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Gotu Kola

Uses

Botanical names:
Centella asiatica

Parts Used & Where Grown

This plant grows in a widespread distribution in tropical, swampy areas, including parts of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, and South Africa. It also grows in Eastern Europe. The roots and leaves are used medicinally.

What Are Star Ratings?

Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

3 Stars Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.

2 Stars Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.

1 Star For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

Used for Why
2 Stars
Chronic Venous Insufficiency
60 to 120 mg daily of a standardized herbal extract
Gotu kola extracts have been found to be successful in treating CVI in preliminary trials.

Gotu kola extracts, standardized to triterpenoid content, have been found successful in small preliminary trials to treat CVI.2 The amount of extract used in these trials ranged from 60 to 120 mg per day.

2 Stars
Skin Ulcers
Apply an ointment or powder containing 1 to 2% herbal extract daily
Gotu kola extracts may be used topically to help speed wound healing.

Gotu kola  (Centella asiatica) extracts are sometimes used topically to help speed wound healing. Test tube studies have found that extracts of gotu kola high in the active triterpene constituents asiaticosides, madecassoides, asiatic acids, and madecassic acids increase collagen synthesis.3 , 4 An animal study found that topical application of asiaticoside isolated from gotu kola, used in a 0.2% solution, improved healing in nonulcer skin wounds.5 An overview of three small human clinical trials suggests that topical use of an ointment or powder containing a gotu kola extract high in the active triterpene compounds may speed wound healing in people with slow-healing skin ulcers.6 These studies used either a topical ointment with a 1% extract concentration or a powder with a 2% extract concentration. People in these studies were typically treated with intramuscular injections of either isolated asiaticosides or the mixed triterpenes three times per week while using the topical ointment or powder.

2 Stars
Wound Healing
Take a standardized herbal extract providing 60 mg total triterpenoids once or twice per day
Applying an ointment containing gotu kola may speed healing of skin wounds.

One preliminary trial found that a gotu kola extract helped heal infected wounds (unless they had reached bone).7 A review of French studies suggests that topical gotu kola can help wounds.8 One study found gotu kola extract helpful for preventing and treating enlarged scars (keloids).9 Standardized extracts of gotu kola containing up to 100% total triterpenoids are generally taken, providing 60 mg once or twice per day. Animal studies have shown that constituents in gotu kola, called asiaticosides, increase antioxidant levels during wound healing and facilitate repair of connective tissues.10 , 11

1 Star
Burns
Refer to label instructions
Gotu kola contains substances that inhibit scar tissue from forming, it has been used in the medicinal systems of central Asia for centuries to treat numerous skin diseases.

Gotu kola has been used in the medicinal systems of central Asia for centuries to treat numerous skin diseases. Saponins in gotu kola beneficially affect collagen (the material that makes up connective tissue) to inhibit its production in hyperactive scar tissue following burns or wounds.12

1 Star
Scars
Refer to label instructions
The primary active constituents of gotu kola may prevent excessive scar formation by inhibiting the production of collagen (the material that makes up connective tissue) at the wound site.

The primary active constituents of gotu kola are saponins (also called triterpenoids), which include asiaticoside, madecassoside and madasiatic acid.13 These saponins may prevent excessive scar formation by inhibiting the production of collagen (the material that makes up connective tissue) at the wound site. These constituents are also associated with promoting wound healing. One preliminary trial in humans found that a gotu kola extract improved healing of infected wounds (unless the infection had reached bone).14 Additionally, a review of French studies suggests that topical gotu kola can improve healing of burns and wounds.15 Another trial found gotu kola extract helpful for preventing and treating enlarged scars (keloids).16

1 Star
Varicose Veins
Refer to label instructions
Supplementing with gotu kola may be helpful for varicose veins.

Oral supplementation with butcher’s broom17 or gotu kola18 may also be helpful for varicose veins.

