Many herbs are found in different parts of the world that come with various properties, interactions, and side effects as well. In today’s blog, we’ll discuss one of the popular herbs named the pennywort plant that is found in India and used in Asian cuisines. The scientific name of this plant is ‘Centella Asiatica.’ Other popular names of this plant are Ji Xue Sao (In Chinese), Jal Brahmi (In Ayurveda), Indian pennywort, spadeleaf, marsh penny, Asiatic pennywort, and hydrocotyle. However, it is popularly called ‘Gotu Kola.’
What is Pennywort Plant Used for?
Pennywort is used in Asian recipes. Chinese and ayurvedic practitioners believed that Gotu Kola has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-depressant, and anti-diabetic properties. This plant’s leaves have been used in Ayurvedic medicines to improve memory, boost brain health, and heal skin diseases. It is available as supplements capsules, topical medicines, powder, and tinctures.
The leaves of Gotu kola are edible, and you can use them in salads. Many people report that its taste is like crisp lettuce. Leaves that have grown in moist conditions are better because the leaves will be juicy. The plant can be grown in water, and its leaves will float and spread out. Its areas shouldn’t get dry because the plant will not grow, but it will re-grow when you re-hydrate it. It can be found in or near ponds, rivers, lakes, and marshes.
Gotu kola has various health benefits ranging from treating infections to preventing Alzheimer’s disease. Other health issues that it can treat: asthma, anxiety, fatigue, diarrhea, indigestion, diabetes, and stomach ulcers. When you use it topically, then it can heal wounds and minimize stretch marks and scars. The following are benefits of pennywort indoor plant:
- Gotu kola helps in enhancing the wall of blood vessels and capillaries that help in preventing blood leakage and enhancing the circulatory system. It improves the blood flow that maximizes oxygenation in different body parts and organ systems.
- You can get rid of the inflammation of the tissues around your teeth with the regular use of Gotu kola. It can improve dental health.
- It can improve skin health by repairing skin cells. It helps in healing wounds and skin regeneration.
- Depression might be treated with pennywort. In an animal study, rats induced with depressions and chronic stress were given pennywort showed a positive result on their stress and depression behaviour, heart rate, weight, and body temperature.
- According to many reports, it had been reported that it can speed up wound healing.
- It can treat stomach pain that can be due to gastric ulcers. It has anti-antioxidant and inflammatory properties that can improve gut health.
- You can use pennywort indoor plant to stimulate the discharge of excess salts, toxins, water and fat from the body by urination. It reduces tension on the kidneys and eliminates toxins.
- For the treatment of hair loss, Gotu kola is the best herb. When the hair follicles start becoming weaker, then hair loss happens. This herb is extremely effective in making hair follicles strong and nourishes the scalp.
Pennywort Plant Doses
Its extract has been used in doses of 60-450 mg by mouth by adults for 4-12 months. It is used in gels, creams, and ointments. However, it is suggested to talk to your healthcare before consuming or applying it because the dose may vary according to a specific condition.
Gotu Kola Side Effects
The following are some side effects of Gotu Kola:
- Upset stomach
- Sensitivity to light
- Large dose: Drowsiness
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- High blood sugar (hyperglycemia)
- Topical: Allergic contact dermatitis
Some serious side effects of pennywort:
- Low fever
- Dark urine
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach pain
- Clay-colored stools
- Yellowish skin or eyes (jaundice)
These are a few side effects, for more information, you can contact your physician.
Pennywort Plant Care
If you have a Gotu kola plant, then you need to take care of it:
- You should water this plant daily. This plant grows naturally in paddy regions, so you need to keep the soil soggy all the time.
- The plant can benefit from indirect or partial sunlight. If the plant doesn’t get proper sunlight, then its leaves will have spots and can get diseases.
- The soil should retain water. Soggy soil can keep the roots wet. It will be beneficial if the soil has nutrients.
- Gotu kola loves moisture in the air. They grow in moist conditions.
- When it comes to pennywort plant care, then you need to give liquid fertilizers, especially phosphate and nitrate-based fertilizers.
Pennywort has various health benefits and side effects as well. Hence, everyone should talk to their doctor before consuming this herb or externally applying this herb because it may cause serious side effects when taken in excess. The dose should be taken as prescribed by a doctor.