Gotu Kola Herb "Food for the Brain"
Saturday, October 1st 2005
Gotu kola herb has been used for at least 2, 000 years. Traditionally, gotu kola was used mainly as a nerve tonic, to improve memory and clarity of thinking, to help anxiety and depression and sometimes indigestion. Gotu kola helps improve circulation, alertness and relaxation.
Gotu kola herb also has an important potential role in gynecology. It has been used successfully to promote healing after episiotomy, a surgical incision in the perineum (between the vagina and rectum) performed to control tearing during childbirth. In fact, in one study reported in a French medical journal in 1966, women treated with gotu kola after childbirth healed more rapidly than those given standard treatment.
Indian and Ayurvedic uses
Gotu kola (Centella asiatica) is used in India for longevity and vitality. It is considered a vital herb in traditional Ayurveda where it is used to "strengthen both the white and gray matter of the brain", stimulate learning, memory and alertness and calm or sedate anxiety when necessary.
It rebuilds the energy reserves, and is thought to be particularly useful for nervous system support. Gotu kola is sometimes called "food for the brain". Indian healers also used gotu kola herb to treat skin inflammations and as a mild diuretic.
Gotu kola was mentioned in the Shennong Herbal compiled in China about two thousand years ago. Oriental healers relied on gotu kola to treat emotional disorders such as depression that may be rooted in physical problems. Traditional Chinese medicine believed gotu kola provided longevity, and they called it the "fountain of youth" herb.
In recent years, gotu kola has become popular in the West as a nerve tonic to promote relaxation and to enhance memory.
Helps Relieve Poor Circulation
Recent studies show that gotu kola has a positive effect on the circulatory system: It appears to improve blood flow throughout the body by strengthening the veins and capillaries.
Gotu kola supports peripheral circulation, especially in the legs. It has been used traditionally for people who are inactive or confined to bed due to illness. Its beneficial effect on circulation may help improve memory and brain function.
In a study of 94 people with venous insufficiency, those who took gotu kola reported a significant improvement in symptoms compared to those who took placebo. In another study of people with varicose veins, ultrasound examination revealed improvements in the vascular tone of those who took gotu kola.
Reproduced unabridged from the October - December 2005 issue of Health and Herbal News, with the kind permission of Health and Herbs International Ltd.
Footnote from Ideal Health:
The following products are all useful for Concentration and Memory:
Brain Health Omega-3
Coromega - Omega 3 fish oil
Efalex Brain Formula
Hi Strength Liquid Fish Oil
Age Defence Resveratrol
Related health information can be found here:
Cayenne to strengthen the circulation, equalise blood pressure, arrest bleeding & assist with colds
Poor memory? Cold hands or feet? Get things circulating again with Ginkgo biloba
Smart nutrients for better brain function
Related articles can be found here:
Ancient herb - modern uses for Gotu Kola
Bilberry - a major antioxidant for the brain and eyes
Cayenne for winter warmth
Ginkgo Biloba - quality process for world leader
Healthy eye & brain development for babies
How to boost your brain power
If you need help or advice, you are welcome to email our naturopathic team with your health question.
Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered. The information is not intended to be comprehensive or to provide medical advice to you. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.
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