How I use herbs - gotu kola

May 18 2016 0 Comments Tags: garden, herbs

Here's another herb that is growing in my garden, quite wild now, but I don't know really how to use it.  Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica).  Its also known as Spadeleaf and Indian Pennywort.  Here's how I grow it and here's what my herb books say I should do with it!

eight acres: how to grow and use gotu kola

How to grow Gotu Kola
This herb seems to like damp soil and shade.  It sends out shoots,so it spreads easily, but is not deep rooted and invasive.  This makes it easy to propagate by transplanting some shoots. I haven't seen it flower yet, apparently they are small so maybe I missed them.  Its been in my garden for a few years, since I took a clump from Pete's parent's garden.  It does die back in winter when we get a frost, but then reappears in spring.  I keep it in a pot with the mint and other herbs, as that's the easiest way for me to keep the soil damp enough.



eight acres: how to grow and use gotu kola


How to use Goto Kola
You know this is a special herb when you see that Isabel Shippard devoted nearly six pages to it in her book "How can I use herbs in daily life?".  Gotu Kola is known as a longevity herb, but more specifically it is used for:

  • Skin healing as it stimulates collagen production (good for wounds and ulcers)
  • Strengthening veins - used for varicose veins and poor circulation
  • Nerve tonic - calming, reduces anxiety, improves memory
  • Anti-inflammatory - used for rheumatism (as an infusion/tea)

With two cautions:
  • Can cause sensitivity to sun exposure
  • May reduce fertility
Gotu Kola can be eaten fresh in salads, made into an infusion or tincture from either fresh or dried leafs.  Dried leafs can be made into a paste for topical application.  Fresh or dried leaves could be used to make an oil infusion and salve.

Do you grow Gotu Kola?  How do you use it?


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