Gotu Kola is known as a longevity herb and is used widely in India as part of Ayurveda, their traditional medicine Ayurveda. This red flowered plant grows naturally in swampy areas of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Australia, China and southern United States. It has many names: Gotu Kola, Brahmi, Chi-hsueh Ts'ao, Indian Pennywort, Brahma-manduki, Marsh penny, Water pennywort.
It roots and leaves are used for medicinal purposes and provide important health benefits related to healthy veins and blood vessels to treat skin disorders, help with better memory improve brain function.
Gotu kola has a long history in the folk medicine of India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Madagascar and is still widely used in these countries today. It has been used for generations in India to promote relaxation, improve memory and aid meditation. In traditional Chinese medicine, the herb is believed to promote longevity. The Chinese name for Gotu Kola translates to “fountain of youth”. A Sri Lanka legend says that elephants have long life because they eat Gotu Kola.
Gotu Kola contains chemicals called triterpiners (saponis) like asiaticoside, madecassoside and madasiatic acid, which enhance the formulation of collagen in bones, cartilage and connective tissue. Asiaticoside and madecassoside have been shown to have anti-inflammatory actions (Jacker et al, 1982). Stimulation of hyaluronic acid and increased chondroitin sulphate was seen after incorporation of the total triterpene fraction of Centella asiatica into human embryonic fibroblast (Del Vecchio et al, 1984). It also contains fatty acids, amino acids, phytosterols and tannin.
These substances work to promote healthy blood vessels by strengthening their walls and improving blood flow. Gotu Kola encourages production of chemical messengers called neurotransmitters to help with brain function (4).
As we said above the Gotu Kola has been referred to as “good for the brain”. This oriental herb has demonstrated mild tranquilizing, anti- stress effects, as well as improving mental functions such as concentration and memory. It has a calming effect on the body and is chiefly used to support the central nervous system. It helps alleviate fatigue and reduce the effect of depression and insomnia. Gotu Kola may also be used to increase brain function, improving concentration and memory. (1,2,3)
Gotu Kola can relieve high blood pressure and helps the body defend against various toxins. It has a positive effect on the circulatory system, it improves the flow of blood while strengthening the veins and capillaries, congestive heart failure.( Life Sci. 2004 Dec.), (5,6).
Gotu kola is widely known and studied for its prevention of stomach ulcers. It secretes mucin, which protects the mucus membrane in the stomach from harsh substances. Gotu kola also helps heal ulcers. Liquid extracts of Gotu kola increase fibroblast (cellular healing) activity in stomach ulcers.(7)
One of its constituents, asiaticoside, works to stimulate skin repair and strengthen skin, hair, nails and connective tissue (Kartnig, 1988). It soothes and minimizes various veins and helps to minimize scarring and resolving skin conditions, psoriasis.(8)
These claims' axes are obviously given as an indication. Please note that the plant effect greatly depends on the amount implemented in the product. From a regulatory point of view, all claims appended on the labeling of all dietary supplements must be justified by pertinent bibliographical data file according to Regulation 1924/2006/EC.
1.Kartnig T. Clinical applications of Centella asiatica (L.) Urb. In Herb species and Medicinal Plants 3: 145-73, 1988
2. Nalini K, et al. Effect of Centella asiatica fresh leaf aqueous extract on learning and menory and biogenic amnine turnover in albino rats. Fytoterapia 63(3): 232-237,1992.
3.Bradwejn J, Zhou Y, Koszycki D, et al. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study on the effects of Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica) on acoustic startle response in healthy subjects. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2000;20:680-684.
4. Bradwejn J, Zhou Y, Koszycki D, Shlik J. "A double-blind, placebo-controlled study on the effects of Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica) on acoustic startle response in healthy subjects." Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology 2000 20(6):680-4.
5. Cesarone MR, Laurora G, De Sactis MT, et al. The microcirculatory activity of Centella asiatica
6. 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. 1987;38:46-50.
7. Cheng CL, Koo MW. Effects of Centella asiatica on Ethanol Induced Gastric Mucosal Lesions in Rats.Life Sci. Oct2000;67(21):2647-53.
8. Danese P, Carnevali C, et al. Allergic contact dermatitis due to Centella asiatica extract. Contact Dermatitis 1994;Sep, 31(3):201.