Gotu Kola? Here’s a plant you may have never of heard before. But it is a name you be keeping on your lazy Susan. Gotu Kola is an herb with truly remarkable health benefits for both the mind and body. It’s especially beneficial in treating brain fogginess that so many of us struggle with on a daily basis while calming nerves and enhancing both memory and focus.
A Tradition Of Healing
Gotu Kola has been a mainstay treatment in Ayurvedic medicine, treating a variety of ailments. Today, people all over the world are finding success using the herb to improve their mental functioning, relieve stress, and increase energy.
In addition to its rich history in Indian Ayurvedic medicine, Gotu Kola has been used for hundreds of years in China and Indonesia, where it is a perennial plant, to care for wounds, enhance brain clarity, fight infections, and treat a number of skin and systemic conditions. Buddhists and yogis often use the herb to enhance their meditation. There are also legends of its longevity powers. One famous Chinese legend claims that the power of Gotu Kola enabled herbalist and martial arts master, Li Ching-Yuen, to live for more than 200 years.
Westerners use the herb most frequently to treat varicose veins, psoriasis and other skin conditions, and to speed healing of minor wounds. But the herb’s mental benefits are so great that it should be used to improve focus and energy in your daily life.
6 Benefits of Gotu Kola
- Clarity For The Mind
Man studies demonstrate the ability of Gotu Kola to enhance brain clarity and improve overall mental functioning and memory. Various properties within the herb yield these benefits. Gotu Kola contains compounds called triterpenoids (also called saponins) which stimulate collagen production and also prevent cell death and oxidative stress. Besides increasing blood supply and boosting antioxidants in the body, triterpenoids reduce anxiety and calm the nerves, thereby enabling greater mental focus.
Gotu Kola is successful in enhancing brain clarity, in part, because of its ability to release the brain-derived neurotrophic factor protein and nerve growth factor protein that help grow new cells and protect existing ones.
2. Calms The Nerves
Research shows that Gotu Kola can improve the overall functioning of the nervous system through an ability to increase neuronal growth and density over time. The herb helps the body’s nervous system become more efficient, which directly improves cognitive function. At the same time, properties within Gotu Kola enhance circulation, thereby providing the brain with more oxygen to make it work more efficiently. In this way, Gotu Kola can lead to lasting focus and calm.
3. Cognitive And Intuitive Benefits That Last
Justin Faerman, the Co-founder of Conscious Lifestyle Magazine, emphasizes that Gotu Kola is “more of a long-term, organic solution than many supplements and drugs offer,” which often offers only a “temporary boost in cognition.” It’s the herb’s astounding ability to enable permanent positive changes to the nervous system that unlocks these lasting benefits for the brain.
Faerman takes Gotu Kola on a daily basis. He mixes a ¼ teaspoon of the powdered herb in water and drinks it most mornings. “It definitely improves my mental clarity and tends to increase intuition, which I like. In general, I just feel good about it. I take breaks from it here as it is good to give the body time to rest, but it’s definitely been a favorite over the years,” he says.
4. Improves Blood Flow
Gotu Kola has other key health benefits for common ailments of the modern world, like a range of skin conditions and poor circulation, which can cause varicose veins and edema. It is a fantastic home remedy for wound treatment because of its ability to improve blood flow throughout the body, which helps scrapes and cuts heal faster.
5. It Adapts To Your Body’s Needs
There are a number of prescription drugs and supplements on the market with demonstrable ability to improve brain clarity, so why is Gotu Kola particularly beneficial? The answer lies in its essence as an ‘adaptogenic’ herb, meaning that it normalizes physiological functioning in order to respond to whatever stressors are currently impacting the body. Few supplements meet that criteria. According to Faerman, prescription drugs, stimulants, and other supplements that treat mental fogginess “have their effect regardless of if your body needs it or not, which means that you need to have a better understanding of what your body actually needs when using it to make sure you aren’t taking something that is not actual[ly] helpful or may be masking underlying deficiencies that are actually at the root of the problem.”
Luckily, you don’t have to worry about such things when taking Gotu Kola.
A Herb For The Body And The Mind
If you’ve been looking for natural ways to improve your concentration, memory, and focus, then you need to try Gotu Kola. It has a deep and widespread tradition of treating anxiety, increasing energy and enhancing overall mental functioning.
There are a variety of ways to consume Gotu Kola. Faerman recommends raw powders because they offer the herb in its purest form and it is easy to control the dose, experimenting with various amounts until you find what works for you. Other methods include capsules, tinctures, and tablets. If you select one of these methods, Faerman recommends that you choose a provider that uses only organic ingredients.
Maggie Tennis is a writer based in Washington, DC. She enjoys adventuring in the city’s many parks, paddle boarding on the Potomac River and walking until her feet ache. Maggie believes that wellness means pursuing that balanced feeling of feeling good—for your mind, body, and spirit—and sometimes that means eating popsicles for breakfast.
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