GOTU KOLA - Also listed as: Brahmi; Centella; Centella asiatica; Hydrocotyle; Indian pennywort; Luei gong gen; Marsh pennywort.
Gotu kola ( Centella asiatica ) has been used as a medicinal herb for thousands of years in India, China, and Indonesia. Its ability to heal wounds, improve mental clarity, and treat skin conditions such as leprosy and psoriasis were important reasons for its extensive use in these countries. It has also been called one of the "miracle elixirs of life" because legend has it that an ancient Chinese herbalist lived for more than 200 years as a result of using the herb.
Historically, gotu kola has also been used to treat syphilis, hepatitis, stomach ulcers, mental fatigue, epilepsy, diarrhea, fever, and asthma. Today, American and European herbalists use gotu kola for disorders that cause connective tissue swelling, such as scleroderma, psoriatic arthritis (arthritis occurring in conjunction with psoriasis), ankylosing spondylitis (arthritis of the spine), rheumatoid arthritis, depression, and to improve memory and concentration.
Recent studies confirm some of the traditional uses and also suggest possible new applications for gotu kola, such as lowering high blood pressure, treating venous insufficiency (pooling of blood in the veins, usually in the legs), boosting memory and intelligence, easing anxiety, and speeding wound healing.
Note: Gotu kola should not be confused with kola nut ( Cola nitida ). Kola nut is an active ingredient in Coca Cola and contains caffeine. Gotu kola has no caffeine, and is not a stimulant.