Introduction of Gotu Kola:marsh penny or water pennywort.

Popular Herbs. ✵The article gives records of the herb Gotu Kola, its English name, Latin name, common names, property and flavor, its botanical source one plant species, ①.Centella asiatica L., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of this plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of this plant species, the features of the herb Gotu Kola, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Gotu Kola(marsh penny).

Centella asiatica:herb photo English Name: Gotu Kola.
 Latin Name: Centella asiatica L.Urb., sometimes referred to as Hydrocotyle asiatica L. or Centella coriaca Nannfd.
 Common Names: Hydrocotyle, marsh penny, sheep rot, talepetrako, thick-leaved pennywort, water pennywort, white rot.
 Property and flavor: cold in nature, gotu kola tastes bitter and pungent.

 Brief introduction: Gotu kola is a creeping perennial, it favors wet, swamp areas of tropical environments. Some of its common names, such as pennywort, refer to the size of its fan-shaped leaves, about that of an old British penny. The plant is gathered throughout the year and dried in the sun.

 Botanical source: Common herbal classics defined the herb Gotu Kola as the leaves of the species (1).Centella asiatica L. It is a plant species of the Centella genus, the Apiaceae family (Umbelliferae, parsley family). The fresh and dried leaves and stems are used medicinally. This commonly used species is introduced:

(1).Centella asiatica L.

 Centella asiatica:growing plants Botanical description: Centella asiatica is a perennial herb, stems are creeping and numerous, slender, rooting at nodes, smooth, glabrous, or slightly hairy. Leaves are alternate, the circular-reniform leaves are 2 to 6 cm long and 1.5 to 5 cm wide, with a crenate margin and 5 to 9 ribs; The petioles are 2~15 cm long, and the base is sheathing; the leaf blade is kidney-shaped or nearly round, 1~3 cm long and 1.5~5 cm wide, the base is broadly heart-shaped, the margin is obtusely serrated, both surfaces are glabrous or sparsely pilose on the back veins; Normal veins 5~7.

 Umbels are solitary, or 2~4 aggregates; the pedicles are 1.2 to 4 cm long. Petals are ovate, purplish red, milky white, or pink. The calyx is not generally dentate. The fruit is round, oval, heart-shaped, or truncated at the base, 2~3 mm long and 2~3.5 mm wide, with several longitudinal edges on each side, obvious small transverse veins between the edges, reticular, smooth or slightly hairy. The mericarps are clearly flattened at the sides and usually have 7 to 9 ribs and are raised rugose. Its flowering and fruiting period is from April to October.

 Centella asiatica:leaves Ecological environment: Gotu kola is native to Southeast Asia, Sri Lanka, south of China, Madagascar, South Africa, southeast USA (the United States of America), Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, and eastern South America. Centella asiatica grows in the open, roadside, ditch, and other damp places, like sunshine and humid environment.

 Growth characteristics: Centella asiatica reproduces by dividing plants with seeds. Seed propagation: drill in spring and autumn, covering 2~3 cm soil. Branch propagation: in early spring. Weeds should be weeded frequently in the seedling stage and watered in the dry season.

 Centella asiatica:growing plants Characters of herbs: The whole dry herb is mostly huddled, with cylindrical roots, 3~4.5 cm long, 1~1.5 mm in diameter, pale yellow or grayish-yellow, with wrinkles. The stem is a slender, curved, and pale yellow, with obvious fine root remnants or residual fine roots at the nodes, and the leaves are mostly shriveled and broken. The leaves are gray-green, complete and round or kidney-shaped, with a diameter of 2~6 cm, blunt serrated at the edges, and fine hairs on the back surface; Petiole is 1.5~7 cm long, often twisted, with membranous leaf sheath at the base. The odor is peculiar, and the leaves taste slightly pungent.

 Centella asiatica:growing plants Pharmacological actions: ①.help wounds heal and anti-inflammatory; ②.relieve psoriasis; ③.relieve venous insufficiency of the lower limbs; ④.relieve leprosy; ⑤.inhibit tumor; ⑥.relieve cirrhosis of the liver; ⑦.cognitive effects; ⑧. antipruritic and ulcer protective, etc.

 Gotu kola helps wounds heal, especially for chronic lesions, asiaticoside stimulates healing, madecasosside exerts anti-inflammatory actions, asiaticoside and TECA (titrated extract of Centella asiatica) stimulating scar-free wound healing in surgical wounds, skin ulcers, fistulas, episiotomies, skin grafts, skin tuberculosis, lupus lesions. The herb accelerates the healing of burns while minimizing scarring. Its components asiatic acid and madecassic increase peptidic hydroxyproline, and increase remodeling of the collagen synthesis in wounds. Asiaticoside induces enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants, such as superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, vitamin E, and ascorbic acid in newly formed tissue at the initial stage of wound healing.

