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Gotu Kola ~ Brain Boost ~ 16/03/08

(Centella asiatica)

Many herbalists have called gotu kola the finest of all herbal tonics. A brain boost - revitalising herb to the body, brain and nerves - it assists memory, concentration, intelligence, improves reflexes and energy levels, and is said to help balance the left and right hemispheres of the brain. People have reported that with using the herb regularly they have been able to correct high blood pressure and cholesterol. Many people have experienced relief from painful and crippling arthritis and rheumatism.

An old Asian saying is Two leaves a day keeps old age away . Numerous research projects in the western world studied this herb after the remarkable life of Professor Li Chung Yun, who died at the age of 256 years in 1933. He was born in 1677 and in 1933 the New York Times announced the death of this remarkable Oriental, whose life span had reached over two and half centuries. The Chinese Government officially recorded his age. The professor ate gotu kola daily. At 200 years of age he was still lecturing at a Chinese university and was said to look like a man of 50 years, he stood straight and had his own natural teeth and full head of hair.

Judy rang to share with me the benefits she experienced from taking herbs, as she suffered terrible pain from fibromyalgia. Then, she read about fenugreek sprouts and gotu kola, started taking them daily, and in 4 weeks was completely pain free.

Margaret was a constant visitor to the toilet with irritable bowel syndrome. When she heard about gotu kola, she took 2 cups of tea a day and now enjoys her days to the full, without constant trips to the toilet. Margaret said drinking the tea has also resulted in mouth ulcers clearing.

Gotu kola is a perennial, creeping ground cover with kidney-shaped leaves, with very tiny pink flowers, often hidden underneath the leaves.

Antioxidant flavonoids in gotu kola play a part in zapping free radicals, boosting the circulation to every cell and strengthening the immune system. The asiaticoside constituent in gotu kola has the action of speeding the healing of wounds and accelerating the repair of connective tissue, ligaments, cartilage, tendons, bone fractures, and also repair of veins and arteries. Studies have shown the herb can help relieve ADD and hyperactive conditions.

Every person can benefit by taking gotu kola. Start with eating 2-3 leaves 3cm in diameter (if leaves are smaller, more leaves need to be taken to give the same amount). Then, if desired & after several weeks &increase to 5-6 leaves.

If a person has severe pain and arthritis, it may be necessary to slowly increase intake to 10-12 leaves daily. It is best to eat the leaves early in the day. Don t eat these in the evening, as people who have tried this have said they have experienced a boost of energy and could not sleep. I chop the leaves and eat together with other herbs, over my muesli for breakfast.

Isabell Shipard

 
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