May – Gotu Kola

Herb of the month

Called “The Fountain of Life” for it’s rejuvenating properties, Chinese Tai chi master and herbalist Li Ching Yuen died in 1928 aged 197 years and attributed his long life to a group of herbs including Gotu kola, goji berries and wild reishi (sorry, no idea).

Mostly used these days for calming nerves, wound healing, anti-bacterial and anti-viral effects, gotu kola should not be used by breastfeeding mum’s, children under 18 years  and with some cholesterol lowering drugs.

As a dried herb you can make tea, eat the newer, smaller, soft leaves straight from the plant, it’s also common in Asian cooking in curries and salads.

In the garden gotu kola makes a great ground cover, spreading easily Gotu kola 2through spaces with long tendrils and forming a dense mat, with attractive round leaves which lose their red around the edges as they age.

Gotu kola (1)

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