Friday, 1 November 2013

My Gotu Kola arrived!

"2 leaves a day keep old age away!' That's what is said of Gotu Kola! I had read about the benefits of Gotu Kola in Isabell Shipard's book 'How can I use HERBS in my daily life?' so ordered some from Shipard's Herb Farm last week and they arrived via courier yesterday.

I was interested to see how plants could be sent through the mail and was pleasantly surprised to find that they were packed very securely and it took a bit of elbow grease to loosen the tape which stopped them from rolling around in the box and becoming damaged.

The packaging went straight into the recycle box.
Finally I got the tape off and checked the plants to see how they had travelled and only one leaf had come off during transit. I ordered three Gotu Kola plants, 1 Pennyroyal plant and one Soapwort plant. We have grown Pennyroyal in the past and it is said to deter flies and other insects so will plant it near the back door.
I had read about Soapwort but had never grown it. According to the accompanying literature, it has detergent properties and can be used not only to wash fabrics but also can be used in the bath as well as a shampoo for the hair and the dog. It can also be used for dandruff and rashes. To use just chop leaves or root and simmer in water for 5 minutes then strain and use.
The plants came with lots of printed material including a comprehensive catalogue explaining what each of the herbs is used for plus information about three very useful medicinal plants which are Herb Robert, Gotu Kola and Sheep Sorrel.

We have Herb Robert growing and it is thriving here so much so that I thought it was a weed and was pulling it out until hubby told me it was a herb. It is a valued source of germanium and helps to take oxygen to cells. It has tonic and therapeutic healing properties, helps immunity and is the most requested herb at the Shipard's Herb Farm. The leaves are eaten or used as a tea or wash.
Isabell shares in the brochure how she uses Herb Robert. Each morning before breakfast she visits her garden to collect 4-5 leaves and stems of Herb Robert. Then she picks 5-6 Gotu Kola leaves, several nasturtium leaves and flowers, a small handful of Sheep Sorrel and whatever else she feels like adding which may be a comfrey leaf, watercress, yarrow and lemon balm (if she is planning on having avocado on toast). In the kitchen she cuts the herbs rather coarsely with a knife and heaps them over muesli, fenugreek sprouts and kefir, toast or whatever she is having for breakfast.
Gotu Kola has been called the finest of all herb tonics by herbalists. The leaves appear to act as a brain food and throughout history the herb has been used for a wide range of health problems. In her book, Isabell mentions that it helps with arthritis pain which is why we bought it as hubby has arthritis here and there. However, it needs to be taken consistently or else the pain will come back.
There was also information included about Sheep Sorrel which apparently is one of the strongest antioxidant herbs we can use regularly to benefit our health. Antioxidants have the ability to zap out free radical damage caused by foods, pollutants and stress and provide a strong line of defence to the immune system.
 (All the above information is taken from the literature accompanying the plants).
So if you would like to learn more about these herbs have a look at Isabell's book. It is available from her Herb Farm. I actually bought it recently from our local Dymocks bookstore.


For the next few days my Gotu Kola, Pennyroyal and Soapwort will stay in their box and get used to our temperature here which is a little cooler than Nambour. Then I will plant them out and give them lots of TLC until they are ready for use. I am looking forward to experimenting with them.

Have you grown any of these herbs as yet?



  1. I had heard of pennyroyal but not the other two. I've downloaded the link to Isabel's website for a look. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Barb, I borrowed the book from the local library to have a look-see but it is a great reference book to have in the house so I bought it. I will eventually buy the book on sprouts as well and am tossing up whether to buy the DVDs or the book on self sufficiency and survival foods.

  3. Thanks so much Nanna Chel. Love to learn about new plants and what they do. 'Exotic' herbs are on my to do list. We have the basics for cooking but I love where you are heading with this home healing and look forward to reading more. Just want to let you know that homemade pesticide you posted is working really well. The pests under the gum trees are no longer eating my spinach! :)

    1. Tanya, that is great that the pesticide worked. I'm not growing any brassicas again until it gets cooler and then I will put my Netpro net over the seedlings. We have a lot of herbs growing and, after reading Isabell's books, I am keen to learn how to use them medicinally as well as just in cooking.

  4. Nanna Chel, Your new plants look so healthy despite travelling thru the post. Will definitely get some when the weather cools now that I've seen how well packed for travel they are.
    Am particularly interested in Herb Robert which I think you mentioned on D2E recently. Had Gotu Kola growing madly here til the current heat got to it. It will hopefully be back when/if we get some rain. Might have to try potting some for next years hotter months when it eventually resurfaces.
    Will your Gotu Kola be going into a pot, or will you be letting it run free in the garden?

  5. Maddie, they certainly are healthy and were packed extremely well. They have been potted up into larger pots and I will keep them there for a while till they get a go on then will plant them in the ground. Maybe not the Pennyroyal though. When I spoke to Isabell on the phone about buying the Gotu Kola she said that the postage cost of $15 for the three plants I was ordering would be the same if I bought five plants so I ordered the Soapwort and Pennyroyal as well. I didn't know about the medicinal benefits of Sheep Sorrel then so I wish now that I had ordered it instead of one of the others.

    I have been picking a few Herb Robert leaves to eat in the morning when I am watering the plants and will do the same with the Gotu Kola when it grows a lot more. Isabell has warnings in her herb book about herbs interacting with medications etc. so it is worth while checking it out if anyone is interested in taking herbs for medicinal purposes.

  6. I love my goto kola plant and I first got soapwort last year. It's a wonderful plant :). The pennyroyal I hadn't heard about deterring flies, but I am definitly keeping that in mind. Thanks for this informative post!


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