GOTU KOLA HEALTH BENEFITS AND NUTRITIONAL PROPERTIES
Gotu kola is a folk medicinal plant as it contains many bioactive components such as pentacyclic triterpenes, mainly asiaticoside, madecassoside, asiatic, and madeassic acids. And they are effective in the improvement of wounds and skin infections as well. Although many studies have shown that Gotu kola is also called ‘brain tonic’ due to its neuroprotective activity,. Historically, this has been used to treat stomach ulcers, syphilis, hepatitis, epilepsy, diarrhoea, fever, and asthma. Manduka parni is also known as a ‘medhya drug’, which improves the receptive and retensive capacities of the mind. So many phytochemical and biochemical tests have been done on this herb, which has proven all the effective responses. Traditionally, this is also used as an anti-inflammatory for minor itching and insect bites.
This is a medicinal herb plant from the family Umbelliferae (Apiaceae) found in tropical and subtropical countries growing in moist places, and it is native to southeast Asian countries such as India, Sri Lanka, China, Indonesia, and Malaysia. This plant, which grows up to an altitude of 1800 m, can be commonly seen along banks of rivers, ponds, and irrigated fields (rice paddies). It has no taste or odour, and it thrives around water. It has small fan-shaped green leaves that are grown in the months of August to September with purple, pink, or white flowers bearing a small oval fruit.
The whole plant is used in various pharmacological activities as it has medicinal properties. It is widely used as a blood purifier, for high blood pressure, and for memory enhancement. In Ayurveda, C. asiatica is one of the main herbs that gives new strength to brain cells and nerves. They also help in the building of broken capillaries and are involved in the breakdown of cellulite by shrinking the connective tissue that binds fat cells under the skin. As it is widely used in skin treatments. The surface region of Gotu Kola includes active components like asiatic acid and madecassic acid. This has the ability to decrease inflammation and boost collagen. It is also effective in healing small, hypertrophic wounds, keloid scars, burns, psoriasis, and scleroderma. For these conditions, pentacyclic triterpenes, asiaticosides, and madecassic acid are the active compounds present for wound treatment.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Division: Angiospermae
- Class: Dicotyledonae
- Order: Apiales
- Family: Apiaceae
- Genus: Centella
- Species: Asiatica
- English: Gotu kola
- Sanskrit: Mandukaparni
- Hindi: Bhrama-Manduki, Gotu Kola
- Kannada: Brahmisoppu
- Marathi: Karinga
- Tamil: Yoshanavalli, Chandaki
- Bengali: Tholkari
- Gujaratai: Karbhrami
- Telugu: Bhrami, saraswatku
Some of the biochemical and quantitative tests show that C. asiatica contains a huge amount of water. And it also serves a good source of macro- and micronutrients, proteins, and vitamins such as ascorbic acid,thiamine, and carotene,e as shown in the table given below.
|Pyridoxine And Thymine
Active And Chemical Constituents
The chemical constituents in Asiatica are triterpenoids, including asisatic acid, 6-hydroxy acetic acid, betulinic acid, thankunic acid, and isothankunic acid, in the form of glycosides. The major saponins are asiaticoside, siaticiside A, asiaticoside B, madecassosisde, braminoside, brahmoside, and thankuniside, as shown in the table below. Essential oils also present sesquiterpinoides with beta-caryophyllene, and in South Africa, C. asiatica contains monoterpenoid hydrocarbons and oxygenated monoterpenoids. Others include trans-B-fenesene and germacrene D as the constituents of essential oil.
|Inhibit the production of collagen
|Bhramoside And bhrahminoside
Uterus Relaxant actions
|Centalloside And Its derivatives
|Regulate blood pressure
Isothankuniside and thankuniside
PHYTOCHEMICAL ANALYSIS OF GOTU KOLA
Every herb consists of primary and secondary metabolites like alkaloids, flavonoids, phenolics, tannis, and saponins. Various tests have been performed for identification.
As per laboratory concern, the chemicals used are: folin ciocaltaeu, DPPH, sulphuric acid, chloroform, potassium iodide, gallic acid, and aluminium chloride. A UV-visible spectrophotometer is used for examination. Various extracts are used, such as plant extract, callus extract, and cell suspension cell extract. Alkaloids, flavonoids, terpenoids, saponins, and steroids all showed positive results.
BENEFITS OF GOTU KOLA
- Cosmetic and skin repair – Its anti-inflammatory activities help with premature ageing. It consists of triterpenoids, asiaticosides, and flavonoids, which have antioxidant, anti-cellulite, and anti-aging properties. It helps in deep healing with the increased synthesis of collagen for anti-wrinkle and wound healing. Some bioactivity includes the enhancement of collagen, which may help with UV protection properties. Also treat dry and sensitive skin.
- Improving memory and cognitive function – In vitro studies have shown that the Gotu kola herb has a neuroprotective effect. The active compounds, particularly triterpenoids, have demonstrated antioxidant properties. And they help prevent neurodegenerative diseases such as migraine, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia. Its extract can protect the brain from glutamate-induced excitotoxicity and neural connectivity. These effects help promote brain health. This can also improve memory and cognitive performance in human subjects.
- Managing stress and anxiety – They exhibit anxiolytic effects by enhancing GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) synthesis, which is an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system that plays a role in mood and emotions and enhances sleep cycles. A study found that high levels of gotu kola helped improve the startle response, which is associated with stress and anxiety.
- Regulate Circulation and reduce swelling – Here, triterponoid strengthens the blood vessel walls and reduces capillary permeability. These improve the venous tone and reduce the leakage of blood fluids into surrounding tissues.
- Joint and muscle pain relief – This may help in the treatment of pain and arthritis. In many animal models, it has been demonstrated that herbs inhibit inflammatory cytokines and pain pathways. While more research shows that gotu kola is helpful in treating joint and muscle pain, a brief study also shows that this decreased joint pain and improved finger movement in women with scleroderma. Gotu kola also interacts with the following medications: hepatotoxic medications, cholesterol-lowering drugs, diabetes, diuretics, and sedatives.
In addition to the effects on the brain, contemporary herbalists use Gota kolu as a wound healer, diuretic, antioxidant, nerve tonic, and antibacterial remedy.
The above article concluded that Gotu kola is an easily available edible herb and shows anti-inflammatory, antidiuretic, anti-ulcer, antioxidant, wound healing, etc. This herb is also tested for its toxicity and how it interacts with other drugs. Phytochemical tests showed that the highest amount of phenolic, flavonoid, and tannin content was present in the shoot culture. Antioxidant activity was at its maximum in cell suspension culture. Gotu kola is used traditionally in many houses as a daily requirement. As it is a medicinal herb and helpful in making pharmacological supplements.
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