Native to the wetlands of Asia, gotu kola (Centella asiatica) is a perennial herb in the parsley family that is considered in Ayurveda to be tridoshic or balancing to all 3 doshas- vata, pitta and kapha. This plant’s leaves and stems have been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic, Chinese and Indonesian medicines to heal the body, mind and spirit. Also known as Indian pennyroyal and nicknamed the “Herb of Longevity”, gotu kola has been used throughout the ages by the ancient rishis and yogis of India to enhance their meditation practices. These spiritual seekers recognized that having a cup of gotu kola tea prior to meditation helped them to center and calm, improve focus, balance the left and right hemispheres of the brain and gently open their sahasrara padma chakra or crown chakra, allowing their awareness and consciousness to expand. Clearly, these ancient seers and sages were on to something because modern-day research is now waking up to the myriad of benefits that gotu kola offers. Below we share with you some ways that this small but mighty plant can support you from the inside out and how to seamlessly implement it into your Ayurvedic self-care and wellness routine.
Gotu Kola is a multifaceted skincare elixir that truly does it all!
Some of its Benefits for the Skin Include:
Eradicates blemishes, breakouts and/or acne with its antimicrobial & antifungal properties.
Antioxidant-rich thanks to being high in Vitamins B & C and flavonoids.
Contains the chemical compound, triterpenoids that boosts collagen production & firms the skin.
Has a cooling effect on red, irritated, sensitive skin thanks to its alterative action.
Increases circulation & blood flow which delivers vital nutrients to the skin.
Can help reduce varicose veins.
Contains essential fatty and amino acids to keep the skin healthy & glowing.
Get Your Gotu Kola Glow on with the Pitta Body Oil!
Gotu kola is the main herbal component in our Pitta Body Oil. We chose to put this dynamic herb front and center in this delectable oil for good reason. Gotu kola intuitively addresses primary concerns of pitta type skin. For example, people with pitta type skin or who are experiencing a pitta imbalance may have sensitive skin that can experience redness, irritation and/or inflammation. In Ayurvedic herbalism, these ailments call for a cooling alterative like gotu kola that can help expel this excess heat.
Another major reason why we chose gotu kola to be our chief herb in the Pitta Body Oil is for its ability to calm and nurture both the nervous system and mind. These actions are essential in balancing the hot, fiery and sharp energies contained within pitta dosha. Thus, as you lovingly massage your Pitta Body Oil into your skin, know that you are receiving the topical benefits of gotu kola, but its healing properties are more than skin deep. As the herb is absorbed into your body, the nervous system will be nurtured and the mind will receive the signal to soften, ground and calm.
Adaptogenic // Rasayana
Adaptogen is a buzzword that we have been noticing in the health & wellness spheres. Essentially adaptogens are herbs that help the body withstand stress of any kind, be it physical, chemical or mental. Ayurveda has its own term for adaptogens and that term is rasayanas. Herbs like ashwagandha, shatavari and, you guessed it, gotu kola are considered rasayanas.
A Few of the Ways Gotu Kola Helps the Body & Mind Manage Stress:
Calms the nervous system with its nervine sedative effects.
Replenishes the nervous system.
Safeguards existing nerve cells.
Strengthens the adrenals, aiding in better stress management.
Supports a calm, grounded mind.
Curl Up with Gotu Kola in a Stress Reducing Cup of Bliss Blend Tea!
To get the most benefit out of healing herbs, such as gotu kola, we must not only absorb or ingest them, but we should also see, taste and touch them so that we may foster reverence for their sacred plant wisdom. Through the ritual of preparing herbal, loose-leaf tea you have the opportunity to do just that!
The next time you prepare yourself a rejuvenating cup of our tridoshic Bliss Blend Tea, take a moment to connect with gotu kola by smelling the herbs’ aromas and feeling them in your fingertips as you transfer your tea into your Heart Tea Infuser. You will notice gotu kola in the specks of green herbs, along with tulsi, rose, licorice, ginger, fennel, lavender, lemon balm and chamomile. Take a moment to ground and honor these herbs.
Once your tea is ready, take a seat and allow the herbal nourishment to restore equanimity and bring you balance. Like our Pitta Body Oil, the main herbal component in the Bliss Blend Tea is gotu kola. Thus, you should begin to notice its rasayana effects stabilizing and calming the nervous system and mind.
Brain & Cognitive Tonic
Considered the most spiritual or sattvic of all herbs according to Dr. David Frawley, gotu kola is an incredibly effective brain tonic that supports memory, cognitive function, creativity and focus. Further, scientific research is underway to explore how gotu kola could even enhance cognitive functioning in Alzheimer's patients.
Additional Benefits of Gotu Kola for the Brain & Mind Include:
Improves circulation and blood flow, which brings fresh oxygen and nutrients to the brain.
Its circulatory action also helps detoxify and expel metabolic waste from the brain.
Encourages the release of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which supports brain cell production and growth.
Increases focus and concentration.
Expands self-awareness & consciousness.
Feed Your Brain with Nose Oil!
Ayurvedic doctor, Dr. Vasant Lad explains that “the nose is the doorway to the brain, mind and consciousness”. Thus, the Ayurvedic practice of nasya, applying herbal oil directly into the nasal passages, is an excellent way to deliver beneficial herbs like gotu kola directly to the brain, calm the mind and expand your sentience or awareness. In order to perform nasya, we recommend using our Nose Oil. Balancing to all 3 doshas, Ayurveda considers this oil to be brain food as it contains a synergistic blend of gotu kola and brahmi (another Ayurvedic brain tonic) to help improve focus, memory and cognitive function. Additionally, it replenishes the body and mind as a whole due to its antioxidant and stress-reducing properties.
The Intuitive Wisdom of Gotu Kola
As you can see, gotu kola is a special gift from mother nature that is designed to support a healthy body, a well-functioning mind and an awakened spirit. Gotu kola has tangible effects on the body and brain through its ability to improve circulation, expedite wound healing and increase concentration, but it can also help to cultivate a deeper connection to the divine through sacred practices like yoga and meditation. We are looking forward to seeing more scientific research conducted on gotu kola and how it can assist people in living happier and healthier lives; however, until then, we are confident in knowing through the 5,000-year-old knowledge of Ayurveda, that gotu kola’s healing capacity is immense.
Gotu kola, we honor you and thank you for your intuitive wisdom and gifts.