Gotu Kola for Fluid Retention?
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Pam
Posted on: June 01, 2004

I gave up smoking about 14 months ago. This was not a problem. About 8 months ago I put on what I thought was weight as in fat. This seemed to have happened overnight. I was what I call normal 1 day and the next I began to feel uncomfortable in the sense that I had put on weight overnight. I was told by a kinesiologist/iridologist that it was not fat but a build up of fluid in the tissues. He told me to buy a gota kola plant and eat 2 small leaves per day for 10 days at 6am. This, he claims, will correct the problem in 10 days. I purchased what I was told was a gota kola plant (swamp pennywort, botanical name Centella cordifolia). From what I have checked out, the gota kola plant has a common name of Indian Pennywort, botanical name Centella asiatica. Are these two different plants? If so which is the one to take?

Recently, I bought a bottle of gota kola capsules. So far I don’t feel any different.

Please can you advise of other ways I can stop this fluid retention?

Centella cordifolia is not known to have the same medicinal properties as Centella asiatica. Centella asiatica is a diuretic (an agent that excretes excess fluid from the body), as well as being a detoxifier, liver stimulant, digestant and laxative all good properties for helping with weight loss. Gotu kola should not be taken for longer than 6 weeks without a break.

Dandelion leaf is an effective diuretic. It can be taken as the leaves in salads, as a tea or tincture. Dandelion root is also diuretic, and also stimulates liver function. The leaf and root have similar properties, with the leaf being more diuretic and the root being more liver supportive.

I recommend that you get another opinion on the cause of your weight gain from a qualified natural health practitioner, such as a medical or clinical herbalist or a naturopath.

Following is some information on changes that the body goes through after quitting smoking. After 14 months, your body should be accustomed to the change, assuming that you are following a good diet.

After quitting smoking, the body goes through many changes. The role of the liver changes as it no longer needs to detoxify the chemicals in cigarettes. There is often a change in metabolic rate. Constipation may become a problem. There are often symptoms of low thyroid functioning. It is helpful to follow a diet that is high in detoxifying fresh fruit and vegetables and high in roughage, like whole grains, and that avoids chemicals in food additives, coffee and tea, fats in meats and fried foods, and white sugar and white flour products. This type of diet reduces the strain on the liver and improves bowel elimination. As your system is cleared of chemicals, your liver and hormones will readjust.

If you feel that your metabolism has slowed down, please see our web site at for answers to questions about herbs to stimulate the metabolism. Choose "Q&A" from the main menu, then enter "metabolism" for the search. If you are experiencing digestive problems, fennel is a soothing digestive herb that is used to help with weight loss. It can be taken by eating a few seeds after meals, or as a tea, by steeping one quarter teaspoon of seeds in a cup of boiling water for 20 minutes.

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