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Centella - (L.)Urb.

Common Name Gotu Kola, Spadeleaf
Family Apiaceae or Umbelliferae
USDA hardiness 7-10
Known Hazards There is a warning that the plant can irritate the skin[238], though it is widely used to treat skin complaints[238].
Habitats Old stone walls and rocky sunny places in lowland hills and especially by the coast in central and southern Japan[58]. Shady, damp and wet places such as paddy fields, and in grass thickets[147, 238].
Range E. Asia - India, China and Japan. Australia.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (5 of 5)
Care
Frost Hardy Moist Soil Wet Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Centella Gotu Kola, Spadeleaf


http://www.hear.org/starr/
Centella Gotu Kola, Spadeleaf

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Centella is an evergreen Perennial growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in) by 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 8 and is frost tender. It is in leaf all year, in flower from July to August, and the seeds ripen from August to September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist or wet soil.

Synonyms

Hydrocotyle asiatica. L. H. cordifolia. H. repanda.

Habitats

Edible Uses

Leaves - raw or cooked. Used in salads and in curries[238]. Cooked as a vegetable[272]. An aromatic flavour, we have found them to be rather overpowering in salads when used in any but small quantities[K].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.



Gotu kola is an outstandingly important medicinal herb that is widely used in the Orient[238] and is becoming increasingly popular in the West[254]. Its Indian name is 'Brahmi' which means 'bringing knowledge of the Supreme Reality' and it has long been used there medicinally and as an aid to meditation[238]. It is a useful tonic and cleansing herb for skin problems and digestive disorders[254]. In India it is chiefly valued as a revitalizing herb that strengthens nervous function and memory[254]. The whole plant is alterative, cardio-depressant, hypotensive, weakly sedative and tonic[240]. It is a rejuvenating diuretic herb that clears toxins, reduces inflammations and fevers, improves healing and immunity, improves the memory and has a balancing effect on the nervous system[147, 152, 238, 240]. It has been suggested that regular use of the herb can rejuvenate the nervous system and it therefore deserves attention as a possible cure for a wide range of nervous disorders including multiple sclerosis[K]. Recent research has shown that gotu kola reduces scarring, improves circulatory problems in the lower limbs and speeds the healing process[238]. It is used internally in the treatment of wounds, chronic skin conditions (including leprosy), venereal diseases, malaria, varicose veins, ulcers, nervous disorders and senility[238, 240]. Caution should be observed since excess doses cause headaches and transient unconsciousness[238]. Externally, the herb is applied to wounds, haemorrhoids and rheumatic joints[238]. The plant can be harvested at any time of the year and is used fresh or dried[238]. Another report says that the dried herb quickly loses its medicinal properties and so is best used fresh[237].

Other Uses

Extracts of the plant are added to cosmetic masks and creams to increase collagen and firm the skin[238].

Cultivation details

Prefers a moist to wet soil in sun or partial shade[238]. Plants also grow on walls in the wild and so should tolerate drier conditions[K]. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c[200]. It grows and spreads very well outdoors during the summer in most parts of the country and is very easy to increase by division. It can therefore be grown as a summer crop with divisions being taken during the growing season and overwintered in a greenhouse in case the outdoor plants are killed by winter cold[K].

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Propagation

Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse[238]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year, after the last expected frosts[K]. Division is simple at any time in the growing season, though the spring is probably best[K]. We find that it is best to pot up the divisions until they are rooting away well, though in selected mild gardens it should be possible to plant the divisions out directly into their permanent positions[K].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants

 

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Expert comment

Author

(L.)Urb.

Botanical References

58265266

Links / References

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Subject : Centella  
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