Gotu kola and Brahmi are well-known supplements that are used for the treatment of memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease. However, there has been confusion between the two since there are Herbalists that interchange them.
Native to North America, both plants are also found in certain parts of India where the stems get collected for medicinal purposes. While the use of gotu kola and brahmi can affect the central nervous system, it’s important to note that both herbs have certain differences.
For instance, both shouldn’t be taken in similar dose since they each both have respective side effects and benefits. If you decide to take gotu kola or brahmi, ensure you consult a medical professional.
What is Brahmi used for?
Bacopa monnieri or Brahmi is a plant that belongs to family of snapdragons and is also known as water hyssop. Popularly used to treat Alzheimer’s disease, the plant is known to help induce calmness and is used to help ease nervous tension and stress. The plant is also noted for curbing restlessness and inducing a peaceful feeling.
Brahmi helps increase the production of mucus along the digestive tract which is also why it is used to treat IBS or irritable bowel syndrome and stomach ulcers.
Precautions on Using Brahmi
Generally, brahmi is safe when used under the direction and supervision of a health care professional. Compared to gotu kola that can cause drowsiness, brahmi doesn’t. However, it is also known to cause muscle fatigue, nausea, and even dry mouth.
The herb must not be taken by women who are breastfeeding or are pregnant. While these aren’t any studies that will prove possible side effects of bacopa, there have been instances where people who have taken an excessive amount of the herb reported having an upset stomach, nausea, and diarrhea. To avoid unnecessary adverse effects and possible downsides, it is always best to gauge your overall tolerance of the herb and to also do a careful research on the best and most recommended Bacopa brand.
What are the uses of Gotu Kola?
While there are herbalists that refer to gotu kola as brahmi, it’s important to understand that gotu kola is a different herb that belongs to the carrot family. Also known as Centella Asiatica, it has been known to be beneficial for memory loss. The herb is also used as treatment for venous insufficiency and varicose veins, since it helps improve circulation in the veins as well as reduce swelling.
When applied as a topical solution, gotu kola cream is helpful in preventing the formation of scars as well as the regeneration of collagen. It is also useful in treating wounds, minor burns, scars, scleroderma, and even psoriasis.
Precautions in the Use of Gotu Kola
Gotu kola can have an adverse effect on the liver which is why it is recommended that you should get the supervision of a health professional if you ever decide to take it.
It is also best to avoid taking the herb when breastfeeding or pregnant. The interactions and side effects it produces may be significantly different from brahmi. Among these include headache, drowsiness and burning skin irritation.
Gotu kola may also provide such health benefits including supporting and enhancing vein functions. There is still very little evidence scientifically, however, to back up most of the claims that many manufacturers of the supplement have put out there.
As with any new supplement, caution and prudence are very important. So, always get the advice of your doctor to prevent any potential interactions when using the herb.