Common names: Indian Pennywort, Marsh Penny, Water Pennywort
Plant Description: Gotu kola is a slender, creeping, ground-hugging plant that grows in a widespread distribution in swampy areas of India, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, South Africa, eastern Europe, and the tropics. Its fan-shaped leaves are about the size of an old British penny. The roots and leaves are used medicinally.
Medicinal Properties & Uses: Gotu Kola is considered one of the most spiritual and rejuvenating herbs in Ayurveda. It is commonly used to improve meditation. It is one of the major herbs used for revitalizing the nerves and brain cells. Gotu Kola has recently become popular in the West as a nerve tonic to promote relaxation and to enhance and improve memory, and to treat mental and physical fatigue. It has demonstrated mild tranquilizing, anti-stress and anti-anxiety effects. Calming properties in the herb make it effective for insomnia and in building energy reserves. It is an excellent aid in treating children with ADHD because of the stimulating effect on the brain that causes one to focus without becoming overanxious or excited. Gotu Kola is often referred to as "food for the brain". Studies conducted in 1995 showed that Gotu Kola destroyed cultured tumor cells in a laboratory setting (in vitro). It 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 and as a treatment for high blood pressure and as a mild diuretic. 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). Numerous skin diseases, ranging from poorly healing wounds to leprosy, have been treated with Gotu Kola. Researchers have found that Gotu Kola contains several glycosides that exhibit wound healing and anti-inflammatory activities, and that asiaticosides stimulate the formation of lipids and proteins necessary for healthy skin. Gotu Kola also has a positive effect on the circulatory system. It seems to improve the flow of blood throughout the body by strengthening the veins and capillaries. Gotu Kola has been shown to be particularly useful for people who are inactive or confined to bed due to illness.
Dosage: 15-60 drops in water or juice, 2-3 times daily, or as needed. Shake well before using.
Cautions & Interactions: Do not use during pregnancy or while nursing. Keep out of reach of children.
Efficacy Studies & Other Clinical Data:
* American Cancer Society
* Virtual Health Info - Exploring Herbs & Supplements
Disclaimer (U.S. Only): These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease.