Mandukaparni / Gotukola / Brahmi*/ Brahmanduki / Asiatic pennywort – Centella asiatica is a herbaceous, frost-tender perennial plant. It is native to the wetlands in Asia. It is used as a culinary vegetable and as a medicinal herb. The hole plant is used in Ayurvedic medicine and cosmetology.
Centella asiatica is indigenous to the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and wetland regions of the Southeastern US.
It is used in traditional systems of medicine as an antioxidant that rejuvenates and cleanses the body, a tonic for the brain that improves mental activity and memory, strengthens the immune system, improves blood circulation, regulates blood pressure, nervous system, relieves anxiety, heals skin diseases, treats ulcers and scars , strengthens hair and hair follicles, stimulates hair growth, prevents hair loss.
Gotukola is one of the main ingredients of brain tonics. In Ayurveda is called “food for the brain”. Centella A. contains pentacyclic triterpenoids, including asiaticoside, brahmoside, asiuyatic acid, and brahmic acid (madecassic acid). Other constituents include centellose, centelloside, and madecassoside.
Like a tonic for the brain:
– stimulates the brain;
– strengthens memory;
– improves concentration and attention;
– gives clarity of mind;
– nourishes the brain;
– rejuvenates brain cells;
– normalizes cerebral circulation;
– stabilizes the degenerative cognitive function of older adults on attention, memory, function of the musculoskeletal system and reaction time;
– helps treat atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease;
– increases efficiency, learning ability, improves short-term and long-term memory, treats amnesia;
– expands the cognitive abilities of healthy people, activates their mental activity, the ability to remember and reproduce information;
– protects the blood vessels through which oxygen enters the brain, thereby stimulating the flow of oxygen to the brain.
As a tonic for the nervous system:
– relieves anxiety, stress, tension, helps with depression, including postpartum depression;
– gives a feeling of calm and relaxation, while simultaneously activating mental processes;
– normalizes sleep, treats insomnia (tea from Gotu Kola is taken before bedtime for a healthy sleep and quick wake up).
As a treatment for many skin diseases:
– has an anti-inflammatory effect, strengthens blood vessels and capillaries, which supply blood to the tissues of the affected areas, improving blood circulation and stimulating blood flow, thereby contributing to the rapid healing of wounds;
– applying an extract of gotu kola to the skin might help reduce keloids; taking gotu kola by mouth may improve the appearance of keloid;
– the cream containing gotukola and other ingredients may help prevent stretch marks during pregnancy;
– applying a specific gotu kola cream to the skin twice daily for 6-8 weeks after the removal of stitches might help reduce scarring.
– varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency (strengthens vascular tissue);
– might help prevent blood clots that form in the veins (venous thromboembolism or VTE)
– scleroderma (a disease in which tissue compaction occurs);
– for the diabetic microangiopathy: might help increase circulation and decrease fluid retention in people with diabetes whose small blood vessels have been damaged by their disease;
– hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis);
– cleanse the blood;
– improve blood circulation;
– like a tonic for the whole body;
– common cold and flu; Tonsillitis;
– other conditions.
Don’t use gotu kola if you are: pregnant, breastfeeding, have hepatitis or other liver disease, have a scheduled surgery within the next two weeks, under 18 years of age, have a history of skin cancer.
Consult your doctor before use if you: have liver disease, have diabetes, have high cholesterol, are taking medications such as sedatives for sleep or anxiety, are taking diuretics.
Additional informaion: Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica) is often confused with another plant – Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri). Both plants are called brahmi because in Ayurveda, the name “brahmi” can be applied to any powerful tonic for the brain, given that it carries the energy of the god Brahma, the creator of the universe in Hinduism. However, it so happened that the word “brahmi” most often refers to bacopa monnieri. Brahmi and Gotu Kola are the most powerful brain tonics in Ayurveda. These two plants are extremely similar to each other in appearance and properties. Both are used in Ayurveda as the two most powerful tonics for the brain, in cosmetic formulas for face and body skin, and especially for hair.
These two plants are perfectly combined with each other. Both are powerful antioxidants that cleanse the blood, strengthen the immune system, tone the entire body, treat a number of diseases, including skin diseases, and also perfectly heal wounds and ulcers. However, Brahmi has a cooling effect that regulates vata and kapha dosha, and Gotu-kola has a warming effect that normalizes pitta dosha. Thus, together they perfectly balance all three doshas, the whole organism. Both herbs are taken orally as a medicine and are part of numerous cosmetic preparations. Brahmi is more used for food additives and face and body skin care products, and Gotu Kola is used in cosmetics for face and hair (this is a very conditional difference).