Brahma manduki, Brahmanduki, Brahmi, Ondelaga
Gotu Kola is a member of the Apiaceae carrot family. It is also known as pennywort, marsh penny, water pennywort, and sheep rot and has been used as a medicinal remedy for thousands of years in India, China, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. It is still being used in some of these countries to heal a variety of ailments, including respiratory infections and circulatory problems. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center Web site, "It has been called "the fountain of life" because legend has it that an ancient Chinese herbalist lived for more than 200 years as a result of using the herb."
Western herbalists rely on gotu kola primarily to treat chronic venous insufficiency (a condition where blood pools in the legs). In Sri Lanka some people ingest Gotu Kola as part of their diet on a fairly regular (weekly) basis. To be sure, Sri Lankans eat the leaves in salads or use them to brew a medicinal tea. The entire plant, however, has healing properties. The most active compounds in the herb are triterpenes and saponin glycosides. Laboratory studies on animals have shown that large doses of two kinds of glycosides have a sedative or calming quality, while another type has anti-inflammatory properties. A fourth type appears to stimulate wound healing.
We have had a great deal of success in raising the herb here in the United States. Once planted it grows prolifically, if grown near water or watered on a regular basis.
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