How Well Do You Know the Medicinal Value of the Gotu Kola?

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Fungal infections that affect the nails are known as dermatophytic onychomycosis and also as tinea unguium. The fungus that is responsible for this infection is the same fungus that gives you athlete’s foot, ringworm, and jock itch. The fungus feeds off keratin which is that protein substance that makes the nail hard. A nail fungal infection may affect both the fingernails and toenails. However, it is more prevalent on the toenails.

What are the causes of fungal infection?

The most common cause of nail fungal infections is a fungus that belongs to the group known as dermatophytes. In some cases, a fungal infection may be caused by yeasts like Candida or molds. These normally attack nails that are already damaged because these are easier to invade. Both fingernail and toenail infections are common among elderly people, those who have a weakened immune system, diabetes, a blood circulation disorder, and other chronic conditions. These people are more susceptible to becoming infected with nail fungus.

What are some common symptoms of the infection?

A fungal infection often starts at a free edge of a nail. Then it spreads down on the side of the nail until it affects the cuticle base. Eventually, the entire nail may become infected. The infected area of the nail may become whitish or yellowish, thickened, crumbly, brittle, and dull. It’s the big and little toenails that are often infected.

What are some treatments for nail fungal infections?

It’s important to be cautious that the fungal infection won’t spread to other parts of the toes. It can be embarrassing and uncomfortable to have nail fungal infections as well. Doctors may prescribe an oral nail fungus treatment but only after a lab test result is obtained which shows the microorganism that caused the infection. A topical nail fungal medication may also be prescribed, but this is less effective than oral medication. In some cases, a combination of these two types of nail fungal treatments may be recommended.

1All about the Gotu Kola

Here are some other health benefits brought by gotu kola, which make it helpful to one’s general health and well-being.

Improves Cognitive Functions

Studies done in both human and animal studies revealed the positive effects of gotu kola in improving cognitive function. A small 2016 study showed that gotu kola is effective in enhancing the memory domain after a stroke. This impact of the herb on memory and nerve functions is believed to be helpful in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

Strengthens the Immune System

The theory is that gotu kola has powerful antioxidant effects that have a positive effect on the body’s immune system, reducing one’s risk for diseases. The gotu kola is also known to contain asiatic acid, which has been proven to induce apoptosis (spontaneous cell death). It is also known to inhibit the cell growth in certain kinds of cancer like breast, brain, skin, liver, and gastrointestinal tumor cells.

Helps Treat Stress, Anxiety, and Depression

Gotu kola is beneficial in reducing anxiety. It has been proven by several studies that gotu kola has anti-anxiety effects. In a study where participants were given gotu kola instead of the anti-depressants for 60 days reported experiencing reduced levels of stress, depression, and anxiety.

A separate study showed that gotu kola exhibited anti-anxiety effects on mice that were deprived of sleep for 72 hours. However, this requires more human studies for further confirmation.

Helps Treat Arthritis

Gotu kola is known for possessing anti-inflammatory properties, which help in relieving joint pain or treating arthritis. In a 2014 study, rats who had collagen-induced arthritis were administered gotu kola orally. The rats showed reduced bone erosion, cartilage erosion, and joint inflammation.

Taking gotu kola is known to be safe and only has a few reported mild side effects which include having an upset stomach and headache as well as being drowsy. It is highly advisable to start with a low dose and gradually go high to reduce the risk of experiencing side effects.

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