Gotu Kola, also most commonly known as Centella asiatica, is a medicinal herb widely used as a blood purifier as well as for relieving of high blood pressure, for memory enhancement and promoting longevity. In Ayurveda, Gotu Kola is one of the main herbs for revitalizing the nerves and brain cells. It is important for revitalizing the brain and nervous system, improving cognition, increasing attention span and concentration and combating aging.
Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica) is also known with some other familiar names as Indian Pennywort, Jal Brahmi and Mandookaparni, Brahmi, Tsubokusa. It is a clonal, perennial herbaceous creeper belonging to the family Umbellifere (Apiceae) and is found in most tropical and subtropical countries growing in swampy areas, including parts of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, and South Africa and South pacific and Eastern Europe. In China, Gotu Kola is one of the reported “miracle elixirs of life” known over 2000 years ago. Gotu Kola is also used in many emotional disorders, such as depression, that were thought to be rooted in physical problems.
Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatic), sometimes called as the ‘herb of longevity’, is a traditional medicine that is mostly used and renowned in Ayurveda but has some usage in Traditional Chinese usage as well. It is most commonly known as a cognitive enhancing supplement that is somewhat ‘interchangeable’ with Bacopa monnieri (insofar that the two share many of the same names) but has additional therapeutic benefits for both physical and mental health including cardiovascular health (in particular, chronic venous insufficiency), skin regeneration rates and wound healing, and possible benefits to anxiety and rheumatism. This medicinal herb has the power to boost brainpower and promote liver and kidney health. It is used to relieve of emotional disorders, such as depression, that were thought to be rooted in physical problems. In the Western medicine, during the middle of the twentieth century, Gotu Kola reported to have shown positive results in relieving of leprosy.
The common health benefits of Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatic) include:
- Improves cognitive function 
- Enhances memory and learning 
- Increases attention and concentration 
- Enhances longevity 
- Has an effect on people who have of Alzheimer›s disease 
- Reduces signs of stress 
- Is prescribed in Chinese medicine to people with depression 
- Improves mood 
- People report that it improves circulation
- May help with sleep 
- May promote wound healing and minimize scarring 
- May help with rheumatoid Arthritis 
- Have anti-inflammatory properties 
Actually, Gotu Kola is associated with manifold health benefits. It is an anti-oxidant. Some people use Gotu Kola for sunstroke, tonsil swelling, excess fluid around the lungs, liver health issues, stomach issues, diarrhea, indigestion, stomach problems, mental health issues, difficulty breathing, weak blood cells, blood sugar control, and longevity. Some women use Gotu Kola for avoiding pregnancy, absence of menstrual periods, and to arouse sexual desire.
How it works
Gotu kola improves brain health and brain function in several ways. It helps increase the length and branches of neuron dendrites. It has been used as an herbal brain tonic for mental disorders and enhancing memory, Gotu Kola balances neurotransmitter levels in the brain an impacts hormones and neurotransmitters. It sharpens the mind. Gotu kola extract increases dendrite and axon growth in brain cells which helps memory. It has also been revered for thousands of years for boosting memory. Gotu kola extract can increase the availability of acetylcholine (ACh) in the brain. It does it by averting ACh from breaking down.
Important indications for Gotu kola in Ayurveda include its use for cognitive properties as a brain tonic, in the relief of mental disorders, and as a memory-enhancing agent. Gotu kola is shown to improve neuronal morphology and learning performance and enhance memory retention in animal models. Several mechanisms of action of Gotu kola were demonstrated for enhancing cognitive function, such as the inhibition of acetylcholinesterase activity, reduction of phospholipase A2 (PLA2) activity, protection against ß-amyloid formation, and protection from brain damage. Furthermore, Gotu kola has also shown to have anti-stress, mood elevating, anxiolytic and neurologically calming properties in pre-clinical studies. In animal models, asiaticoside and asiatic acid showed neuroprotective, mood improvement, and anxiolytic effects. Learning and memory improvements facilitated by asiatic acid have been observed in passive and active avoidance tests. From these data and its use in traditional medicine, Gotu kola is selected as one of the active ingredients in nutraceutical products for improving brain function.
Gotu kola is generally safe and well tolerated. However, in some cases, it may cause headache, upset stomach, and dizziness. The pregnant and breast-feeding women should only apply to the skin. If you are pregnant and breast-feeding, avoid taking Gotu Kola by mouth.
Gotu Kola might cause liver damage. So people who already have a liver disease such as hepatitis should avoid using gotu kola as it may make liver problems worse. Also if you have a scheduled surgery, stop using Gotu Kola at least 2 weeks before the scheduled surgery. Otherwise it may cause too much sleepiness. Consult your doctor before using any supplements.
A typical daily dose of Gotu Kola can be approximately 600 mg of dried leaves or infusion, single-dose capsules (300 mg to 680 mg, thrice daily), a 10-mg concentrated extract, also available in capsules. Other preparations include Madecassol tablets 10 mg 3 times daily, tincture 1 ml, and Emdecassol ointment twice daily. Dried Gotu Kola leaf as a tea, by adding 1-2 teaspoons (5-10 g) to about 2/3 cup (150 ml) of boiling water and allowing it to steep for 10 to 15 min and three cups (750 ml) are usually suggested per day and fluid extract (1/2-1 teaspoon equivalent to 3-5 ml/day or a tincture (2-4 teaspoons equivalent to 10-20 ml per day) are sometimes recommended. The standardized Gotu Kola extract containing up to 100% total saponins (triterpenoids), 60 mg once or twice per day, are frequently used in modern herbal medicine.
Usually commercial manufacturers have several dosage regimens listed for Gotu Kola. You are advised to consult your physician or healthcare provider to determine an appropriate dose level for you.