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Gotu Kola

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Popular Name:
Gotu Kola

Scientific Name:
Centella asiatica (L.) Urb.  Also: Hydrocotyl asiatica.  Family: Umbilliferae (Apiaceae)

Common Names:
Gotu Kola, Hydreocotyle, Indian Pennyworth, Talepetako. (Do not confuse with Kola nuts, Kola, or Cola).

History & Folklore:
Sri Lankans noticed that elephants, renowned for their longevity, ate the leaves of the Gotu Kola plant.  It became custom that for long life one must consume several leaves of the Gotu Kola plant each day.  Other traditional cures ascribed to the Gotu Kola plant were: mental illness, high blood pressure, fever, ulcers, etc.  It was also believed that Gotu Kola plant was a potent aphrodisiac.

Effect:
Triterpenoids appear to stimulate collagen content of fibronectin layer and asiaticoside which may stimulate wound healing.  Madecassoside is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties.  Centellase, (total triterpenoid fraction),  is thought to improve microcirculation and may be the agent responsible for reported improvements in memory and stress reduction.  Triterpenic Fraction may elevate basal levels of uronic acids and lysosomal enzymes which is thought to promote increased mucopolysaccharide turnover in varicose veins and may improve metabolism in vascular wall connective tissue.  TECA may improve vein tonicity, vein distensibility and is said to decrease subjective complaints of about 80% of varicose vein patients. 

Uses:
Researchers are considering Gotu Kola's effectiveness in the following:

  • Wound Healing (topically applied)
  • Anti-Scarring agent (topically applied)
  • Circulation improvements
  • Memory improvements
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antipyretic (Fever Reduction)
  • Vericose Veins
  • Anti-Stress
  • Chronic hepatic disorders

Active Constituents:
Triterpenes, Madecasic Acid, Madecassoside, Asiatic Acid, Asiaticoside.

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