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Gotu Kola (Pennywort or Centella asiatica) is known for increasing blood vessel and collagen growth with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties while preventing swelling [R].

I want to try Gotu Kola tea for the improved neurochemistry and drug interactions; it excites dopamine and has stronger effects than caffeine. Read the benefits of Gotu Kola below.

What is Gotu Kola Plant?

Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica) is one of the herbs used in a Tai-Chi tradition for longevity.

The plant itself can soak up heavy metals from the soil. As such, ensuring the source you are consuming is organic, or at least doesn’t contain dangerous heavy metals, is important. Copper accumulates in its roots; manganese and lead accumulate in the leaves [R].

Not only does Gotu Kola increase the potency of THC, caffeine, and sex hormones, it lowers inflammation, improves long-term memory, and improves healing.

Health Benefits of Gotu Kola

1) Gotu Kola Prevents Hair Loss

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Gotu Kola increased hair growth in six rats, increasing the number of hairs per area and the length of each hair [R]. Although, it’s even better when combined with Aloe Vera, Eclipta alba (false daisy), Ocimum sanctum (holy basil), and Emblica officinalis (Amla).

Gotu Kola also lowered free radicals and stress in mice, both known to cause hair loss [R, R, R].

2) Gotu Kola Protects Blood Vessels

The terpenes in Gotu Kola increase collagen production, leading to lower blood pressure and help with swelling (edema) [R].

This was also found in a placebo-controlled study [R].

3) Gotu Kola Treats Psoriasis

Gotu Kola can inhibit skin cell reproduction. While it is a treatment for psoriasis, it is not as strong as the standard drug used (psoralen) [R].

4) Gotu Kola Treats Stomach Ulcers

Gotu Kola increased cell healing and reduced the size of ulcers in rats (by reducing myeloperoxidase and increasing bFGF) [R, R, R].

5) Gotu Kola May Heal Wounds and Cellulite

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Asiaticasoide, found in Gotu Kola, increased skin strength and skin collagen to better heal wounds in pigs and rats [R].

It also increased SOD, catalase, glutathione, Vitamin E, and Vitamin C in skin damage in rats [R, R].

Asiatic acid, also in Gotu Kola, increased collagen production, further benefiting the healing of wounds [R].

Similar results have been found for Gotu Kola in regards to improving the healing of burns [R, R].

Further, Gotu Kola has been used for stretch marks, raised scars, inflammation (phlebitis and cellulite), and leprosy [R].

6) Gotu Kola Reduces Anxiety

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In rats, Gotu Kola improved anxiety; in humans, Gotu Kola prevented being easily startled [R, R].

7) Gotu Kola Increases cAMP Response (CREB)

The Gotu Kola leaf increased the cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) [R].

CREB is increased by antidepressants and is involved in forming long-term memories [R, R].

8) Gotu Kola Reduces Inflammation

Asiatic acid and madecassic acid, found in Gotu Kola, inhibited IL-1 beta, IL-6, and TNF-alpha (as well as inhibiting iNOS and COX-2) in bacteria-infected cells [R, R].

Thus, it prevented going into shock from infection and increased clotting, which is useful for infected cuts [R].

9) Gotu Kola Prevents Free Radical Damage

The phenols in Gotu Kola provide antioxidant and anti-tumor benefits in mouse cells [R].

10) Gotu Kola Increases Serotonin and Dopamine and Lowers Cortisol

In rats, Gotu Kola lowered their version of cortisol (corticosterone) and increased serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine [R].

Lower cortisol improves long-term memory and lowers aggression [R].

It may also be useful for sleep disorders [R].

11) Gotu Kola Prevents Thrombosis

A component in Gotu Kola prevented thrombosis by inhibiting blood clotting in certain rat models [R, R].

12) Gotu Kola Kills Cancer and Slows Tumor Growth

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Known as an antiproliferative, Gotu Kola slowed the growth of some types of human tumor cells [R].

Got Kola inhibited human melanoma and breast cancer cells in test-tube models, however clinical research is needed [RR].

