More about Hydrocotyle
Herb of Long Life
Centella Asiatica is a frost-resistant plant that originates from Asia. Nowadays it grows in different parts of the world, preferably in a wetland area. It can be found in Thailand, South Africa, Australia, Indonesia, China and Japan. It is part of the parsley family.
In Ayurveda, as well as in the traditional medicine of Thailand, China and Indonesia, Centella Asiatica is used as a versatile ingredient in the kitchen and as a medicine.
Centella Asiatica has many names, including Gotu Kola, Fo ti tien, Jal Bahmi, and Hydrocotyle. An umbrella term used for this plant is 'the herb of long life'. Since Hydrocotyle is considered to be a means of prolonging life in these traditional healing arts, it has many properties attributed to it.
Supporting cognitive functions
This plant is highly regarded when it comes to improving cognitive functions. Every day, the cells in the brain have to fight against chemical neurotoxic substances that cause mood swings, migraines and overtiredness. Hydrocotyle can support this by its effect as an antioxidant.
In Thailand, tea is made, along with honey. This is calming drink is used to reduce stress levels and improve sleep quality. It is also seen as a very effective remedy against anxiety and insomnia. In traditional healing art, Hydrocotyle is used for various physical disorders. Some examples are hepatitis, asthma, diarrhoea and flu.
Furthermore, Hydrocotyle is a plant that is used for the external treatment of the skin. The triterpenes that can be found can play a role int this. For example, the substances found in the plant would stimulate the production of collagen. This also helps to heal scars and rejuvenate the skin. Hence you can find it among ingredients of different creams that treat eczema, psoriasis, ulcers and varicose veins.
Hydrocotyle is not only used as a medicine, but is also used in all kinds of dishes. In the kitchen of Myanmar is a salad prepared mainly from Hydrocotyle, onion, peanuts, bean powder and finished with lime/ lemon juice and fish sauce. In Sri Lanka, this plant is also used. Here they call her 'gotu kola', (where 'gotu', means the shape of the leaf, and 'kola' stands for 'leaf'). They process her into 'malluma', a dish made with finely ground hydrocotyle, green chilli, chili powder and turmeric powder. This is served with vegetarian dishes. Furthermore, Hydrocotyle is also an ingredient often found in sweet dishes such as breakfast porridge with red rice, coconut milk and unrefined cane sugar.
Soak in cold liquid or hot water to make a drink or tea.