Traditional Use (May Not Be Supported by Scientific Studies)

Gotu kola has been important in the medicinal systems of central Asia for centuries. In Sri Lanka, it was purported to prolong life, as the leaves are commonly eaten by elephants. Numerous skin diseases, ranging from poorly healing wounds to leprosy, have been treated with gotu kola. Gotu kola also has a historical reputation for boosting mental activity and for helping a variety of illnesses, such as high blood pressure, rheumatism, fever, and nervous disorders. Some of its common applications in Ayurvedic medicine include heart disease, water retention, hoarseness, bronchitis, and coughs in children, and as a poultice for many skin conditions.1

How It Works

Botanical names:
Centella asiatica

How It Works

The primary active constituents of gotu kola are saponins (also called triterpenoids), which include asiaticoside, madecassoside and madasiatic acid.19 These saponins may prevent excessive scar formation by inhibiting the production of collagen (the material that makes up connective tissue) at the wound site. These constituents are also associated with promoting wound healing. One preliminary trial in humans found that a gotu kola extract improved healing of infected wounds (unless the infection had reached bone).20 Additionally, a review of French studies suggests that topical gotu kola can improve healing of burns and wounds.21 Clinical trials have also shown it can help those with chronic venous insufficiency22 , 23 Another trial found gotu kola extract helpful for preventing and treating enlarged scars (keloids).24

How to Use It

Dried gotu kola leaf can be made into a tea by adding 1–2 teaspoons (5–10 grams) to about 2/3 cup (150 ml) of boiling water and allowing it to steep for ten to fifteen minutes. Three cups (750 ml) are usually suggested per day. Fluid extract (1/2–1 teaspoon (3–5 ml) per day) or a tincture (2–4 teaspoons (10–20 ml) per day) are sometimes recommended. Standardized extracts containing up to 100% total saponins (triterpenoids), 60 mg once or twice per day, are frequently used in modern herbal medicine.25

Interactions

Botanical names:
Centella asiatica

Interactions with Supplements, Foods, & Other Compounds

At the time of writing, there were no well-known supplement or food interactions with this supplement.

Interactions with Medicines

As of the last update, we found no reported interactions between this supplement and medicines. It is possible that unknown interactions exist. If you take medication, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a new supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.
The Drug-Nutrient Interactions table may not include every possible interaction. Taking medicines with meals, on an empty stomach, or with alcohol may influence their effects. For details, refer to the manufacturers’ package information as these are not covered in this table. If you take medications, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.

Side Effects

Botanical names:
Centella asiatica

Side Effects

Except for the rare person who is allergic to gotu kola, no significant adverse effects are experienced with internal or topical use of this herb.26

References

1. Duke JA. CRC Handbook of Medicinal Herbs. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1985, 110–1.

2. Brinkhaus B, Linder M, Schuppan D, Hahn EG. Chemical, pharmacological and clinical profile of the East Asian medical plant Centella asiatica. Phytomedicine 2000;7:427–48.

3. Marquart FX, Bellon G, Gillery P, et al. Stimulation of collagen synthesis in fibroblast cultures by a triterpene extracted from Centella asiatica. Connective Tissue Res 1990;24:107–20.

4. Tenni R, Zanaboni G, De Agostini MP, et al. Effect of the triterpenoid fraction of Centella asiatica on macromolecules of the connective matrix in human skin fibroblast cultures. Ital J Biochem 1988;37:69–77.

5. Shukla A, Rasik AM, Jain GK, et al. In vitro and in vivo wound healing of asiaticoside isolated from Centella asiatica. J Ethnopharmacol 1999;65:1–11.

6. Brinkhaus B, Linder M, Schuppan D, Hahn EG. Chemical, pharmacological and clinical profile of the East Asian medicinal plant Centella asiatica. Phytomedicine 2000;7:427–48.

7. Morisset R, Cote NG, Panisset JC, et al. Evaluation of the healing activity of hydrocotyle tincture in the treatment of wounds. Phytother Res 1987;1:117–21.