13) Gotu Kola Treats Herpes

Gotu Kola helped clear up herpes by inhibiting herpes virus (HSV-1 and HSV-2) in test tube cultures. The effect was stronger when combined with mango [R, R].

14) Gotu Kola Treats Alzheimer’s

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Gotu Kola prevented nerve cell death in test tube models of Alzheimer’s by reducing the negative effects of amyloid beta [R].

15) Gotu Kola May Help Mood Disorders Such as Depression

Since Gotu Kola decreases inflammation, researchers are studying whether it could treat schizophrenia and depression [RR].

Gotu Kola also lowered signs of despair in rats [R].

Gotu Kola Constituents

Gotu Kola contains:

  • centellasaponins A, B, C, and D,
  • madecassoside (brahminoside),
  • asiaticoside A, B, C, D, E and F,
  • sceffoleoside A,
  • asiatic acid,
  • madecassic acid (brahmic acid),
  • isothankunic acid,
  • alpha-humulene,
  • germacrene B/D,
  • beta caryophyllene,
  • centellin,
  • asiaticin,
  • cenetellicin [R, R, R].

Gotu Kola Interactions

Gotu Kola inhibits CYP2C9, CYP2D6, CYP3A4, which are a part of many drug-drug interactions [R].

This increases the potency of ibuprofen, THC, ketamine and others. It produces an action similar to St. John’s Wort, Ginkgo Biloba, and Modafinil (CYP2C9) [R].

It increases the potency of opioids, antipsychotics, beta-blockers, amphetamines, and others, which is similar to cannabis and cocaine (CYP2D6) [R].

Also, it increases the potency of sex hormones, benzodiazepines, statins, chemotherapy, caffeine, cocaine, and others, which acts similarly to grapefruit juice (CYP3A4) [R].

Gotu Kola Side Effects

Gotu Kola extract dosed at 300 mg per day for 21 days in humans found no side effects [R]. However, some people have associated skin itching or burning from a cream of Gotu Kola, or low blood pressure, headache, nausea, dizziness, and drowsiness with too much Gotu Kola tea.

Gotu Kola Dosage

A lot of people take around 1000 mg of Gotu Kola per day in capsules. Gotu Kola tea is another method and people have 1-5 cups over the day with about 1 g per cup.

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Joe’s Experience With Gotu Kola

I’ve taken Gotu Kola when I was tired and it woke me up and other times where it relaxed me, so it’s somewhat balancing.

I find that it’s good for brain function, but not suited for me exactly because it’s a little too much of an immune stimulant.  However, I think it would be good for most people, especially Th2 dominant people.

Gotu Kola Reviews

Reviewer2044694:

“I can’t believe how often I go into a room and REMEMBER what I came in for. That’s a huge change, and a very pleasant one.”

Reviewer1729696:

“Hi, I had a problem with poor circulation,and the first day that I took Gotu kola I started having a feeling of my blood flowing in my legs. No joke, this stuff works!!

And i’ve been taking it for 5 days now and my whole body feels like I’m having my blood flow properly for the first time in years.

And also I suffer from multiple sclerosis and I haven’t had any numbness or tingling in my legs since I started taking this! I just feel so healthy!

Also I had been having a problem with not getting enough sleep, I’ve tried various prescription drugs and none of them worked. The gotu kola made me sleep so well all night, this is a blessing from Jehovah God!!! Alisa.”

Reviewer3270238:

“Increases mental stamina, concentration and reduces anxiety. Its like an adaptogen for the brain.”

Health Tools I Wish I Had When I Was Sick

At SelfHacked, it’s our goal to offer our readers all the tools possible to get optimally healthy. When I was struggling with chronic health issues I felt stuck because I didn’t have any tools to help me get better. I had to spend literally thousands of hours trying to read through studies on pubmed to figure out how the body worked and how to fix it.

