Following in the tradition of Ayurvedic treatments, gotu kola is used as an ancient method of healing that has now found a place within Western medicine. Useful in tonic form or as a cleansing herb, gotu kola has a reputation for aiding individuals with skin problems and digestive concerns. In India, the herb was used for the treatment of many different ailments , from leprosy to memory loss.
Gotu kola (also known as Indian pennywort) is a perennial that grows to 20 inches and displays fan-shaped leaves. In India, the herb is found growing wild throughout the country. It is also found in tropical and subtropical parts of southern Africa, Australia, and South America. However, in the southern parts of the United States, one can still find the herb.
When using gota kola to treat medical problems, it is the aerial parts of the plant that is used in herbal remedies. This part of the plant is harvested all year-round. The aerial parts contain the desirable tonic and cleansing properties. In India, despite a bittersweet taste, the fresh leaves of the gotu kola plants are eaten as a tonic herb and added to salads.
During the mid-1990s, research was conducted on gotu kola regarding fertility, which focused on components called asiaticocide and thankuniside that could reduce fertility. The study suggested that an old Indian use for improving fertility was incorrect. Other research focused on gotu kola as a way to think the blood and when taken in large doses, it could aid individuals (like diabetics), who battle high blood sugar levels.
Common Uses for Gotu Kola
Traditionally, India used gotu kola for thousands of years as a way to treat leprosy, skin ulcers, and other issues with the skin. For centuries, the herb served as a tonic for poor digestion and rheumatic conditions. The fresh leaves were also given to children to treat dysentery. The plant also gained the reputation for treating fever, stomach conditions, asthma, and bronchitis. Promoting hair growth, the oil extract proved beneficial.
Preparing Gotu Kola
Before you prepare gotu kola to treat a medical concern, it is important to note that gotu kola can cause sensitivity to sunlight. A couple of common preparations include:
Ã‚Â· Powder: A typical Ayurvedic approach to herbal treatments is to create a powder. A powder comprised out of gotu kola can be used as a general tonic when taken with water. A suggested amount is one to two grams per day.
Ã‚Â· Paste: Using the gotu kola powder, you can make a paste that will treat patches of eczema. Mix two teaspoons of powder with 25 milliliters of water and apply to irritated skin.
Ã‚Â· Tincture: A tincture made with gotu kola can treat poor memory and lack of concentration. Take 30 drops with water for three times per day.
Ã‚Â· Infusion: taking 35 milliliters for two times per day of a gotu kola infusion will help treat the symptoms of rheumatism.