Scientific: Centella asiatica [WikiPedia]
Appearance: Centella asiatica is a low growing creeping perennial herb that likes hot, moist climates in the South and Southeast Asian tropics. It is native to India, Japan, China, Indonesia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and the South Pacific.
Parts Used: Dried above ground parts
Common Uses: Gotu kola is known throughout the Asian world as a potent botanical and a tasty food. This herb, called ‘ji xue cao’, has been utilized for thousands of years in both traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and Ayurveda for its properties and for its positive effect on memory and focus. It is one of the most important Ayurvedic herbs – they call it Brahmi – which means ‘bringing knowledge’ – and has been used medicinally in India since ancient times. Today it is very popular worldwide and among the top 25 best-selling herbs in the world. Gotu kola has been used for thousands of years in India, China, and Indonesia. It is used in Ayurveda to soothe mental turbulence. It is one of those herbs that is tri-doshic or brings balance to all three of the Ayurvedic body types, vata, pitta, and kapha. Gotu kola’s ancient use is recorded in the Chinese Shennong Herbal (1st-2nd century CE). It is referred to as ‘the fountain of life’ in China as a legend boasts that a gotu kola-eating herbalist lived for over 200 years. It is commonly eaten as a salad green, eaten raw and sold as fresh juice in many Asian countries. Rich in nutrients, gotu kola is a nourishing plant that is sweet and bitter in flavor, and is often eaten in a variety of Asian dishes. A typical dish consists of shredded gotu kola leaves, shallots, lime juice, chili, and coconut flakes. Gotu Kola is widely used to treat skin problems. It heals wounds, cuts, grazes and burns, and assists the healing of chronic skin conditions, like ulcers, skin cancer & leprosy. Gotu Kola’s anti-tumour and wound-healing properties have been clinically proven – it contains triterpenoid saponoids that help to promote cell replication. It increases the reproduction of peripheral blood vessels and connective tissue, improves circulation and helps to retain / restore elasticity of the skin. It speeds up collagen formation and increases antioxidant levels within the wound in the early stages of tissue repair. It is known to reduce thread veins, soothe varicose veins and ease night cramps of the legs. Gotu Kola is antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergenic and has peptic ulcer healing properties. In India they use Gotu Kola to treat abdominal disorders, asthma and bronchitis. In Europe Gotu kola is given for rheumatism, rheumatoid arthritis and poor venous circulation.
A herb of complex chemical components; containing a number of pentacyclic triterpenoids, triterpene saponins, (including asiaticoside and madecassoside) glycosides, free aglycones (including madecassic / brahmic acid and asiatic acid), bitters, alkaloids, antioxidants, flavonoids, mucilage, fatty acids, tannins, amino acids, sterols, resins, acids, pectin, vitamins; pro-vitamin A – beta-carotene, B, and C and minerals; magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, copper, calcium, iron, zinc and sodium.
What this means for your fur kids is encouraging. The calming agents of gotu kola helps dogs that are easily disconcerted, plus the other applications for supporting collagen and the digestive system make it a remarkably useful herbal option. It can be used to help treat arthritis and other ache-related conditions as well. Gotu kola for dogs is a fascinating herbal treatment for conditions like arthritis. Its effect regarding stimulating collagen growth ensures it lessens pain and constructs a complete system of healing pain and inflammation. There are some noted side effects related to topical application and large doses should be avoided.
Topic Specific Research:
- Pharmacological Review on Centella asiatica: A Potential Herbal Cure-all [PubMED]
- Centella asiatica (L.) Urban: From Traditional Medicine to Modern Medicine with Neuroprotective Potential [PubMED]
- Effects of Centella asiatica (L.) Urb. on cognitive function and mood related outcomes: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis [OpenAccess]
- Learn more about Centella asiatica [ScienceDirect]
PLEASE NOTE that herbal and other natural products can harm your animals – not all plants are safe and gentle! Do not attempt using any of the ingredients listed, or any other plant matter, without the guidance of a qualified herbalist.