Healing Herb Series: Gotu Kola
Now this post is for the beauty-conscious, which I admittedly am…and it’s all my dad’s fault.
When I was young, I would see my dad making faces at the mirror and I would laugh endlessly because he looks like a monster! He would dare me to copy him and we’ll have a contest on who looks more frightening. Of course he wins hands down. Hihihi! Making faces at the mirror is actually what he calls “facial exercises” and he said that it would help me stay youthful for a long, long time. I used to laugh about my dad’s so-called facial exercises until I saw Cory Quirino doing the same thing on TV, claiming that it is one of her beauty secrets. That made me sit down and watch her interview. She said that aside from wrinkles, women are also troubled with varicose veins as they grow old…specially those who have taken contraceptive pills. She added that this can be remedied by sclerotherapy, but it can be quite costly. Then out of nowhere, my dad appeared from behind and muttered “gotu kola lang yan”. Since I was a teenager then and varicose veins are the least of my concerns, I did not press for more info…until now.
I figured I’d feature a beauty herb this week; so, I immediately sat my dad down for an interview about gotu kola’s health benefits. I got more than I bargained for. I think you’ll agree with me when you get to read my dad’s sharing on gotu kola.Read on please…
Gotu Kola is called Takip-Kohol in Tagalog. Why? I’m not really sure. All I know is that it’s a great beauty secret if you’re looking for one…well, if you can still consider it as a secret. It is fast becoming a much sought-after ingredient in make-ups, moisturizers, and the likes in the United States. I wonder why they only took notice now, when France was using gotu kola since the 1800’s to treat burns and skin lesions. Even elephants know of gotu kola since time immemorial. Actually, It is their favorite food and it is seen as the reason why they have super long lives. Although elephants do not necessarily have good skin. Hehe. Now, as a beauty secret, you can use gotu kola to treat the following:
1. Scars, Burns, and Keloids – Studies show that the nutrient compositions of gotu kola helps us form cartilage, collagen in our bones, and connective tissues. Specifically, gotu kola helps us develop “healthy” connective tissues even when we experience skin trauma such as cuts, surgical lesions, and burns. More often than not, some people’s skin do not heal well and they are left with prominent scars or keloids. If you want to keep your skin scar-free, you might want to consider applying gotu kola over it.
2. Pimples – Gotu kola has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties so it will help heal your pimples faster. And more importantly, as mentioned in Item #1, it helps prevent scarring…so that takes away your concern on having pimple marks.
3. Varicose Veins – This herb is also known to have the capacity to reinforce the walls of our blood vessels, thereby aiding our blood circulation and ultimately help in minimizing varicose veins. Also, connective tissue sheats support our veins, and by producing a healthier version of these connective tissues, we can better help our veins do their job well.
I hope that you’ll agree with me that aside from being beautiful, you have got to be intelligent too. Well, this is still the herb to use. Gotu kola is known to aide in the following:
1. Cognitive Development – Recent researched have indicated that Gotu Kola helps increase mental concentration, as well as the attention span of children. Technically, this herb does not make you effortlessly intelligent, it just makes you capable of learning better.
2. Memory Enhancement – A recent study has revealed that animals given gotu kola for two weeks were able to learn and retain new behaviors much better than animals not on the herb. Again, gotu kola does not make you automatically intelligent, it just helps you retain better whatever you have learned.
3. Alzheimer’s Disease – Since explaining this needs a more scientific approach, let me just quote Veerendra and Gupta (2003)…”The study of Gotu Kola confirms cognitive-enhancing and anti-oxidant properties of extracts of the plant in normal rats. These findings are significant since oxidative stress or an impaired endogenous anti-oxidant mechanism is an important factor that has been implicated in Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive deficits seen in elderly humans.”
So how do you prepare your gotu kola herb drink? You don’t have to boil it in a pot. Just get 2 teaspoons of dried gotu kola leaves and steep it in hot water for 10 minutes; then you can drink it up. Now if you want to use it on your skin, you can pound gotu kola leaves a little and add a just enough water to make it paste-like. Then you just apply directly to the affected areas. I look forward to more beautiful and intelligent Filipinas! – Nick Bagtas
Comment from monette
Time: April 5, 2008, 6:39 pm
Hi Jayms and Raquel! If you’re in a hurry, you can buy it online…super daming nagbebenta online ng gotu kola. If you can wait naman, my dad will start to market this herb on May. He wants to make it affordable and accessible to Filipinos. Will write a post about it as soon as it is ready.