 Gotu kola cream relieves painful psoriasis sores positively, the cream contains oil and water extracts from the leaves, and the welts are resolved completely within three to seven weeks.

 Gotu kola extract TECA relieves venous insufficiency of the lower limbs.TECA increases the tone of the veins.

 In Sri Lanka and other tropical areas, Gotu kola has a long tradition in the healing of leprosy.

 Gotu kola killed cultured cancer tumor cells in a lab test, the fresh plant juice has moderate cytotoxic actions on human ascites tumor cells, and it has a good effect in treating cirrhosis of the liver.

 Gotu kola improves general mental ability. Gotu Kola encourages the production of chemical messengers called neurotransmitters to help with brain function. Rats study found that Gotu kola improves learning and memory.

 Fresh juice from the leaves of Gotu kola could relieve pruritus caused by prickly heat. Gotu kola improves blood circulation in the lower legs by stimulation of collagen synthesis in the vein wall, ethanolic extract of Gotu kola has an anti-ulcerogenic effect, and it is used to prevent restraint-stress ulcers in animal test.

 Gotu kola is useful in cosmetics, it prompts the formation of lipids and proteins for healthy skin, anti cellulitis, anti-wrinkle, skin tightening, skin regenerative, treatment of acne-induced blemishes, rapid renewal of supporting fiber network, stimulates collagen synthesis, and boosts immuno-depressed skin. The plant also increases the activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase. SOD is an intracellular enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of a superoxide anion to molecular oxygen and hydrogen peroxide, glutathione peroxidase converts various peroxidases and is mainly present in the cytosol and mitochondria of most tissues.

 Medicinal efficacy: Traditionally the herb Gotu kola was used since ancient times for ailments such as fever, diarrhea, menstrual irregularity, nervous disorders, leprosy, jaundice, rheumatism, wounds and poorly healing wounds, postoperative scarring, and numerous skin conditions, including psoriasis, eczema, lupus, varicose ulcers, and leprosy sores.

 Sri Lankans found that elephants' longevity has a connection with the leaves of the Gotu kola plant, as it is a favorite snack of elephants. The herb became popular after World War II as people believe it can bring longevity to humans, it was used in some popular herbal blend.

 Today the herb Gotu kola is also used for its wound-healing actions and external treatment of varicose veins, cellulite and leg circulation problems, scleroderma, as an aphrodisiac, as a tonic stimulant in small doses, or sedative in a large dose. Crushed Gotu kola leaves are used in salads in Sri Lanka and some other parts of the world.

 In homeopathy, Gotu kola is used for skin diseases associated with itching and swelling, and inflammation of the uterus.

 In TCM works, the record notes the herb clears heat and eliminates dampness, activates blood and stops bleeding, detoxification and eliminate swelling, it is indicated for fever, cough and asthma, swelling and pain in the throat, dysentery, jaundice with the damp-heat pathogen, edema, stranguria, hematuria, epistaxis, menorrhagia, metrorrhagia and metrostaxis, erysipelas, scrofula, sore ulcer, pyogenic infections, herpes zoster, traumatic injury and swelling pain, bleeding from an injury, bites of snake and bug, etc.

 Administration of Gotu Kola (marsh penny): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Gotu Kola (marsh penny)
Herbal classic books and TCM Books: Dosage: to prepare an infusion, use a half teaspoon of herb per cup of water, and infusion is drunk twice a day or used in a compress. Tincture or concentrated drops are taken in the amount of a half to 1 dropperful two to three times per day. The standardized extract is taken 60 to 120 mg daily, the crude leaves in doses of 2 to 4 grams, the tincture in doses of 10 to 20 ml, and the fluid extract in doses of 2 to 4 ml. 0.6 grams of dried leaves or infusion are taken 3 times daily, normal single dose is 0.33 to 0.68 grams. In TCM works, the recommended internal dosage is 9~15 grams of dried herb, or 15~30 grams of dried herb, as water decoction, or extract juice, external proper amount, extract juice and smear apply, or mashed and apply a coating.
 Contraindications, Precautions and Adverse Reactions: Gotu kola is relatively safe, but contact dermatitis has been reported in some cases involving the application of the ointment or the plant's fresh or dried parts. Animal studies indicate that Gotu kola causes sedation when ingested in large doses. The herb should not be used during pregnancy. Possible adverse effects of Gotu kola are skin irritation from topical application, photosensitization, and infertility. Use with cautions in patients with diabetes or hyperlipidemia, as Gotu kola may increase blood glucose and lipids. TCM works recorded individuals with deficiency cold should not use the herb.

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