Discover the 7 health benefits of pennywort (Gotu Kola).
Also known as centella, Asian pennywort or Indian pennywort, gotu kola is a versatile herb that goes by many names. It also has many health benefits.
Gotu kola grows in wetlands in Asia. He is originally from China, Japan, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and South Africa. For centuries, the leaves and stems have been used as a natural remedy to treat everything from depression to gastric ulcers.
In fact, some even attribute the elephant’s impressive memory and long lifespan to the potent properties of this medicinal plant .
From improving wound healing to relieving anxiety, gotu kola is a powerful herbal remedy that can have a major impact on your health.
Gotu Kola Nutrition
Gotu kola is a member of the Apiaceae family, as are carrots, celery and parsley . Its taste can vary from sweet to slightly bitter and it is practically odorless.
Besides being an important ingredient in many traditional Asian cuisines, it is also found in many forms. It is found especially in the form of tea, capsule, tincture, dried herb and extract.
Gotu kola contains many nutrients that can contribute to its medicinal properties, including several B vitamins, vitamin C, and a handful of phytonutrients such as flavonoids, tannins, and polyphenols.
These phytonutrients provide it with antioxidants – beneficial compounds that prevent damage to cells and help prevent disease.
However, the nutritional profile of gotu kola can vary widely depending on many factors, such as how it is processed or prepared.
7 health benefits of pennywort (Gotu Kola)
Below are the health benefits of pennywort:
1. Improves memory
One of the best-known benefits of gotu kola is its potential to improve cognition and sharpen memory .
A study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that gotu kola extract may be able to improve memory at the molecular level by enhancing the activity of a pathway that is associated with the formation of long-term memory. .
This was shown in a 2002 animal study in which rats were given gotu kola extract and underwent a series of tests to measure their cognitive function. The extract has been shown to improve learning and memory by increasing the levels of antioxidants in the blood.
Another study found that gotu kola supplementation could boost both memory and cognitive function in older participants.
Thanks to its strong memory-enhancing abilities, this potent herb has come into the limelight lately as a natural treatment to help slow age-related decline and the progression of diseases like disease. of Alzheimer’s disease.
2. Improves circulation
Poor circulation can be the result of many different causes, including varicose veins, obesity, diabetes, and peripheral artery disease. The decrease in blood flow can cause symptoms such as numbness, tingling, and muscle pain.
Traditional treatments to help improve circulation include exercise, elevating the legs, and avoiding long periods of immobility. Supplementing with gotu kola can also help, as it has been widely studied for its unique ability to naturally improve blood circulation.
One study gave 87 participants with poor circulation a dose of 30 or 60 milligrams twice a day for 60 days. This dose was found to significantly improve circulation compared to a placebo.
Meanwhile, a review published in 2013 looked at eight studies and found that gotu kola was effective in improving circulation and relieving symptoms of poor circulation such as swelling, heaviness in the legs, and pain.
Adding gotu kola to your daily routine, along with other remedies like regular physical activity, can increase blood flow to help you avoid the negative side effects of poor circulation.
3. Skin repair
Another remarkable benefit of gotu kola is its ability to repair skin cells and improve the health of your skin.
It effectively boosts the antioxidant activity in your tissues. This promotes wound healing and skin regeneration. Antioxidants can help neutralize harmful free radicals . These are compounds that build up over time to cause oxidative damage and accelerate aging.
An animal study found that applying gotu kola to wounds twice a day increased the levels of some antioxidants by up to 77% after seven days.
In another animal study, it was applied to wounds three times a day for 24 days, which increased collagen production and regenerated new skin cells faster. Collagen is the most abundant type of protein in the body and is responsible for repairing and renewing the skin.
Due to its positive effects on skin health, gotu kola is also often used topically as a natural remedy for skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.
4. Alleviates depression and anxiety
Besides being good for your physical health, some studies have shown that gotu kola can also be beneficial for your mental health.
Indeed, it has anxiolytic and antidepressant properties. This means that it can naturally inhibit anxiety, help treat depression, calm nerves, and even act as a sedative to promote better sleep .
A 2010 study gave 33 participants 500 milligrams of gotu kola twice a day for 60 days. This not only resulted in reduced anxiety levels, but stress and depression levels as well.
A study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology produced similar results and showed that older participants supplementing gotu kola showed improvements in both mood and memory.
In addition, numerous animal studies have confirmed the beneficial effects of gotu kola in relieving anxiety and fighting depression.
5. Prevention of gastric ulcers
The gastric ulcers are ulcers that form on the wall of the stomach, the esophagus or the small intestine. They cause symptoms such as pain, nausea, and bleeding.
