Vallarai Keerai Powder -100 gms

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Vallarai Keerai, also known as Gotu Kola, is a powerful medicinal herb that confers immense health benefits primarily for enhancing brain activity and nervous system functioning, besides mitigating joint pain in arthritis, healing stomach ulcers and decreasing stress, anxiety.

Scientifically known as Centella Asiatica, this green leafy plant is locally called “Vallarai Keerai” in Tamil, “Mandukaparni” in Sanskrit, “Sarswati” in Hindi and “Swaraswataku” in Telugu. The name “Gotu Kola” is, in fact, the vernacular term in the Sinhalese language of Sri Lanka and literally translates to “cup-shaped leaf”, describing the characteristic rounded and hemispherical form of the leaves.

This perennial herb thrives in tropical, wet and swampy regions of South Asia, in countries such as India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and China. It is essentially a short creeper, that grows up to a height of 4 to 18 inches, bearing vibrant green leaves, thin, slender reddish-brown stems. Upon developing, this shrub produces bright white, crimson or purple coloured flowers, which bud into small, oval-shaped fruits with prominent reticulate markings.

Vallarai keerai is a popular green leafy vegetable utilised extensively in conventional South Indian cooking. Although the lush, verdant leaves do not carry any prominent aroma or flavour, being tasteless and odourless, they can be easily incorporated into dishes along with spices, to make vallarai keerai kootu or dal, vallarai keerai thuvayal (a thick, coarse chutney variant), as well as salads, soups, idlis, dosas and sambhar.

The other segments of the plant, namely the stem, flowers and fruits are also used in numerous natural home remedies for skin ailments like eczema, boosting memory, aiding in digestion, in Ayurveda practice in India as well as in traditional Chinese medicine.

While native to warm, moist environments in Asian nations, gotu kola or vallarai keerai is today being widely cultivated across the globe, in Western regions of North America, Europe and even parts of Australia, owing to its rich nutritional profile and vast benefits for wellness. It is also being sold in the form of herbal supplemental capsules, tablets and powders, to uplift overall health.

Vallarai Keerai Nutrition Facts:

A flourishing herbal wonder, vallarai keerai abounds in Vitamin C. It is also low in calories to help maintain body weight and supplies adequate essential dietary fibers and proteins. Furthermore, it also offers the key spectrum of B vitamins to regulate metabolism and cellular energy requirements.

The following is the nutritional value of vallarai keerai or gotu kola, per 100 g, according to the data provided by the USDA Nutrient Database (United States Department of Agriculture):

Energy 15 kcal

Macronutrients:

Carbohydrates 3.2 g

Dietary fiber 1 g

Fat 0.04 g

Protein 2.76 g

Micronutrients:

Vitamins:

Thiamine (B1) 3%

Riboflavin (B2) 2%

Niacin (B3) 1%

Vitamin B6 3%

Vitamin C 73%

Minerals:

Iron 1%

Magnesium 2%

Manganese 1%

Phosphorus 2%

Potassium 5%

Sodium 0%

Zinc 1%

Vallarai Keerai also comprises ample potassium which is sufficient for the daily requirement of adults. Other vital trace minerals in this natural herb include phosphorus, copper, iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc. Also Read: Zinc: Functions, Food Sources, Deficiency And Toxicity

Furthermore, vallarai keerai is a treasure trove of potent antioxidants such as saponins or triterpenoids, flavonoids, polyphenols, tannins, in addition to brahmoside, brahminoside and centelloside, which are responsible for its positive modulating effects on the Central Nervous System (CNS).

Vallarai Keerai Benefits For Health:

Improves Brain Functions

The unique combination of beneficial compounds in vallarai keerai – brahmoside, brahminoside and centelloside assist in elevating memory, concentration and intellect. Consuming a small portion of vallarai keerai as part of daily diet stimulates the neurotransmitter activity in the CNS, thereby ensuring normal relay of nerve signals from the brain to the other organs in the body, as well as heightened cognitive abilities.

Boosts Immune System

Consuming just a moderate quantity of vallarai keerai will satisfy the daily vitamin C requirement in healthy adults. Vitamin C not only functions in enhancing iron absorption for enhanced blood circulation but also works to improve immunity by white blood cells in the system. In addition, vitamin C is obligatory for growth and development of all body tissues and a key antioxidant for removing toxins from the system. Also Read: Kadha: Brew These Traditional Concoctions Right Now, To Boost Immunity And Fight Infections

Maintains Heart Health

Being intrinsically high in potassium levels, vallarai keerai assists in the maintenance of normal blood pressure. It also functions in promoting cardiac muscle activity, lowers the amounts of bad LDL cholesterol and raises levels of good HDL cholesterol. Moreover, this herb is very advantageous in preventing instances of heart attacks and stroke and thereby contributes to a longer and healthier lifespan.

Relaxes Muscle Cramps

Vallarai keerai is bestowed with the key minerals for optimal muscle function – magnesium and manganese. The significantly high mineral content in vallarai keerai makes it an ideal option to provide relief from muscle sores and cramps. Moreover, post a high-intensity workout, when muscles in the arms and legs are strained, eating a salad with gotu kola can instantly alleviate symptoms of pain and discomfort.

Treats Constipation

Vallarai keerai comprises valuable dietary fibers which ensure proper bowel movement upon ingestion of heavy meals. This is crucial to regulate kidney function and filter out all the toxic waste products upon digestion of food and assimilation of required nutrients. Consuming some vallarai keerai soup also efficiently relieves intestinal conditions like constipation and indigestion.