GOTU KOLA, Centella asiatica or Hydrocotyle asiatica

Gotu Kola Herb

When anyone speaks about improving the memory, everyone listens. There is a story of a little boy named Yerdie who lived a long time ago in India. One day, his school master told the class to memorize a poem. The next day, little Yerdie was asked to recite the poem, but he could only remember part of it. The school master whacked him over the head with a ruler and said, “You should be like the elephant; he remembers everything!”

Little Yerdie`s father was an elepant driver, so he asked his father why elephants were so smart and why they remembered everything. His father said it was because the elephant ate the gotu kola plant by the edge of the swamp. Little Yerdie watched and, sure enough, the elephants ate the gotu kola plant. So everyday, little Yerdie ate some gotu kola plant. When Yerdie grew old and wise, everyone said it was because he ate the gotu kola plant. Now, I don’t know if this story is entirely true, but I have heard of saying that comes out of Celon that says, “Two leaves of gotu kola a day keeps old age away.” So it could be that gotu kola is good for the memory and for longevity. Gotu kola is used in Grandma’s herbal Memory and Over 50 formulas.

Gotu kola is good for many things besides memory and preventing old age. For a long time, gotu kola has been used in India, as well as in the Philippines, to treat leprosy or Hansen’s disease. In the 1850s a Dr. Boileau of India is reported to have healed himself of leprosy after many years of experimenting with gotu kola. The leprosy bacteria is coated with wax which protects it from our immune system. The gotu kola has a chemical which dissolves away the wax and allows the immune system to destroy the leprosy bacteria. Sounds like a very smart herb.

Many skin diseases, including eczema and psoriasis have been helped by gotu kola. One report said that a cream made from gotu kola and other herbs helped to reduce the painful welts and scaly red patches of psoriasis. If the cream is not available, a poultice of the herbs can be used. For the best results, the bowel should be cleaned and the heart strengthened.

Gotu kola has been known to help the circulation throughout the body, and especially in the legs. Leg circulation is a problem that bothers many older people. At night, the legs might feel heavy, twitch or jump or tingle or just plain hurt. This problem has many different names. My mother called it weenal. A study was done involving a couple of months, the gotu kola group showed greater improvement because their legs had better circulation and less swelling.

For centuries, people have used gotu kola to help their memory and to help them live longer and healthier. However, gotu kola also helps digestion, helps fevers and rheumatism, is a blood purifie, relieves asthma, restores the elasticity to varicose veins, it has been used to strengthen the mind after a nevous breakdown, to overcome fatigue, to build stamina and rebuild energy reserves. A study was done with white rats to see if gotu kola and some other herbs would really increase stamina and rebuild energy reverses. The rats had to swim to cold water, jump over barriers, work their way through a maze and go up a pole. The rats that were given the gotu kola formula did much better than the other rats. Gotu kola is the main herb in Grandma`s herbal Energy formula.

Gotu kola is a small herb, about 8 inches high. It likes to have its roots in the water and its leaves dry. It draws in a lot of energy and minerals from the water. Maybe we should be like Yerdie and eat a few gotu kola leaves each day or at least take a couple of gotu kola capsules each day.

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