Gotu kola, or Centella Asiatica (Centella asiatica L.), is a renowned natural healer and youth elixir with a centuries-long tradition dating back to ancient times. In natural Indian medicine (Ayurveda), where it occupies a prominent place, it is used, among other things, to improve memory, fight skin disorders and cardiovascular diseases. However, there are many more health-promoting properties of gotu kola. We write about its versatility, possible applications and positive effects on our physical and mental health in this article.
Table of contents
- 1 Gotu kola – the origin and characteristics of the plant
- 2 Gotu kola composition
- 3 Gotu kola – health promoting properties
- 3.1 Firstly – gotu kola improves circulation and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease
- 3.2 Second – gotu kola cleanses the body of harmful substances
- 3.3 Thirdly – gotu kola blocks infections and allergies, has an analgesic effect and strengthens the immune system.
- 3.4 Fourthly – gotu kola has a great effect on the skin and improves beauty.
- 3.5 Fifth – gotu kola helps in weight loss.
- 3.6 Sixth – gotu kola is a guardian of mental balance
- 3.7 Seventhly – gotu kola activates the brain, improves concentration and memory, increases intellectual performance
- 3.8 Gotu kola – opinions
Gotu kola – the origin and characteristics of the plant
The name gotu kola translates as cup-shaped leaf. It is a perennial plant, belonging to the celery family, found naturally in the subtropics and tropics (including Africa, Australia, Asia), mostly in humid areas near rivers or water bodies, rocky terrain and grasses.
Gotu kola is a low plant with a vertical main root and a thin creeping stem. The stem has nodes which give rise to leaves with long petioles, a rounded or kidney-shaped blade and a notched edge. The small white, pinkish or reddish flowers are gathered in umbels of several pieces. The raw material used in herbalism is the aboveground part of the anthracnose, but sometimes the entire plant is used.
Gotu kola composition
The numerous medicinal properties of gotu kola are due to its composition, which is very rich and extremely valuable for our body. First of all, the plant is a treasury of compounds from the group of pentacyclic triterpene saponins (these include asiaticoside, braminoside, brahminoside, madecasoside, tannucinoside, centelloside, asiatic acid, madecasic acid, brahmic acid). In addition to these, in Centella asiatica we also find: monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, phytosterols, bioflavonoids, tannins, vitamins A, C, K, E, magnesium.
Gotu kola – health promoting properties
Gotu kola is one of the best adaptogens, or plants that help the body adapt to conditions. Adaptogens increase our resistance to stressors, normalize those processes in the body that have been disrupted, and thus alleviate many diseases and ailments. Thanks to these properties, adaptogens, including gotu kola, restore balance to the body, increase vitality and have a very beneficial effect on our daily well-being.
At the same time, gotu kola is a highly regarded plant nootropic. Nootropics are substances that support the central nervous system, improve blood flow within the brain, increasing its oxygenation, help regulate neurotransmitter levels, protect neurons from damage and improve mental performance and well-being. Importantly, the nootropic and adaptogenic properties of gotu kola go hand in hand with many others. The plant is useful for improving beauty, and it will also help us lose weight.
It is worth taking a closer look at the most important properties of Centella Asiatica. They answer the question why the plant is becoming increasingly popular, why dietary supplements containing it break sales records, and why for nearly 3000 years gotu kola has had a place of honour in the ancient Indian medicine – Ayurveda.
Firstly – gotu kola improves circulation and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease
Regular use of gotu kola can contribute to a comprehensive improvement in the condition of the cardiovascular system. The plant strengthens blood vessels, improves their elasticity and tightness, reduces permeability. It counteracts the clumping of blood platelets, eliminates tension in arteries, stabilizes blood pressure and pulse, prevents clots, improves venous circulation, reduces swelling, helps fight varicose veins and the so-called spider veins on the legs.
By stimulating blood flow, gotu kola contributes to better oxygenation and nutrition of cells and tissues. With its beneficial effect on the circulatory system, the plant can be a valuable support for those dealing with hypertension, chronic venous insufficiency, varicose vein disease and hemorrhoidal disease.
Second – gotu kola cleanses the body of harmful substances
Gotu kola is one of the plants endowed with diuretic, and thus – cleansing properties. It contributes to an increase in the amount of excreted urine, with which toxins and unnecessary products of metabolism are removed from the body. By supporting the detoxification of the body, gotu kola improves metabolism, mood, energy levels, reduces susceptibility to mental and physical fatigue, and improves the condition of the skin and hair.
