Gotu kola: A Bit of Botany
a little botanical information on gotu kola

Centella asiatica is a small, herbaceous, annual plant of the family Mackinlayaceae (or as a sub-family of Apiaceae). The stems are slender, creeping stolons, green to reddish-green in color, connecting plants to each other. It has long-stalked, green, reniform leaves with rounded apices which have smooth texture with palmately netted veins. The leaves are borne on pericladial petioles, around 2 cm. The rootstock consists of rhizomes, growing vertically down. They are cream 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 fruit are densely reticulate, distinguishing it from species of Hydrocotyle which have smooth, ribbed or warty fruit.

common names & nomenclature
Centella may be derived from the verb “sip”, which is a reference to how the plant continuously draws water from the marshy areas in which it lives.

Also known as:
marsh penny, thick-leaved pennywort, indian pennywort, white rot, hydrocotyle, indian hydrocotyle, centella, thankuni, mandukaparni, pegagan, sleuk tracheakkranh, ondelaga, vallaarai

Gotu Kola, the fountain of life
Gotu kola: Where in the World
habitat and range for gotu kola

Centella asiatica is native to India, Sri Lanka, northern Australia, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Melanesia, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, and other parts of Asia.

Gotu kola: Cultivation & Harvesting
considerations for growing and harvesting gotu kola

Centella asiatica grows in tropical swampy areas, along ditches and in low, wet areas.

Centella asiatica grows in wet, swampy conditions and is considered to be an aquatic plant.

Sow seeds in spring in a greenhouse, transplant out into pots when large enough, plant into the garden in late spring or early summer of the following year. Plants can also be divided in spring or fall, plant divisions directly into the garden beds.

Gotu kola leaves and stems can be harvested at any time of the year and are used fresh or dried.

Store dried leaves and stems as cut pieces or ground powder in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

Gotu kola: The Rest of the Story
history, folklore, literature & more

the many uses of gotu kola
Gotu kola is an herb that’s been used in India and China for thousands of years. It has been used to treat all kinds of skin conditions from leprosy to eczema. And while Eastern herbalists have used it for ulcers, asthma, diarrhea, and even hepatitis, it’s used more for skin disorders today than anything else. However, it has several uses.

One untraditional use for gotu kola is to reduce anxiety. People who take gotu kola have fewer problems handling stress and actually have fewer problems with anxiety attacks. It can also be used to help people sleep better at night. It also helps to reduce blood pressure in people who take it.

The rare disease scleroderma also responds favorably to gotu kola. People with scleroderma who take gotu kola have reductions in the hardening of skin and organs, more joint movement, and less joint pain.

If you suffer with problems such as varicose veins and venous insufficiency (when blood pools in the veins), gotu kola can help to relieve your suffering. It helps to make blood vessels more elastic and that helps them to do their job properly.

The most common use for gotu kola is still to treat skin problems. It can help to relieve pain and inflammation from burns, ulcers, and any type of healing wound. It also works to help prevent scar tissue from forming on wounds or surgical incisions.

Gotu kola is available in many forms. It can be used in diffusions, teas, tinctures, and capsules. In addition, many ointments contain gotu kola that can be applied topically to the skin. You’ll want to use the form that works best for you, depending on the condition for which you’re using it.

The powdered herb is used to make capsules and most people take around 1,000 mg three times daily. However, you’ll want to make sure you follow manufacturer’s instructions to get the dosage correct.

Gotu kola is an herb that has many uses. If you’re having surgery or have had it recently, you may want to use gotu kola to help heal your incision. If you suffer from the debilitating disease scleroderma, gotu kola can provide some relief and slow the progress of the disease.

Finally, if you suffer from anxiety or insomnia, gotu kola is the perfect herb to keep on hand. It will soothe your mind and relax the body. Stock up on gotu kola so that you’ll be ready the next time you need it, you’ll be ready.