Some of us would do just about anything to get rid of varicose veins, but they’re notoriously difficult to eliminate.
Many people have turned to folk remedies to treat varicose veins. One of the most popular remedies 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. Taking gotu kola is also not advised for people who have liver problems.
The official name is Centella asiatica, though it’s known by several other names, including gotu kola, pennywort, and tiger herb. It is a member of the parsley family and 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 use as a medicine. It has almost no flavor, not unlike the parsley you use to garnish a plate.
Gotu kola has been used as a medicine in the Indian Ayurvedic tradition, as well as in African and Chinese medicine. It’s also used to treat conditions as varied as syphilis, asthma, and psoriasis. You can also use it in food in the same way that you’d use parsley or watercress.
Causes of varicose veins
You know varicose veins when you see them: purple, bulging ridges and bumps on your legs. Varicose veins result 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. Exercise and regular movement are essential for the health of your veins. Pregnancy can also increase the likelihood of varicose veins.
Many women will get varicose veins. Some accept them while others can’t wait to get rid of them. You should consider discussing your varicose veins with your doctor if you haven’t already. They’re not just a cosmetic problem. They could indicate you have a more dangerous condition, such as poor blood flow.
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.
Having stronger veins means having fewer varicose veins. Collagen and elastin are also elements of healthy skin that we lose as we age. These facts may provide added reason to believe that gotu kola can help your skin look healthier. However, the efficacy of gotu kola for treating varicose veins has not yet been established by science.
Gotu kola may also 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 can also contribute to the unsightliness of these veins.
Gotu kola comes in many different forms. It can be used as a tea in dried herb form, or it can be found as a powered herb that comes in capsules. There are also gotu kola tinctures, both alcoholic and alcohol-free.
Whatever form of gotu kola you acquire, be sure to read the label for preparation and dosage instructions.
Be sure to talk to your doctor before trying gotu kola as a treatment for your varicose veins. It may help improve your varicose veins, but it’s not likely to banish them entirely.