Centella asiatica (Gotu Kola): Mood Enhancer

weight lossCentella asiatica (Gotu Kola) is a herb that is thought to have adaptogenic properties. Gotu kola belongs to the Apiaceae family of plant and is found growing over large areas of Asia and the rest of the World. Gotu kola is able to cause modulation to the general stress response, such that it helps maintain homeostatic parameters within the normal range. One parameter that is benefited by administration of gotu kola is mental function, and in this regard extracts of gotu kola may be able to improve mood and cognition. For example, in one study, researchers administered gotu kola extracts at either 250, 500 or 750 mg per day for 2 months to elderly subjects. The results of the study showed that administration of the highest dose of the gotu kola extract significantly improved the cognition of the subjects. All doses of the gotu kola extract improved the calmness of the subject and the highest dose increased the alertness of the subjects. Gotu kola therefore has central nervous system effects that may benefit cognition and mood.

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Gotu kola has a number of health benefits because it is an adaptogenic herb with wide ranging biological activity. This may relate to the phytochemical content of the herb, that includes a number of compounds called asiaticosides.

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Wattanathorn, J., Mator, L., Muchimapura, S., Tongun, T., Pasuriwong, O., Piyawatkul, N., Yimatae, K., Sripanidkulchai, B. and Singkhoraard, J. 2008. Positive modulation of cognition and mood in the healthy elderly volunteer following the administration of Centella asiatica. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 116(2): 325-332

About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
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