Gotu Kola is popularly known as Centella Asiatica, is a wetland plant that is abundant in the Southeast Asia as well as in India. This plant has been used to treat many conditions for many years in India, China and Indonesia. It's claimed to be effective for various diseases such as cholera, syphilis, hepatitis, stomach ulcers, mental fatigue, epilepsy, diarrhea and other severe infections. As of today, the leaves of the plant have been utilized for psychological improvement and mood enhancement. The plant, which is otherwise called Indian pennywort in the United States, can be utilized to reduce melancholy and tension, while enhancing general cognitive function.
Gotu Kola is not like kola nut (also known as Cola Nitida). Gotu is not considered a stimulant and it does not contain caffeine. Gotu Kola flourishes in and around water, its leaves and stems are what's used as medicine. It is a member of the parsley family; it has no taste or smell. It has little fan-molded green leaves with white or light purple-to-pink blossoms, and little oval fruit.
Cholecystokinin receptors, which are responsible for regulating our physical and emotional responses like the feelings of satisfaction, pain relief, and anxiety, are found throughout our central nervous system. Gotu Kola has the ability to bind to cholecystokinin receptors and is known to have a calming effect.
Gotu Kola contains chemicals that can reduce blood pressure and inflammation. Studies show that consuming Gotu Kola orally for couple of weeks could help enhance blood circulation and may help those suffering from swelling secondary to poor blood circulation in their lower extremities. Brahmoside and brahminoside, which are components of the traditional remedy Brahmi of Bacopa Monnieri, are stress relievers that increases the effects of Gotu Kola (stacked). In addition to its positive effects, Gotu Kola also has the ability to increase collagen production, which is important in healing wounds.
Gotu Kola is usually served in tea and is a more intense version of the chamomile tea. One of the most important effects of Gotu Kola is its ability to provide a calming effect on our central nervous system. Therefore, it is good in in relieving stress and anxiety.
Gotu Kola also has the ability to relieve both emotional and physical fatigue. This is because of its ability to relieve inflammation, decrease muscle pain, and promote calming effects on the tired muscle. GABAergic supplements inhibit the over-activity of nerve cells in our brain when stress triggers. In order to strengthen its effects on stress relief, it is advisable to combine Gotu Kola with other supplements that enhances the body's GABA response.
Because of these benefits, Gotu Kola has been widely used for relaxation therapy in patients who are suffering from Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and other motor and cognitive disorders. This plant has relaxation effects, calms agitation, stops confusing thoughts, and provides muscle relaxation that are difficult to control by patients.
Gotu Kola is sometimes utilized to control pregnancy in women. It has been used in some cultures to prevent birth and regulate menstruation. However, there is not enough conclusive evidence to prove its effectiveness.
Poor brain function related to liver disease: Some researchers claim that consuming Gotu Kola two times a day for five weeks could help patients suffering from liver disease improve their brain function more effectively than standard therapy.
Increasing circulation in people with diabetes: People who has damaged small blood vessels due to diabetes can benefit from consuming Gotu Kola for six months to a year, since this herb is known to increase fluid retention in people with diabetes.
Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis): People who are suffering from atherosclerosis, which is a disease of the arteries characterized by the deposition of plaques of fatty material on their inner walls, could benefit from taking Gotu Kola. There is research that claims effectiveness of Gotu Kola in breaking off clot formation that might cause heart attack or cardiovascular accident (popularly known as stroke). Taking Gotu Kola for a year can help stabilize these plaques and prevent atherosclerosis to occur.
Preventing blood clots in legs when Flying: There is some evidence on the effectiveness of Gotu Kola in preventing blood clots during long flights. Gotu Kola can decrease fluid and enhance blood circulation, thus preventing the clotting of blood during flights that longer than three hours.
Psoriasis (red, scaly skin): Some evidences show that Gotu Kola is also effective in treating patients who have psoriasis, which is a long-lasting autoimmune disease characterized by patches of abnormal skin.
Keloids: Some evidence suggests that madecassol, the extract of Gotu Kola, can help decrease the excess scar tissue following wound healing, thus preventing keloid formation.
Scarring: Some researchers say that applying Gotu Kola cream on the skin 2x daily for six to eight weeks can help the reduction of scarring.
Stretch marks due to Pregnancy: It is unavoidable for stretch marks to occur in pregnant women. There is some evidence about applying an ointment (mixture of Gotu Kola, essential fatty acids, Hyalunoric acid, vitamin E, elastin, and menthol) can prevent the occurrence of stretch marks in pregnant women. Early researches suggest that applying a mixture of vitamin E, grass-fed collagen and Gotu Kola itself compound every day for half a year could reduce stretch marks.
Schistosomiasis: Bladder wounds due to parasitic infection called schistosomiasis can be effectively relieved by injecting Gotu Kola.
Scleroderma: Early evidences show that Gotu Kola is also effective in reducing pain and increase joint movements, therefore, it is beneficial for patients who have scleroderma, which is a condition described as chronic hardening and contraction of the skin and connective tissue either locally or throughout the body.
Wound healing: Gotu Kola can also help improve the healing of wounds by directly applying it on the skin surface.
Depression: Gotu Kola is also good in helping depressed people. However, since depression is considered to be a mental condition, it is advisable that you should consult your physician first and follow an appropriate treatment program.
Insomnia: In one study conducted in a lab on mice, Gotu Kola produced sedative effects.
The dosage of Gotu Kola highly depends on the patient's health and condition and it is not recommended for patients under 18 years of age. Most manufacturers suggest a starting dose between 500mg to 4000mg, taken 3 times daily. It is vital that you should start at lower dose when taking Gotu Kola, since high doses could lead to over-sedation.
According to the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, patients who suffer from anxiety and panic attacks can benefit in taking 12 grams. The university of Maryland Medical Center suggests that a dosage of 500mg, taken two times per day is effective for patients who are suffering from stress and mood issues. In cases of inefficient blood circulation and clot formation, a dosage of 300mg is recommended. A dosage of 60 to 180 mg is advised for patients who are suffering from lower extremity blood circulation problems following venous insufficiency.
Even though this supplement is mild and can be well tolerated by most people, it should be avoided by those who have liver problems, and it should not be taken together with other drugs or medications that are known to be harmful to the liver such as Tylenol or acetaminophen. Ambien, Klonopin, and Ativan are some of the drugs that do not work well when combined with Gotu Kola as they lead to excessive sedation. As Gotu Kola also has sedating effects, it should not be combined with anti-depressant drugs and similar substances.
Gotu Kola supplement may cause increased sensitivity to sunlight, increasing the risk of sunburn; dizziness, gastrointestinal irritation, and nausea. One study shows that Gotu Kola increases the risk of infertility in mice and causes contact dermatitis.
Another bothersome adverse effect of this supplement is that it may cause cancer and tumor growth. The asiaticoside that reside in Gotu Kola was found out to enhance tumor growth in mice. Therefore Gotu Kola is not recommended for those who have a history of precancerous and cancerous skin growth.
Gotu Kola has been utilized effectively as part of alternative medicine for diseases and blood flow related issues. Whether it is ingested in tea or devoured as smashed dry leaves, Gotu Kola is a gentle yet viable treatment for anxiety and helps with mental calming. As of this day, Gotu Kola is widely used as a remedy for mental fatigue and anxiety.
Considering there are not many adverse effects, it is safe to use in combination with other medication especially those that enhances GABA response. To top it off, Gotu Kola is very effective for relaxation.
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