Thirdly – gotu kola blocks infections and allergies, has an analgesic effect and strengthens the immune system.
gotu kola is a good remedy for colds, allergies and infections. The plant will help strengthen our body and create a stronger barrier against various allergens and pathogens. Thanks to the rich content of bioflavonoids, essential oils and other valuable active substances, Asian mustard has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral effects.
It fights infections and allergies, boosts immunity, reduces pains of various kinds. It also helps in joint ailments, eliminates muscle pains, supports tissue regeneration and accelerates the recovery process after strains, injuries and contusions.
Fourthly – gotu kola has a great effect on the skin and improves beauty.
Centella Asiatica is one of the most valuable plants with skin revitalizing and anti-aging properties. It stimulates the production of collagen and elastin, and thus improves the level of skin tension, hydration, elasticity and firmness. It counteracts the formation of wrinkles, improves skin condition and influences its younger look, reduces puffiness and dark circles under the eyes, has a beneficial effect on the condition of hair and nails.
Gotu kola stimulates the production of new epidermis and stimulates the skin regeneration process, which gives the effect of faster healing of wounds, reducing the visibility of scars, more efficient removal of eczema and other skin imperfections, soothing psoriatic lesions, reducing stretch marks.
Fifth – gotu kola helps in weight loss.
Centella Asiatica helps in slimming and body shaping in several different ways. It stabilizes blood sugar levels, and thus inhibits hunger attacks, protecting us from eating too many calories. It acts as a diuretic, and thus helps get rid of excess subcutaneous water, resulting in lower weight, a feeling of lightness, no swelling of the body, reduction in water cellulite. It stimulates cleansing the body of toxins, which improves metabolism, and as we know, fast metabolism means faster burning of calories.
An important property of gotu kola in the context of weight loss is also its positive effect on the mood and work of mind. It fights depressive states, depression and apathy, makes us have a better mood, higher motivation and more enthusiasm and willingness to act. Thanks to these positive feelings it is easier for us to continue losing weight.
Sixth – gotu kola is a guardian of mental balance
Like any adaptogen, gotu kola “repairs” whatever is currently wrong in our body. This is reflected, for example, in the action of this plant on the nervous system. If we are tormented by constant nervous tension, fear, anxiety, nervousness and a multitude of negative thoughts, gotu kola has a calming, relaxing, anxiety-relieving effect, eliminating negative emotions.
If, on the other hand, we struggle with discouragement, indifference and lack of vigour, depression, chronic fatigue, gotu kola liberates in us zeal, passion for action, motivation, optimism, creativity and energy. What is important nowadays, when we are attacked by stressors from all sides, gotu kola is one of the best ingredients increasing resistance to stress and supporting the state of internal harmony.
Seventhly – gotu kola activates the brain, improves concentration and memory, increases intellectual performance
It is an effective nootropic with a positive effect on cognitive function, stimulating the production of new brain cells and increasing the levels of important neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, GABA and acetylcholine.
Gotu kola also exhibits powerful neuroprotective effects. It protects neurons from neurotoxins and free radicals, as well as from premature death, and supports the reconstruction of nerve cells that have previously been damaged. It improves oxygenation of the brain, prevents neurodegenerative diseases, and helps maintain excellent mental fitness into old age.
By stimulating cerebral circulation and improving communication between neurons, gotu kola increases intellectual abilities and improves the process of remembering new information. It improves the ability to concentrate and enables to focus on one task for a longer period of time. It promotes clarity of mind and efficient thought formulation. It increases alertness, perceptiveness, adds creativity, makes us able to work mentally for a longer time without the feeling of mental exhaustion.
Gotu kola – opinions
According to numerous reviews, gotu kola is one of the best adaptogens giving a clear improvement in the functioning of both the brain itself and the entire body (including the cardiovascular system). The most common gotu kola reviews are about the plant’s excellent effect on mental performance, concentration and memory. In numerous comments, we also read about the improvement of mental health, elimination of chronic fatigue, anxiety, depressive states, increased resistance to stress, the outflow of negative emotions and a lasting improvement in mood.
Read a review of Brain Actives, a dietary supplement containing gotu kola and several other ingredients to improve brain function and combat stress