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Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola) is a medicinal plant widely used in traditional medicine of China and India for more than three millennia. Often, also, Centella asiatica is called tiger grass, since tigers like to wallow in the thickets of this plant, which contributes to the rapid healing received in battles with relatives of wounds.
In addition to medicine, Gotu Kola leaves are also used in cooking - they are added to salads, made from them tonic decoctions and teas.
Appearance and distribution of Centella Asiatica
Centella Asiatica is a perennial stunted plant with a thin stalk spreading on the ground, reaching a height of 2-3 cm (in the wild) to 10-15 cm (with artificial cultivation). The leaves are small, whole, with blunt-edged edges; 3-4 leaf blades on a single stem node are whorled on a stem. At the base of the sheet there is a funnel-shaped recess. The flowers are small, reddish or white, collected in umbrella inflorescences located on small pedicels. The plant blooms in spring.
The root system is fibrous, superficial.
Tiger grass grows in such regions as:
- Northern Australia
- Papua New Guinea;
Preferred centella asiatic lowland well-moistened places, hollows, roadsides of ditches, streams, marshland
Composition and properties of gotu kola
The composition of the plant includes a number of useful substances:
- vitamins A, E, K, B1, B6, B12;
- essential oils;
- one and a half torpens;
- steroid compounds;
- triterpene saponins.
In addition, a large amount of the plant contains phosphorus, magnesium.
Due to its composition, tiger grass has such useful properties as:
- Strengthens the immune system.
- It promotes the stimulation and strengthening of brain cells, improving the processes of memorization, increasing the level of intelligence, improves concentration.
- It has a pronounced sedative (calming) effect on the nervous system.
- Slows down the aging process, tones the body in old age.
- It has a blood-purifying effect.
- Strengthens the walls of blood vessels of the circulatory system, improves blood flow through them.
- It speeds up the healing process, relieves rashes, and effectively treats skin diseases such as syphilis, leprosy, eczema, and psoriasis.
- Prevents accelerated wrinkle formation.
- Contributing to the production of collagen, makes the skin smooth, removes scars and scars.
- Improves the condition of hair and scalp.
Medicinal properties of Centella asiatica
Indications and features of the use of gotu cola in pharmacology
Tiger grass in pharmacologists is available in the form of capsules, powder, herbal tea, as well as liquid extract.
Indications for use
Apply Centella asiatica in the treatment of a number of diseases and disease states of the body:
- mental fatigue, stress and depression;
- memory impairment, reaction rate, concentration;
- consequences of head injuries of varying severity;
- decreased immunity, frequent colds;
- vegetovascular dystonia;
- frequent dizziness, chronic headaches;
- cramps of the lower extremities;
- lack of sex drive (impotence).
Features, dosage and frequency of taking Gotu Kola
In the form of capsules, Gotu Kola is taken simultaneously with food 2 times a day, 2 pieces each, swallowed whole without chewing. The course of admission is an average of 1 month.
2 teaspoons of dried chopped leaves are poured with boiling water, and they are well infused. Drink the resulting infusion 2-3 times a day before meals.
It is applied externally for accelerated tightening of cuts, wounds. The compress soaked in the extract is applied to the damaged area and held for 2-3 hours.
About contraindications and side effects of Centella Asiatica
The use of preparations based on tiger grass is contraindicated in the following cases:
- pregnancy and planning for conception in the near future by young couples;
- in the postoperative period with pronounced intoxication and weakening of the body;
- individual intolerance;
- various forms of cancer;
- high blood sugar and cholesterol;
- In addition, Gotu Kola is contraindicated in children under 12 years of age.
Side effects that occur when using preparations containing this plant in its composition are skin rash, drowsiness, nausea and dizziness, and increased fatigue.
To avoid these manifestations, it is necessary to carefully study the instructions for use for the drug and without fail to get advice on the appropriateness of its use with your doctor or other specialist competent in this field.
When the above side effects appear, the drug is stopped.
How to use gotu cola for scars
The use of Centella asiatica extract in cosmetology
Gotu kola herb extract is widely used in cosmetology for:
- Wound healing.
- Obstruction of the formation of new scars and the gradual disappearance of old ones.
- Smoothing the skin, giving them softness and smoothness.
- Improving the color of the skin of the face, eliminating the "bags" under the eyes.
- The treatment of cellulitis and varicose veins.
In cosmetology, the main form used is tiger herb extract - compresses are made from it, added to ointments, masks, scrubs.
Centella cultivation and harvesting technology
Centella, in addition to growing in the wild, is successfully cultivated artificially.
Centella is not demanding on soil fertility. The main thing is that it constantly contains a sufficient amount of available moisture, and it is not strongly acidic. Most suitable for tiger grass are medium-fertile light loamy or cohesively sandy soils.
It is better to place the centella plot far away from the beds with cultivated plants, in the shade of trees, walls of buildings, near artificial reservoirs or drainage ditches.
Leaving consists in constant watering when the top layer of the soil dries up in dry years.
Weed control in plantings is irrelevant - tiger grass, despite the small height of its stem, very quickly occupies the entire space around it, preventing other plants from developing normally. Because of this aggressiveness, it is necessary to monitor the centella plantations, not allowing it to grow beyond the plots.
Propagate tiger grass vegetatively - dividing the bush.
Collection and drying
Harvested from tiger grass as a medicinal raw material leaves before flowering in the spring, tearing leaf blades along with petioles. Since essential oils are contained in large quantities in the leaves, the prepared raw materials are dried in dark, well-ventilated, dry rooms.
The crushed leaves are stored in bags of canvas.
Thus, Centella asiatica is a plain-looking grass that helps to fight many ailments of the body. In addition, the use of drugs based on it in accordance with the instructions and recommendations of a doctor will help strengthen immunity, activate mental and memory activity of the brain, and improve skin and hair condition.