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Gotu Kola

* A natural, herbal anti-inflammatory and wound healer

* Also known as Centella Asiatica

Functions:

According to Wikipedia, Gotu Kola is mildly antibacterial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcerogenic, anxiolytic, a cerebral tonic, and circulatory stimulant common to Sri Lanka, northern Australia, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Melanesia, New Guinea, and other parts of Asia. Gotu Kola has been known as "the fountain of life" thanks to Chinese legend telling of an ancient Chinese herbalist that lived for more than 200 years as a result of using the herb and was traditionally used as a treatment for leprosy.

According to research done by The University of Maryland Medical Center, some studies indicate that triterpenoids found in Gotu Kola strengthen the skin, boost antioxidants in wounds, and increase blood supply to the area. It's also thought to boost the production of type I collagen and myofibroblasts. Based on these findings, Gotu Kola has been used topically for minor burns, psoriasis, prevention of scar formation following surgery, and prevention or reduction of stretch marks.

Western herbalists also use Gotu Kola to treat chronic venous insufficiency. When blood vessels lose their elasticity, blood pools in the legs and fluid leaks out of the blood vessels, causing the legs to swell. Several small studies (The University of Maryland Medical Center) suggest Gotu Kola may help reduce swelling and improve circulation. In a study of 94 people with venous insufficiency, those who took Gotu Kola had a significant improvement in symptoms compared to those who took placebo. In another study of people with varicose veins, ultrasound tests showed improvements in the vascular tone (meaning there was less leakage) of those who took Gotu Kola.

Safety Measures/Side Effects:

Although Gotu Kola has been used for centuries and is generally considered a safe herbal remedy, it has not been evaluated by the FDA. Additionally, there are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for these compounds (Source).

According to Wikipedia, Gotu Kola grows along ditches and in low wet areas in India and Southeast Asia and frequently suffers from high levels of bacterial contamination, possibly from having been harvested from sewage ditches. Because the plant is aquatic, it is especially sensitive to pollutants in the water. Use caution when using naturally harvested forms of Gotu Kola that may be contaminated and unevaluated for toxins.

Recommended Products with Gotu Kola:

Avitalin Bee Venom BioLift Complex ($70 in the shop); Mukti Antioxidant Facial Oil ($40 in the shop); Sevani Eye Repair Age Defying Eye Creme ($65 in the shop); BRAD Biophotonic Sublime Youth Creator Gel-Cream ($245 in the shop); Michael Todd Skin Defender Green Tea-Citrus Cleanser ($24 in the shop); The Organic Pharmacy Manuka Face Cream ($76 in the shop)

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