Gotu kola is an Asian plant from the parsley family with small oval fruits. For centuries, it has been recognized and used as a traditional natural remedy in China, India and Indonesia.
The stems and the leaves of this are used for dealing with a variety of health conditions, including: healing wounds, psoriasis, leprosy, hepatitis, peptic ulcers, epilepsy, diarrhea, asthma, fever and fatigue.
There is a Chinese legend about a man who lived for over 200 years as a result of the regular intake of this herb, which is why in these parts of the world it is also known as “the fountain of life”.
Currently, gotu kola is used in many countries as a natural remedy for a variety of health conditions, one of the most popular being for healing of small wounds and resolving problems with skin lesions. It is recommended as a topical treatment for small cuts or burns, for psoriasis, as well as for treating surgical or other scars, plus stretch marks. The reason gotu kola is good for skin healing is because it increases and improves the blood circulation to the affected area and helps boost the antioxidants needed to heal the wound, lesion or scar.
Another popular use of this plant is for treatment of varicose veins and venous insufficiency. These conditions, which can cause the legs to swell and also quite a lot of pain and discomfort because of worsened and hindered circulation of the blood, can be helped with this natural remedy. Actual studies have shown that taking gotu kola can help reduce the water and liquid retention and improve the blood circulation as well. Some people prefer to take some before long flights, to prevent blood clots from forming in the legs. The herb has been said to help atherosclerosis by actually stabilizing the plaques in the blood vessels and stopping them from “breaking off” and clotting the vessel or leading to a heart attack or stroke.
Gotu kola has also been used to relieve the symptoms of scleroderma, insomnia and anxiety.
Some people take it to fight away depression, and to improve memory and cognitive skills.
This herb is not recommended for children and teens under 18 and can have a negative effect on the human liver after prolonged use.
As one of the traditional natural remedies used in Ayurveda, gotu kola is also known to help some bacterial, viral and even parasitic infections, including: common cold and flu, urinary tract infection, shingles, dysentery, syphilis, tuberculosis, leprosy and others.
In certain cultures, women use gotu kola as a contraception, for amenorrhea and to boost their sex drive.