The Indians and the Sinhalese that lives along the Indian Ocean stronghly believed for thousands of years that this vegetable herb known as Gotu kola contains remarkable longevity qualities. They believe that Gotu Kola will increase the span of life to about 50 years by developing a brain that is incapable of breaking down for a long time.Wild elephants in Ceylon, known to have long life munches on this vegetable herbs that grows wild in the forest. It is believed that a 70-80 year old person who consumes these greens will have the vitality of a 40 year old .The leaves of gotu kola have an energizing effect on the cells of the brain . The leaves do not stimulate the brain but instead preserve it indefinetely. They believe that consuming 2-3 gotu Kola leaves per day will strenghten and revitalize worn out bodys and brains , preventing brain fags and nervous breakdown.(Reference: Herbs & Spices,etc. Compiled by Renan Prevost ,Editor, R. Prevost, Publisher, Lemon Grove,California 1967)
Gotu Kola does not have caffeine, It is often confused with cola nut, a nut that is processed into a drink similar to Kava. It is also believed that diseases like arthritis,neuritis and nervous breakdown can be banished when you eat gotu kola. I tried to order the plant online but there is a wait list. Another online retailer state they do not ship to california. If you want to taste this delicacy, you can go to Los Angeles Vietnamese town and buy the beverage, called Rau ma ( Gotu Kola smootie). You can also buy the seeds on line and grow it for your own consumption. It is also available in pill or capsule form online. I bought my Gotu Kola plant from San Gabriel Nursery, in San Gabriel, California 5 years ago. I went back to buy some more only to find out that there supplier is no longer in business.The leaves can be use in soups and as a poultice to apply to wounds and as a skin application to reduce wrinkles and blemishes. It can also be made into gels and cream, ointment and supplements. It is also said that it can strengthen the walls of the arteries and capilliaries thus increasing oxygenation. The herb contains a substance called Saponin responsible for the many attributes of the herb.
Another name for Gotu Kola is spadeleaf . The use of this herb is widespread in Southeast Asia. In India it is use as a leafy green. In Snhalase, it is prepared as malluma, a dish that accompanies curry and rice. It also goes well with dahl,malluma with grated coconut, finely chopped greens with chili powder,turmeric and lime juice. In Thailand it is served as Bai Bun Bok, a refreshing cold drink similar to the Cambodian smootie Rau ma. In Indonesia the leaves are used in preparing sambal