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Health Benefits of Gotu Kola

Published February 23, 2019 (Revised: March 21, 2020) Read Time: 7 minutes
Ben Kissam

Written By: Ben Kissam, BS

Ben has a B.S. in Movement and Sports Science and over 7 years Certified Personal Training Experience.

<script type="application/ld+json"> { "@context":"", "@type":"BlogPosting", "author": { "@type": "Person", "name": "Ben Kissam, BS" }, "publisher": { "@type": "Organization", "name": "Warrior Made", "logo": { "@type": "ImageObject", "url": "", "image": "" } }, "headline":"Health Benefits of Gotu Kola", "datePublished":"2019-02-23", "dateModified": "2020-03-21", "description":"An herb that promotes healthy skin, reduces inflammation, and may help you lose weight? Here are 7 extraordinary gotu kola benefits you should know about.", "image": "" } </script> <script type="application/ld+json"> { "@context": "", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is gotu kola?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Gotu kola (Centella asiatica) is an odorless herb in the parsley family. It's been used for medicinal purposes in Eastern medicine for thousands of years. It's also commonly referred to as Indian pennywort or by its nickname, the herb of longevity. The latter comes from its skin and organ-protecting health benefits." } }] } </script> <article> <div> <ul> <li><a href="#section1">What is Gotu Kola?</a></li> <li><a href="#section2">7 Health Benefits of Gotu Kola</a></li> <li><a href="#section3">Gotu Kola Dosage</a></li> <li><a href="#section4">Major Takeaways</a></li> </ul> </div> <section> <p>Gotu kola is one of the few natural supplements that delivers on what it promises. </p> <p>After all, not many herbs can increase brain function, improve skin health, and reduce anxiety.</p> <p>Toss in the fact that gotu kola can help with weight loss, too, and you might think it sounds too good to be true.</p> <p>But unlike many other health "fads", the science behind taking gotu kola is surprisingly comprehensive. There are many benefits, and they are all backed by science.</p> <p>Here's a look at what gotu kola is, the 7 biggest benefits, and how to properly supplement with it.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section id="section1"> <h2>What is gotu kola?</h2> <p>Gotu kola <i>(Centella asiatica)</i> is an odorless herb in the parsley family. It's been used for medicinal purposes in Eastern medicine for thousands of years. <sup><a target="_blank" href="" rel="nofollow noreferrer">1</a></sup></p> <p>Because it needs a warm, moist environment to grow, <i>Centella asiatica</i> is mainly grown in countries like India, Sri Lanka, South Africa, and parts of Eastern Europe. </p> <p>Today, gotu kola is commonly taken as an oral supplement or applied as a topical cream.</p> <p>It's also commonly referred to as <i>Indian pennywort</i> or by its nickname, "the herb of longevity". The latter comes from its skin and organ-protecting health benefits (which we'll review in detail below).</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section id="section2"> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset=""> <img src="" class="img-fluid" alt="gotu kola benefits"> </picture> <h2>7 health benefits of gotu kola</h2> <p>Taking gotu kola can help improve your brain's performance. It can also boost your skin and circulatory health, reduce inflammation, and reduce stress and anxiety.</p> <p>There are also essential micronutrients in <i>Centella asiatica</i> that will benefit your health.</p> <p>Let's look at each benefit in more detail.</p> <h3>1. Improves cognitive function</h3> <p>If you're looking for a brain boost, supplementing with gotu kola could help in a number of ways.</p> <p>Consider this:</p> <ul> <li>A 2016 study found gotu kola was more effective than folic acid (a type of B vitamin) for improving cognitive function, especially memory. <sup><a target="_blank" href="" rel="nofollow noreferrer">2</a>, <a target="_blank" href="" rel="nofollow noreferrer">3</a></sup></li> <li>Other studies have found that gotu kola is especially useful for boosting brain performance in middle-aged adults and elderly with minor cognitive impairments. <sup><a target="_blank" href="" rel="nofollow noreferrer">4</a></sup></li> </ul> <p>What this means is that supplementing with gotu kola can help sharpen your mind and give you more clarity. </p> <p>One of the main compounds in gotu kola, asciatic acid (AA), offers another great cognitive benefit—it helps prevent the death of brain cells. <sup><a target="_blank" href="" rel="nofollow noreferrer">5</a></sup></p> <p>In this way, gotu kola can also contribute to healthy aging by keeping your mental faculties sharp as you get older.</p> <h3>2. Improves skin health</h3> <p>Gotu kola gets its nickname (the "herb of longevity") from its reported benefits on aging and skin health.</p> <p>Here are a few of the ways it can help protect your skin.