Health Benefits of Pennywort or Gotu Kola
- Latin name = Centella asiatica
- English name = Pennywort, Asiatic Pennywort, or Indian Pennywort
- Sri Lankan name = Gotu Kola
Other names for pennywort include:
Pennywort is also known as:
- Marsh pennywort
- Common pennywort
- Sombrevillo de agua
- Bachelor's buttons
- Penny grass
History of Pennywort or Gotu Kola
The health benefits of the pennywort plant were acknowledged many centuries ago for the treatment of various conditions. It is used as part of Ayurvedic medicine, especially in traditional Indian and Chinese medicine practices.
Pennywort is a perennial herb that originates in moist areas. It is native to India, Sri Lanka, and Northern Australia as well as a few other areas in Asia.
Pennywort has been associated with a few Asian legends. It is said that a Tai Chi Chuan master, Li Ching-Yun, lived to the age of 256 years due to an assortment of herbs he consumed daily, one being pennywort.
Another tale is of King Aruna and his use of pennywort. He believed it gave him the energy and stamina necessary for his harem of 50 women.
How Pennywort Works
- This herb works by averting a disorderly manner of the absorption of nutrition and corrects this process through an improved progression of digestion of nutrients.
- Studies show that pennywort has antibacterial, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory properties.
- It contains vitamins B1, B2, B3, and B6 as well as calcium, magnesium, sodium, manganese, and zinc.
Health Benefits and Medicinal Uses
The benefits of pennywort tea are numerous and many people use this tea as a health tonic. Maintaining youth and the treatment of arthritis are its most popular use.
It is recognized as a longevity herb because of its ability to help rebuild connective tissue, which in turn, can slow the aging process.
Research has confirmed that pennywort (gotu kola) is effective for treating many conditions, including swelling and joint pain as well as anxiety, fatigue, and memory issues.
Plus, it has been commended as a great antidote for improving memory and, therefore, considered food for the brain. Studies have indicated that consuming 2-4 raw pennywort leaves a day may help sharpen alertness and memory and rejuvenate the brain.
There is important research being conducted to observe the effects this herb can have on those suffering with Alzheimer’s disease.
The central nervous system can receive amazing benefits with the consumption of pennywort. This herb works well in relaxing the mind and can assist in certain nervous disorders, senility, strokes, ADD, and epilepsy. It can be utilized as a nerve tonic when coping with mental stress and fatigue and encourage sleep due to a nervous condition.
Pennywort can help protect our immune system from toxins. High blood pressure, congestive heart failure, venereal diseases and urinary tract infections are a few of a range of illnesses that can be treated with this remarkable herb.
Because of its antibiotic properties, it has the capability to speed up the healing process of wounds. Furthermore, pennywort can improve blood flow while also reinforcing veins and capillaries, making them stronger.
It is effective in bringing down fever and treating dysentery in children, which is a severe form of diarrhea.
Circulation and Skin Conditions
Studies have shown it to be beneficial in healing and preventing phlebitis, leg cramps, and blood clots as well as decreasing the appearance of varicose veins.
Pennywort has also proved to cleanse and purify the blood stream and can remedy certain skin conditions such as eczema, chronic ulcers, sores, and scleroderma, which is a condition that hardens the skin. A powder can be made from the leaves of this plant and applied to the eruptions on the skin.
There are possible side effects of this herb and it should only be taken under the advice of your doctor. It is advised to follow the recommended doses, as increased use can lead to complications with your health.
Gotu kola has the potential to be harmful to the liver. Talk to your doctor about using this herb, and do not use it for more than six consecutive weeks. Take a two-week break before beginning again.
Gotu kola contains asiaticoside, which has been linked with tumor growth in mice. Anyone with a history of precancerous or cancerous skin lesions, such as squamous cell, basal cell skin cancer, or melanoma, should not use gotu kola.
People with liver disease, or who take medications that affect the liver, should avoid this herb.
It may increase cholesterol and blood sugar levels, therefore, it should be avoided by those with high cholesterol or diabetic individuals. Also, it should not be used during pregnancy due to the possibility of miscarriage.
Before implementing pennywort or gotu kola into your diet, consult your doctor first to see if it's safe for you.