Gotu kola is an herb from the parsley family. It thrives at the edge of calm bodies of water, spreading its venous stems. We can use it in food in the same way that we use parsley or watercress. Also called the “herb of longevity,” Gotu kola has been claimed to possess the power to heal skin issues, boost brainpower, promote liver and kidney health, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve blood circulation.
How Does Gotu Kola Help Improve Blood Circulation?
Poor blood circulation can affect a person’s quality of life and may even lead to severe complications. This is most common in our extremities such as arms and legs. Some of its symptoms are as follows:
- Varicose veins
- Joint and muscle cramping
- Numbness and tingling in the hands and feet
- Cold hands and feet
- Swelling in the feet, ankles, and legs
- Skin color changes
- Ulcers in the legs or feet
- Memory loss and difficulty concentrating
- Digestive issues
When it comes to this health problem, Gotu kola may provide some help.
Results of a 2001 study published in PubMed showed that problems related to ankle swelling, fluid retention, and circulation tied to taking flights that last longer than three hours can be addressed by taking Gotu kola. Experts explained that after taking Gotu kola for two days before their flight, the day of their flight, and the day after their flight, participants with a mild-to-moderate superficial venous disease with varicose veins experienced significantly less fluid retention and ankle swelling than those who didn’t. These effects have been supported by a 1990 study which revealed that Gotu kola may play a significant role in relieving symptoms associated with varicose veins. Researchers believed that this is mainly due to its positive metabolic effect on the connective tissue of the vascular wall.
Aside from this, a 2012 review of studies from Malaysia claimed that people with chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) can benefit from Gotu kola. Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) occurs when the valves in the leg veins don’t work like they should be, thus making the veins less able to transport blood black to the heart. Due to this, some of the blood goes back down into the legs. Gotu kola works by improving blood circulation as well as CVI symptoms which include pain, swelling, and leg heaviness. Researchers claimed that these effects were attributed to its triterpenes content which are chemical compounds that help stimulate the production of cardiac glycosides that are responsible for increasing the force of the heart and increase the rate of contractions. Additionally, results also showed that this herb may stabilize fatty plaques in blood vessels, preventing them from breaking off and causing a heart attack or stroke.
To improve blood circulation and reduce swelling in people with poor blood circulation in the legs, experts recommend taking Gotu kola by mouth for 4-8 weeks.