Green Genius: Diving into Gotu Kola’s Benefits, Dosage, and Potent Properties

Green Genius: Diving into Gotu Kola’s Benefits, Dosage, and Potent Properties

Gotu Kola, also known as the Asian Pennywort, thrives mainly in tropical and subtropical regions including Madagascar, Central and South Africa, as well as China and India. The name of this plant literally translates to a leaf of chalice shape. In some regions, Gotu Kola's leaves are dubbed as the source of life due to their beneficial properties, as well as their usage in medicine—both leaves and stems. This is especially advantageous as depending on the terrain it grows on, Gotu Kola may have larger leaves or longer roots.

Age-old Beneficial Properties

Traditionally, Gotu Kola was used in the form of compresses for burns and gunshot wounds. While its usage has evolved over time, the properties remain the same. This plant contains a high amount of pentacyclic triterpenoid saponins. The triterpenes have shown the ability to stimulate collagen formation in joints, tissues, and bones, not only supporting their function but also protecting against excessive bone wear and tear. The same active substances can also enhance the state of blood vessels and regulate the work of neurotransmitters responsible for transmitting information in the brain.

Whether used as compresses or administered in other forms, Gotu Kola’s positive impact on the body is undeniable. When taken orally, it provides the body with vitamins A, C, E, and K as well as magnesium.

Versatile Applications

Gotu Kola finds its application in medicine and cosmetology thanks to its versatile action. Additional properties of this plant have been discovered over the years. Currently, it’s hard to overlook its range of actions in:

  • Treating wounds and burns mainly due to its antibacterial and antifungal properties, effectively preventing infections. It also accelerates wound healing, both topically and orally, making it useful in treating burns, keloids, post-surgical wounds, and skin ulcers. In connective tissue, it influences its proper development and prevents excessive hardening.
  • Positively affecting the cardiovascular system, namely strengthening connective tissue around vessels and stimulating collagen synthesis, which improves the elasticity of blood vessels.
  • Exhibiting selective toxic action on cancer cells, which is being researched in the quest for cancer treatments.
  • Benefiting the central nervous system.
  • Improving well-being: possessing calming, antidepressant properties, prolonging and improving sleep.
  • Exhibiting analgesic and anticonvulsant properties.
  • Aiding memory, and improving cognitive abilities and information assimilation. It’s even believed to reverse memory loss processes to some extent in Alzheimer's patients.
  • Speeding up the healing of stomach ulcers.
  • Numerous applications in cosmetology, especially as a remedy for stretch marks and cellulite.

Given the above, Gotu Kola and its extract are increasingly becoming ingredients in dietary supplements and external-use creams.

Dosage and Side Effects Avoidance

Gotu Kola is usually available in tablets or capsules to be taken during or between meals. However, the unique taste aficionados will appreciate that Gotu Kola also comes as tea, or rather a brew from dried leaves, exhibiting the same effects as the plant in tablet form. Dosages vary depending on the ailment, but recommended amounts can be indicated. For example, 200 mg of extract is used for burns, and up to 600 mg as support in treating Alzheimer's disease. Higher doses can be administered as no side effects from excessive consumption have been found.

During Gotu Kola intake, mild rash, sunlight sensitivity, and headaches may occur as side effects. If such symptoms appear, reducing the dosage is advised. If there’s no effect, discontinuing the use of this plant is recommended. Although the plant itself is considered safe, not everyone can use it. Gotu Kola is contraindicated for individuals with low blood pressure. Also, pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid taking supplements containing Gotu Kola extract orally. Apart from these restrictions, Gotu Kola can be a valuable support in treating numerous ailments.

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