Part Used: Dried whole herb with root
Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica) is a perennial herb native to India and other tropical countries. Its appearance changes, depending on growing conditions. It is a slender, creeping plant that grows commonly in swampy areas of India, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, South Africa and the tropics. It is regarded as one of the most spiritual and rejuvenating herbs in Ayurveda and is used to improve meditation. 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 adrenals. It is prescribed to increase intelligence, longevity, and memory while retarding senility and aging. A leaf tea is used as a wash for skin diseases, inflammation, and swelling. In Chinese folk medicine, the leaf tea is used for colds, lung and urinary tract infections, and externally for snakebite, injuries, and shingles.
Gotu kola has been used as a tonic for purification of blood and for promoting healthy skin. It has also been used to aid in restful sleep, treat skin inflammations, as a treatment for high blood pressure and as a mild diuretic. The herbís calming properties make it well suited for overcoming insomnia and making calm for yoga and meditative practices. It is commonly used to rebuild energy reserves improve memory and treat fatigue, both mental and physical. Gotu kola has been referred to as "food for the brain". This oriental herb has demonstrated mild tranquilizing, anti-anxiety and anti-stress effects, as well as improving mental functions such as concentration and memory. It has a calming effect on the body and is chiefly used to support the central nervous system. These beneficial qualities make Gotu kola an excellent herb for children with A.D.D. because it has a stimulating effect on the brain that increases one's ability to focus while having a soothing and relaxing effect on an overactive nervous system. It is a useful tonic and cleansing herb for skin problems and digestive disorders. The whole plant is alterative, cardio-depressant, hypotensive, weakly sedative and tonic. It is a rejuvenating diuretic herb that clears toxins, reduces inflammations and fevers, improves healing and immunity, improves the memory and has a balancing effect on the nervous system.
Herbal Information Center. http://www.kcweb.com/herb/gotu.htm
Plants for a Future. http://www.ibiblio.org/pfaf/cgi- bin/arr_html?Centella+asiatica&CAN=COMIND