Gotu kola benefits?

hoodatJuly 19, 2010

I'd been hearing quite a bit about gotu kola so when I ran across some in a nursery I bought it but I'm not too sure about how and when to use it. Is this actually a beneficial plant or just one of those "fad of the month" things? What is it useful for?

At least it's easy to grow and makes a nice ground cover for boggy areas.

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theherbalist

Hoo:

There's a lot of myths and folk lore about different herbs that may not necessarily be accurate. What were you told that it is good for? And what particular health problems are you concerned about?

Charlie in Arizona
The Herbalist

Here is a link that might be useful: Herbology Science

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 5:59PM
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hoodat

I didn't really have any one problem in mind. For an 80 year old man I'm disgustingly healthy. I have heard however that it helps keep the mind clear.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 6:04PM
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mcfaroff(z5/6 NM)

Hi Hoodat
Gotu Kola is an ayurvedic herb that has been used for years in India. It is used for mental clarity, poor memory, head trauma, rejuvenation.The whole plant can be used, root and all. don't use if you are pregnant(!) or epileptic. You can eat the raw leaves or steam them or make tea.It is also good for skin, hair and nails. Gloria

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 10:49AM
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rusty_blackhaw(6a)

There is some evidence to show that gotu kola may help people with venous insufficiency, but not to eliminate varicose veins or prevent them from forming.

Apart from that, claims that this is a wonder herb increasing longevity, mental and sexual function, preventing hair loss and anxiety, treating cancer etc. etc. have weak to no evidence supporting them and are largely anecdotal.

As to the idea that gotu kola helps you live longer: according to Wikipedia, the average life expectancy in the U.S. is 79.4 years, while in India where gotu kola is popular, life expectancy is 64.7 years. Of course there are a number of factors involved in life expectancy, but the numbers don't suggest that Indians are fooling Nature by taking this herb.

Incidentally, it was believed for years that ginko biloba was a memory enhancer and would prevent or limit age-related loss of cognitive function. Results of recent, more rigorous research have been disappointing.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 1:53PM
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theherbalist

Eric:

That was a nice post.

The way I see it (maybe you do too) the world wants a panacea. They want an absolute. But as you and I both know, it's all about relativity and relevancy, not absolutes.

I use gotu kola extract (just made a fresh batch) but it's not for everyone.

I've seen people try to use ginko in order to improve their "foggy" brain. But often times, I've found that the fogginess can also be caused from a mild infection(i.e. candida) among other things for instance. Gingko isn't going to help get rid of that kind of infection, so failure ensues.

Oh, well. I'm rambling.

Charles in Arizona
The Herbalist

Here is a link that might be useful: Herbology Science

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 4:36PM
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hoodat

Thanks for the answers. I get the impresion it's one of those can't hurt - might help herbs. So long as there's no indication of harm I suppose it's OK to give it a try and see what happens.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 6:46PM
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kaliaman

a wonderful herb with a history thousands of years long documenting safe and effective use.

ignore those who put herbs down because of something they read online but have no experience....anyone can do that, its nothing special. it shows no mastery, no knowledge, no interest in learning, just a desire to disagree and poop on someone else's parade.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 3:08PM
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rusty_blackhaw(6a)

Four years after the initial post in this thread, the evidence base for use of gotu kola (once you get beyond treating varicose veins) remains pretty thin.

I agree that it doesn't take any special talent to consult knowledgeable sources about herbs (or any drugs, for that matter). All of us can do it. Claims from from anonymous or semi-anonymous online sources whose knowledge and experience cannot be verified need to be treated with caution.

There's a lot of bad info out there.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 5:19PM
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