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CENTELLA ASIATICA (Gotu Kola - Bramhi)
Started by: Jayashree at October 3 2009

Replies: 10 & Views: 23285    Font    Page 1 of 1            Reply

CENTELLA ASIATICA (Gotu Kola - Bramhi) By: Jayashree
Calcutta, India
October 3 2009

Click picture for many more pictures

Family Name : APIACEAE




Habitat : Grown in waterlogged places throughout India.

Uses : It is Tonic, Diuretic and Alterative. It is used in treatment of leporasy and known to ameliorate the symptoms of the disease and improves general health of the patient. It is a brain tonic and stimulates hair growth.
Centella asiatica is a small herbaceous annual plant of the family Apiaceae, native to Asia. Common names include Gotu Kola, Asiatic Pennywort, Antanan, Pegaga, and Brahmi (although this last name is shared with Bacopa monnieri and other herbs). It is used as a medicinal herb in Ayurvedic medicine and traditional Chinese medicine.
The stems are slender, creeping stolons, green to reddish green in color, interconnecting one plant to another. It has long-stalked, green, reniform leaves with rounded apices which have smooth texture with palmately netted veins. The leaves are born on pericladial petioles, around 20 cm. The rootstock consists of rhizomes, growing vertically down. They are creamish in color and covered with root hairs.

The flowers are pinkish to red in color, born in small, rounded bunches (umbels) near the surface of the soil. Each flower is partly enclosed in two green bracts. The hermaphrodite flowers are minute in size (less than 3 mm), with 5-6 corolla lobes per flower. Each flower bears five stamens and two styles.

The crop matures in three months and the whole plant, including the roots, is harvested manually. When eaten raw as a salad leaf, pegaga is thought to help maintain youthfulness. A decoction of juice from the leaves is thought to relieve hypertension. This juice is also used as a general tonic for good health. A poultice of the leaves is also used to treat open sores. Interestingly, chewing on the plant for several hours induces entheogenic meditation, similar to the effects of salvia divinorum, although this practice is widely considered dangerous, as it can cause temporomandibular joint pains.

Jayashree Kanoi

Re: CENTELLA ASIATICA (Gotu Kola - Bramhi) By: Joe De Livera
Sri Lanka
October 3 2009
Hi Jayashree

I was intrigued to note that you have used the word "Gotu Kola" in your title which is the word in Sinhala by which this plant is known in Sri Lanka. Sinhala is the national language of Sri Lanka. I would like to know if this term is also used in India.

The word "Gotu" in Sinhala denotes a concave funnel like shape and the leaves are best described as being funnel shaped with a thin stem. "Kola" is the word for Leaves.

We have this plant growing in our garden and it is eaten raw in a salad. It is reputed to build up the Iron reserves in the body. It is also recognized as a Diuretic.


Re:CENTELLA ASIATICA (Gotu Kola - Bramhi) By: girilal
New Jersey USA
October 3 2009
It is found at damp places, also called Brahmi Booti. Anytime I find it, I chew some leaves of it. It was all over on the Niligiri mountains.


Re:CENTELLA ASIATICA (Gotu Kola - Bramhi) By: garcot
October 3 2009
Isabellís blogs
Gotu Kola ~ Brain Boost ~ 16/03/08

(Centella asiatica)

Many herbalists have called gotu kola the finest of all herbal tonics. A brain boost - revitalising herb to the body, brain and nerves - it assists memory, concentration, intelligence, improves reflexes and energy levels, and is said to help balance the left and right hemispheres of the brain. People have reported that with using the herb regularly they have been able to correct high blood pressure and cholesterol. Many people have experienced relief from painful and crippling arthritis and rheumatism.

An old Asian saying is Two leaves a day keeps old age away . Numerous research projects in the western world studied this herb after the remarkable life of Professor Li Chung Yun, who died at the age of 256 years in 1933. He was born in 1677 and in 1933 the New York Times announced the death of this remarkable Oriental, whose life span had reached over two and half centuries. The Chinese Government officially recorded his age. The professor ate gotu kola daily. At 200 years of age he was still lecturing at a Chinese university and was said to look like a man of 50 years, he stood straight and had his own natural teeth and full head of hair.

Judy rang to share with me the benefits she experienced from taking herbs, as she suffered terrible pain from fibromyalgia. Then, she read about fenugreek sprouts and gotu kola, started taking them daily, and in 4 weeks was completely pain free.

Margaret was a constant visitor to the toilet with irritable bowel syndrome. When she heard about gotu kola, she took 2 cups of tea a day and now enjoys her days to the full, without constant trips to the toilet. Margaret said drinking the tea has also resulted in mouth ulcers clearing.

Gotu kola is a perennial, creeping ground cover with kidney-shaped leaves, with very tiny pink flowers, often hidden underneath the leaves.

