Gotu Kola: The Herb of Longevity
All herbal formulas need to have a purpose and direction to them. One of the most interesting aspects of Chinese herbalism is its insistence on following the principles of herbal formulations.
Every herb in a formula must have a function relative to supporting the overall outcome desired from that particular grouping of herbs. Unlike a lot of western herbal formulas, that instead seem to just group together a mix of herbs and hope for the best. Gotu Kola is one of the supporting herbs in TianChi.
Famous enough to be taken as a single herb, Gotu Kola is used to enhance the brain aspect of TianChi, adding an extra layer of protection against oxidative stress and neurodegeneration. In Ayurveda, it’s considered a brain tonic, memory enhancer and even has potent antidepressant properties.
Gotu Kola increases brain levels of GABA, the brain relaxing neurotransmitter.
In that regard it complements the other adaptogens effects of calming nervous system function, which allows the body to move more easily toward its own homeostasis. It also protects the brain from glutamate, a function it shares with the herb schizandra.
Excessive glutamate adds to inflammation and oxidative stress, which has been implicated in dementia. Research shows that Gotu Kola even works on specific aspects of oxidative stress that have been shown to be involved in the type of neurodegeneration seen in Alzheimer’s.
One of the triterpenes, asiatic acid, can dramatically reduce the buildup of amyloid plaque and may delay the onset of Alzheimer’s. The synergistic combination of Gotu Kola's powerful effects on the mind, body, and spirit may just be the key to longevity.