</p> <h4>Gotu kola benefits for skin</h4> <p>Gotu kola can<sup><a target="_blank" href="" rel="nofollow noreferrer">6</a></sup>:</p> <ul> <li>Reduce scarring and stretch marks</li> <li>Increase the synthesis (creation) of new collagen protein*</li> <li>Heal wounds and injuries faster</li> <li>Heal burns faster</li> <li>Improve symptoms of psoriasis and scleroderma (hardening of skin)</li> </ul> <p><i>*<a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">Collagen</a>, the most abundant protein in your body, is essential for skin health and connectivity.<sup><a target="_blank" href="" rel="nofollow noreferrer">7</a></sup> Since <a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">collagen</a> helps our skin stay hydrated and wrinkle-free, taking gotu kola orally or applying it topically may give your skin a more healthy, youthful appearance.</i></p> <h3>3. Can help with weight loss</h3> <p>If you're <a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">exercising regularly</a> and <a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">eating healthy foods</a>, taking <i>Centella asiatica</i> can support your efforts to lose weight.</p> <p>Taking a gotu kola supplement won't automatically trim fat from your waistline. But a 2014 study did find that gotu kola can reduce your blood glucose levels. <sup><a target="_blank" href="" rel="nofollow noreferrer">8</a></sup></p> <p>This is a great benefit, as regulating your blood sugar is directly linked to effective weight loss. <sup><a target="_blank" href="" rel="nofollow noreferrer">9</a></sup></p> <p>By stabilizing your blood sugar levels, you put yourself in a better position to get results from your weight loss routine.</p> <p>Beyond that, gotu kola offers benefits such as enhanced mood, an uptick in cognitive performance, and reduced inflammation, so taking it can help your body feel and perform its best.</p> <p>For example, you may experience less joint pain/discomfort (as a result of less inflammation) which will make exercising easier. </p> <p>And since good moods are directly linked to making healthy food choices, you are more likely to stick with your <a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">nutrition plan</a> by taking gotu kola. <sup><a target="_blank" href="" rel="nofollow noreferrer">10</a></sup></p> <h3>4. Contains essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants</h3> <p>According to a 2015 study, <i>Centella asiatica</i> contains many essential vitamins, minerals, and disease-fighting antioxidants. <sup><a target="_blank" href="" rel="nofollow noreferrer">11</a></sup> </p> <p>Here's a list of those <a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">micronutrients</a>, and their individual health benefits:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Vitamin B</strong>- regulates the metabolism, promotes neurological function, and <a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">gives you energy</a> <sup><a target="_blank" href="" rel="nofollow noreferrer">12</a></sup></li> <li><strong>Vitamin C</strong>- boosts your immune system, protects you from various diseases and infections <sup><a target="_blank" href="" rel="nofollow noreferrer">13</a></sup></li> <li><strong>Calcium</strong>- promotes bone and cardiovascular health <sup><a target="_blank" href="" rel="nofollow noreferrer">14</a></sup></li> <li><strong>Magnesium</strong>- an essential mineral for mental health and optimal metabolic function <sup><a target="_blank" href="" rel="nofollow noreferrer">15</a></sup></li> <li><strong>Flavonoids, tannins, and polyphenols</strong>- antioxidants that help fight off free radicals, which are unstable compounds in the body that can become cancerous if left unchecked. <sup><a target="_blank" href="" rel="nofollow noreferrer">16</a></sup></li> </ul> <p>There are even trace amounts of protein in <i>Centella asiatica</i>, which helps repair muscle tissue after tough workouts and keeps you full longer after meals. <sup><a target="_blank" href="" rel="nofollow noreferrer">17</a>, <a target="_blank" href="" rel="nofollow noreferrer">18</a></sup></p> <p>In essence, taking gotu kola gives your body the micronutrients it needs to be healthy and function optimally!</p> <h3>5. May improve circulatory health</h3> <p>Because it can help lower blood pressure and reduce swelling, gotu kola has been shown to improve circulatory system* health in a number of ways.</p> <p><i>*Your circulatory system consists of your heart, blood, and the blood vessels that carry blood, oxygen, and vital nutrients to various tissues throughout your body.</i></p> <p>Consider these studies:</p> <ul> <li>A 2013 study found that <i>Centella asiatica</i> improved circulation to the kidneys and reduced the effects of nephropathy, a kidney disease that limits the body's ability to clean its own blood. <sup><a target="_blank" href="" rel="nofollow noreferrer">19</a></sup></li> <li>A gotu kola supplement may be helpful for improving pain and discomfort caused by chronic venous insufficiency (CVI).