Hydrocotyle asiatica (fo-ti-tieng, Solomon's seal)
First mentioned in medical literature about 2000 years ago, gotu kola is used to promote relaxation and improve memory and to ward off fever and cold symptoms. Chinese and Indian medicine also uses it to fight skin inflammation and as a mild diuretic. It seems to improve the flow of blood throughout the body by strengthening the veins and capillaries, and has been used successfully to treat phlebitis (inflammation of the veins) and leg cramps, among other related ills. It has been found to aid the body in fighting off degenerative diseases such as diabetes and tuberculosis. It has also been proven to help new mothers recover from episiotomy and childbirth in general. The Chinese name means "elixir for long life."
Very nice, you say, but what does this have to do with aphrodisiacs? Although it contains no caffeine (and has no close relation to the kola nut
), gotu kola is a mild stimulant, and taken daily will have an accumulative effect of increasing the libido.
The different names for the plant refer to geographical variants: Fo-ti-tieng (Hydrocotyle asiatica minor) is the Chinese variety; gotu kola (Hydrocotyle asiatica major) is found farther West, and Solomon's seal (Polygonatum) is native to England, though it has spread.