Team AckoSept 15, 2023
Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica), also known as Pennywort, is a perennial herb belonging to the Apiaceae family. It is native to the wetlands of Asia and Africa and has been used in traditional medicine around the world for centuries. It features multiple potential health benefits and is generally safe for long-term use. Read on to get an overview of Gotu Kola as ayurvedic medicine.
According to Ayurveda, Gotu Kola (GK) has been linked to a variety of health benefits, including the following.
Improved circulation: It has anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antioxidant properties that can reduce inflammation and improve blood flow. Also, it can reduce the risk of stroke, heart disease, and other circulatory conditions.
Memory boost: It may improve memory and cognition, which can be especially helpful for people with dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Anti-ageing properties: GK has been linked to possible protection from age-related degenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
Immune system support: This herb has been found to have antifungal and antiviral properties, which can help boost the immune system and fight infections.
Joint pain: It is a powerful herb that can relieve joint pain caused by inflammation or injury. Its anti-inflammatory properties make it an effective natural remedy for arthritis, joint pain, and muscle stiffness. Studies have shown that GK can reduce the severity of pain and stiffness in joints, making it an excellent therapeutic option for those suffering from chronic joint pain.
Treats varicose veins: It is used to treat varicose veins that are caused by a weakening of the valves and walls of the veins. The herb's active ingredients, called asiaticosides, are used to improve the strength and integrity of the vascular wall. This prevents the reappearance or worsening of varicose veins. It is also believed to increase the body's production of collagen, which is a significant component of the vein walls.
Helps fight stress: GK can reduce stress as it manages cortisol levels in the body. Cortisol is the hormone released when one is under stress, and high levels can cause fatigue, insomnia and a weakened immune system.
Aids in skin health: It is known to be beneficial for improving skin health. It contains a compound called Asiatic acid, which can boost skin hydration, reduce scarring and increase overall skin condition. It has anti-ageing properties, due to which it stimulates the production of collagen, which is important in creating healthy, youthful skin.
Reduces swelling: It can reduce swelling as it has anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate the pain and swelling associated with certain health conditions such as arthritis. It can even reduce swelling caused by an injury, such as sprains and strains.
The effectiveness of Gotu Kola comes with a potential for side effects, which are as follows.
Gastrointestinal upset is possible. This is usually caused by ingesting too much of the herbal remedy or if you have an allergy to GK. Other potential side effects include headaches, dizziness, and skin irritation.
In rare cases, it can cause more severe and even life-threatening side effects. These include anaphylactic shock and liver toxicity. If you experience any of these symptoms after taking GK, you should seek medical attention immediately.
Gotu Kola is a natural ayurvedic herb that is known for its healing and medicinal properties. However, not everyone should use it. Here is a list of people who should avoid it.
People with allergies
Those with blood clotting disorders
Pregnant and breastfeeding women
Individuals on blood pressure medication
People with diabetes and liver disease
People who plan to undergo surgery should avoid it at least two weeks prior to surgery. This is because it may increase the risk of bleeding and can interfere with certain medications used during surgery.
The dosage of GK depends on the individual's case. That is why, it is important to consult with an experienced herbalist/naturopath/doctor prior to taking Gotu Kola, to ensure that the appropriate dosage is chosen. In general, it is recommended to begin with a low dose and build up slowly until the desired effects are achieved.
Yes, it is possible for GK to interact with certain medications. Before taking Gotu Kola, it is recommended to consult a doctor/healthcare provider who will be able to provide guidance on any potential drug interactions.
It is generally considered to be safe for long-term use with little to no side effects. However, it is important to follow the recommended dosage.
It offers a variety of benefits, including promoting better memory, improving cognitive functions, reducing anxiety, stress and depression, and promoting healthy circulation. It can also help the body heal faster by stimulating collagen production.
Gotu Kola may interact with certain medications, such as blood pressure and cholesterol-lowering medications. It is also not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women as not enough is known about its effects on unborn babies or nursing infants. Also, if you have certain health conditions, it is best to consult a healthcare provider before taking Gotu Kola.
The antioxidants found in Gotu Kola may combat free radical damage and may have an anti-ageing effect on the body. It may promote healthy skin and reduce wrinkles, fine lines, and other signs of ageing. Some studies also suggest that GK may aid in improving collagen production, which can improve skin elasticity and firmness.
When taking Gotu Kola, the best time will depend on the form. For capsules, it is best to take it with a meal, while liquid extract should be taken between meals. Also, it should be taken in the morning or early afternoon as taking it too late in the evening could interfere with sleep.
It is important to avoid taking Gotu Kola with alcohol or smoking because this may increase the risk of side effects. Additionally, it is vital to speak to a healthcare provider before taking GK if you have a bleeding disorder or are taking any medication, as it could interact with some drugs.
Gotu Kola should be stored in an air-tight container in a cool, dry area, and away from direct sunlight. Keep it away from heat and moisture, and make sure to check for any expiration dates.
Ethanol Extract of Centella asiatica (Gotu Kola) Attenuates Tubular Injury Through Inhibition of Inflammatory Cytokines and Enhancement of Anti-Fibrotic Factor in Mice with 5/6 Subtotal Nephrectomy - PMC (nih.gov)
Centella asiatica (Gotu kola) ethanol extract up-regulates hippocampal brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), tyrosine kinase B (TrkB) and extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) signalling in chronic electrical stress model in rats - PMC (nih.gov)
Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. Please consult a doctor before making any health-related decisions. Note that Gotu Kola is also mentioned as GK in this article.
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