Benefits of Gotu kola / Manukaparni
- Gotu kola promotes brain functions, improves intellect and memory
- Gotu kola helps in relaxation and can protect against nervous breakdowns
- Gotu kola boosts immunity and is said to promote longevity
- Gotu kola improves blood circulation and purifies blood
- Gotu kola provides vascular support and helps in soothing and minimizing varicose veins. In a study of people with varicose veins, ultrasound examination revealed improvements in the vascular tone of those who took gotu kola.
- Gotu kola helps in treating phlebitis, leg cramps, and abnormal tingling of the extremities
- Gotu kola strengthens the adrenal glands while cleansing the blood which helps treat skin disorders including psoriasis
- Gotu kola has been used to treat rheumatism, blood diseases, congestive heart failure, urinary tract infections, venereal diseases, hepatitis and high blood pressure
Directions for taking Himalaya Gotu kola
Take 1 or 2 capsules twice daily with meals. Allow several weeks for benefits. The use of natural products provides progressive but long-lasting results.
Gotu Kola in Ayurveda:
Gotu Kola has prominent mention in the Sushrut samhita - an ancient Ayurvedic medical text. Gotu Kola is included in a class of Ayurvedic herbs called "Brahmi" - that which aids knowledge of Supreme Reality. Regarded in India as perhaps the most spiritual of all herbs, gotu kola is used by yogis to improve meditation. It is said to develop the crown chakra, the energy center at the top of the head, and to balance the right and left hemispheres of the brain, which the leaf is said to resemble. It is considered one of the most important rejuvenative herbs in Ayurveda.
According to Ayurveda, gotu kola is a tonic and rejuvenative for pitta (fire) types. It also inhibits vata (air) conditions when balanced with warming herbs, calms the nerves, and helps reduce excessive kapha (earth & water) conditions.
Gotu kola has also been mentioned in the Shennong Herbal compiled in China over 2000 years ago. In traditional Chinese medicine it is considered a yin tonic. There is an ancient Sinhalese proverb about Gotu kola: "Two leaves a day will keep old age away."
France accepted Gotu Kola as a drug in the 1880's.
Gotu Kola Facts:
Botanical Name : : Centella asiatica, Hydrocotyle asiatica
Family Name: : Appiaceae
Common Name: : Gotu kola, Mandukaparni, Indian Pennywort, Pennywort, Jal Brahmi
Gotu kola grows extensively in tropical and subtropical parts of India, Australia, Southern Africa and South America especially in marshlands. Gotu kola herb is a slender perennial creeper. In shallow water, the plant puts forth floating roots and the leaves rest on top of the water. In dry locations, it puts out numerous small roots and the leaves are small and thin. The leaves can reach a width of 1 inch and a length of 6 inches. Usually 3 to 6 reddish-purple flowers arise in a sessile manner. The fruit are borne throughout the growing season and is approximately 2 inches long with 7 to 9 ribs and a curved, strongly thickened pericarp. Gotu kola leaves are smooth surface fan-shaped.
The whole plant is used for medicinal purposes.
In India Gotu kola has been used for boosting memory, wound healing, a mild diuretic, anti-anxiety, anti-stress, liver and kidney problems. American and European herbalists use gotu kola for disorders that cause connective tissue swelling, such as scleroderma, psoriatic arthritis, anklylosing spondylitis and rheumatoid arthritis
The primary active constituent is triterpenoid compounds. Saponins (also called triterpenoids) known as asiaticoside, madecassoside, and madasiatic acid are the primary active constituents. These saponins beneficially affect collagen (the material that makes up connective tissue), for example, inhibiting its production in hyperactive scar tissue. Gotu kola contains madecassol, madecassic acid, asiatic acid, asiaticentoic acid, centellic acid, centoic acid, isothankuniside, flavonoids including quercetin and kaempferol, and various glycosides such as asiaticoside, brahminoside, brahmoside, centelloside, and madecassoid. It also contains fatty acids, amino acids, phytosterols, and tannin.
Asiaticoside promotes wound healing, brahminoside and brahmoside possess sedative properties, and madecassoid exerts anti-inflammatory action.
Gotu kola Contraindications, Toxicity, Cautions, and Safety
Women who are pregnant or nursing or want to get pregnant should not take Gotu kola as Gotu kola has shown contraceptive properties.
High doses of Gotu kola may act as a sedative. Large doses of gotu kola may interfere with the effect of hypoglycemics. Large doses of gotu kola may interfere with the effect of cholesterol-lowering drugs.
As with all dietary or herbal supplements, you should inform your health care professional that you are using this product.
Gotu Kola Research and Clinical Studies
Recent research on Gotu kola (Centella asiatica) shows that extract of this herb decreases the levels of amyloid protein plaque. Studies on mice at Texas A&M university showed a significant decrease in amyloid beta 1-40 and 1-42 following an 8month treatment with 2.5 mg/kg of Centella asiatic extract. A reduction in fibrillar amyloid plaques was detected and it was also confirmed that Centella asiatic extract functions as an antioxidant in vitro, scavenging free radicals, reducing lipid peroxidation and protecting against DNA damage. Centella asiatic extract can alter amyloid beta pathology in the brains of PSAPP mice and modulate components of the oxidative stress response that has been implicated in the neurodegenerative changes that occur with Alzheimer's disease.
In a separate study conducted at the Central Food Technological Research Institute, India, mice were administered 3-NPA - a neurotoxin that elicits conditions similar to Huntington's disease. Centella asiatica prophylaxis completely attenuated the 3-NPA-induced oxidative stress. 3-NPA also caused significant oxidative stress and protein oxidation in cytosol/mitochondria of other brain regions as well which were predominantly abolished by Centella asiatica prophylaxis. Significant depletion of GSH levels, total thiols and perturbations in antioxidant enzymic defences in striatum and other brain regions discernible among 3-NPA administered mice were also protected with Centella asiatica prophylaxis. Interestingly, Centella asiatica prophylaxis offered varying degree of protection against 3-NPA-induced mitochondrial dysfunctions viz., reduction in the activity of succinic dehydrogenase, ETC enzymes and decreased mitochondrial viability.
According to modern studies, gotu kola does offer support for healthy memory function. A study conducted in 1992 by K. Nalini at Kasturba Medical College showed an impressive improvement in memory in rats which were treated with the extract (orally) daily for 14 days before the experiment. The retention of learned behavior in the rats treated with gotu kola was three to 60 times better than that in control animals. Preliminary results in one clinical trial with mentally retarded children was shown to increase scores on intelligence tests (Bagchi, 1989). This does not mean gotu kola will improve intelligence for all special or normal children.
According to pharmacological studies, one outcome of gotu kola's complex actions is a balanced effect on cells and tissues participating in the process of healing, particularly connective tissues. One of its constituents, asiaticoside, works to stimulate skin repair and strengthen skin, hair, nails and connective tissue (Kartnig, 1988).
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