Gotu kola is from the perennial creeping plant, Centella asiatica (formerly known as Hydrocotyle asiatica), which is a member of the parsley family. It is native to India, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Africa, Australia, China, and Indonesia.
Gotu kola has a long history of use, dating back to ancient Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. Gotu kola is mentioned in the Shennong Herbal, compiled in China roughly 2,000 years ago, and has been widely used medicinally since 1700 AD. It has been used to treat leprosy in Mauritius since 1852; to treat wounds and gonorrhea in the Philippines; and to treat fever and respiratory infections in China.
The most popular use of gotu kola in the United States is the treatment for varicose veins or cellulitis. Preliminary evidence suggests short-term efficacy (6-12 months) of the total triterpenic fraction of Centella asiatica (TTFCA) in the treatment of "chronic venous insufficiency" (a syndrome characterized by lower extremity swelling, varicosities, pain, itching, atrophic skin changes, and ulcerations, possibly due to venous valvular incompetence or a post-thrombotic syndrome).
While quality human evidence on the efficacy of gotu kola is still lacking, gotu kola can now be found worldwide as a component of skin creams, lotions, hair conditioners, shampoos, tablets, drops, ointments, powders, and injections. Gotu kola is not related to the kola nut (Cola nitida, Cola acuminata). Gotu kola is not a stimulant and does not contain caffeine.
Antanan gede, asiaticoside, Asiatic pennywort, asiatischer wassernabel, bavilacqua, Blasteostimulina®, brahmi, brahmi-buti, brahmi manduc(a) parni, calingan rambat, Centasium®, Centalase®, Centellase®, Centella coriacea, Centella asiatica triterpenic fraction (CATTF), coda-gam, Emdecassol®, Fo-Ti-Teng®, gagan-gagan, gang-gagan, HU300, hydrocotyle, Hydrocotyle asiastica, hydrocolyte asiatique, idrocotyle, Indian pennywort, Indian water navelwort, indischer wassernabel, kaki kuda, kaki kuta, kerok batok, kos tekosan, lui gong gen, Madecassol®, marsh penny, pagaga, panegowan, papaiduh, pegagan, pepiduh, piduh, puhe beta, rending, sheep rot, talepetrako, tete kadho, tete karo, thankuni, thick-leaved pennywort, titrated extract from Centella asiatica (TECA), total triterpenic fraction of Centella asiatica (TTFCA), Trofolastin®, tsubo-kusa, tungchian, tungke-tunfke, water pennyrot, white rot.
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Chronic venous insufficiency/varicose veins
Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) is a term more commonly used in Europe than the United States. It describes a syndrome characterized by lower extremity swelling, varicosities, pain, itching, atrophic skin changes, and ulcerations. Multiple small trials suggest that the total triterpenoid fraction of
In Ayurvedic (traditional Indian) medicine, gotu kola is said to develop the crown chakra, the energy center at the top of the head, and to balance the right and left hemispheres of the brain. Preliminary evidence has demonstrated anxiolytic properties of gotu kola, although this activity may or may not apply to humans. Although preliminary findings are promising, more study is needed in this area.
Study results on gotu kola and cognitive function are mixed. Additional research is needed in this area.
Preliminary studies have suggested beneficial effects of the total triterpenoid fraction of
Study results on gotu kola and liver disease are mixed. Additional research is needed in this area.
Preliminary study has demonstrated the ability of