<sup><a target="_blank" href="" rel="nofollow noreferrer">20</a></sup> CVI means that the veins in your legs don't function properly, and can lead to swelling and bruising in the lower half of your body.</li> <li>Similarly, one of the original studies conducted on gotu kola found that it could help reduce swelling on long airline flights, even for those with varicose (twisted and/or enlarged) veins. <sup><a target="_blank" href="" rel="nofollow noreferrer">21</a></sup></li> </ul> <p>In general, a healthy circulatory system reduces your risk of blood clots, as well as artery diseases and type 2 diabetes. <sup><a target="_blank" href="" rel="nofollow noreferrer">22</a></sup></p> <h3>6. It's anti-inflammatory</h3> <p>According to multiple studies, the active compounds in gotu kola are anti-inflammatory. <sup><a target="_blank" href="" rel="nofollow noreferrer">23</a>, <a target="_blank" href="" rel="nofollow noreferrer">24</a></sup></p> <p>They've been shown to decrease inflammatory markers in organs such as the kidney and liver, helping to protect both from damage.</p> <p>Gotu kola is also a safe and effective way to treat gingivitis, or inflammation of your gums. <sup><a target="_blank" href="" rel="nofollow noreferrer">25</a></sup></p> <p>The fact that this herb reduces inflammation is a big deal, seeing that chronic inflammation in the body is linked to many of the major diseases that kill Americans, such as heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. <sup><a target="_blank" href="" rel="nofollow noreferrer">26</a></sup></p> <h3>7. It may help reduce stress and anxiety</h3> <p>Several studies also show <i>Centella asiatica</i> may be an effective supplement for improving mental health.</p> <p><i>Centella asiatica</i> has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety-related disorders, and may even be effective for <a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">treating depression</a>. <sup><a target="_blank" href="" rel="nofollow noreferrer">27</a></sup></p> <p>Similar to weight loss, taking gotu kola won't automatically cure mental health problems. </p> <p>But in conjunction with other positive habits (such as stress-management techniques, yoga, or meditation) and lifestyle changes (exercise, good nutrition, quality sleep), a gotu kola supplement could provide benefits.</p> <p>And besides the natural compounds that improve cognitive function and memory (see benefit #1 above), a 2017 study said it might be an effective way to boost your mood, too. <sup><a target="_blank" href="" rel="nofollow noreferrer">28</a></sup></p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section id="section3"> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset=""> <img src="" class="img-fluid" alt="gotu kola supplement"> </picture> <h2>Gotu kola dosage</h2> <p>You can take between 500 and 1000mg daily to reap the benefits of gotu kola. <sup><a target="_blank" href="" rel="nofollow noreferrer">29</a></sup></p> <p>As the long-term effects of taking gotu kola are not yet known, doctors recommend that you take it for 6 weeks, then cease use for 2 weeks. Sticking with this cycle keeps your risk of experiencing any side effects low.</p> <p>As supplements will contain varying amounts of gotu kola, be sure to read labels before you start taking it, and stick to the prescribed amounts.</p> <p>Keep in mind that some supplements, such as our <a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">Go2 Collagen Protein</a>, blend gotu kola with other healthy ingredients, like collagen protein and cacao powder.</p> <p>If you're using <i>Centella asiatica</i> as a topical cream, follow the instructions on the package and stick to the recommended amount to avoid any side-effects.</p> <h3>What are the side effects of gotu kola?</h3> <p>The side effects of gotu kola are listed as mild, though could include:</p> <ul> <li>Headache</li> <li>Upset stomach</li> <li>Nausea</li> <li>Dizziness</li> <li>Drowsiness</li> </ul> <p>Applying it topically could also lead to skin irritation if you have a skin allergy.</p> <p>To mitigate your risk, avoid taking high doses (>1000mg per day) of the herb, and stick to the 6 week on, 2 week off cycle.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section id="section4"> <h2>Major Takeaways</h2> <p>The benefits of gotu kola are well-researched and plentiful. Taking the herb can:</p> <ul> <li>Improve cognitive function</li> <li>Improve skin health</li> <li>Promote weight loss </li> <li>Give your body key micronutrients</li> <li>Improve circulatory health</li> <li>Reduce inflammation</li> <li>Reduce stress and anxiety</li> </ul> <p>Remember that the goal of <i>any</i> supplement, not just gotu kola, is to add to what you're <i>already</i> doing. So remember to stick with your other healthy habits, like exercise, nutrition, and sleeping enough.</p> </section> </article>

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