Gotu kola - Centella asiatica (in the Umbelliferae or Parsley family)
Parts used: Whole plant.
Taste/smell: Spicy, fragrant.
Dosage: Infusion: 1 tablespoon per cup of water; or 1:1 fresh strength liquid extract: 20-60 drops 1-4 times per day.
Mental picture and specific indications: Gotu kola has a calming and supportive effect on the nervous system and calms the brain of mental chatter. It also supports connective tissue.
Use: (a) Anti-inflammatory, (b) Adaptogen, (c) Analgesic, (d) Diuretic, (e) Laxative, (f) Vulnerary, (g) Antiseptic, (h) Circulatory stimulant.
Externally and internally it is used to accelerate the healing time for wounds, burns and ulcers and internally to decrease scar tissue buildup after injuries. Gotu kola is used for sluggish digestion and to improve memory. It is an anti-stress herb that has been shown to decrease adrenal enlargement and possesses corticosteroid-sparing effects in rats under stressful conditions. Gotu kola also reduces stress-induced ulcers.
It is indicated for numerous conditions, including high blood pressure, abscesses, rheumatism, fever, ulcers, leprosy, general skin eruptions, incontinence, varicose veins, nervous disorders and jaundice. Gotu kola promotes hair and nail growth, and increases endurance and energy. It normalizes the metabolism of connective tissue and enhances connective tissue by stimulating glycosaminoglycan synthesis without promoting excessive collagen synthesis.
Gota kola contains an essential oil, a tannin and a triterpenic saponoside, asiaticoside, which is antimicrobial.
Contraindications: It is contraindicated in pregnancy due to emmenagogue and abortifacient effects, unless used under the guidance of a qualified health care practitioner.