That’s why I decided to create tools that will help others cut down the guesswork:

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  • SelfHacked Secrets – an ebook where we examine and explain the biggest overlooked environmental factors that cause disease. This ebook is a great place to start your journey if you want to learn the essential steps to optimizing your health.
  • SelfHacked Elimination Diet course – a video course that will help you figure out which diet works best for you
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  • Biohacking insomnia – an ebook on how to get great sleep
  • Lectin Avoidance Cookbook – an e-cookbook for people with food sensitivities
  • BrainGauge – a device that detects subtle brain changes and allows you to test what’s working for you
  • SelfHacked VIP – an area where you can ask me (Joe) questions about health topics

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20 COMMENTS

  • Muhammad

    We use gotu kola as vegetable curry.

  • ANXIOUS MAN

    please can GOTU KOLA be used for pile treatment?

  • Anna

    Hi
    I was wondering.

    Are all above fantastic benefits are based on oral supplement intate? or topical application???

  • march192005

    can a gotu kola treat a person who have goiter?

  • Emintx

    I’ve been taking gotu kola for most of a year. I’ve noticed the mental clarity and a surprise benefit is that my vision is better. When I’ve run out twice in this last year, within a week, I’ve noticed fogbrain and that my eyes are strained more to focus. It could be that I have dry eye as I’m aging and this affects it, but I’m not sure. I can only attest that, for me, the benefits are apparent and I haven’t noted any drawbacks. I’m a 47 y/o perimenopausal female in decent health.

  • Kelsey brennan

    The paper he cited said it’s a topical application. There are topical hair products made of gotu kola on amazon

  • Chris Beddoes

    I read on your page on Gotu Kola that it might help prevent hair loss. I will quote part of the sentence printed “Although, it’s even better when combined with Aloe Vera, Eclipta alba (false daisy), Ocimum sanctum (holy basil), and Emblica officinalis (Amla).”
    I am unsure whether the writer meant that you take these four herbs in capsule form along with the Gotu Kola Tincture or whether you obtain the herbs in powdered form and then make up a paste which presumably you apply to your hair/scalp and leave overnight?
    Most of these powerdered herbs can be obtained at reasonable prices with Eclipta alba (false daisy) being a fair bit more.
    I have read on a site (I can no longer trace) that you can make up smoothies, (naturally if all the contents are sold as edible) as some of the ingredients are more effective if taken orally.
    I have already purchased a qty off Gotu Kola tincture with Vegetable Glycerite at 1:1 strenght which I can’t imagine is an ideal preperation to mix with dry herbs.
    If any other readers have tried with or without success this combination of herbs I would be very grateful if they would post their experiences of any improvement in their hair regrowth or just as importantly arrested loss..
    On another issue the supplier has regretably not provided me with requested info to whether their Gotu Kola tincture will clash with any existing Vitamins and supplements I have been taking for some time. Most are commonplace, Solgar Multivitamins with Brain Essentials, Vitamin D, Magnesium Citrate and Calcium (taken at bedtime) Fish Oil tablets, One a day Iron and Milk Thistle tincture for light but daily (evening) Guinness consumption. Perhaps I should put all these on hold (except Guiness) as I understand Gotu Kola should not be taken for long peroids of time.
    I am a very strong believer in herbal medicine, but as a victim of hypothyrodism I have to take 125mcg of Levothyroxine daily and this condition for many brings chronic insomnia. I now take a small and diminishing dose of Valium which after 15 years of other awful ‘sleeping pills’ is providing me with the best quality of sleep yet!
    Below is the link to the SelfHacked page on Goto Kola.
    Sincerest thanks to anyone who has taken the time and trouble to read this long post.
    Chris
    https://www.selfhacked.com/blog/gotu-kola-2/#1_Gotu_Kola_Prevents_Hair_Loss

  • Eli

    I try to avoid liquid extracts like the Herb Pharm product due to the increased rates of degradation in solution. A study on the bacoside degradation of Bacopa titled “Stability Studies of Crude Plant Material of Bacopa monnieri and Quantitative Determination of Bacopaside I and Bacoside A by HPLC” was most enlightening.

