In Asia this herb has a long standing reputation as one of the best herbs for the brain. Several studies have shown that Gotu Kola has a complex action on the mind through enhancing neurite-dendrite growth and out branching in key areas of the brain. This action not only makes the mind calmer, sharper and more fluid but also protects brain cells from damaging toxins.
Used for centuries in TCM to treat anxiety and depression, science has now isolated the active compounds responsible for the remarkable antidepressant effects of this herb. Two of these compounds - brahmoside and brahminoside - have sedative effects, whilst research shows that Gotu Kola reduces anxiety by around 50% in human studies.
Another study has found that Gotu Kola reduces the "startle response" caused by sudden noises within 30 - 60 minutes after ingestion. The acoustic startle response is a reliable way to measure anxiety, a greater general startle reflex being associated with higher anxiety levels.
Gotu Kola is a well known super-antioxidant for the brain, helping to protect brain cells from free radical induced cell death. A powerful brain detoxifier, symptoms of toxic overload in the brain manifest as brain fog, memory loss and lack of concentration to name but a few. This powerful herb destroys toxic accumulations in the brain, including residues of heavy metals, pharmaceutical and recreational drugs, improving the blood flow, which results in a clearer mind and elevated mood.
Used for centuries in traditional medicine as a liver detoxifier, Gotu Kola helps to detoxify the rest of the body by drawing out fluid from tissues, promoting urination and helping to eliminate excess fluid from the body.
Folklore and history
Gotu Kola is an Ayurvedic herb that was first used in India where it has a reputation for promoting long life and rejuvenating the body and mind. Many Yogis still use this plant in its fresh form as an aid to meditation.
Gotu kola is said to develop the crown chakra, the energy center at the top of the head, and to balance the right and left hemispheres of the brain - which the leaf is said to resemble. It is regarded as one of the most important rejuvenative herbs in Ayurvedic Medicine. Traditionally it has been used in the treatment of Leprosy.
Gotu Kola has been used by monks and Yogis of the Far East for centuries as a means to enhance their concentration during meditation. In Chinese and Indian Ayurvedic medicine it also plays an important role in helping memory loss and fighting aliments of the mind.
Active constituents include saponins, asiaticoside, madecassoside and madasiatic acid. It also contains flavonols, amino acids, fatty acids, sterols, saccharides, and some mineral salts.