Materia Medica

Materia Medica

Latin Binomial: Centella asiatic

Common Names: Gotu kola, Asiatic pennywort

 

Summary:

Gotu kola is known for its nervine and wound healing properties. It has been used historically throughout Asia, particularly in India, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Thailand, and other southeast Asian countries where it is served as juice in many marketplaces. New research is studying age-related cognitive decline and mood. The plant genome for Gotu kola has not yet been fully sequence, however sections have been used to study cross-transferability within the Apiaceae family. The details of its classification and alternative scientific names can be found here.

 

Production:

Gotu kola is a slender trailing herb that grows in temperate and tropical high moisture regions and can be *identified* by its light to dark green, deep veined, rounded leaves with an indent at the long, red to green stem with roots at the nodes. This is a very resilient plant that prefers good air flow, loose substrate, and minimal fertilizer to grow. The best way to harvest is using a serrated knife cut handfuls free from the roots, leaving deep runners allowing for regrowth.

 

Diseases used for:

Anti-anxiety 

Neurological systems improvement

Neuroprotective

Cognitive function

Physical performance

Microangiopathy (small blood vessel)

Wound contraction

Antiepileptic

Antidepressant

  

Associated body areas/metabolic system pathways:

Neurological system

Brain

Peripheral blood vessels

skin/wound

 

Preparations and how to use

Ones we make – ethanol tincture, infused in olive oil, used in various salves

Make at home – fresh or dried tea, use in salads or juice

Visit our webstore or contact us for our gotu kola raw plant, extracts, or formulations.

See dosages under Safety section

 

Safety: (Contraindications/Cautions from Pharmacological Review)

Gotu kola has no known toxicity in recommended doses. Rare side effects can include skin allergy and burning sensations with external use or headache, stomach upset, nausea, dizziness, and extreme drowsiness with high doses. It is postulated that chronic treatment may prevent women from becoming pregnant by causing spontaneous abortion. There is little or no information regarding safety during breast feeding so nursing mothers are advised to refrain from use. The metabolism of active constituents is thought to slow down and can produce toxicity so it has been recommended in literature to take a 2 week break between 6 weeks of continuous treatment.

There have been no reports documenting negative interactions between Gotu kola and medications to date.

 A typical daily dose of Gotu kola was reported to be approximately 600mg of dried leaves or infusion, single-dose capsules (300 mg to 680 mg, three times daily), a 10-mg concentrated extract. Other preparations include isolated compound tablets or ointment. Dried Gotu kola leaf as a tea is made by adding 1-2 teaspoons (5-10g) to about 2/3 cup (150ml) of boiling water and allowing it to steep for 10 to 15 min, about three cups daily.

 

Folklore: Sri Lankan folklore teaches that gotu kola promotes longevity and memory because it is a staple in the elephant diet who are long-lived. Indian folklore calls gotu kola tiger’s grass because tigers are known to roll their bodies on gotu kola after fighting because of the herb’s wound-healing properties.