Gotu Kola: An Ayurvedic Staple For Memory, Stress, & Cognitive Function
18th Apr 2023
Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica) has been a staple in Ayurvedic, Chinese, and other eastern holistic-based medicinal practices for centuries as a therapy for a variety of skin issues, as a natural liver and kidney detox, mood and stress support, and for perhaps it’s a most well-known attribute - brain power.
The potential of Gotu Kola hasn’t been lost on the west where the purported “Herb of Longevity” has been gaining steady traction. One study even refers to Gotu Kola as a “Potential Herbal Cure-All.”
Discover Gotu Kola’s benefits on the brain, cognitive function, mood, and stress and how it may help support your general well-being and wellness goals.
Gotu Kola and Saponins
The rejuvenating effects of Gotu Kola have earned it a reputation for being “The Fountain for Life.” This isn't surprising given its ability to support brain and cognitive function, as well as restful sleep — a key factor in vitality and well-being.
The saponins in Gotu Kola are likely responsible for some of the ways this plant supports cognitive and neurological well-being.
Saponins are the health-promoting compounds found in legumes and plants that get their name from their soap-like structure.
Asiaticodes is just one of the saponins in Gotu Kola that are being studied for their beneficial effect on cognitive function, memory, mood, stress, and more. Each capsule of Kerala Ayurveda’s Gotu Kola delivers 6 mg of Asiaticosides.
Brain Power & Cognitive Function
In Ayurveda, Gotu Kola is categorized as a Medhya Rasayana, a group of therapeutic and medicinal plants that support intellect, brain power, memory, immunity -and therefore, longevity.
Ancient rishis and yogis in India saw Gotu Kola as a spiritual tool to heighten the meditative experience. They used it to help them align their mind, body, and consciousness, enhancing their focus, mental clarity, and awareness during meditation practice.
While meditation exemplifies the nootropic benefits of Gotu Kola on one’s mental state, it is its effect on the brain and cognitive function that’s capturing the modern world’s interest.
In Bali, it’s called, “The Student Herb,” as it’s used to sharpen the mind and memory. Exciting recent research has linked Gotu Kola to neurotransmission, neuroprotection, and neurogenesis, the birth and growth of brain cells –which plays a role in memory, mental clarity, recollection, and learning. When it comes to memory, one study found it more effective than folic acid!
Stress & Nervous System Support
High amounts of stress can create brain fog and, over time, even affect memory.
Because the health and resiliency of the nervous system are crucial to so many bodily functions, it’s of utmost importance to keep it well-supported and healthy.
Adaptogens support healthy stress responses, rejuvenating the body as a whole. Alternatives support the body’s natural processes, helping to gradually restore proper function for overall well-being. Gotu Kola is both an adaptogen and an alternative which makes it an excellent nerve tonic.
Gotu Kola’s neuroprotective and detox properties help to protect the brain and body from toxins and oxidative stress which can cause things like brain fog and mood swings. By helping to naturally prevent the breakdown of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, a chemical that plays an essential role in the central and peripheral nervous system, Gotu Kola supports sensorial function, learning memory, focus, and other vital functions.
Recent research seems to have focused its attention on Gotu Kola’s purported use for mood and anxiety. Preliminary studies have found that it may have a naturally relaxing effect that supports healthy mood and stress responses. While more research is needed, it shows promise in relieving stress and anxiety. These results suggest that the herb may also aid in the prevention of plaque formation in brain cells.
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Gotu Kola and Healthy Sleep
Our sleeping habits and quality of life are inextricably connected. Quality sleep is a prerequisite for health. From getting less sick to cardiovascular health, and even mental health, sleep plays a significant role. If your sleep is suffering, Gotu Kola may help you get the rest you’re hoping for.
Gotu Kola may ease stress-induced insomnia with its adaptogenic properties that calm and relax the body. It appears to restore homeostasis in the body, supporting a healthy heart rate, body temperature, and body weight, all of which can influence stress-based issues. An animal study from 2016 revealed that Gotu Kola reduced stress in sleep-deprived mice.
Overall, Gotu Kola is a promising herb with the potential to add tranquility to your life. While more research is needed to fully understand its potential benefits. As with any supplement, it is important to speak with a healthcare professional before adding Gotu Kola to your wellness routine.