Gotu Kola has been called the herb of immortality because of the longevity of some of the herbalists who have used it regularly over their lives. Probably the most famous proponent and user of Gotu Kola, Li Ching-Yuen is the celebrated Chinese herbalist and Daoist master (Dao yin or internal health practices) Li Ching-Yuen, born in 1677, who survived twenty-three (23) wives and died on March 5, 1933 (as reported by the New York Times and London Times) at the age of 256 years. This was officially recorded and confirmed by the Chinese government, and aroused so much interest in France, that the government there established an experimental laboratory in Algeria to study Gotu Kola. The English government also provided a grant to a college research foundation in Colombo, Ceylon to study this herb.
So what do we really know about Gotu Kola. We do know that it has been used by Yogi’s for thousands of years in India to expedite their quest for ” Moksha” or enlightenment because of it’s supposed spiritual qualities. But what info do we have in the area of hard science. Well lets delve into this wonderful herb.
Gotu kola has been used to treat a number of conditions for thousands of years in India, China, and Indonesia. It was used to heal wounds, improve mental clarity, and treat skin conditions such as leprosy and psoriasis. Some people use it to treat respiratory infections such as colds, and it was used for that in the past in China. It has been called “the fountain of life” because legend has it that an ancient Chinese herbalist lived for more than 200 years as a result of taking gotu kola.
Gotu kola combats stress by rebuilding energy reserves and increasing mental and physical powers. In Thailand, cups with its leaves are used as an afternoon “pick me up”. Gotu kola doesn’t contain caffeine, thus can be used by people who want to avoid it in their diets.
Gotu kola is highly efficient noo-tropic (mind-boosting agent), it can improve cognitive function, revitalize the brain and nervous system, increase attention span, memory and concentration. For these abilities it is sometimes called “food for the brain”.
In Ayurvedic Medicine Gotu kola is regarded as one of the most important rejuvenative herbs, believed to promote youthfulness and delay aging, while in Thailand it is number one for liver detoxification and blood purification.
Other uses of Gotu kola include the cure of hypertension, indigestion, ulcers, circulation problems, varicose veins, anemia, lupus, etc. It also has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and diuretic properties.
I first got hooked on Gotu Kola when I was living and working in Thailand more than 13 years ago and since then this super herb has become one of my most prized supplements. Whether I take it in capsule form or brew a nice hot tea I never go a day without it. Whether you use Gotu Kola as the herb of immortality or simply to improve your overall health, you will be amazed at the benefits for your body.
My favorite Gotu Kola tea receipe.
- 1 tsp honey
- 2 tsp Gotu kola
- 2 peices of sliced ginger.