Herbs have been a part of of your life for years. Most of them are popular for their medicinal value and have been widely used in traditional and ayurvedic medicines. One such herb with incredible health benefits is Gotu Kola. Read through this HealthSpectra post to learn more about the amazing health benefits of Gotu Kola.
What Is Gotu Kola?
Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica or Pennywort) is a herb used for longevity in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. It is known for its incredible health benefits like increasing blood vessel, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, besides collagen growth.
Surprisingly, the plant has the ability to soak up heavy metals from the soil. Copper accumulates in its roots, while manganese and lead accumulate in the leaves. It is of good medicinal value, provided the source is organic farming.
What Are The Constituents In Gotu Kola?
The components of Gotu Kola include: centellasaponins A, B, C, and D; asiaticoside A, B, C, D, E and F; madecassoside (brahminoside); asiatic acid; sceffoleoside A; germacrene B/D; isothankunic acid; beta caryophyllene; centellin; alpha-humulene; cenetellicin; madecassic acid (brahmic acid); asiaticin.
Interactions Of Gotu Kola
- Gotu Kola inhibits CYP2C9, CYP2D6, CYP3A4 (they are a part of many drug-drug interactions).
- An action similar to St. John’s Wort, Ginkgo Biloba, and Modafinil (CYP2C9) is produced.
- The herb increases the potency of antipsychotics, opioids, beta-blockers, amphetamines, and others, which is similar to cannabis and cocaine (CYP2D6).
- It increases the potency of sex hormones, benzodiazepines, statins, chemotherapy, caffeine, cocaine, and others, which acts similarly to grapefruit juice (CYP3A4).
Note: Gotu kola does not have caffeine, and is not a stimulant.
How Does Gotu Kola Work?
Certain chemicals present in Gotu kola seem to decrease inflammation and also decrease blood pressure in veins. Gotu kola also seems to increase collagen production, which is important for wound healing. Apart from these, several health benefits were found out in various studies.
Health Benefits Of Gotu Kola:
The herb increases the potency of sex hormones, THC, and caffeine, while lowering the inflammation. Below are more incredible health benefits of Gotu Kola, backed by research:
1) Gotu Kola As Medicine For Hair Loss: In a study published in a journal, Gotu kola increased hair growth in six rats. The herb increases the number of hairs per area as well as the hair length. It works even better when combined with Eclipta alba, Aloe Vera, Ocimum sanctum, and Emblica Officinalis. It works by lowering the free radicals and stress in mice.
2) Gotu Kola Protects Blood Vessels: The collagen production increased due to the terpenes in Gotu Kola, leading to lower blood pressure. It also helped lowering swelling or edema.
3) Gotu Kola Treats Psoriasis: By inhibiting the skin cell reproduction, Gotu Kola works as the treatment for psoriasis.
4) Gotu Kola Treats Stomach Ulcers: By increasing bFGF and reducing myeloperoxidase, Gotu Kola increased cell-healing, thereby reducing the ulcers in rats.
5) Gotu Kola Heals Wounds and Cellulite: Asiaticasoide in Gotu Kola enhanced the skin collagen and strength to better heal the wounds. Even catalase, SOD, Vitamin C, Vitamin E were increased in rats. Asiatic acid increased collagen production, helping with wound healing. The herb also worked in improving the healing of burns.
Also, Gotu Kola heals scars, stretch marks, and inflammation (phlebitis and cellulite).
6) Gotu Kola Reduces Anxiety: In humans, the herb helped prevent easily being startled and reduced anxiety.
7) Gotu Kola Increases CAMP Response (CREB): The CAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) is enhanced by the herb. Antidepressants increase CREB and helps form long-term memories.
8) Gotu Kola Reduces Inflammation: The herb contains Asiatic acid and madecassic acid which inhibits IL-1 beta, IL-6, and TNF-alpha in bacteria-infected cells, thereby preventing the state of shock from increased clotting or infection.
9) Free Radical Damage Is Prevented: Gotu Kola contains phenols, which offer antioxidant and anti-tumor activities or benefits in mouse cells.
10) Gotu Kola Increases Serotonin and Dopamine and Lowers Cortisol: Studies revealed that Gotu Kola lowered corticosterone and increased dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine levels.Thus, long-term memory can be enhanced and the aggression can be lowered, besides helping with sleep disorders.
11) Gotu Kola Prevents Thrombosis: In some rat models, a Gotu Kola component inhibits blood clotting, thereby preventing thrombosis.
12) Kills Cancer and Slows Tumor Growth: The herb slowed the growth of human tumour cells. Further research in this area is required.
13) Gotu Kola Treats Herpes: By inhibiting herpes virus (HSV-1 and HSV-2) in test tube cultures, the herb helped clear up the virus. When combined with mango, the effect was even stronger.
14) Acts As Medicine For Alzheimer’s: Gotu Kola acted as an antiproliferative and slowed the growth of some types of human tumor cells in a few studies.
What Are The Side effects Of Gotu Kola?
According to a study, the extract dosed at 300 mg Gotu Kola per day in humans for 21 days showed no side effects. However, reviews from some users revealed a few side effects with the use of the herb.
- Associated skin itching or burning (with a cream of Gotu Kola)
- Low blood pressure (with excess Gotu Kola tea)
- Headache (with excess Gotu Kola tea)
- Nausea (with excess Gotu Kola tea)
- Dizziness (with excess Gotu Kola tea)
- Drowsiness with too much Gotu Kola tea
How Much and How to Use Or Consume Gotu Kola?
Dosages of gotu kola in crude form range from 1.5 to 4 g/day. Several wound-healing studies involved topical application of a hydrogel ointment containing a titrated extract of C. asiatica (TECA). Venous insufficiency and wound healing at doses of 30 to 90 mg/day are supported by several clinical trials.
However, commercial manufacturers have numerous dosage regimens for Gotu kola.
Contraindications Associated With Gotu Kola
Avoid the use of Gotu Kola incase of hypersensitivity to the ingredients of C. asiatica or gotu kola.
Also, avoid using Gotu Kola during lactation and pregnancy to avoid emmenagogue effects.
In short, Gotu Kola is a herb with incredible health benefits but need to be used as per the tolerance and dosage levels. However, consult your physician before taking in any medication to rest assured.