Antioxidant flavonoids in gotu kola play a part in zapping free radicals, boosting the circulation to every cell and strengthening the immune system. The asiaticoside constituent in gotu kola has the action of speeding the healing of wounds and accelerating the repair of connective tissue, ligaments, cartilage, tendons, bone fractures, and also repair of veins and arteries. Studies have shown the herb can help relieve ADD and hyperactive conditions.

Every person can benefit by taking gotu kola. Start with eating 2-3 leaves 3cm in diameter (if leaves are smaller, more leaves need to be taken to give the same amount). Then, if desired & after several weeks &increase to 5-6 leaves.

If a person has severe pain and arthritis, it may be necessary to slowly increase intake to 10-12 leaves daily. It is best to eat the leaves early in the day. Don t eat these in the evening, as people who have tried this have said they have experienced a boost of energy and could not sleep. I chop the leaves and eat together with other herbs, over my muesli for breakfast.

Isabell Shipard

"wisdom in your body is deeper than your deepest philosophy"(Nietszche)

Re:CENTELLA ASIATICA (Gotu Kola - Bramhi) By: garcot
October 3 2009
Dear Joe,

some herbalists in India call it as "Gotu kola" and few others as "Brahmi".

It is a great herb, and I have tried, in powder form of the dried leaves. Though it is suppose to promote much deeper sleep, hyperactive people should avoid having it in the evening, as I had a difficult time for a couple of days, as it kept me awake well past midnight.

It is also better, if we can get hold of fresh green leaves, as it avoids over heating of body and mind ( which the dried leaves powder tends to do in pitta/vata dominant people).

Warm regards

"wisdom in your body is deeper than your deepest philosophy"(Nietszche)

Re: CENTELLA ASIATICA (Gotu Kola - Bramhi) By: Joe De Livera
Sri Lanka
October 4 2009
I was fascinated to read the many articles listed by Google on Gotu Kola. I am copying below an article by the University of Maryland Medical Center which gives information on the almost incredible properties of Gotu Kola including the fact that Professor Li Chung Yuen lived an incredible 256 years which was documented. Professor Li attributed his longevity to eating 2 leaves of Gotu Kola daily.

I have decided to use it myself with the Arnica that I have taken nightly since 1996 and I shall keep members posted on my own research on Gotu Kola which grows in my garden at home. If as I hope it does work, I will then be faced with a problem to decide whether it was the Arnica or the Gotu Kola that helped me to a better status of health !



Gotu kola (Centella asiatica) has been used as a medicinal herb for thousands of years in India, China, and Indonesia. It was used to heal wounds, improve mental clarity, and treat skin conditions such as leprosy and psoriasis. Some people use it to treat respiratory infections such as colds, and it has a history of use for that purpose in China. It has been called "the fountain 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 most often to treat chronic venous insufficiency (a condition where blood pools in the legs). It's also used in ointments to treat psoriasis and help heal minor wounds.

Gotu kola should not be confused with kola nut (Cola nitida). Unlike kola nut, gotu kola has no caffeine, and is not a stimulant.

Plant Description:

Gotu kola is a perennial plant native to India, Japan, China, Indonesia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and the South Pacific. A member of the parsley family, it is tasteless and odorless. It thrives in and around water. It has small fan-shaped green leaves with white or light purple-to-pink flowers, and it bears small oval fruit. The leaves and stems of the gotu kola plant are used for medicinal purposes.

Medicinal Uses and Indications:


Venous insufficiency and varicose veins

When blood vessels lose their elasticity, blood pools in the legs and fluid leaks out of the blood vessels. That causes the legs to swell (venous insufficiency). Several small studies suggest gotu kola may help reduce swelling and improve circulation. In a study of 94 people with venous insufficiency, those who took gotu kola had a significant improvement in symptoms compared to those who took placebo. In another study of people with varicose veins, ultrasound tests showed improvements in the vascular tone (meaning there was less leakage) of those who took gotu kola.

Wound healing and skin lesions

Gotu kola contains chemicals called triterpenoids. In animal and lab studies, these compounds appear to help heal wounds. For example, some studies indicate that triterpenoids strengthen the skin, boost antioxidants in wounds, and increase blood supply to the area. Based on these findings, gotu kola has been used topically (applied to the skin) for minor burns, psoriasis, prevention of scar formation following surgery, and prevention or reduction of stretch marks.

You can find gotu kola in many topical preparations for wound healing. Ask your health care provider.


Triterpenoids (the compounds found in gotu kola) seem to decrease anxiety and increase mental function in mice. One human study found that people who took gotu kola were less likely to be startled by a new noise than those who took placebo. Since the "startle noise" response can be an indicator of anxiety, researchers theorize that gotu kola might help reduce anxiety symptoms. But the dose used in this study was very high, so it's impossible to say how gotu kola might be used to treat anxiety.


A single study of 13 women with scleroderma found that gotu kola decreased joint pain and skin hardening, and improved finger movement.


Gotu kola acts as a sedative when given to animals in tests. Because of that effect, it is sometimes suggested to help people with insomnia. But no human studies have been done to see whether it works and whether it's safe.

