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Gotu Kola by Heather


Botanical name - Centella Asiatica

Common names - gotu kola, kodavan, Indian pennywort and Asiatic pennywort

This plant is an herbaceous, perennial and is native to tropical regions of Africa, Asia, Australia, and islands in the western Pacific Ocean. It is eaten as a vegetable, and is also used in traditional medicine, being now found in jars of capsules all over the world.

As a vegetable, it is eaten both raw in salads, and cooked within many local dishes, in areas where it grows. The whole plant is harvested, as it grows quickly, reaching full maturity within three months, and is considered an invasive species as it spreads very rapidly.

Recipes -

Gotu kola sambol - a herby coconut salad popular in Sri Lanka

Serves 6–8

Ingredients

small bunch of gotu kola, washed (alternatively use curly leaf parsley or curly kale)

1 large tomato, finely chopped

1 small green finger chilli, finely sliced

6 small red shallots, finely sliced

½ fresh coconut (alternatively use 200g/7oz fresh coconut flakes)

1 tbsp Maldive fish flakes (dried tuna flakes, also known as Maldive chips)

½ lime, juice only

table salt, to taste

Method

Finely chop the gotu kola, including the stalks, and place in a large bowl. Add the tomatoes, chilli and shallots and mix.

Using a coconut scraper, scrape out the coconut flesh into a bowl. Add a couple of handfuls of coconut flesh to the bowl, along with the Maldive fish flakes, lime juice and a little salt. Mix well to combine, taste and add more salt if desired.

Gotu Kola Tea

Parts used: leaves and stems (fresh, dried or powdered)

Quantity: 1 tsp/cup (250ml)

Water temperature: boiling (100ºC)

Steeping time: 10-15 minutes

Dosage: 1 - 3 cups a day, for a maximum of 6 weeks

Blend with - honey, lemon juice, ginkgo biloba, tulsi

Traditionally used in India to improve intelligence, increase memory, and heighten resistance to fatigue and stress.

There are numerous claims for the possible health benefits of gotu kola, some have been or are under investigation, to ascertain whether there is any evidence to back these statements. There are several links below, if you want to research this further.

Two warnings about this herb are –

Liver damage: People who already have a liver disease should avoid using gotu kola. It might make liver problems worse.

Surgery: Gotu kola might cause too much sleepiness if combined with medications used during and after surgery.

As with any herbal remedy, seek advice from a qualified practitioner.

Magical uses –

Planet - Saturn

Element - Earth & Air

Sun sign - Capricorn & Aquarius

Use in spells for -

Love, fertility, strength, endurance, courage, longevity, meditation, psychic development, divination, renewal, growth, money and abundance.

Add the dried herb to incense blends, especially prior to undertaking meditation or astral journeying.

Add to pouches, mojo bags, poppets and spell jars.

Sources and further reading –

www.therighttea.com/gotu-kola-tea

www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/gotu_kola_sambol

www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/health-benefits-of-gotu-kola.html

www.healthline.com/health/gotu-kola-benefits

www.drugs.com/mtm/gotu-kola.html

www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-gotu-kola

www.teenwitch.com/herbs/gotukola.html

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