(Natural News) Traditional schools of medicine, such as Ayurveda and Unani, make use of plants to combat various health problems. One commonly used plant in these schools of medicine is the Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica). A study, published in Herbal Medicine: Open Access, reviewed available literature regarding the uses of Gotu Kola in treating different health conditions. These literature contained results from experimental and clinical investigations.
Gotu Kola, also called “the herb of longevity,” is derived from a psychoactive plant commonly found in the warm regions of Asia, Australia, America, and India. Psychoactive substances target the brain and nervous system, resulting to an altered mental state. This psychoactive property is the reason why Gotu Kola is traditionally used for enhancing memory, longevity and cognition. In addition to these, Gotu Kola has also been used to treat skin conditions, including leprosy, lupus, varicose ulcers, eczema, psoriasis.
These traditional uses of Gotu Kola were substantiated using experimental studies and clinical investigations, which were then reviewed in this study. Medicinal applications of Gotu Kola, which have been proven to be effective, include the following:
Studies have shown that Gotu Kola can be used to facilitate and speed up the repair of nerves and brain cells in brain-damaged individuals. Brain damage can be classified as either acquired or traumatic. Injuries that fall under acquired brain include those that were caused by internal factors, such as lack of oxygen and exposure to tumors. Meanwhile, traumatic brain injuries are brought about by external factors like impact and inertial forces. Both types of damages can be repaired with Gotu Kola.
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The role of Gotu Kola in brain repair can be attributed to its nootropic properties. These nootropic properties work by increasing oxygen supply and glucose utilization, as well as stimulating nerve growth in the brain.
In addition to brain repair, nootropic properties of Gotu Kola, as well as bacoside content, can also help in enhancing memory. Bacosides are compounds found in Gotu Kola that work by improving the efficiency of signal transmission along the nerves.
The cerebrum is a part of the brain that houses functions such as conscious thought, integration of sensory information, as well as the formation and processing of long-term and short-term memories. Taking Gotu Kola improves the growth and development of the brain, especially the cerebrum, thereby enhancing memory function. In addition to this, Gotu Kola can also reduce norepinephrine and dopamine levels in the brain, leading to improved cognition.
Studies have shown that taking Gotu Kola can reduce stress and anxiety, and improve depression. Aside from these, Gotu Kola can also be used to treat damage induced by oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is a condition wherein free radicals build up in the body as a result of metabolic processes. These free radicals react with nucleic acids, proteins, lipids, and DNA, leading to the development of neurological disorders. In addition to these, levels of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) are also increased, effectively slowing down the central nervous system and preventing anxiety and depression.
This herbal medicine can also be used to treat patients with autism, epilepsy, or mental retardation. It can help autistic patients by improving cognition and social skills. Meanwhile, epilepsy is prevented by reducing motor activity.
Gotu Kola can inhibit the development of cold-induced and stress-induced gastric ulcers with its adaptogenic properties. Adaptogens are substances that maintain balance in the body. Additionally, the mucosal barrier is also reinforced to protect against free radical-induced damage.
Triterpenoids present in Gotu Kola facilitate wound healing by increasing collagen content in cell layer fibronectin. Meanwhile, asiatic acid, another component of Gotu Kola, increases peptidic hydroxyproline and remodels collagen synthesis in wounds.
Overall, the results of the study show that Gotu Kola has many medicinal applications. It is effective in improving brain functions, such as long-term and short-term memory, cognition, alertness, intellectual ability, and concentration, as well as treating brain-related diseases, such as autism, mental retardation, speech disorders, epilepsy, and anxiety. Additionally, Gotu Kola can also promote wound healing, brain repair, and stress relief. (Related: My favorite brain food.)
Learn more about the different medicinal uses of Gotu Kola by visiting Herbs.news today.