Gotu kola (Centella asiatica)
Gotu kola (Centella asiatica)is especially helpful for would healing and minimizing scar tissue at the site of a wound. Gotu kola has triterpenoids, a chemical compound that is useful for strengthening and repairing skin. It does this by stimulating blood flow to a wound and thereby concentrating antioxidants at a wound to stimulate healing. It is quite helpful in topical form; just make sure that if the skin is not intact over the wound that you have gotten an antiseptic topical preparation of gotu kola from your doctor. Otherwise, it can still be quite helpful even after the skin is intact.
Gotu kola is also useful for varicose veins, because it improves the tone of the walls of the veins. The problem in varicose veins is that the walls are thin and thus leak fluid out, causing edema. Gotu kola prevents this problem and helps restore venous wall tone, which in turn relieves edema.
Gotu kola is a native of East Asia, and should not be confused with kola nut, which is a plant of African origin.
Gotu kola has another component however, asiaticoside, which has been associated with tumor growth in laboratory mice. So if there is any history of skin cancers, it would be best to avoid gotu kola. If taking it for skin lesions or varicose veins, try to limit your use of it to one month. Take a one-month break and then go back to it, to allow your body time to eliminate the problem compound.