Some studies suggest that gotu kola may help prevent and treat these harmful lesions by strengthening the intestinal barrier and blocking damage from harmful free radicals.
In fact, a study published in the journal Life Sciences showed that adding gotu kola to rats reduced the formation of gastric ulcers by 82%.
Another animal study found that the active compounds in gotu kola were able to reduce the size of gastric ulcers after just three days.
Combined with other treatments for gastric ulcers, such as reducing stress levels, limiting alcohol intake, and avoiding foods that irritate the stomach, gotu kola may help prevent and treat. gastric ulcers.
6. Reduce inflammation
Inflammation is a normal biological response to injury. However, chronic inflammation can wreak significant havoc in the body and contribute to diseases like heart disease, obesity, arthritis, diabetes, and cancer.
From protecting your cells from damage to preventing chronic disease, antioxidants are essential to many aspects of health. They’ve even been shown to help reduce inflammation.
Gotu kola can enhance the antioxidant activity of the body. It can help reduce inflammation and help in the treatment of several inflammatory disorders.
For example, an animal study carried out in 2008 showed that its active compounds were able to decrease several inflammatory markers and reduce the severity of arthritis in rats.
To truly reap its anti-inflammatory benefits, be sure to supplement your diet with other whole foods rich in antioxidants, such as fruits and vegetables.
7. Can help kill cancer cells
Although current research is limited to test-tube studies, there is some evidence that gotu kola may help kill cancer cells.
This is most likely due to its potent antioxidant activity, as antioxidants can help neutralize carcinogenic free radicals and prevent damage to your cells.
A 2008 study treated human breast cancer cells with gotu kola extract and found it to successfully block cancer growth and induce cancer cell death.
Another study found it to be effective in causing the cell death of several strains of cancer cells, including human breast cancer cells, mouse skin cancer cells, and rat brain cancer cells.
However, while this evidence is promising, more studies are needed to assess the potential effect of gotu kola on cancer cells in humans.
History of Gotu Kola
Gotu kola has a rich history in its use as a medicinal herb. Native mainly to Southeast Asia, it has been a staple natural remedy for centuries.
Historically, it has been used for everything from promoting lactation to treating herpes, as well as a myriad of other ailments.
In addition to its medicinal effects, gotu kola was also revered in India and China for its ability to strengthen spirituality. In fact, many still call it “the herb of enlightenment”.
Today, while gotu kola remains an important part of many traditional Asian cuisines, people around the world appreciate it for its potent health-promoting properties.
How to use Gotu Kola
Integrating gotu kola into your daily life is easy and efficient, thanks to the many varieties available.
In many Asian countries, it is used as a leaf vegetable in curries, side dishes, and soups. It is also a popular base for salads. Sambol Gotu kola, for example, is a common side salad in Sri Lanka, made with gotu kola, grated coconut, onions, and chili peppers.
Here are some other recipes you can try:
• Cashew nuts and Gotu Kola relish
• Burmese Salad from Pennywort
• Vallarai Keerai Kootu (Pennywort leaves with lentils)
You can also sip a cup of soothing gotu kola herbal tea, use it as a cream or ointment for skin problems and wound healing , add a few drops of liquid extract to your drinks, or pop a quick and convenient capsule.
The many forms of gotu kola are widely available at most drugstores and health stores as well as online. Look for a reputable brand with minimal added ingredients to make sure you’re getting the best quality.
Recommended doses usually start at 1 gram per day and can go up to 4 grams per day. You should start with a small amount and increase it slowly to assess your tolerance.
Although they are generally safe when used at recommended doses, some side effects have been reported.
Although uncommon, side effects may include headache, nausea, drowsiness, dizziness, and skin irritation. If you experience these or any other side effects after taking gotu kola, you should stop using it and consult your healthcare professional.
Additionally, most research advises against use for longer than six weeks and recommends taking a two week break with prolonged use.
Most also recommend that you do not use gotu kola if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, as its effects have not been studied on infants or children.
Finally, as large doses can act as a sedative, some sources caution against using gotu kola in combination with drugs that are used to treat anxiety or sleep disturbances.
Gotu kola is as versatile in its uses as it is in its impressive health promoting properties. Whether it’s sharpening memory, improving cognition, or reducing inflammation, gotu kola is an easy way to bring a concentrated dose of health benefits into your day.
Fortunately, there are plenty of options if you want to reap the amazing health benefits of this potent pennywort herb. Capsules, powders, tinctures, and creams are all simple and effective ways that can help improve your health.
Combine gotu kola with a balanced diet and an active lifestyle to maximize its impact and help optimize your physical and mental well-being.
We hope the article on the 7 health benefits of pennywort (Gotu Kola) has been of great help to you.