Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica) has been used for ages by traditional healers and Ayurveda practitioners due to its multiple health benefits.
In Meghalaya, Gotu Kola herb is known as “Ka Dawai Bah”, the all in one medicine. The locals also popularly called it “Khlieng Syiar”.
Even now, Gotu Kola is still commonly used by indigenous healers of Meghalaya to treat all kinds of ailments. It is one of the components in preparing traditional medicines.
This ancient herb is blended with other plants to increase its effectiveness including the benefits of other herbs.
Though herbs like Gotu Kola are time tested natural remedies, with amazing health benefits, there is still a lack of awareness among the people.
People lack knowledge about the healing properties of herbal medicines. They are becoming more dependent on synthetic drugs which are easily accessible, especially when they are city dwellers.
Now, let’s get to know more about this herb.
What is Gotu Kola?
Gotu Kola a medicinal plant is found in abundance in Meghalaya and in most of the Northeastern states of India.
Gotu Kola also well known as Centella Asiatica, is a perennial herbaceous plant which occurs throughout the year. It a moisture-loving creeping herb and found mainly in the wasteland, roadsides, grasslands, fallows, streamside, and open forest canopy.
Gotu Kola thrives in tropical and sub-tropical climate. It is widely distributed in India, and it can grow even up to an altitude of 6000 ft.
How Do We Use Gotu Kola?
Gotu Kola is used as a salad. The leaves along with their stems are eaten raw in Northeast India. They are also cut to small pieces and mixed with other vegetable and consumed fresh.
The leaves are commonly used for treating stomach problem like stomach ache, diarrhoea, acidity, and so on.
The juice of the leave is the key ingredient in medical preparation. It is used as a popular remedy in combating hair loss and reduce baldness, insomnia, asthma, bronchitis, fever, etc.
As the locals of Meghalaya call Gotu Kola – “Ka Dawai Bah”, or Power Medicine, this gives us an excellent idea of the tremendous health benefits that it offers.
We’ll look at eight of them here.
8 Health Benefits of Gotu Kola
1. Prevents Nervous Disorders
There are many health issues related to nervous disorder; such as Parkinson’s disease that affects the central nervous system; Carpel tunnel syndrome, which causes numbness in the arms, paralysis, Bell’s palsy, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, to name a few. These illnesses are related to the nervous system and can cause health complications.
Gotu Kola has an antianxiety agent which helps in relieving stress, enhancing the mood and inducing sleep thereby calming the nervous system.
The molecular mechanism of Gotu Kola on neuroprotection remains to be elucidated.
2. Memory Improvement
Does it help in boosting your grey matter?
Gotu kola is also popular as brain food. It enhances or improves your memory.
When the aqueous extract of the whole plant is consumed, it enhances memory retention and learning and reduces the lipid peroxidation and growth of endogenous antioxidant enzymes in the brain.
Gotu kola extract has been used to treat Alzheimer’s, a cognitive disorder and memory impairment disease. The herb is long used in Ayurvedic to treat mental and cognitive disorders.
Gotu kola also helps in stimulating your brain’s neural pathways by eliminating plaque and free radicals from the brain.
3. Boost Blood Circulation
Gotu kola is known to support healthy veins and vessels throughout the circulatory system.
The most common problems due to degeneration or malfunction of blood circulation is varicose veins and haemorrhoids.
When the extract of Gotu kola leaves is consumed, triterpenes a molecule of Gotu Kola works on the veins, improving their tone and making them less susceptible to the degenerative processes that can lead to varicose veins and other problems.
4. Regulate Blood Sugar Level
Gotu kola is well known by the Khasis’ people in helping to control blood sugar levels. The herb is steeped overnight in hot water, and the water is extracted and consumed the following day.
Gotu Kola is a strong candidate for alleviating diabetic symptoms, and perhaps controlling the increase of diabetes mellitus, because of its various compounds and functions. (Source: Archives in Cancer Research)
5. Stress Buster
Stress is becoming a common factor in the present age with a hectic lifestyle, and daily pressure in different forms. Stress can lead to sleep deprivation, the result of which is anxiety.
Gotu Kola has immense therapeutic potential. The herb has a positive effect on anxiety issues. It calms the adrenal glands, which in turn lowers the release of stress hormone and increases dopamine and serotonin levels.
