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What is gotu kola? What is it used
Gotu kola is a small, ground-hugging plant grown in India,
Pakistan, Madagascar and South Africa. It is also found in
Eastern Europe. In Sri Lanka, the plant's leaves are
consumed by both humans and animals, especially elephants.
Gotu kola has historically been reported to enhance mental
activity and help a variety of illnesses, including rheumatism,
fevers and high blood pressure. It is a staple in ayurvedic
medicine; some of its more common uses are for cardiovascular
disease, water retention, bronchitis and coughs. Practitioners
also make a poultice out of gotu kola, which is used to treat
many skin conditions.
The primary active ingredients of gotu kola are asiaticoside,
madecassoside and madasiatic acid. These compounds have been
shown to inhibit the production of collagen, especially in
conjunction with scar tissue. Other studies have shown that
gotu kola can help treat burns and wounds, and that it may
be helpful in preventing and treating keloid scars.
How much gotu kola should I take?
Most practitioners and herbalists recommend 60mg of a standardized
gotu kola extract taken two to four times a day. Other providers
have suggested 10-20ml of a gotu kola tincture daily.
What forms of gotu kola are available?
Dried gotu kola leaf can be found at many Asian markets and
specialty stores. Some nutritional stores sell gotu kola supplements;
others offer fluid extracts and tinctures.
What can happen if I take too much
gotu kola? Are there any interactions I should be aware of?
What precautions should I take?
In rare instances, people who are allergic to gotu kola have
reported an adverse reaction after taking the herb. However,
no other significant side-effects have been reported, and
there is currently no evidence of any harmful drug interactions
with gotu kola.
Other Resources :
More You Know About Nutrition
- Kartnig T. Clinical applications of centella
asiatica (L) urb. In: Craker LE, Simon JE (eds.) Herbs,
Spices, and Medicinal Plants: Recent Advances in Botany,
Horticulture, and Pharmacology, vol. 3. Phoenix, AZ:
Oryx Press, 1986, 14573.
- Mahajani SS, Oberai C, Jerajani H, Parikh
KM. Study of venodynamic effect of an ayurvedic formulation
of centella asiatica using venous occlusion plethysmography
- laser-Doppler velocimetry (LVD). Can
J Physiol Pharmacol 1994;72(suppl 1):180.
- Morisset R, Cote NG, Panisset JC, et al.
Evaluation of the healing activity of hydrocotyle tincture
in the treatment of wounds. Phytother Res 1987;1:11721.
- Murray MT. The Healing Power of Herbs.
Rocklin, CA: Prima Publishing, 1995, 17383.
- Pointel JP, Boccalon H, Cloarec M, et al.
Titrated extract of centella asiatica (TECA) in the
treatment of venous insufficiency of the lower limbs. Angiology