The plant gotu kola also known as bramhi or Centella Asiatica is recommended for health of skin and hair. It helps to improve brain function and testosterone.
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About Gotu kola or Centella Asiatica
The herb Manduka Parni (Centella Asiatica) or gotu kola also known as Indian pennywort is a small herb which grows in tropical swampy areas. This herb is known as gotu kola in Hindi. It is an annual herb with slender, green soft stalk. The roots consist of rhizomes and root hairs. The plants are connected to each other . The leaves are round, smooth and reddish green in colour.. The flowers are small and pinkish red in colour. They occur in bunches. The plant matures in three months.
Chemical composition of Centella Asiatica
Scientists are able to determine chemical composition of Centella asiatica or gotu kola contains various alkaloids, triterpenes, sterols, tannins, and glycosides. Recently three new compounds centellin, asiaticin, and centellicin were isolated from this herb.
Gotu kola in Ayurveda – Medicinal Properties, Benefits and Uses
Ancient texts of ayurveda explain health benefits of gotu kola as follows.
This herb has bitter taste (tikta rasa) and becomes sweet (madhura rasa) after digestion (vipaka). It is light to digest (laghu) and has cooling properties (sheeta veerya). It balances pitta dosha and kapha dosha. Hence used in diseases which are caused due to vitiation of kapha and pitta. It has a special property of increasing intelligence. (medhya) . It acts as a memory booster and brain tonic (2 Best Ayurvedic Medicine for Memory and Concentration) .
Ayurveda Acharyas list this herb under “bitter root group”. They also appreciate its anti- ageing, memory boosting and fertility increasing properties. All parts of this plant is used for medicinal purpose.
Gotu kola is known by different names in sanskrit and in other languages of India.
it is known as Mandukaparni (as leaves resemble frog’s shape), Manduki (just like frogs it is mostly found in regions which have more water ), Sarasvati (helps to improve intelligence, memory and concentration)
Names In Indian Languages
Gotu kola or Centella Asiatica for Skin and Hair
This herb is very effective in skin diseases (kushta roga) as it has antibacterial and anti inflammatory properties. Its use is recommended in open sores and chronic wounds. Many studies have proved its wound healing properties.
It is eulogised as “varnya”, which implies that its use enhances skin fairness and glow. Hence it is used in ayurvedic face packs (Benefits of Natural Ayurvedic Herbal Face Pack) for fairness and skin glow (Easy Ayurvedic Skin Care Routine for Glow and Fairness)
Since it helps to improve scalp skin health, it is used to strengthen hair follicles and prevent hair loss. It is recommended in ayurvedic treatment for dandruff (How to Get rid of Dandruff ? Ayurveda Remedies.). This herb is used in many ayurvedic hair oils for hair growth, dandruff and flaky scalp
Gotu kola for testosterone
This herb is highly praised for its rasayana (rejuvenating) properties. It is recommended in rasayana therapy or rejuvenation therapy. Rejuvenation therapy helps to slow down ageing process and nourishes 7 dhatu or body tissues. In this process even shukra dhatu gets strengthened. This helps to increase testosterone (Natural Ayurvedic Ways to Increase Testosterone) and also acts as best ayurvedic medicine for erectile dysfunction.
This herb, along with nourishing body tissues, also boosts immunity (Boost Immunity Through Ayurveda – Foods and Herbs).
Gotu kola for Brain
This herb is eulodised for its special property of improving memory, concentration and grasping power. It is highly recommended as brain tonic . Its benefits in conditions like Alzheimer’s disease ,stress, anxiety (Stress and Anxiety Management Through Ayurveda) and depression are also appreciated.
Gotu kola for Weight Loss
The dry powder of this herb is used in dry massage in obesity (Ayurvedic Herbs, Medicine and Treatment for Obesity) . This process is known as “udwartana”. This process helps to improve blood circulation. Using tea prepared using this herb helps to boost metabolism which helps in weight management.
Other Health Benefits of MandukaParni
This herb is also effective in other health conditions apart from those mentioned above.
Mandooka parni increases body fire or agni (Ayurveda Agni or Body Fire or Metabolism and Digestion Process) . Hence its preparations are used in Indigestion (Ayurvedic Treatments and Home Remedies for Indigestion), loss of appetite, conditions like Irritable Bowel syndrome (Ayurvedic Home Remedies for IBS) and amoebiasis.
Improves heart health
This herb effectively helps to reduce high blood pressure (Relationship Between High blood Pressure and Erectile Dysfunction) and edema which arises due to increased blood pressure. It normalizes vitiation of blood due to pitta.
Eases Bronchitis and Chronic Cough
The accumulated bronchial secretions or kapha gets easily expectorated when this herb is used in respiratory conditions like bronchitis and asthma. It is very useful in inflammation of vocal chords.
The usage of this herb helps to reduce frequency of urination. It helps in diabetes (How to Prevent Diabetes – Ayurveda Tips).
Lactating mothers can reap the benefits of this herb, as it increases milk secretion and also purifies it.
Helps in fever
The Culinary Use of herb Centella Asciatica
This herb is rich in Vitamin B1, B2, B3 and B6. It contains good amount of Vitamin K, minerals like calcium, sodium, magnesium and Zinc (Zinc (Jasada Bhasma) in Ayurveda- for Erectile Dysfunction , PCOS).
Here is an introduction to use of this herb in recipes.
Gotu Kola Sambola (Salad)
This is a famous Srilankan salad which is prepared using finely chopped gotu kola, grated coconut (Ayurveda Health Benefits of Coconut, ), chopped onions (Ayurveda Health Benefits of Onion) and lemon .
Gotu kola Kenda
This is a soup preparation which is prepared using rice, puree of centella asciatica, coconut milk, ginger (Ayurveda Health Benefits of Ginger), garlic (Health Benefits of Garlic in Ayurveda) , lemon and salt. It is once again a srilankan dish.
Brahmi leaves are used in chutney. Finely chopped leaves, Coconut gratings, coriander leaves, salt, green chillies are used to prepare this chutney. The chutney can be relished with idli dosa etc.
In Vietnam and Thailand leaves of Brahmi or centella asciatica are used to prepare a herbal drink.
Many yogis and acharyas advice to chew two or three leaves of this herb, along with plenty of water (Water – the Elixir of Life- An Ayurveda View) in empty stomach.
Gotu kola Dosage
Fresh juice extracted from leaves of this plant is recommended for use in ayurveda. According to ayurveda acahryas this juice can be taken in dose of 5 to 10 ml daily. This is for adults.
For children this herb has to be served in small quantity in form of chutney or salad.
Gotu kola capsules and syrups can also be used.
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