Gotu Kola Herb Effects

Gotu kola herb effects on the body are related to the many compounds found in the plant. Two of these compounds, bacoside A and B, provide the benefits of gotu kola that are referred to by herbalists as adaptogenic. ...

Gotu Kola is now included in some premier dietary supplements.

An adaptogen is an herb that increases the body’s resistance to stress, trauma, anxiety and fatigue. As an adaptogenic herb, benefits of gotu kola include increased energy and decreased anxiety or nervousness.

Over the years adaptogens have been referred to by other names, such as rejuvenating herbs, herbal tonics or restoratives. The word adaptogen was chosen by Dr. Nikolai Lazarev in the 1940’s, because herbs and other botanicals in this category allow the human body to “adapt” to stressful situations.

Long before chemical evaluation of the plant was possible, traditional healers throughout much of Asia recognized that gotu kola herb effects on the human body included improved wound healing. Scientific evaluation has shown that the plant has antibacterial, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory activity.

The definition of adaptogens was expanded in the late 1960’s by Israel I. Brekhman, PhD and Dr. I.V. Dardymov. To be classified as an adaptogen, an herb must be non-toxic at normal doses, safe for long term use, aid the natural defense systems of the body and have a normalizing effect on human physiology.

Numerous studies have shown that the benefits of gotu kola are not countered by risks and so the herb fits that part of the definition.

All prescription drugs have side effects. When evaluating prescription drugs, researchers must decide if the benefit of a drug outweighs the health risks associated with the drug.

Although some medicinal herbs can be unsafe if used incorrectly and some plants are poisonous, when it comes to herbs and plants that have been used historically for food, teas and flavorings, the safety for long term use cannot be questioned. Gotu kola herb effects are all positive at dosages as high as 3000 mg per day.

Research has shown that the health benefits of gotu kola include supporting healthy immune system function. In addition, the herb helps to “normalize” or balance physiological reactions to stress. So, it fits the last parts of the definition, as well.

In some cases people react to stress with nervousness or hyperactivity (nail-biting, finger tapping, etc.), while in other people exhaustion sets in quickly. In either case, adaptogenic herbs such as gotu kola are beneficial.

Most people see the benefits of gotu kola immediately. Even with the first dose, there is an improvement in energy without the nervousness that accompanies caffeine and other stimulants. In Thailand, gotu kola leaves are eaten in the afternoon as a “pick me up”.

Scientific evaluation has shown that bacoside A (one of the components contributing to gotu kola herb effects) contributes to the release of nitric oxide. Within the human body, nitric oxide allows the arteries and veins to relax so that blood flows more freely throughout the body.

This effect is probably the reason behind the traditional use of the juice from the leaves to relieve high blood pressure. With this knowledge, it is safe to say that the health benefits of gotu kola could be many, since many health problems, including heart disease, chronic fatigue and erectile dysfunction, are related to poor circulation.

Bacoside B is a protein that nourishes brain cells. Most people have heard that the benefits of gotu kola include improved memory, but with the combination of improved circulation and increased nourishment to the brain, many find that gotu kola improves overall mental clarity, attention to detail and even level of confidence.

Because of the knowledge of gotu kola herb effects in the human body, the better daily health supplements designed to promote a longer healthier life contain this herb, as well as other nutrients and botanicals that may prevent the development of chronic and life threatening diseases.

Gotu Kola, alone, may not be the long sought after “fountain of youth”, but it does seem likely that it is an important ingredient in a well-balanced daily diet.


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