How fitting that our newest plant crush, Gotu Kola, comes in the shape of a heart! When formulating our Wisdom Oil, we found this mystical herb used in Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese medicine for its incredible skin healing properties.
“In herbalism, Gotu Kola is often referred to as a Rasayana, a general tonic, that promotes longevity, optimal health, and bringing the skin to a place of balance.”
—Michelle, Botnia Manufacturing Specialist & Herbalist
Keep reading to see why Gotu Kola has won over our hearts!
Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica) is an herb in the carrot family and has been used in Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine practices. It’s most commonly grown in damp tropical and subtropical countries in Asia. The word Centella is derived from the Latin word “centrum,” meaning prickle. Gotu Kola is also known as the “herb of longevity” in TCM for its incredible rejuvenating properties. This plant isn’t related to cola, or kola nut which is typically used in cola beverages for its caffeine properties.
Much like Chamomile, which also has calming properties, is a nervine, which helps to calm down the nervous system. Its leaves and roots are edible and have a sweet, pungent, bitter but tasty flavor. In Asia, it’s used in many culinary dishes and drinks for its health benefits.
Gotu Kola for skin
While it has many medicinal uses for the internal body, used topically, it’s great for acne, scarring, burns, blotchy skin, eczema, skin redness, irritation, and even post-op surgery. The major active constituents of Gotu Kola are triterpenes, which improve the strength and volume of collagen and help support the connective tissues and healthy keratinization (build-up of keratin proteins) of the skin. In India, herbalists use Gotu Kola in compresses, soaks, poultices, and infused oils for epidermal repair from burns, scarring, wounds, or tissue repair after injury.
At Botnia, Gotu Kola is infused in our Wisdom Oil. Its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties are what we look for to help calm inflammation on the skin. It’s potent for skin healing because it’s rich in amino acids (for anti-aging), beta carotene (to maintain skin health and appearance), fatty acids (hydrates skin), and has potent compounds that help stimulate new cell growth, build collagen, and improve circulation. While it’s not as fast-acting as comfrey, also found in our Wisdom Oil, Gotu Kola has a more sophisticated and superior healing action. Its benefits are subtle, but used long term, it will strengthen your capillaries and enhance circulation throughout the body, including the brain! So many wonderful benefits from this heart-shaped plant!
Note: We do not recommend using Wisdom Oil during pregnancy due to its potential for causing uterine contraction.
Other uses for Gotu Kola
A lot of people use Gotu Kola tea to calm mental chatter, enhance mental clarity, and also alleviate anxiety. It’s an excellent remedy for healing and strengthening tissues, collagen, and the lining of the vascular system. Elderly people use it for memory both internally and externally. In India, Gotu Kola is given to children before going to school to increase mental function. Fun fact: it’s used as a filler in ginkgo pills! It’s also an adaptogen, which means it’s an herb that will bring you to a state of homeostasis and balance.
There are so many reasons to love Gotu Kola, especially for the incredible healing properties it brings to the skin. You can find it in your health food store and make a calming cup of tea to ease stress, especially with the holiday season rounding the corner. Whether you prefer this herb as a tea or topically in our Wisdom Oil, you’ll be increasing the vitality of your life by incorporating Gotu Kola into your daily rituals. Use in good health!