Gota Kola

Gota Kola

Centella asiatica

Gota Kola helps reduce cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. It helps reduce water retention, as well as upper respiratory issues. Also used to increase mental activity.

  • Plant type: Perennial
  • Other names: Brahimi
  • Medicinal: Yes
  • Culinary: No
  • Ceremonial: No
  • Parts Used: Leaves
  • Side Effects:
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About Gotu Kola

Gotu Kola is an herbaceous perennial, hailed as the herb of longevity. It belongs to the family Apiaceae and is a predominant plant in traditional Chinese, Indonesian, and Ayurvedic medicine system.

The plant is inter-connected via green or reddish-green, slender stems. The leaves are small, bearing smooth texture. The flowers of Gotu Kola grow in the form of clusters and pose white or sometimes crimson colors.

The Earth is a treasure house for the plants that impart various medicinal benefits. Gotu Kola is a bit interesting plant because of its peculiar name. In TCM, it is cheered as the fountain of life as it can serve benefits against even the deadliest of diseases. Gotu Kola helps with supports healthy blood circulation and guards against the development of cardiovascular diseases. Gotu kola not only supports the law of longevity, but it also helps us connect to the intelligence by interlinking our neurons for reducing memory loss.

Moreover, Gotu Kola has expertise in treating diarrhea, syphilis, gastric ulcer, hepatitis, epilepsy, fever, asthma, and varicose veins.

The biologically active ingredients of Gotu Kola include Asiatic acid, asiaticoside A, asiaticoside B, and madecassic acid. All these together bring about the white magic and give Gotu Kola the taste for culinary uses and pharmacological benefits for medicinal uses.

Growing

Gotu Kola is a ground covering herbaceous perennial that loves water and swampy regions. It can be grown both indoors and outdoors, depending upon the provided climatic conditions. For colder climates, the indoor plantation is preferable whereas for hot, dry, and sultry climate, the outdoor plantation is the best option.

Gotu Kola should be planted in summers by making use of either seeds or cuttings. The cuttings for plantation must be harvested when the plant is in the growing phase.  The seeds are sown at least 2 inches apart in moist soil as Gotu Kola requires ample amounts of water to flourish.

For containerized plants too, it is made sure the plant is given water and the pot has a drainage hole for flushing excess water.

The seeds of Gotu Kola are very slow to germinate. They can take 30 to 90 days to sprout. The plant then gets on with the ritual of growing further into a creeping ground cover.

Slowly and gradually the plant creeps and steps into the blooming phase and keeps repeating this phase, flowering all year round. Upon pollination by the grace of pollinating insects, the flowers transform into fruits that are liable to mature within three months.

The seeds found in fruit are dispersed on their own and steps on the lifecycle.

Harvesting

The whole plant of Gotu Kola can be harvested, along with rhizomes. There are no set protocols or instructions for the time of harvest. Gotu Kola can be harvested any time of the year without any hesitance.

The vines, leaves, flowers, fruits, and rhizomes can be harvested manually by a sharp pair of gardening shears. For getting hands-on rhizomes, the plant has to be pulled up before performing some digging to loosen it up.

Gotu Kola leaves and vines are sundried until they are brittle to touch. The dried plant material can be crushed and transferred to an airtight jar for later use.

Usage

Gotu Kola is employed all around the globe to seek its medicinal benefits.

  • Tincture - Infuse fresh or dried chopped gotu kola in grain alcohol for 4 to 6 weeks. Strain the liquid and place it in a dark and dry place.
  • Tea - Dried Gotu Kola leaves steeped in hot boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes and strained to yield Gotu Kola tea.
  • Decoction - A handful of Gotu kola leaves and vines are simmered in 2 cups of water for 15 to 20 minutes to yield Gotu kola decoction.
  • Salve - Gotu kola infused oil is combined with beeswax pellets and rose oil to formulate a salve.
  • Syrup - Dried Gotu kola leaves, granulated sugar, and water are boiled together until the sugar dissolves to form a syrup.
  • Infused oil - Dried Gotu kola leaves are covered with sesame oil and allowed to sit on a sunny windowsill for 2 to 3 weeks. The plant material is then filtered out completely and the infused oil is saved for later use.