Centella asiatica. Arthritis Herb, Gotu Kola, Pennywort.
This easy to grow, perennial ground cover has been used for centuries as a medicinal ‘brain herb’ by traditional African, Ayurvedic and Chinese cultures and is believed to have anti-inflammation properties.
Consumed as a tea, or eaten raw, the herb is traditionally believed to strengthen concentration and memory and assist with mental clarity. It is also believed to increase libido, reduce high blood pressure, assist with healing wounds, strengthen adrenal glands and assist with treating depression and anxiety.
The leaves are rather pleasant to eat raw and should be picked and eaten daily. Two fresh leaves a day (4cm in diameter or equivalent) may give symptomatic arthritic relief. Allow around twelve weeks of consumption for symptoms to dissipate. The leaves of the plant contain a compound called madecassoside which combats pain, heat, redness and swelling in the joints. Allow the plant to establish before consuming the leaves.
This small, creeping plant enjoys moist soil in a partly shaded position and should grow to about 20cm high by 1m wide. It will help suppress weeds and is a great plant to have in the garden.