Gotu Kola (also known as Brahmi, Asiatic Pennywort, and Pegaga) is an herb within the parsley family that is native to the areas of India, Iran, Malaysia, and parts of Asia, and is typically used as a medicinal herb. It has been shown to help improve circulation throughout the body, which can have a positive effect on those experiencing poor circulation or extremity cramps, varicose veins, and can improve the body’s nervous system.
Gotu Kola is also touted for the calming effect it has on those who use it as a supplement and for its ability to help one focus and concentrate, which in turn leads to better brain health. It is also known to increase libido, calm epileptic episodes, and slow down the signs of premature aging. It is thought to speed healing of wounds, as well.
Modern clinical trials and studies have shown that there was a significant increase in intelligence levels in rats after being given Gotu Kola for two weeks prior—the results showed a three to 60 times improvement in cognitive function when compared to the control group of rats. Gotu Kola has also been shown to increase the intelligence levels of mentally retarded children, yet is not recommended—and has not been tested—for small children or infants and should be avoided during early childhood and breast-feeding.
There are a few side effects of Gotu Kola that should be noted. It may cause miscarriage if used during pregnancy, and may also raise one’s cholesterol levels and blood sugar levels. Because of this, it should be monitored or avoided by those with high cholesterol or diabetes. It should also not be used on infants or toddler, or be used by anyone breast-feeding.