Anti-Stress Herbs: Gotu Kola

Gotu Kola, or Centella asiatica, is an ancient herbal remedy that has been popular in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for thousands of years. Then, it was often called “the fountain of life” and was reputed to cultivate long life and wellness. While there is no evidence that the herb can make you live longer, it has been shown to exhibit anti-aging properties and promote mental health.

Gotu kola plantAdaptogenic and Anti-Stress Mechanisms

Gotu Kola is considered an adaptogen because of its unique effect on the response to stress by the brain and the body. Several phytochemicals within the plant – namely triterpenoids and phenolic glycosides – have been shown to stimulate the brain, probably because they help to increase blood flow and circulation of oxygen. Some of the benefits of this phenomenon are:

  • Increased mental clarity
  • Enhanced memory
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Improved emotional stability

Several clinical trials have been conducted to determine the efficacy of gotu kola to reduce anxiety. According to a study on Centella asiatica by the The Nepal Medical College Journal, it may be a successful treatment for anxiety and depression. Some studies also suggest that this anti-stress herb may be useful to alleviate insomnia and other sleep disorders.

Other Health Benefits

In addition to its remarkable influence on the human brain, gotu kola may have other health benefits. Some of the nutrients that are found within the herb include:

  • Magnesium
  • Antioxidants
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin G
  • Vitamin K

This nutritional combination also helps promote the health of the brain, the central nervous system, and circulation, as well as healing. In fact, it is often applied topically to promote the healing of wounds and skin lesions.

Uses and Applications

Throughout India and Asia, Centella asiatica leaves are consumed in their whole, raw form as an ingredient in salads and other foods. Some topical wound treatments also contain traces of the herb for its healing properties. A more practical – and perhaps easier – method of delivery is through the use of teas and tonics. Some chai teas by Golden Lotus Botanicals include gotu kola as one of several herbal adaptogens. Browse them all in the Living Clean Store, or read more about herbal remedies:

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