    Hopefully the formatting and spacing doesn’t go haywire when this is submitted as a post.

    From the discussion section:

    Therefore, good stability of the plant materials, mainly sugar-containing compounds, was proposed to be achieved by keeping them at the low temperature and under dry storage conditions since the rate of reduction of these saponins was found to be slow in long-term studies as compared with accelerated and real-time studies. Phrompittayarat et al. (2007) studied the stability of bacopaside I and bacoside A 3 in dried ethanolic extract of Brahmi plant and observed rapid degradation of bacopaside I and bacoside A 3 in the solution form than in semi-solid and solid forms of Brahmi plant material. It is observed that the degradation of most of the chemicals generally is faster in solution than in solid and semi- solid forms with higher molecular mobility in solution and at the higher temperature. These studies also suggest that
    the manufacturing process of Brahmi extract should be done at a temperature lower than 60 C in order to prevent decomposition of bacopaside I and bacoside A 3 in the extract and the extract should be kept as concentrated semi-solid form rather than in the diluted form. Our study is based on crude plant
    material of Brahmi and our findings are in agreement with Phrompittayarat et al. (2007) and suggest that low temperature favours the stability of saponins, bacopaside I and bacoside A. These findings also demonstrate that it is better to store the plant material rather than plant extract for the short duration to obtain the maximum concentration of active saponins, and that fresh plant material should be used to obtain the maximum concentration of active saponins.

  • Tyler

    I tried Gotu Kola and I didn’t notice any changes in me at all whatsoever between taking it or not taking it. Either I just don’t need it or it doesn’t do what it claims to do.

  • Sebastian Aguiar, MSc

    Caffeine is not a nootropic. ‘Nootropic’ has a very precise definition.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nootropic

    I would like to learn more about possible synergy between Bacopa monnieri and Gotu Kola. In Ayurveda, I believe they are often prescribed together.

  • Ted Hu

    Article recommends organic Gotu yet buy link points to non-organic one. Any organic suggestions?

    I also tried to comment via the Facebook plugin below and it returned an error saying its not properly configured. It’s worked in the past.

    1. Nattha Wannissorn, PhD
  • Allison

    I have been using gotu kola for a couple of months. I have aspergers and a big part of that is anxiety (socially mainly), and the ability to focus due to the overwhelming world. (Aspergers and adhd look very similar in ways, but extremely opposite at the same time). It has really helped me. I feel less anxious, more happy, (I even think it helps me be more expressive), and able to focus better. I can really enjoy my yoga practice! It has made my skin amazing, I don’t break out at all. It also made my nails shiny. I love this herb.

  • Rédha

    What about Gotu kola and OCD?

  • Abbie

    i usually rate such things in comparison to the most popular highly available and quickly noticeable nootropic on the market, caffeine. if gotu kola doesnt do any of the quick and noticeable effects of caffeine, then its no nootropic.

    1. Nattha Wannissorn, PhD

      I disagree as they do different things.

      1. Abbie

        caffeine is confirmed widely used nootropic and gotu kola is considered nootropic as well. how do they work differently in that department? i think you are confusing the idea of how a nootropic works. ill suggest you try to do tasks without using caffeine one day and then the next using it and see how it works, that is called the nootropic effect. then try to compare nootropics like gotu kola to that please

        1. Nattha Wannissorn, PhD

          I understand, but caffeine is more stimulating that’s what I mean. I guess it’s part of the nootropic effect but not all of it.

  • Dendeki

    used it many times, by itself as herbal pills format but also in combination drinks and herbal mixtures. results are; zero. never noticed anything and if people care to know, its a bioaccumilator of metals, so be warned. even the organic labels might be deceiving since its acquired from areas of low quality control in mid asia. here is a summary from wiki; “In the context of phytoremediation, C. asiatica is a potential phytoextraction tool owing to its ability to take up and translocate metals from root to shoot when grown in heavy-metal-contaminated soil”

  • Ollie

    Increased THC potency 😉

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