So, I marched forth to the wet market, stopped by the Indian man's stall and picked out one bunch of hydrocotyle verticillata for that was all that he had ... no centella asiatica in sight at his stall yesterday. Instead of 8 tiny almost raw leaves from my garden, I ate 16 huge ones from the bunch I had bought from the market.
I am still groggy from its effects in the mid afternoon of today.
I dreamt fitfully and woke up three times in the night, my body drenched in sweat in a room cooled at a constant 24 Deg Celsius. I lay there mentally alert and feeling very warm each time I woke. The Poor Husband reached over to try and calm my nerves and help me relax. He commented that warmth came pouring off me. I don't know if it is the herb's reputation for improving circulation and regenerating cells that had caused the high metabolic heat... or simply the fitful dreams that had sent my pulse raising.
I experienced again the feeling of congestion in my nose which had presaged a nocturnal nosebleed the last time I had had a little too much of this herb. Asleep or half awake, I remembered to refrain from blowing my nose so as not to precipitate another nosebleed.
Could it be that its much heralded effects on the brain comes from its ability to improve blood flow to the head? Could it be that it shoo-ed away my morning arthritis because it brought blood circulation to my fingers? Could it be that it helps cells regenerate because it sends nutrient-free blood to every cell in the body?
Gee... I dunno.
But I am convinced that the Indians are most wise to cook this herb thoroughly so as to neutralize its effects somewhat... because when taken raw, it is a herb to be respected and handled gingerly. I would be interested to know if other people who take gotu kola raw in large quantities also experience what I experienced last night.