Gotu Kola is a low-growing vine-like plant native to India, Sri Lanka, Japan, and parts of Northern Australia. This nondescript little plant grows lovely and tasty leaves that are a favorite food of the elephant and, more recently, us humans. In fact, some people believe that is was from watching elephants, notoriously long-lived creatures, that humans first began to draw a parallel from the elephant’s diet and the long-life powers contained in the Gotu Kola plant.
Gotu Kola for a Prolonged Life
It is said that in China, an herbalist named Li Ching-Yun enjoyed a lifespan of, hold your breath, 256 years! Although this claim has not conclusively been confirmed, Li Ching-Yun is believed to have regularly consumed an herbal mixture with Gotu Kola as the main ingredient.
On another level, people in the island nation of Sri Lanka, over a period of time, noticed that elephants, well-known for their long life spans, made extensive use of Gotu Kola leaves as their food. Thus they associated the elephants’ longevity to this ‘wonder’ plant. And so, tipping a hat toward the gentle elephants, humans began to eat Gotu Kola and have been reaping the benefits ever since.
Other Health Benefits of Gotu Kola
In the Eastern part of the world that includes China, India and Sri Lanka, among others, Gotu Lola has long been a part of the traditional healthcare system. In Ayurvedic and Chinese traditions alike, Gotu Kola is used not only for the purposes of prolonging life and youthful vitality, but also as a way to improve memory and an overall sense of mental clarity.
In Ayurveda, Gotu Kola is considered a valuable herb to revitalize the nerves and cells of brain. Therefore, it has been used to enhance intelligence and memory functions. While on one hand it stimulates the brain to expand comprehension, on the other it helps to soothe and calm the mind. In fact, yogis have been using the herb for centuries as a way to improve concentration during meditation.
And let’s not forget the gotu kola cellulite connection in the treatment of weight loss.
In a study described by Dr. Pavicic, gotu kola extract given orally at a dose of 60 mg for 90 days was effective in the treatment of cellulite. Amazingly, gotu kola not only caused shrinkage of fat cells over the buttocks and thighs, but also reduced unsightly fibrous tissue between fat cells.
A Scientific Solution to Unsightly Cellulite – By Laurie Barclay, MD
(Author’s Note: Please do not take ANY herbal supplement without first talking to your health professional.)
Natural Prescriptions for Gotu Kola
There are several different natural prescriptions for taking Gotu Kola: jaundice, rheumatism, skin disorders, and varicose veins, just to name a few. And, because it has become increasingly popular in the Western world, there are several different gotu kola capsules, tonics, and other forms of herbal supplements available. These products are just fine to experience the health benefits of Gotu Kola and are a great way to track precise amounts and dosages.
However, there is an easier and simpler way to experience this wonder plant: salad. That’s right, just add the leaves to your next salad, toss it with your favorite dressing, and, voila, longevity and mental clarity in a bowl—elephant style!
Jocelyn Eide is a writer-researcher from Montana, USA, and writes on a variety of insightful topics, including natural health. When she is not working, she is likely doing Yoga.