What do wound healing, neuropathy, improved circulation, and long-life have in common? They’re all potential effects of Gotu Kola’s Triterpenoid Saponin constituents.
Gotu Kola has been used to treat a variety of conditions through the centuries. Modern Science has been exploring why and how this weedy plant found growing wild in the tropical regions of Asia has such a powerful effect on so many seemingly different conditions. So far, they’ve discovered that the triterpenes, also called saponins, in Gotu Kola have a surprisingly positive influence on the production and management of collagen in the body.
What is Collagen and How does Gotu Kola Support Collagen?
Collagen is a vital part of many of our body’s tissues. It helps our skin stay elastic, reducing wrinkles and sagging, just like all the beauty ads claim. But that’s just the beginning. Collagen is also responsible for offering strength and flexibility to our ligaments and tendons, muscles, and blood vessels. It contributes to the general health and supple nature of most of our bodily tissues, making it an essential and vital element for both healing and maintaining health.
The primary Triterpenes in Gotu Kola are madecassoside, asiaticoside, madecassic acid and asiatic acid. They’re the constituents responsible for the collagen-supportive effects of Gotu Kola. They work with the body’s resources to help our cells create stronger collagen clusters or strings, replacing older collagen and lending more strength and flexibility to our tissues. They are also linked with some antioxidant activity, helping the body to clean up free-radical cells and clear away debris much as Gotu Kola does in its favored habitat in the wild.
Research so far shows us that when Gotu Kola’s Triterpenes get working, they influence our cells to produce stronger, more flexible collagen bundles. These are used to repair wounded tissues, which is why Gotu Kola has been connected with loads of skin-healing needs. Wounds and skin ruptures, rashes, and related injuries tend to heal more rapidly, leaving behind less scarring, when Gotu Kola is applied topically.
Gotu Kola’s Triterpenes are also likely to be the primary reason Gotu Kola is linked with improvement in conditions like heart disease, neuropathy, circulatory diseases, varicose veins and blood flow problems, When taken internally, those Triterpenes help our bodies repair internal tissues and clear away the toxins, debris and wastes that have accumulated in our tissues. The result is that our cells do a better job of rebuilding and repair at the most basic levels, rejuvenating our structures and helping our systems work optimally. The antioxidant action of Gotu Kola works on the clearing of free radicals and debris while the collagen-supportive action helps the body build better collagen bundles with which to repair our tissues.
Triterpenoid Saponins Linked to Longevity
In general, Triterpenes are often linked with longevity and generally health-promoting actions. Reishi triterpenes, for instance, are a big reason why Reishi has long been revered as one of the keys to long life in Chinese Medicine. Gotu Kola has an equally respected place in the traditional medicine of India as well as many other Asian countries and a reputation that long ago extended into European healing systems as well. When you’re looking at an herb that boasts a long tradition of promoting longevity and adaptogen action, notice the blend of Triterpenoid Saponins or Triterpenes it contains. You’ll likely find more than one on the list.
You’ll also likely notice that the herb is used in traditional herbal practice as a daily tonic, meaning that it’s taken daily for a lifetime and may, as is the case with Gotu Kola, be used as daily food, too. While the presence of Triterpenes isn’t a guarantee of adaptogen-like properties or promotion of longevity, it’s definitely an indication that potential may be hidden in the chemistry of the herb in question.