Gotukola or Brahmi or Centella
asiatica is a nervine tonic used as a rejuvenative for nerve
cells and brain . It helps in improving memory and Clarity of thinking
.It has a very high level of vitamin B complex , vitamin A, B, E, K and
It is a creeping marsh plant
that contains no cola or caffeine as the name would suggest. It grows along
the ditches and low wet areas.
The stems are
slender, reddish green in color, interconnecting one plant to
another. It has long-stalked, green, fan shaped leaves with rounded apices which have smooth texture with palmately
netted veins. The leaves are borne on pericladial petioles, around 20 cm.
The rootstock consists of rhizomes, growing vertically down. They are creamish in color and
covered with root hairs.
The flowers are pinkish to red in color, born in small, rounded bunches
(umbels) near the surface of the soil. Each flower is partly enclosed in two
green bracts. The hermaphrodite flowers are minute in size (less than 3 mm),
with 5-6 corolla lobes per flower. Each flower bears five stamens and two
styles. The fruits are densely reticulate, distinguishing it from species of Hydrocotyle which have smooth, ribbed or warty fruit.
The crop matures in three months and the whole plant,
including the roots, is harvested manually.
Madhur (Sweet), Tikta(Bitter),Kashaya(Astringent)
Dry (Light), Tikshna (Sharp), Sar (Liquid )
all Vata, Pitta and Kapha
Medhya (Memory Booster)
especially leaves and stem.
Chemical composition / key active constituents
Gotu kola showed the presence of the following glycosides:
indocentelloside, brahmoside, brahminoside, asiaticoside, thankuniside and
isothankuniside. The corresponding triterpene acids obtained on hydrolysis
of the glycosides are indocentoic, brahmic, asiatic, thankunic and
isothankunic. These acids, except the last two, are also present in free
form in the plant apart from isobrahmic and betulic acids. The presence of
mesoinositol, a new oligosaccharide, ‘centellose’, kaempferol, quercetin and
stigmasterol, have also been reported.
The main active ingredients in Brahmi are Bacoside A and B.
Bacoside A assists in release of nitric oxide that allows the relaxation of
the aorta and veins, to allow the blood to flow more freely through the
body. Therefore Brahmi is revered for strenghtening the immune system,
improving vitality and performance and promoting longevity.
Bacoside B is a protein valued for nourishing the brain cells, as a
result Brahmi improves mental clarity, confidence, intelligence and memory
recall. It has been widely used by students and older people alike.
Asiaticosides stimulate the reticuloendothelial system where new
blood cells are formed and old ones destroyed, fatty materials are stored,
iron is metabolized, and immune responses and inflammation occur or begin.
The primary mode of action of Centella appears to be on the various phases
of connective tissue development, which are part of the healing process.
Centella also increases keratinization, the process of building more skin in
areas of infection such as sores and ulcers. Asiaticosides also stimulate
the synthesis of lipids and proteins necessary for healthy skin. Finally
centella strengthens veins by repairing the connective tissues surrounding
veins and decreasing capillary fragility.
Churna 3- 4 gm
kola is available in teas and as dried herbs, tinctures, capsules, tablets
Gotu kola is a wonderful herb with
incredible healing powers and is a rich source of vitamin K.
Wound Healing and Skin
Lesions : Gotu kola contains triterpenoids which strengthen the skin,
increase the concentration of antioxidants in wounds, and restore inflamed
tissues by increasing blood supply. Hence, Gotu kola has been used
externally for Burns, Psoriasis, Eczema, Keloids , CellulitePrevention of scar formation following
surgery, recovery from an Episiotomy following Vaginal delivery of a
newborn, and treatment of external Fistulas.
Venous Insufficiency and
Varicose Veins : When blood vessels lose their elasticity, blood pools
in the legs and fluid leaks out of the blood vessels, causing the legs to
swell (venous insufficiency). Gotukola is found to relieve the condition
of such persons.
High Blood Pressure :
In a study of people with heart disease and High Blood Pressure, those who
took gotu kola experienced a
significant reduction in Diastolic Blood Pressure compared to those who
Gotu Kola is also used in
treatment of Diarrhoea and Gynecological applications such as
menstrual disorders and vaginal discharge.
Anxiety : Triterpenoids have
been shown to soothe Anxiety and boost mental function
Scleroderma : One study
involving 13 females with scleroderma found that gotu kola decreased Joint
pain, Skin hardening, and improved finger movement.
: Gotu kola has been used to help people with insomnia because of its
- As an
Immunity Booster : It helps in relieving people from stress, Fatigue and
provides them Longevity.
Increases Haemoglobin and Lowers Urea and Uric acid , Phosphate level in
effects are rare but may include skin allergy and burning sensations (with
external use), headache, stomach upset, nausea, dizziness, and extreme
drowsiness. These side effects tend to occur with high doses of gotu kola.
Gotu kola is not
recommended under 18 years old.
are pregnant or trying to become pregnant should not use gotu kola ,
nursing mothers should also avoid it.
older than 65 should take gotu kola at a lower than standard dose.
has been used in some studies that lasted up to one year. However, in some
people gotu kola may affect the liver. It's best not to use gotu kola for
more than 6 weeks without talking to your doctor. You may need to take a
2-week break before taking the herb again.
Asiaticoside, a major component of gotu kola, has also been associated with
tumor growth in mice. Anyone with a history of precancerous or cancerous
skin lesions -- such as squamous cell, basal cell skin cancer, or melanoma
-- should not use gotu kola.
liver disease, or who take medications that affect the liver, should not
take gotu kola.
Interactions and Depletions:
may interact with the following medications:
Cholesterol-lowering drugs --
Gotu kola has been reported to increase
cholesterol levels. People with High cholesterol level should avoid Gotu
-- Gotu kola increases blood sugar levels, hence people
with diabetes should not take gotu kola without first talking to their
(water pills) -- Gotu kola is found to have diuretic effects, meaning it helps
rid the body of excess fluid. Taking diuretic medications and gotu kola
could cause your body to lose too much fluid, upsetting the balance of
electrolytes you need. The same is true of taking gotu kola with herbs that
have diuretic effects, such as green tea, astragalus, or gingko.
-- Due to gotu kola's sedative effects, it increases the effect
of other medications taken to relieve anxiety or insomnia.
Centella asiatica; a widely available
Indian herb has been used for centuries in both traditional Chinese and
Indian systems of medicine. Centella asiatica also has a historical
reputation for boosting mental activity and for helping a variety of
systemic illnesses, such as High blood pressure, Rheumatism, Fever, and
Nervous disorders. In traditional African system of medicine it has
been used for the treatment of leprosy, bronchitis, asthma, syphilis and wound healing. In India for the last 3,000 years of Ayurvedic
medicine, it has been used for the purposes like boosting memory, wound
healing, a mild diuretic, increasing concentration, alertness, as well
as anti-anxiety and anti-stress. It has also been used for centuries in
the treatment of liver and kidney problems. Today, American and
European herbalists use Gotu kola for disorders that cause connective
tissue swelling, such as Scleroderma, Psoriatic Arthritis, Anklylosing
spondylitis and rheumatoid arthritis. Gotu Kola was first accepted as a
drug in France in the 1880's.