Gotu kola (Centella asiatica)

5 Cutting-Edge Superherbs

Science is just now discovering the potential of some of the world's oldest herbal remedies to fight aging, boost immunity, give you energy, even ease arthritis

Just when you think you know everything you need to know about herbs, take a trip to the health food store. You'll find the shelves packed with exotic herbal medicines that you've never even heard of, with names that you can't pronounce: ashwagandha, codonopsis, gotu kola, guggul, schisandra.

Part II: The Adaptogens

The word adaptogen is a relatively new term to herbal medicine and refers to those plants that have the ability to help us cope with stress more effectively, physiologically as well as mentally and emotionally. The use of adaptogen herbs during times of stress enables us to stay healthier and resist disease that we might otherwise fall prey to. They also help us maintain more equanimity and centeredness, allowing for clearer emotional processing and decision making, and finally they maintain and enhance good quality sleep, which might otherwise be disrupted by stressors.


Gotu kola (Centella asiatica) is now being used in Europe for its effects on mental function. New research in India explores the effects of an aqueous (water) extract of the fresh leaf on learning and memory. Gotu kola has sometimes been confused in the popular and medical media with cola nut, a source of caffeine and cola beverages. The unrelated Indian food and medicinal plant called gotu kola contains no caffeine and is said to be the favorite food of the Indian elephant. Also known as Indian pennywort, this is a low-growing herb fond of moist and shady conditions.

Gotu Kola-Food for the Brain

Gotu Kola --- Food for the Brain

There is an old saying that an elephant never forgets, and many people may believe it, but do not know why. It may be because elephants eat the leaves of a plant called Gotu Kola. This plant has earned a traditional recognition among herbalists as being a "brain food" or "brain tonic" because of the effects it has on the brain.

Gotu Kola should not be mistaken for the Kola Nut, from which many soft drinks are derived. Unlike the Kola Nut, Gotu Kola has no caffeine. Never had it, never will!

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