Dosage and Administration:

Gotu kola is available in teas and as dried herbs, tinctures, capsules, tablets, and ointments. Products should be stored in a cool, dry place and used before the expiration date on the label.


Gotu kola is not recommended for those under 18 years old.


The adult dosage of gotu kola varies depending on the condition being treated. Your health care provider can help you choose the right dose for you.

The standard dose of gotu kola (Centella asiatica) varies depending on the preparation. Most studies have used standardized extracts:

Dried herb -- you can make a tea of the dried leaf, three times daily.
Powdered herb (available in capsules) -- 1,000 - 4,000 mg, three times a day
Tincture (1:2 w/v, 30 % alcohol) 30 - 60 drops (equivalent to 1.5 - 3 mL -- there are 5 mL in a teaspoon), three times daily.
Standardized extract -- 50 - 250 mg, two to three times daily. Standardized extracts should contain 40 % asiaticoside, 29 - 30 % asiatic acid, 29 - 30 % madecassic acid, and 1 - 2 % madecassoside. Doses used in studies mentioned in the Treatment section range from 20 mg (for scleroderma) up to 180 mg (in one study for venous insufficiency, although most of the studies for this condition were conducted using 90 - 120 mg daily).

Gotu kola has been used in some studies that lasted up to one year. However, in some people gotu kola may affect the liver. It's best not to use gotu kola for more than 6 weeks without talking to your doctor. You may need to take a 2-week break before taking the herb again.

Asiaticoside, a major component of gotu kola, has also been associated with tumor growth in mice. Anyone with a history of precancerous or cancerous skin lesions -- such as squamous cell, basal cell skin cancer, or melanoma -- should not use gotu kola.

People with liver disease, or who take medications that affect the liver, should not take gotu kola.

Side Effects

Side effects are rare but may include skin allergy and burning sensations (with external use), headache, stomach upset, nausea, dizziness, and extreme drowsiness. These side effects tend to occur with high doses of gotu kola.


Women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant should not use gotu kola, because animal studies have shown a reduction in fertility after taking gotu kola. Researchers don't know whether gotu kola is safe to take when you are breast-feeding, so nursing mothers should avoid it.

Pediatric Use

Gotu kola is not recommended for children.

Geriatric Use

People older than 65 should take gotu kola at a lower than standard dose. Your health care provider can help you determine the right dose for you, which can be increased slowly over time.

Interactions and Depletions:

Gotu kola may interact with the following medications:

Cholesterol-lowering drugs (including statins) -- In animal studies, gotu kola increased cholesterol levels. It may also raise cholesterol levels in humans, although no studies have been done.

Diabetes medications -- In animal studies, gotu kola seems to increase blood sugar levels. People with diabetes should not take gotu kola without first talking to their doctor.

Diuretics (water pills) -- Gotu kola appears to have diuretic effects, meaning it helps rid the body of excess fluid. Taking diuretic medications and gotu kola could cause your body to lose too much fluid, upsetting the balance of electrolytes you need. The same is true of taking gotu kola with herbs that have diuretic effects, such as green tea, astragalus, or gingko.

Sedatives -- Because of gotu kola's sedative effects, it might increase the effect of other medications taken to relieve anxiety or insomnia. It might also increase the effects of herbs taken for anxiety or insomnia, such as valerian.

Alternative Names:

Brahmi; Centella; Centella asiatica; Hydrocotyle; Indian pennywort; Luei gong gen; Marsh pennywort

Re:CENTELLA ASIATICA (Gotu Kola - Bramhi) By: Jayashree
Calcutta, India
October 5 2009
I found it on the net few years ago and was wondering what it was. Just a few days ago they said it was the Sanjeevani plant which revived Lakshman in Ramayan Days. Though there is another plant called Sanjeevani.
It was very interesting, so used both words in posting this once the herbal link has come.

Jayashree Kanoi

Re:CENTELLA ASIATICA (Gotu Kola - Bramhi) By: catsjellicle
October 7 2009
hi...i grow brahmi and brahmi is not gotu kala. at least looking at the picture above. my gotu kala plant died before i could transplant it and i am waiting for a reliable supplier to get me the plant again.

brahmi is practically aquatic and likes warmth/water. gotu kala looks entirely different. i'll post pics of my brahmi soon.

Re:CENTELLA ASIATICA (Gotu Kola - Bramhi) By: catsjellicle
October 7 2009

i dont know why the image didnt show up..but the above url is a picture of my brahmi.

Re: Bacopa monnieri (Brahmi) By: garcot
October 8 2009

Ya.. it is a different herb and it is called Bacopa monnieri.

Any image larger than 100 kb will not be uploaded. I am posting a trimmed down version of Brahmi.

Thanks for clarifying the difference

"wisdom in your body is deeper than your deepest philosophy"(Nietszche)

Re:CENTELLA ASIATICA (Gotu Kola - Bramhi) By: togaf
October 10 2009
Interesting reading...

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