Gotu Kola: Secrets of Longevity
Clinical Herbalist Reviewed on December 17, 2011 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica) has been traditionally used for thousands of years as an energizing and cognitive-stimulating (brain boosting) herb, and is still used today as a premier herb for fatigue, confusion, and general lethargy.
The energizing effects of Gotu Kola (not to be confused with Kola Nut, a different plant) primarily arise from its stimulating effect upon the thyroid, making it extremely beneficial for low thyroid function (hypothyroid or subclinical hypothyroid).
Commonly, with subclinical hypothyroid, thyroid tests appear normal yet one still has the classic symptoms of low thyroid, including fatigue, lower body temperature, cold hands and/or feet, sluggish bowels, slow digestion or transit time, tired appearance, and possibly slower cognitive function. Gotu Kola is well-indicated for this type of a person, and one doesn’t need to have all of these symptoms to benefit from its use.
Gotu Kola can also be used by those exhausted from emotional upheaval or excess work, or from ‘burning the candle at both ends’ – those who put out more energy than they are putting back in! It may also help to regulate the limbic system (our ‘emotional brain’) to maintain a more balanced emotional state.
Gotu Kola is high in flavonoids, natural compounds which strengthen capillary fragility, improve vascular integrity, and provide protection from free-radicals. Its antioxidant and energizing actions lends credence to Gotu Kola’s traditional reputation as a ‘longevity enhancer.’
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan