Fountain of Youth for your Brain
I love my Vietnamese green grocer. Everything is always so fresh and well priced. Vietnamese cooking uses an amazing amount of herbs and goes fairly easy on nasty fats which makes it a healthy and vibrant option for experimenting with exotic foods. Hmm, that sounds like it should be a future blog post.
At my last visit I bought a can of PennyWort Juice. I’ve seen these quite often in my travels in Aisa too but never actually bought one. When I paid for my purchases the girl behind the counter asked if I had ever drunk it before, because it tastes terrible but her mother and grandmother make her drink it because it’s really good for her. Can’t say I was looking forward to it after that.
The drink is called Pennywort Juice but you’ll probably know the herb better as Gotu Kola. Asiatic Pennywort (Centella asiatic) and is native to India, Sri Lanka, northern Australia, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Melanesia, Papua New Guinea, and other parts of Asia. It is used as a medicinal herb in Ayurvedic medicine, traditional African medicine, and traditional Chinese medicine. It is known under many other names such as Luei Gong Gen, Takip-kohol, Antanan, Pegagan, Pegaga, vallaarai (வல்லாரை), Kula kud, Bai Bua Bok (ใบบัวบก), Brahmi, or rau má, pak nork (ຜັກໜອກ). (thanks to Wikipedia for all those names).
Gotu Kola contains vitamins A, B, C, D and is very rich in minerals – calcium, chromium, cobalt, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, selenium, silica and zinc. It’s many therapeutic actions have been reported to be diuretic, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, sedative, antispasmodic, antioxidant, adaptogenic, tonic, digestive, vulnerary, alterative, antiviral, antibiotic, nervine, rejuvenative, blood purifier and adrenal strengthener.
Medicinally it is used to relieve arthritis and rheumatism, has a reputation of a bit of a fountain of youth for the mind by aiding concentration and memory. This brain herb is a great restorative for worn out bodies as well as minds. Some other uses are in wound healing and promoting healthy tissue. It is used to prevent the formation of scar tissue as well as to treat leprous ulcers. It is also used to treat stomach and duodenal ulcers, while acting as a multifunctional tonic – better known as an adaptogen.
It has a great many uses, I use it as part of my brain tonic. Read more about Gotu Kola and see how you can utilise it in your health regime.
Oh yes, I almost forgot. I tasted the drink I bought. It wasnt bad but shockingly sweet. I hear that it is really nice freshly made and the minute I get my hands on some fresh leaves I will make it myself and see the difference. For those of you who have access to fresh leaves here is a way of making your own restorative Vietnamese Pennywort Juice