The Longevity Herb of India
Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica) is a very popular herb in India and China for longevity and to support mental function. It is generally considered an Ayurvedic "age tonic" restoring youth and vitality. It is widely used and quite famous for its rejuvenating effects on memory, energy and, in particular, skin problems such as wrinkles, varicose and spider veins, rashes, wounds and cellulite. It contains asiaticoside and genestein which have been shown to stimulate the regeneration of skin cells and the underlying connective tissue. It is becoming more well known in the U.S. in formulas for cellulite and youthful skin but has yet to attain the revered status it enjoys in Indian herbal medicine.
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Recommended Uses: Longevity, mental function, decreased fatigue, mood support, stimulation of the sex drive, energizes the central nervous system, aids the circulatory system, soothes and minimizes visible veins, minimizes scarring and reduces scar tissue, repairs skin and connective tissues including hemorrhoids, smooths cellulite, increases youth and vitality. *From "The Green Pharmacy" by Dr. James Duke.
Gotu kola research and Medical Uses:
Healthy Memory Function: A study conducted in 1992 by K. Nalini at Kasturba Medical College showed an impressive improvement in memory in rats which were treated with the extract (orally) daily for 14 days before the experiment. The retention of learned behavior in the rats treated with gotu kola was three to 60 times better than that in control animals. Preliminary results in one clinical trial with mentally challenged children was shown to increase scores on intelligence tests (Bagchi, 1989).
Healing Connective Tissues and Skin: According to pharmacological studies, one outcome of gotu kola's complex actions is a balanced effect on cells and tissues participating in the process of healing, particularly connective tissues. One of its constituents, asiaticoside, works to stimulate skin repair and strengthen skin, hair, nails and connective tissue (Kartnig, 1988).
Protruding Veins and Veneous Insufficiency: Several studies have shown the effectiveness of gotu kola in improving visible veins, vein leakage and swelling.
Belcaro GV 1990, reduced swelling and amount of time required for swelling to disappear. Cesarone MR 1994, reduced varicose veins with improved results at higher doses. Pointel JP 1987, double-blind study shows significant improvement in swelling, discomfort and edema.
Safety Issues: Gotu kola shows no toxicity even at high doses. May cause rash when applied topically. Safety in children and those with serious disease has not been established.
Gotu Kola inhibits CYP2C9, CYP2D6, CYP3A4, which are a part of many drug-drug interactions. This can increase the potency of ibuprofen, THC, ketamine and others. It produces an action similar to St. John’s Wort, Ginkgo Biloba, and Modafinil.
It increases the potency of opioids, antipsychotics, beta-blockers, amphetamines, and others, which is similar to cannabis and cocaine.
Also, it increases the potency of sex hormones, cannabis benzodiazepines, statins, chemotherapy, caffeine, cocaine, and others, which acts similarly to grapefruit juice.
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