8. Kartnig T. Clinical applications of Centella asiatica (L) Urb. In Herbs, Spices, and Medicinal Plants: Recent Advances in Botany, Horticulture, and Pharmacology, vol. 3.Craker LE, Simon JE (eds). Phoenix, AZ: Oryx Press, 1986, 145–73.

9. Bossé JP, Papillon J, Frenette G, et al. Clinical study of a new antikeloid drug. Ann Plastic Surg 1979;3:13–21.

10. Shukla A, Rasik AM, Dhawan BN. Asiaticoside-induced elevation of antioxidant levels during acute wound healing. Phytotherapy Res 1999;13:50–4.

11. Shukla A, Rasik AM, Jain GK, et al. In vitro and in vivo wound healing activity of asiaticoside isolated from Centella asiatica. J Ethnopharmacol 1999;65:1–11.

12. Werbach MR, Murray MT. Botancial Influences on Illness. Tarzana, CA: Third Line Press, 2000, 143–7.

13. Kartnig T. Clinical applications of Centella asiatica (L) Urb. In Herbs, Spices, and Medicinal Plants: Recent Advances in Botany, Horticulture, and Pharmacology, vol. 3., Craker LE, Simon JE (eds). Phoenix, AZ: Oryx Press, 1986, 145–73.

14. Morisset R, Cote NG, Panisset JC, et al. Evaluation of the healing activity of hydrocotyle tincture in the treatment of wounds. Phytother Res 1987;1:117–21.

15. Kartnig T. Clinical applications of Centella asiatica (L) Urb. In Herbs, Spices, and Medicinal Plants: Recent Advances in Botany, Horticulture, and Pharmacology, vol. 3., Craker LE, Simon JE (eds). Phoenix, AZ: Oryx Press, 1986, 145–73.

16. Bossé JP, Papillon J, Frenette G, et al. Clinical study of a new antikeloid drug. Ann Plastic Surg 1979;3:13–21.

17. Capelli R, Nicora M, Di Perri T. Use of extract of Ruscus aculeatus in venous disease in the lower limbs. Drugs Exp Clin Res 1988;14:277–83.

18. Brinkhaus B, Linder M, Schuppan D, Hahn EG. Chemical, pharmacological and clinical profile of the East Asian medical plant Centella asiatica. Phytomed 2000;7:427–48.

19. Kartnig T. Clinical applications of Centella asiatica (L) Urb. In Herbs, Spices, and Medicinal Plants: Recent Advances in Botany, Horticulture, and Pharmacology, vol. 3., Craker LE, Simon JE (eds). Phoenix, AZ: Oryx Press, 1986, 145–73.

20. Morisset R, Cote NG, Panisset JC, et al. Evaluation of the healing activity of hydrocotyle tincture in the treatment of wounds. Phytother Res 1987;1:117–21.

21. Kartnig T. Clinical applications of Centella asiatica (L) Urb. In Herbs, Spices, and Medicinal Plants: Recent Advances in Botany, Horticulture, and Pharmacology, vol. 3., Craker LE, Simon JE (eds). Phoenix, AZ: Oryx Press, 1986, 145–73.

22. Brinkhaus B, Linder M, Schuppan D, Hahn EG. Chemical, pharmacological and clinical profile of the East Asian medical plant Centella asiatica. Phytomed 2000;7:427–48.

23. Pointel JP, Boccalon H, Cloarec M, et al. Titrated extract of Centella asiatica (TECA) in the treatment of venous insufficiency of the lower limbs. Angiology 1986;37:420–1.

24. Bossé JP, Papillon J, Frenette G, et al. Clinical study of a new antikeloid drug. Ann Plastic Surg 1979;3:13–21.

25. Murray MT. The Healing Power of Herbs. Rocklin, CA: Prima Publishing, 1995, 173–83.

26. Murray MT. The Healing Power of Herbs. Rocklin, CA: Prima Publishing, 1995, 173–83.

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