Monday, February 20, 2012

Gotu Kola

Latin Name: Centella asiatica

Other Names: Indian Pennywort, Pennywort, Jal Brahmi, Centella


 Centella herb is a slender creeper with pinkish to red flowers.  The leaves are small and thin that are borne on pericladial petioles, kidney-shaped or heart-shaped at the base and can reach a width of 1 inch and a length of 6 inches. The Gotu Kola/Centella puts out numerous small roots and growing vertically down.

Centella/gotu kola can be eaten as a salad or vegetable dish or used in sweet pennywort drinks and other health drinks.

Parts used: whole plant

Medicinal properties and indication:

Centella has been used as a medicinal herb for centuries in India, China and Indonesia. It is used to treat wounds, improve mental clarity and  used for Alzheimer's disease and senility.

The sap of the leaves mixed with vaseline or oil can be applied over the affected area as poultice. It is used on wounds and skin sores and treat skin conditions such as leprosy, eczema and psoriasis. It is also use for anti-aging and for tired-looking skin as it is believed to be able to renew the collagen.  The saponins present in centella also prevent scar formation.

Centella is used as an antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory

Decoction of leaves is used as diuretic and is useful for gonorrhea.  It is also considered emmenagogue, stimulant and tonic.

Seeds are used for dysentery, fever and headache.

Roots are used to improve blood circulation and correct venous insufficiency.

In Ayurvedic, Centella is used for depression and anxiety.

Gotu Kola/Centella is rich in Vitamin A, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (Niacin) and B6 (pyridoxine).  It also has zinc, magnesium, calcium and rich in volatile oils.