Gotu Kola is an ancient Indian herb, used both for culinary and therapeutic purposes. It is known as Mandukaparni in Sanskrit. But it is also used in the name of Brahmi. It belongs to Apiaceae family.
Botanical name: Centella asiatica, Hydrocotyle asiatica
Hindi name: Bengsag, Brahmi
Bengali name: Thulkudi
Telugu name: Sarasvathy Aku
Tamil name: Vallari Kirai
Marathi name: Karivan, Karivana
Gujarati name: Khanda Brahmi
Kannada name: Ondelaga soppu
Mandukaparni – leaves resemble shape of frog
Manduki – available in moist places, similar to frogs
Sarasvati – found in watery, moist places, improves intelligence.
Vayasthapana – Group of herbs that are used for anti aging treatment
Tiktaskandha – Bitter tasting group of herbs
Prajasthapana – Useful to protect pregnancy.
Tiktavarga – Bitter tasting group of herbs.
Mandukparni medicinal qualities:
Rasa (Taste): Tikta (bitter)
Guna (qualities): Laghu (light to digest)
Vipaka (taste conversion after digestion): Madhura (sweet)
Veerya (potency): Sheeta (cold)
Effect on Tridosha: Balances Kapha and Pitta.
Prabhava (special effect): Medhya – improves intelligence
Gotu Kola Ayurveda uses and benefits:
It is used extensively as Rasayana – anti aging, rejuvenative.
Varna – skin quality
Svara – voice strength
Agni – digestive power
Medhya – improves intelligence
It is useful in
Raktapitta – bleeding disorders like menorrhagia, nasal bleeding, bleeding per rectum etc.
Hrudya – good for heart, cardiac tonic
Kushta – skin diseases
Meha – Prameha – diabetes, urinary tract disorders
Jwara – fever
Shwasa – asthma, COPD, wheezing, breathing difficulty
Kasa – cough, cold
Aruchi – anorexia, lack of interest in taking food
Smrutiprada – improves memory
Vishahara – useful in treating poisoning
Shothahara – relieves inflammation
In Thailand, Gotu Kola is used in detoxification of Opium poisoning. For this purpose, Gotu Kola paste or water decoction in higher doses is administered for a period of few months.
Gotu Kola 2 -3 leaves are chewed and eaten, once or twice a day, to relieve sluggish liver or in liver related disorders.
Part used: : Whole plant
Dosage: Gotu Kola juice extract: 10 – 30 ml,
Powder – 3 – 6 grams.
Gotu kola extract is used in a dose of 60 – 180 mg to relieve venous insufficiency (to improve blood circulation).
Gotu Kola side effects:
Its over-dosage may cause drowsiness. Hence, if people taking sedatives (to aid sleep) take Gotu Kola, they may feel excessively sleepy. Hence, if you are using Gotu Kola regularly, then consider consulting your doctor for reduction in sedatives dosage.
It is considered safe during pregnancy and lactation. But it is best to use this herb under medical supervision.
How to use Gotu Kola? Fresh juice extract of the green Gotu Kola leaves is used in Ayurveda. Gotu kola leaves are also used in many Indian Chutneys. Its dry herb powder is also used. Nowadays, tablets and capsules of Gotu kola is also available. Gotu Kola can be given to children, and elderly.
As per Charaka Samhita Chikitsa Sthana 1.3, regular intake of 5 – 10 ml of juice extract of Gotu Kola is explained as an excellent brain tonic and rejuvnator – Medhya Rasayana.
Recent research on Gotu Kola benefits – Gotu kola is an effective herb against depression. Gotu Kola is rich in anti oxidants like superoxide desmutase. Reference Gotu Kola is known to have healing effect over gastric ulcers.
Ayurvedic medicine with Gotukola as ingredient:
As mentioned previously, it is often used in place of Brahmi.
It is an ingredient of
Karimbirumbadi Kashayam – used in jaundice, anorexia etc.
Brihat Guduchi Taila – used in gout, arthritis etc.
Gotu Kola for powder massage:
Gotu Kola is used as an ingredient for Udvartana, also known as ubtan / powder massage. Powder massage with this is useful in treating obesity, to improve local blood circulation and to improve muscle tone and complexion.
Is Gotu Kola drying in nature? Does it increase Vata Dosha? Does it have moisturizing effect?
Gotu Kola does not increase Vata to a large extent. Because of its coolant effect, it is moisturizing to the tissues.