Some of us would do just about anything to get rid of varicose veins, but they’re notoriously difficult to abolish.
Many people have turned to folk remedies to treat varicose veins. One of the most popular is gotu kola, which is said to increase blood flow and reduce swelling. A few contemporary studies have confirmed that gotu kola has beneficial health effects.
More information is needed to determine just how useful the herb is. That said, small amounts of gotu kola are harmless for most people and just might do you some good. Pregnant and nursing moms should ask their doctors about using gotu kola. It’s also not advised for people who have liver problems.
What Is Gotu Kola?
Gotu kola is a member of the parsley family that grows in India, Southeast Asia, and Africa. It thrives at the edge of calm bodies of water, spreading its venous stems. The leaves and stems are the part of the plant we eat or as a medicine. Like the parsley you use to garnish a plate, it has almost no flavor.
Gotu kola has been used as a medicine in the Indian Ayurvedic tradition, and in African and Chinese medicine. In addition to varicose veins, it’s used to treat conditions as varied as syphilis, asthma, and skin problems like psoriasis. People also use it in dishes much in the same way you’d use parsley or watercress.
What Are Varicose Veins?
You know them when you see them: purple, bulging ridges and bumps on your legs. Varicose veins are caused when your veins lose their youthful elasticity. They’re made worse by the pressure you put on the veins in your legs and feet when you stand or sit a lot. Since veins are blood vessels that need help to return blood to the heart, such as muscle contraction, movement such as exercise is essential. This is another example why exercise and movement make you healthier all over. Pregnancy can also increase the likelihood of varicose veins.
Many women will get varicose veins. While some accept them, others can’t wait to get rid of them. Even if yours don’t bother you, consider asking your doctor about your varicose veins. They’re not just a cosmetic problem — they could indicate you have a more dangerous condition, such as poor blood flow.
Does Gotu Kola Really Help Varicose Veins?
Gotu kola contains a chemical called triterpenic fraction of Centella asiatica (TTFCA). TTFCA is particularly beneficial for varicose veins since it stimulates the production of collagen and elastin. These connective tissues are needed to strengthen the internal lining and walls of your veins.
Stronger veins mean fewer varicose veins. Collagen and elastin are also elements of healthy skin that we lose as we age, so there is reason to believe gotu kola can help your skin look healthier.
In addition to helping with varicose veins, gotu kola could help with venous insufficiency by reducing swelling and improving blood flow. Venous insufficiency is a medical condition in which your blood has a hard time flowing properly. It can be caused by varicose veins and contribute to their unsightliness.
What’s the Bottom Line?
Gotu kola comes in many different forms. If you are interested in using it in a tea, then the dried herb form would be best. If tea is not your thing, try the powered herb that comes in capsules. There are also tinctures, both alcoholic and alcohol-free.
Read the label of your particular gotu kola preparation for dosage instructions.
In most cases, gotu kola won’t hurt you. It seems likely that it could help you get rid of varicose veins, though not likely to banish them entirely. If the recommended dosage doesn’t produce any bad side effects, and your doctor says it’s all right, enjoy gotu kola in moderation. If your varicose veins don’t go away, talk to your doctor about your circulation.