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Gotu Kola is a revered herb in traditional medicine with a rich history of use in Ayurvedic and Chinese practices. Known scientifically as Centella asiatica, Gotu Kola is not just a culinary staple but also a powerhouse of health benefits. In this article, we delve into the of advantages offered by this remarkable plant. From enhancing cognitive functions and promoting wound healing to its role in stress reduction and circulatory health, Gotu Kola stands out as a natural remedy with many healing properties.
What Is Gotu Kola?
Gotu kola, also known as Centella asiatica, is a small herbaceous plant native to Asia. It is commonly used in traditional medicine systems, including Ayurveda, to treat various health conditions.
Gotu kola has been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and it is often used to improve cognitive function, memory, and concentration. It may also be beneficial for improving blood circulation, reducing anxiety, and promoting wound healing. In addition to its medicinal uses, gotu kola is also used in culinary applications in some parts of Asia, where it is added to salads, soups, and curries. It is considered a nutritious herb and is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
What are the benefits of Gotu Kola?
Here are some of the key health benefits associated with Gotu Kola:
- Wound Healing and Skin Health: Gotu Kola has been used for its ability to speed up wound healing, reduce scarring, and improve skin health due to its anti-inflammatory and collagen-stimulating effects.
- Cognitive Benefits: It is believed to enhance cognitive functions, including memory and concentration, and is sometimes used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. A recent clinical study consisting of 60 elderly subjects with average age of 65 with mild cognitive deficiency indicated that C. asiatica extract administered at 500 mg dose twice per day during 6 months led to a significant cognitive improvement according to Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) scoring [PMC3359802]
- Research Dose: 500mg once or twice a day
- Gotu Kola has been found to improve some aspects of cognition in elderly women with dementia and in people with mild cognitive impairment. Reference: DOI 10.1088/1755-1315/755/1/012064
- Gotu kola (Centella asiatica) has been reported to have neuroprotective effects by different modes of action such as enzyme inhibition, prevention of amyloid plaque formation in Alzheimer’s disease, and decreasing oxidative stress. Reference: PMC3359802.
- Gotu Kola protects the mitochondria energy production machinery of the cell. Mitochondrial dysfunction is a key driver of aging and neurodegenerative disease, including Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Reference: PMC8275827
- In a study of vascular dementia after stroke, gotu kola extract improved memory and executive function. Side effects that arose as a result of a gotu kola extract therapy of 1000 mg/day were constipation and itching. Reference: PMID: 27340413.
- Anxiety and Stress Reduction: Gotu Kola possesses adaptogenic properties, which may help in reducing stress and anxiety levels.
- Circulatory Health: It supports circulatory health, potentially improving venous insufficiency and reducing the risk of varicose veins by strengthening blood vessels.
- Anti-Inflammatory and Antioxidant Properties: Gotu Kola contains compounds that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, contributing to its various health benefits.
- Mood Enhancement: Some studies suggest it may have a positive impact on mood and mental well-being.
- Treatment of Insomnia: Due to its sedative properties, Gotu Kola might be beneficial in treating sleep disorders like insomnia.
- Joint Health: It’s also used for managing conditions like arthritis due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Is Gotu Kola Safe?
Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica) may interact with certain medications, leading to adverse effects. Here are some of the medications that may interact with Gotu Kola, along with the severity of each interaction:
- Blood-thinning medications (e.g., warfarin, heparin) – Gotu Kola may enhance the effects of these medications, increasing the risk of bleeding. Severity: Moderate to Severe.
- Antihypertensive medications (e.g., calcium channel blockers, beta-blockers) – Gotu Kola may lower blood pressure and enhance the effects of these medications, leading to excessively low blood pressure. Severity: Moderate.
- Sedatives and hypnotics (e.g., benzodiazepines, barbiturates) – Gotu Kola may enhance the sedative effects of these medications, leading to excessive drowsiness and lethargy. Severity: Mild to Moderate.
- Chemotherapy drugs – Gotu Kola may interfere with the efficacy of certain chemotherapy drugs, reducing their effectiveness. Severity: Unknown.
- Thyroid medications – Gotu Kola may interfere with the absorption and efficacy of thyroid medications, leading to an underactive thyroid. Severity: Unknown.
Supplement Interactions with Gotu Kola
- Ginkgo biloba – Gotu Kola and Ginkgo biloba may enhance each other’s effects, increasing the risk of bleeding.
- St. John’s Wort – St. John’s Wort may decrease the effectiveness of Gotu Kola.
- Kava – Kava and Gotu Kola may enhance each other’s sedative effects, leading to excessive drowsiness and lethargy.
- Valerian – Valerian and Gotu Kola may enhance each other’s sedative effects, leading to excessive drowsiness and lethargy.
- Melatonin – Melatonin and Gotu Kola may enhance each other’s sedative effects, leading to excessive drowsiness and lethargy.
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Gotu Kola (Nature’s Way)
Gotu kola has been used in Asian cultures, including Ayurveda, for hundreds of years. The plant itself is a member of the parsley family and is grown in Southern and Eastern Asia and South Africa. It’s often boiled down into a tea.* Nature’s Way Gotu Kola supports longevity and vitality – we like to call it good vibes in a bottle.*
Take 2 capsules daily, preferably with food.
Amount Per 2 Capsule Serving
Gotu Kola … 950mg** (aerial parts)
Although this article discusses supplements in detail, don’t forget that we are absolutely committed to the “Food First” approach to nutrition. When it comes to your health, the totality of your eating habits far surpasses the impact of individual nutrients or any single supplement you consume. Even though this article doesn’t delve into the broader picture of your overall diet, it’s crucial to keep this element at the forefront of our minds. Your food needs to provide all the vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals to nourish your body systems down to the cellular level.
Food choices, rather than supplements, are the most critical factors for a healthy gut microbiome. These trillions of tiny inhabitants in your gut affect your brain waves; they orchestrate your immune system. They possess the power to create molecules that can switch genes on or off and are even capable of synthesizing neurotransmitters. Opting for organic foods and steering clear of plastic packaging (including those labeled BPA-free) is a smart move to limit toxin exposure. The sum of all these parts leads to a powerful conclusion: the ultimate key to your health lies in the quality and balance of the food you consume. Supplements are secondary.
To Sum It Up
Gotu Kola, or Centella asiatica, has been recognized for its wide range of potential health benefits, supported by both traditional uses and emerging scientific research. This herb is notable for its applications in improving cognitive functions, enhancing wound healing, and supporting circulatory health. While the historical use of Gotu Kola in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine provides a foundation for its therapeutic potential, ongoing scientific studies continue to explore and validate its effectiveness.
This Article is Not a Substitute for Medical Advice
Dietary supplements are not designed to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The Supplement Sciences website seeks to provide comprehensive access to the most relevant supplement information along with convenient online ordering. We do not provide medical advice and cannot guarantee that every product suggested is completely without risk. Since each person is unique in their health history and medication use, it is important to discuss supplements with your personal physician. Specifically, pregnant women and individuals being treated for cancer or liver or kidney problems must consult their physician about every nutritional supplement they plan to take. People taking medications for the treatment of HIV or with a history of organ transplant must not take supplements without consulting with their physician.