Sometimes called “food for the brain,” gotu kola (Centella asiatica) is a slender, creeping plant that is easy to grow in a hanging basket in a sunny window. It also tolerates low light levels and handles water so well that it can be grown in a terrarium or aquarium.
In Ayurveda, gotu kola is used to revitalize the brain and nerve cells and as a tonic to purify blood and promote healthy skin. Like neem, new research is validating many of those traditional uses. Research has focused on enhancing brain activity, both improving mood and memory in a clinical trial with human patients. Other studies indicate that it facilitates the repair of burned skin and reduced arthritis pain in mice probably by regulating humoral and cellular immunity.*
Gotu kola is slightly bitter but tasty enough to eat straight off the vine or in a salad. We try and keep them growing in doorways where it’s easy to pick a few leaves as we pass by.
They tolerate low temperatures far better than the other Ayurvedic plants we grow — in fact, we don’t even move the gotu kola into the heated part of the greenhouse during the winter. They’ll slow down in the summer though, unless they’re shaded for the hottest parts of the day.
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* These statements are educational only.They are based upon clinical reports published in the National Institutes of Health database, but have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Neem Tree Farms does not sell products which are intended to diagnose, prevent, control or treat any disease, or kills or repels any pests, except as allowed by the NimBioSys registration when used on only on plants.
I bought one plant last winter. It arrived very fresh and well packed. I nursed it until spring in a sunny window and planted it out in some rich soil in a mostly sunny spot in zone 8 and kept it watered. Despite some suffering in the heat of the day, it prospered, to say the least. It spread like gangbusters. Before the first frost, I potted up some of it and put it in the greenhouse for insurance, but it turns out I haven’t needed it; the outside gotu kola has sailed through low-20’s deg F temps and still looks very good. I’ve been very surprised and pleased with it. I’m planning to move some to shadier locations in the yard to help it in the heat as this past summer was milder and less droughty than usual and its success in the direct sun may have been somewhat explained by those conditions. Still, very hardy, vigorous, and adaptable so far. It also roots readily in water.
KARTHY (verified owner) –
Arrived in perfect condition. It was packed very safely
suparna13 (verified owner) –
Seemed tired after the journey, but Vicki helped me understand how to revive it. Doing well in its new hanging pot. Thank you!
bnmodi5 (verified owner) –
Arrived on time and nicely packed. Plant came with good info.
Happy with my plant.
cmessadi (verified owner) –
Almost did not arrive on time – bought 4 and all of them arrived completely destroyed. it was impossible to use any and had to throw them out. it was for a work event and my team did not think to take a picture of how the package arrive so even though we provided a picture of the plants, they would not issue a refund. very disappointed.
Our refund policy is very clear — we need photos of the plants and the box they came in. Obviously, the Post Office didn’t deliver the plants as quickly as they should have and must have squished the box judging by the shape of the plants. If we can prove the post office destroyed the plants with a photo of the box, they were insured and we would have immediately reshipped the plants. I can’t imagine why anyone in a work situation would have not saved a destroyed box when the contents were so damaged, knowing that most companies have similar replacement policies.
ku (verified owner) –
Arrived in good condition, see it grown now.
dekagargi (verified owner) –
Arrived in perfect condition very nicely packed. I am very happy can’t wait to see it grow and spread.When I was in India I remember my grandmother use to feed me gotukola juice every morning. It has so many benefits. I have been searching this plant it’s been a year now it is very hard to find. Amazon was selling fake seeds and plants that was something else not this herb. Thank you so much. I will buy more plants from you.
Madison Vail –
Arrived in great condition. Had new growth within two days. Great customer service. Thanks a bunch!
Dora Gomez (verified owner) –
Arrived beautiful , but after a weeks time it turned yellow and slowly the leaves started to shrivel up .l believe it was in shock ,Ive
been in contact with Vicki and she’s helping me bring it back to life.,???????? hopefully it revives .
I got this plant over a year ago. It was small, but very healthy when it arrived. I read the information that came with it and derived my care from those instructions. After putting it in a wide pot and using soil that retains moisture very well, this plant has taken over the whole pot and started creeping out of it. I filled some small pots with soil and placed them beside the big pot, and now it has spread to all of them, and I have 4 pots of this Gotu Kola as a result. It takes very little care, spreads quickly, and the foliage tastes delicious. It has survived and even thrived in winter temperatures in the 20 degrees Fahrenheit range without any problems, as well. I highly recommend this plant and this nursery.