Herb Of The Week - Gotu Kola

 This week, we'll be exploring the properties of the Gotu Kola. The Latin name for this plant is Centella asiatica . It's other names include: Brahma-Manduki, Indian Pennywort, Indian Water Navelwort, Marsh Penny, Thick-Leaved Pennywort, Tsubo-kusa, Tungchian, and White Rot .


            In India, Gotu Kola is regarded as one of the most spiritual of all herbs and is regarded as one of the most important rejuvenating herbs in Ayurvedic Medicine.. Growing in some areas of the Himalayas, gotu kola is used by yogis to improve meditation. They use it in helping to develop the energy center at the top of the head, traditionally known as the crown chakra, and to balance the right and left hemispheres of the brain. The Sri Lankans noticed that elephants, who are renowned for their longevity, foraged on the leaves of the plant. Thus the leaves became known as a promoter of long life. Historically in China gotu kola was known to be called "the fountain of life" because legend told that an ancient Chinese herbalist lived for more than 200 years as a result of taking gotu kola.

            The gotu kola likes tropical swampy areas, and grows well along ditches and in low, wet areas. In India and Southeast Asia, the plant frequently suffers from high levels of bacterial contamination, possibly from having been harvested from sewage ditches. The plant is aquatic, and this makes it especially sensitive to pollutants in the water, which are easily incorporated into the plant.

            The stems are slender, green to reddish-green in color, and connect plants to each other. It has long-stalked, green, leaves with rounded edges which have a smooth texture laced with palmately netted veins. It's flowers are pinkish to red in color, born in small, rounded bunches (umbels) near the surface of the soil. The crop matures in three months, and the whole plant, including the roots, is harvested manually.


            The main effects of gotu kola are improving memory and concentration, helping with circulatory problems, calming stress, and helping rid of mental confusion and fatigue. The gotu koal is also a good anti-bacterial and anti-viral, so it has a broad range of uses in helping the body fight off and recover from illness, and wounds both internal and external.

            Gotu kola is usually taken by tincture, capsules, or tea infusions. Gotu kola extract can also be applied to surface wounds to help them heal.


            Ailments which indicate treatment with gotu kola include: Insomnia, anxiety, surface wounds, fatigue, mental confusion, circulatory problems, helps fight against common flu and cold symptoms, nervous disorders, epilepsy, senility, premature aging, minor burns, scars, scleroderma, skin ulcers, and varicose veins.

            The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. Herbs, however, can trigger side effects and may interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, you should take herbs with care, under the supervision of a health care provider.

            It is not recommended to take gotu kola if you are pregnant or breast-feeding; if you are taking a narcotic; or if you are going into surgery.


Fact Breakdown:


            Latin Name:  Centella asiatica


            Medicinal Actions: Antipyretic, Diuretic, Antibacterial, Antifungal, Anti-inflammatory, Sedative, Antispasmodic, Antioxidant, Adaptogenic, Tonic, Digestive, Vulnerary, Alterative, Antiviral, Antibiotic, Nervine, Rejuvenating, Blood purifier, Adrenal strengthener


            Indications: Improving memory and concentration, relieving stress, fatigue, mental confusion, improving venous insufficiency, circulatory problems, abdominal disorders, aphrodisiac, common cold/flu, varicose veins, hypertrophic scarring, psoriasis, wound healing, nervous disorders, epilepsy; senility, premature aging


            Contraindications:  While pregnant or breast-feeding; concurrently with prescription drugs or psychiatric medications; going into surgery.




University of Maryland Medical Center – Goku Kola





Herbs Are Special – Gotu Kola






- Gotu Kola Kenda (Soup) -




1 Cup Red raw rice

1 Cup roughly chopped Gotu Kola

3 Cups Coconut milk

2 Cups Water

1 Teaspoon finely chopped ginger

2 Bulbs finely chopped garlic

1 Teaspoon Lemon juice

1 Teaspoon Salt




Wash Rice. Add salt and boil with water.

Crush Gotu kola in a motor or blender using 1 cup of coconut milk.

When Rice is cooked, add 2 cups of coconut milk and mixed the ginger, garlic and Gotu kola juice.

Bring Kanda (soup) in to boil.

Add lemon juice for seasoning.

Serve plain or with Jaggery and roasted bread.

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