THE LEAVES AND STEMS of the gotu kola plant ( Centella asiatica ) have been a popular medicinal herb for thousands of years in India, China, and Indonesia, where they are mainly used to heal wounds and treat skin diseases such as leprosy and psoriasis. Gotu kola supplement for skin care is vey popular so continue reading its benefits and how to use it.
In Thailand, gotu kola is used to make a soft drink. In the Singhalese language of Sri Lanka, “gotu” means cup-shaped and “kola” means leaf. People in Sri Lanka noted that elephants often ate the gotu kola plant, and since elephants were known for their longevity, it was thought that the plant might also be healthy for humans. This led to a Singhalese proverb, “Two leaves a day keep old age away.” Note that gotu kola should not be confused with the kola nut, which is an active ingredient in Coca Cola and contains caffeine. Gotu kola has no caffeine and is not a stimulant.
Gotu Kola Supplement for Skin Care Explained
The most well-studied use of gotu kola is in treating the symptoms of varicose veins and swelling caused by weak veins or veinous insufficiency. Many experts believe that gotu kola is useful in treating varicose veins because it strengthens connective tissues, which suggests that it may be helpful in treating various skin conditions.
Gotu kola has been recommended as a treatment for hemorrhoids (a form of varicose veins), bruises, stretch marks caused by pregnancy, and scars, but further research is needed to confirm the effectiveness of gotu-kola in these cases. Other studies indicate that gotu kola may ease diabetic circulatory problems and may also prevent leg swelling caused by air travel.
Studies with rats indicate that gotu kola may enhance memory and learning and suggest that it may be effective in treating Alzheimer’s disease. Traditionally, gotu kola has been used as a mild sedative, memory-improving agent, and brain tonic. However, more human research is needed to test gotu kola’s effect on memory in humans.
How it Works
Gotu kola contains a blend of compounds—asiaticoside, asiatic acid, and medecassic acid—that seem to have antioxidant effects. Specifically, they seem to have a beneficial effect on connective tissues, where they may stimulate the synthesis of collagen to regenerate tissues and strengthen the veins.
How to Take It
Gotu kola is commercially sold as capsules, tablets, tinctures, ointments, dried herbs, and teas. A typical dosage of gotu kola ranges from 20 to 60 milligrams taken three times daily of an extract containing 40 percent asiaticoside, 29 to 30 percent asiatic acid, 29 to 30 percent madecassic acid, and 1 to 2 percent made-cassoside.
Note: It may take 4 weeks of using gotu kola to note any significant benefits.
How Gotu Kola May Help Ease Anxiety
In traditional Ayuvedic medicine—an ancient healing system of India—gotu kola has been used to temper anxiety. It is believed to develop the “crown chakra,” which, in Ayurvedic medicine, is the energy center at the top of the head, and to create balance between the hemispheres of the brain. Western medicine tested the traditional theory about gotu kola and anxiety in a double-blind controlled study.
At the beginning of the study, half of the 40 participants were given a placebo and half were given gotu kola. Using the concept that easy startling is related to anxiety, researchers subjected the participants to sudden loud noises and measured their startle response. Those participants who were given gotu kola exhibited a significantly reduced startle response compared to those who received placebo. While these results are promising, more research is needed to support gotu kola’s role in anxiety.
You Should Look Out for This
Gotu kola is generally considered safe, with few side effects. These can include skin allergies, sun sensitivity, burning sensations, headaches, stomach upsets, nausea, dizziness, and drowsiness. Gotu kola is not recommended for children, pregnant or breast-feeding women, or people with severe liver or kidney disease. Individuals with a history of precancerous or cancerous skin lesions should not take gotu kola because one of its major components, asiaticoside, has been associated with the growth of tumors in mice.
What to Avoid When Taking Gotu Kola Supplement for Skin Care
Medication: Consult your doctor before taking gotu kola with sedative drugs, central nervous system (CNS) depressants, oral hypoglycemic drugs and insulin, lipid-lowering agents, corticosteroids, and phenylbutazone.