic acid induced gastric
ulcers (kissing ulcers) in rats were examined. Gotu kola was prepared
from Centella asiatica dry plant and the concentration of AC was
quantitatively determined with the use of high performance liquid
chromatography analysis. Different concentrations of gotu kola and AC
were orally administered to rats with kissing ulcers. They were found to
reduce the size of the ulcers at day 3 and 7 in a dose-dependent manner,
with a concomitant attenuation of myeloperoxidase activity at the ulcer
tissues. Epithelial cell proliferation and angiogenesis were on the
other hand promoted. The expression of basic fibroblast growth factor,
an important angiogenic factor, was also upregulated in the ulcer
tissues in rats treated with gotu kola or AC. These results further
suggest the potential use of gotu kola and its active ingredient as
anti-gastric ulcers drugs.
Venous hypertension. Treatment of edema and increased
capillary filtration in venous hypertension with total triterpenic
fraction of Centella asiatica (gotu kola): a clinical, prospective,
placebo-controlled, randomized, dose-ranging trial. St Mary's Hospital
and Imperial College, London, UK. Angiology. 2001. The variation of
capillary filtration rate (CFR), ankle circumference (AC), and ankle
edema (AE) was evaluated in three groups of patients with venous
hypertension and in a group of normal subjects before and after
treatment for 4 weeks with total triterpenic fraction of gotu kola, a
venoactive drug acting on the microcirculation and on capillary
permeability. The improvement of signs and symptoms by gotu kola
observed in patients with venous hypertension was well correlated with
the improvement of CFR and ankle edema. Dose ranging showed that 180
mg/day total triterpenic fraction of Centella asiatica (gotu kola) is
more effective in improving symptoms and CFR.
Wound healing. Gotu kola is used in the treatment of various skin
diseases by Ayurvedic doctors.
Effect of Centella asiatica on normal and dexamethasone-suppressed wound
healing in Wistar Albino rats. Int J Low Extrem Wounds. 2006. The objective of
the study presented in this article was to evaluate the wound-healing potential
of the ethanolic extract of gotu kola in both normal and
dexamethasone-suppressed wound healing. The study was done on Wistar albino rats
using incision, excision, and dead space wounds models. The extract of gotu kola
significantly increased the wound breaking strength in incision wound model
compared to controls. The extract-treated wounds were found to epithelize
faster, and the rate of wound contraction was significantly increased as
compared to control wounds. The extract of the leaves had the effect of
attenuating the known effects of dexamethasone healing in all wound models. The
results indicated that the leaf extract promotes wound healing significantly and
is able to overcome the wound-healing suppressing action of dexamethasone in a
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Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent
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