Gotu Kola

goto_kolaGotu Kola does offer support for healthy memory function

Mental acuity is one benefit long attributed to gotu kola, which has been used to improve learning ability, boost memory, and even counteract the memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Improved circulation in the brain might account for these effects, and it has also been suggested that gotu kola may enhance memory by improving the transmission of nerve impulses. In addition, the herb’s mild sedative action has a calming effect on those who take it.

Gotu kola (Centella asiatica) is valued so highly in Ayurveda that reams have been written about it with emphasis on the fact that it cannot be appreciated enough. In English, the herb is known as Centella or Indian Pennywort and grows abundantly in Sri Lanka. In Sanskrit, it is called Brahmi, meaning ‘godlike’, and is regarded in India as a spiritual herb.

A 1992 study by K. Nalini at Kasturba Medical College, showed gotu kola does offer support for healthy memory function. Her tests showed an impressive improvement in memory in rats treated with a daily oral extract for 14 days before the experiment. The retention of learned behaviour in the rats treated with gotu kola was three to 60 times better than that in control animals. Meanwhile, preliminary results in one clinical trial with mentally retarded children was shown to increase scores on intelligence tests (Bagchi, 1989) but this does not mean gotu kola will improve intelligence for all special or normal children.

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