Actually, according to her second blog on this plant, it is supposed to be Hydrocotyle Verticillata, perhaps a relative of Gotu Kola, but not Gotu Kola itself.
I prefer the name Gotu Kola though since I can't quite pronounce the other and HV seems to be another lethal strain of virus out there. So Gotu Kola it is to me, until I can get my hands on the real one (Anyone out there with this plant...?), then I'd call it Gotu Kola II.
Gotu Kola is a mild adaptogen. Which means it is a mild natural herb product that is supposedly able to increase the body's resistance to stress, trauma, anxiety and fatigue.
It is also supposed to be mildly antibacterial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and (my favourite part) has antioxidant properties.
The "Gotu Kola" I have though is bitter! I've tried it both cooked and raw. On it's own, it is quite disgusting really. Like eating a bitter type of grass. Yughhh...
But adding it to a salad is a good way to take this herb.
Using gotu kola in my salad
Lots of salad leaves (any leaves will do, but is nice to have a mixture and include rocket leaves. I used only lettuce today because that's what I have at home)
Lots of cherry tomatos, halved
Japanese cucumber, thinly sliced
Some beetroot, thinly sliced
A handful of pinenuts
A bit of mint leaves
A few Gotu Kola Leaves (from my garden)
A couple of malabar spinach, chopped (from my garden, I couldn't resist)
What I did
Just toss everything together with a dash of balsamic vinegar and a few lashes of extra-virgin olive oil. Add some freshly grounded pepper to taste.
I suppose you can add the Gotu Kola to any salad. But I think having sweet cherry tomatoes, crunchy beetroot and cucumber, and a handful of yummy pinenuts in this particular salad helps offset the bitterness of the Gotu Kola.. It's a very refreshing salad to have for lunch, which I did today, with toasted otah sandwiches and beetroot juice. Yummy!
I don't think I eat it often enough to really see the benefits of the plant, yet. But it really is easy to grow (sprouts like weeds, even with a bit of a snail problem, they grow and grow) and I guess for the anti-oxidant part of the deal, I can stand the bitterness of a few leaves now and then.