By Dr. Kaycee Reyes
Never underestimate the healing power of plants. For thousands of years, ancient civilizations across the world have utilized plants not only to provide nourishment and serve as offerings, but as nature’s prescription to various illnesses. Gotu kola is one of those medicinal herbs that have served as an all-in-one cure, an elixir that can treat a range of illnesses from mental health issues and respiratory problems to heart diseases. No wonder, as this herb has heaps of healthy nutrients like phytochemicals, amino acids, beta carotene, and fatty acids. Research has also led to the study of gotu kola’s benefits for the skin. Ever heard of gotu kola? Find out how this wonderful herb may just be your skin’s lifesaver.
Gotu kola, also called centella asiatica, pennywort, spade leaf, or Tiger Grass, is a well-known herb for centuries, most especially in Central and East Asia, where it was widely cultivated. This herb has leaves that grow from an inch to 1.5 inches, look like a spade, have jagged edges, and have a v-shaped side where the stem connects with the leaf. It has been widely used in Indian, Chinese, Indonesian African, Sri Lankan, and Filipino medicine. In the Philippines, gotu kola is more known as takip-kuhol, hahanghalo, panggaga, and yahong-yahong, among other local names. It contains vitamins A, B, C, D and minerals including calcium, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. This is why it has always been considered as a cure-all that can help with:
– memory improvement and brain function
– eye problems such as cataracts
– respiratory issues such as cough, bronchitis, and asthma
– digestion problems
– circulatory problems
– liver and kidney troubles
Gotu kola even acts as a natural aphrodisiac, improves mood that can help with anxiety and depression, and strengthens the immune system and one’s overall health. Aside from these, it also offers a host of benefits for the skin! Because of the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties found in gotu kola, it has also been a thousand-old practice in skincare. It’s benefits include the treatment of wounds, eczema, psoriasis, lupus, as well as the healing of scars.
More research has shown the benefits of gotu kola for the skin, such that it is even being studied to help with stretch marks and varicose veins. According to studies, it can prevent excessive formation of scar tissue keloids and other hypertrophic scars. Even further, it has been reported that it also has skin-tightening properties, making it effective for cellulite and wrinkles.
This wonderful herb really has great benefits that can treat your skin in spades. For skincare, it can stimulate and tone the skin, improve stretch marks appearing in expectant mothers, reduce sunburn and skin irritation, and treat surgical wounds. Gotu kola also has a free radical scavenger property that is why it can be used to reduce skin blotchiness and telangiectasia. It is key ingredient in anti-redness creams. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to prevent razor bumps.
Being a medicinal plant, it can benefit most of those who use it to cure their various skin and overall health issues. In the market, there are a lot of bottled all-natural gotu kola remedies that you can try. You may also DIY. Crushed fresh leaves can be used for wound healing while powdered plant at 300mg dose can be used for leprosy sores.
But gotu kola is not for everyone. Those who have sensitive skin may possibly have allergic contact dermatitis and experience skin irritation or a burning sensation upon application. Pregnant and lactating women, as well as children below two years old, are also advised not to use gotu kola. Since every skin reacts differently, you may also test a small area for possible skin reactions. Better yet, make sure to consult with a dermatologist before trying it or anything else on your skin. If you are on the clear, you may now enjoy the awesome skin benefits of one of nature’s go-tos for great skin.