Benifits Of Gotu Kola

Gotu KolaIt is a trailing herb that loves moist places and has rounded simple leaves, slender stems and inconspicuous flowers form in short clusters. The herb centella has been used extensively, internally and externally, as a medicine since the 17th century in Africa, India, the Philippines, Java and France. Pennywort (Centella Asiatica) or wild violet as it is also known, is indigenous to Africa, India and Australia.

The ancient Indians ate two leaves a day for anti-aging and for tired looking skin. They also used it to treat leprosy sores, syphilis, leg ulcers, slow-healing wounds, venereal sores, tuberculosis, skin lesions and psoriasis. It is called the tiger herb in India, due to the fact that wounded tigers roll themselves in Centella. In Africa they used it to cure syphilis and to treat open and infected wounds. Chinese physicians used it for longevity and to treat fevers, colds and influenza.

Family

Apiaceae

Properties

It has excellent properties that deal with venous insufficiency, wound healing and which act as a general tonic.
The main compounds in Centella are the triterpenes asiatic and madecassic acid, together with triterpenoid ester glycosides, known as asiaticoside and brahminoside, while the volatile principle in the plant contains p-cymol, b-caryophyllene and farnesene.
The main use of centella is in wound healing and promoting healthy tissue. Itis used to prevent the formation of scar tissue as well as to treat leprous ulcers. It is also used to treat stomach and duodenal ulcers, while acting as a multifunctional tonic - better known as an adaptogen.

Therapeutic Uses

Internal Uses:
  • Taken internally it appears to exert its anxiolytic and anti-stress activity by depressant action on the central nervous system (CNS), involving an increase in the concentration of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) in the brain.
  • Improves circulation in veins as well as capillaries.
  • Stimulates hair and nail growth.
  • Increases vascularisation of connective tissue.
  • Helpful in treating arthritis.
  • Furthermore, it also is helpful to minimize varicose veins, as it appears to enhance blood flow, increasing the tone of the connective tissue sheath that surrounds the veins, and helps to maintain the suppleness of the veins.
  • Increasing the tensile integrity of the dermis (strengthens the skin).
External Uses:
  • The asiaticosides and triterpenes have modulating properties on the development and metabolism of connective tissue, improve the synthesis of collagen and other tissue proteins by modulating the action of fibroblasts in the vein wall, and stimulate collagen remodeling in and around the venous wall.
  • They therefore improve wound repair, with a better re-epithialisation and a normalization of perivascular connective tissue, thus allowing an improvement of the venous wall tone and elasticity.
  • It is found that in poor connective tissue conditions, the triterpenes are able to renew the collagen, in quantity and quality, and restore tissue firmness and skin elasticity, improving skin appearance and comfort.
  • Apart from this it also has anti-psoriatic properties.
  • The saponins also prevent excessive scar formation, by modulating and slowing down the excessive production of collagen (the material that makes up connective tissue) at the wound site and also increases the concentration of antioxidants in wounds.
  • Various studies have supported these actions of centella and furthermore have been shown to be effective in treating surgical wounds, skin grafts, gangrene, traumatic injuries, burns, chronic skin lesions, ulcers and even leprosy wounds.
  • It has great importance in preventing and correcting venous insufficiency.
  • It helps provide treatment for leprosy and skin tuberculosis, as the bacteria are coated in a wax-like substance that the body's immune system cannot penetrate, but this waxy coating is dissolved by centella, thereby allowing the body's immune system to destroy the bacteria.
  • In a clinical trial it was also shown that asiaticoside significantly improved wound healing.
  • Laboratory tests proved that it contains compounds that exert a balancing effect on connective tissue.
  • When Centella Asiatica was used in treatment of patients with second or third degree burns, the results were excellent. The extract used, prevented or limited the shrinkage and swelling of the skin, caused by infection, and inhibited scar formation, increasing healing and reducing fibrosis.

Parts Used

The entire plant can be used.

Genus and Specie

Centella asiatica

Safety Precautions and Warnings

The systemic use of centella, where it is taken orally, has not shown side effects, but to err on the side of safety it is best not taken when pregnant. When used topically some infrequent cases of dermatitis were reported.

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