Centella/Hydrocotyle Asiatica; Umbellifera Mandukaparni/Brahmi
Rasa: Bitter, Sweet, Astringent
Preparations: Infusion, Milk decoction, Medicated Ghee, Paste, Medicated oil, Nasya.
Dosage: 3- 30gram per day.
Parts used: Aerial portions
Tissues: Plasma, Blood, Muscle, Bone Marrow and Nerve.
Systems: Nervous, Circulatory, Digestive
Properties: Nervine, Alterative, Rejuvenative, Diuretic, Febrifuge, Antispasmodic
Indications: Nervous disorders, Mental disorders, Epilepsy, Senility, Rashes, Skin diseases, Venereal diseases, Premature aging, Diabetes, Hypoglycemia, Premature graying and hair loss, Anger, Irritability, Adrenal Insufficiency, Poor immunity, Stress, Colitis.
Gotu Kola is an excellent rejuvenative tonic for the mind and nervous system that promotes cellular regeneration and slows the again process. It rejuvenates and pacifies all three doshas and helps to improve speech, memory, awareness, and intelligence, which make it useful to treat a wide variety of psychological and neurological disorder, as well as supportive to the immune system and adrenal glands and helps to effectively treat intermittent or periodic fevers like malaria.
It supports proper functions of the liver, spleen, and pancreas and is a great blood purifier used in chronic skin disease like psoriasis, eczema, and leprosy. It kindles and regulates Kloma-agni (the pancreatic fire) and is also helpful in treating hypoglycemia and diabetes. The paste paste or medicated ghee can be applied topically to relieve swelling, inflammation, and itching.
Gotu Kola has the ability to enhance Sattwic qualities in the mind and purify the nadis (subtle nerve channels), thus being a valuable herb for spiritual practices like yoga and meditation.
*There is often a discrepancy as to whether gotu kola should be referred to as Brahmi or not, since the Brahmi most commonly used in Ayurveda is Bacopa monniera. Another native plant of India that is referred to as Brahmi is Hydrocotyle asiatica, which is a variety of gotu kola also know as mandukaparni. The variety of gotu kola most commonly used in the West is centella asiatica. In face these herbs share very similar properties and energetics, although bacopa monniera is stronger in action and can increase vata in excess, which can be easily balanced when used in formulation.
Reference: Ayurvedic Herbology East & West (A practical Guide to Ayurvedic Herbal Medicine) by Vishnu Dass
*picture credit: alibaba.com