6. Wound Healing
As kids, we are always falling and covered in bruises and wounds. What our elders would do is take a bunch of Gotu kola leaves, moisten the herb with saliva chew it for a while. With chewing it becomes dark green in colour. This is then taken out and applied on the wound with a bandage wrapped around it. The bandage is left for a day. Depending on the intensity of the wound, the dressing is changed.
Pharmacological experiments have proven that the increased antioxidant activity of Gotu kola indicates the wound healing properties of Gotu Kola extract.
Gotu kola provides the same healing property when consumed orally. When taken in its natural form or powdered form, the herb aid in stimulating blood flow to the cells and protects your immune system against infections, thus, speeding up the healing process in your body.
7. Relieve Joint Pain
Because of the presence of anti-inflammatory properties of Gotu Kola, it helps in relieving from joint pain. The herb is used in treating arthritis.
Research had shown that when Gotu kola was administered orally it suppressed joint inflammation. The herb is also shown to reduce cartilage erosion and bone erosion.
8. Skin Treatment
Because of its numerous health benefit when consumed, Gotu kola has also been tried and tested and used externally to determine its benefits, and it has always proved to give a positive result.
Gotu Kola can also help you achieve the skin you desire. Applying Gotu kola paste on your skin reduce the appearance of wrinkles scars and other skin blemishes.
A study by Gohil et al. found that Gotu kola acted on the connective tissues of the vascular wall. In conditions of hypertensive microangiopathy and venous insufficiency, the herb improves microcirculatory parameters by lowering capillary filtration, making Gotu Kola a candidate for reducing the appearance of skin ageing.
Here’s a Video on Some Fun Facts About Gotu Kola
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What Is Gotu Kola? . You must have ha Gotu Kola. It is also called Brahmi or Jalbrahmi in Sanskrit and Hindi, and Mandookparni in Ayurveda. . Gotu Kola’s botanical name is Centella asiatica, or the Asian pennywort, of the Apiaceae family and is related to carrot and parsley. . A herbaceous perennial, it loves shades and thrives abundantly in temperate and tropical, moist or wetland areas in many parts of the world. . In Meghalaya, Gotu Kola, or Khliang Syiar, is used in traditional medicine to treat stomachache, diarrhoea, amoebic dysentery and acidity. . Though leaves are the main parts utilised the whole plant, stems and roots included, are also taken. . Despite its seemingly wide-ranging medicinal properties, the user is cautioned to strictly stick to recommended doses when consuming Gotu Kola as medication. It has antifertility properties too and so pregnant women should not consume it. Lactating mothers should also avoid it as there is still scant information about its safety in such instances. Excessive use of Gotu Kola can lead to headaches, nausea, dizziness and excessive drowsiness. #gotukola #greenfoods #health #ayurveda #gotukola #insomnia #herb #healthy #wellness #natural #stayhealthy #staysafe #instagood #instadaily #gotukola #gotukola leaves #vallarai #vallaraikeerai #centellaasiatica
Let’s now talk about the side effects.
Side Effects of Gotu Kola
Gotu Kola also comes with its side effects. If you are allergic to the herb, it is advisable that you don’t take it. Some allergic reaction includes burning sensation of your skin, itching, breathing difficulty, swelling face, throat, lips or tongue.
If you have any existing health complications, it is best to consult with your doctor first.
Zizira launched pure Gotu Kola powder on Zizira store. It is also available on Amazon.
Now, let me share with you a little bit about Meghalaya’s rich plant treasures.
Meghalaya’s Rich Plant Treasures
Do you know Meghalaya has 850 species of medicinal plants?
Medicinal plants are found in abundance in Meghalaya. In fact, Northeast India is considered to be one of the two hotspots of medicinal plants in the country. The other hotspot being the Western Ghats.
The traditional healers from this region have been using herbs like Gotu Kola for ages. Their knowledge of the use of herbs for their practice has been passed down through generations. Sadly there are no records about the use of herbs by these herbalists. They continue the use of herbs only through their practice.
According to a Survey conducted by the East Khasi Hills Districts of Meghalaya in the year 2005, traditional healers belonging to a family of indigenous practitioners had vast knowledge and first-hand experience about the various plants they use for many ailments. Be it a minor stomach ache or a major illness.
With no scientific evidence or study, herbalist has been using it over the years, and it has proved to have tremendous healing properties.
Isn’t that amazing?
Zizira is always hunting for new herbs and plants in the pristine hill of Meghalaya.
Are you aware of any plants growing in and around you that are medicinal in nature?
Leave us a comment below.