Centella asiatica, Gotu Kola seeds
Centella asiatica belongs to the family of the Apiaceae. The plant is native to all tropical and subtropical regions of the world. It occurs up to 1800 m above sea level. C. asiatica is also known as Asiatic or Indian pennywort and Gotu Kola. The Indians believe that their tigers got strong eating Gotu Kola.
C. asiatica is a perennial, herbaceous plant. It grows next to the ground and builds new roots at its nodes at the shoot. In this way it is well anchored in the ground. Gotu Kola reaches a height of just 20 cm.
The leaves of Gotu Kola are round, heart shaped or kidney shaped. They have a quite long petiole that gets usually 10 cm long. The leaf itself gets 4 cm long and 5 cm wide. The leaves can be eaten raw or cooked.
The flowers of C. asiatica are very small; they get just 2 to 5 mm long. The flowers are clustered in panicles that stand in the leaf axilla. They are whitish to rose in color. The Gotu Kola flowers from July to August. The fruits ripen in September. It is a capsule that gets only 3 mm long. It includes the even smaller seeds.
C. asiatica is part of the traditionally Chinese medicine and is used against all kind of illnesses. The plant is known in medicine since 2000 years. Gotu Kola shall be able to detoxicate the body. Furthermore it is anti-inflammatory, wound healing and can down regulate fever. In addition C. asiatica shall have a rejuvenate effect. It is said that Li Ching- Yuen got 256 years old because he had a very healthy lifestyle and consumed regularly C. asiatica. Today one knows that Got Kola is really able to rebuild blood cells which has a certainly rejuvenate effect.
C. asiatica is also the hope of many women that suffer from cellulitis. Got Kola shall be able to tighten the skin so that the cellulitis vanishes.
But one should be carefully with the dosage. A too high dosage of C. asiatica can lead to headache, sickness and loss of consciousness.
There is still much ongoing research around C. asiatica.
The seeds of C. asiatica can be planted without any pretreatment. At a temperature of about 23°C and constantly moist substrate germination occurs quite fast. C. asiatica likes it moist. It grows naturally in swamps or near rivers. It needs a nutrient- rich substrate. Although C. asiatica is a tropical plant, it is winter hardy. It can stand temperatures down to minus 5 °C. However it should be better placed inside during winter.