The Pennywort herb is a member of the dill and carrot family. Also known as Gotu Kola, Pegaga or Centella, it boasts numerous health benefits. These include increased youthfulness and vitality, improved eyesight and memory, relief from pain associated with arthritis and relief from insomnia.
Li Ching-Yuen, a Tai Chi Chuan Master, was rumoured to have lived for a staggering 256 years because of his daily use of Pennywort. Sri Lankan King Aruna was said to have given Pennywort the credit for giving him enough stamina to satisfy all 50 women belonging to his harem during the 10th century.
This wonder herb is used to treat venereal diseases, skin impurities, rheumatism, high blood pressure, hepatitis, varicose veins, skin ulcers, minor burns, fatigue and stress. Fresh leaves have been known to be used in treating dysentery, asthma, stomach disorders and bronchitis. Juice extracted from the leaves is highly beneficial in promoting the purification of the blood. It helps improve circulation and the rebuilding of connective tissue, assisting in the prevention of premature ageing. Pennywort can be used for eczema and other skin-related ailments, including skin ulcers. It is also able to lower blood sugar levels.
Pennywort contains a number of minerals and vitamins, among them Vitamin K, calcium, sodium, Vitamin B-Complex, magnesium, zinc and manganese. It is also able to help protect the body from toxins. This herb is also able to greatly benefit the central nervous system, making it effective in the treatment of ADD, senility, epilepsy, strokes and nervous system disorders. Those suffering from leg cramps and phlebitis can benefit from using this herb. It is also effective in reducing fevers.
Pennywort leaves spoil quite quickly, so it is best to use them within 2 days of purchasing them at a health store or after picking and harvesting them. It is a swampy herb that enjoys a fair amount of moisture and is easy to grow.
Place Pennywort leaves in a blender and add enough water to cover them. Add honey, stevia or xylitol to sweeten them. Puree until the leaves are completely mushy. Strain out any leafy sludge that remains with a fine-mesh strainer or colander. Serve it poured over ice. Lemon juice may also be added to improve the taste.
To make tea using Pennywort leaves, pour boiling water over them and steep for approximately five minutes. If using fresh leaves, use around a quarter cup for 1 cup of tea. If you are using dried leaves, use approximately two teaspoons of the dried leaves.
It is important to note that the safety of this herb has not yet been established for use during pregnancy or breastfeeding.