The healing power of gotu kola

Gotu kola is a plant that is used in Ayurveda, among other things. It is a plant that is added to food. It is also used mixed with fruit in smoothies. You can also make juice from the leaves; This is good, among other things, against stomach ulcers caused by medications such as aspirin. It is also an ingredient in salads, rice dishes and curries. The leaves have a strong aroma. The gotu kola originates from Southeast Asia, but now grows in many warmer areas of the world. It is an easy plant to keep; it can be picked all year round. It is somewhat similar in appearance and characteristics to the dog trot. NB! This article is written from the personal view of the author and may contain information that is not scientifically substantiated and/or in line with the general view.


  • Where does gotu kola grow?
  • Naming gotu kola
  • History gotu kola
  • Active ingredients gotu kola
  • Gotu kola, good for the skin
  • Gotu kola, against scars
  • Centella asiatica, good for blood vessels
  • Gotu kola, good for connective tissue
  • Gotu kola, good for the brain
  • Gotu kola, good for the body
  • Other medicinal effects
  • Before doing a treatment


Where does gotu kola grow?

Gotu kola is a plant native to Southeast Asia. The leaves are used in various drinks and dishes. In addition, the plant has an extensive arsenal of medicinal powers. The plant is a ground cover and grows to a height of about 20 centimeters. In addition to Southeast Asia, the plant is now also found in Oceania, New Guinea, South Africa, Madagascar, Japan, China and Iran.

Naming gotu kola

The Latin name of this plant is Centella Asiatica . Centella could come from ‘Cente’ which means ‘development’. The plant never stops growing and is therefore always developing. Asiatica is an adjective that is of course given because the plant originally comes from Asia. The name ‘navel’ can be explained by looking at the shape of the leaf; there is a clear center, from which the veins depart to the edges of the leaf, comparable to the lines of a navel. Dutch has some alternative names for this plant: Hydrocatyle, Indian pennywort, Asian pennywort and Asian pennywort.

History gotu kola

Gotu kola has been used for centuries in Ayurveda, the Indian traditional medicine. The plant is called ‘Brahmi’ in India, which in Dutch means: ‘Bringer of the knowledge of Brahman’. It is considered perhaps the most medicinal plant in Southeast Asia. It is used for gastrointestinal ulcers, leprosy, skin infections, bruises, mental exhaustion, syphilis, epilepsy, diarrhea, fever, asthma and many more conditions.

Active ingredients gotu kola

The stems and leaves of gotu kola are harvested. It can be picked all year round. The main ingredients are triterpenoid saponins such as asiaticoside, madecassoside, hydroxyasiaticoside, glycosides of asiatic acid, madasiic acid, brahmoside, brahminoside, thankuniside, isothankuniside and indocentelloside. It also contains a reasonable amount of non-esterified triterpenic acids including: asiatic acid, madasiic acid, brahmic acid, thankunic acid, isothankunic acid and indocentic acid. It contains all kinds of traces of essential oils, it contains the phytosterols campesterol, betasitosterol and stigmasterol. It also contains the flavonoids quercetin, kaemferol and flavonol glycosides derived from kaemferol and quercetin. To a lesser extent, gotu kola contains: polyalkynes, the bitter substance vellarine, amino acids, the vitamins beta-carotene, vitamin C, Inositol, B1 and B2, the minerals potassium, calcium, chromium, iron, phosphorus, selenium, silicon, tin and zinc. , betulinic acid, the carbohydrates glucose, rhamnose, centellose and inulin, linoleic acid, oleic acid, palmitic acid and stearic acid, alkaloids and pectin.

Gotu kola, good for the skin

The most important medicinal applications concern the external effect of gotu kola. The plant has a wound healing effect and promotes the formation of new connective tissue. There are capillaries in the tissue; gotu kola also stimulates the production of new capillaries. It is a tonic for the skin and promotes skin elasticity. Kaemferol and quercetin ensure better resilience of the veins located just under the skin. Furthermore, this plant is anti-inflammatory for the skin and fights some bacteria. Because of these medicinal properties, gotu kola is used for:

  • Wounds, poorly healing wounds, burns,
  • Surgical wounds, open leg,
  • Boils, ulcers, abscesses,
  • Damaged skin and ulcers due to radiotherapy,
  • Varicose veins, hemorrhoids,
  • Fissures, anal fissures, nipple fissures,
  • Cellulite or orange peel peel,
  • Atonic wounds, pressure sores, gangrene,
  • Bruises, sprains

To a lesser extent, gotu kola is used for:

  • Eczema, psoriasis, Ichtyasis,
  • Scleroderma,
  • diaper eczema,
  • Skin lesions due to leprosy,
  • Rheumatic conditions.


Gotu kola, against scars

Gotu kola reduces excessive scars. Asiaticoside is the active substance in this. It reduces the inflammation phase during the formation of a scar. Furthermore, gotu kola reduces contraction of the skin, which can be a problem, especially after burns. For this reason, guta kola is used by herbalists for the following indications:

  • Excessive scarring,
  • scar growth,
  • skin hardening,
  • To prevent excessively large scars,
  • Burns.


Cosmetic use: Gotu kola is added to ointments that serve as facial masks. It strengthens collagen and thus the entire skin. Cellulite is treated with it. An extract of the plant is usually added to an ointment or cream.


Centella asiatica, good for blood vessels

Internal use of gotu kola is not the most common application; that is external use. Yet the plant has a number of interesting medicinal uses. Centella asiatica stimulates venous circulation or blood circulation. The vascular walls of the veins are protected by this medicinal plant. Collagen formation around the veins is promoted. The fragility of the capillaries is reduced. Flavonoids ensure that microcirculation is improved. These medicinal properties make gotu kola a good medicinal plant for the following indications:

Gotu kola leaf / Source: Paul venter, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA-3.0)

  • Varicose veins
  • Feeling of heaviness in the legs,
  • Calf cramps due to venous engorgement,
  • Edema around the ankles,
  • Open leg or spasmodic ulcer,
  • Restless legs,
  • Tingling, sensory disturbances, itching,
  • frostbite wounds,
  • Hemorrhoids,
  • Prevention of phlebitis and pressure sores in patients who lie in bed for a long time,
  • Lymphatic insufficiency, lymphedema,
  • Diabetic microangiopathy,
  • Macular degeneration or retinal degeneration.


Gotu kola, good for connective tissue

Gotu kola is a tonic, a strengthening agent, for the connective tissue. It reduces inflammatory symptoms. This makes it a medicine for all kinds of conditions that have to do with reduced connective tissue quality, such as:

  • Poor wound healing,
  • Rheumatoid arthritis,
  • Cellulite, connective tissue weakness, connective tissue proliferation,
  • Leprosy,
  • Weak nails, poor hair growth, weak cartilage,
  • Bruising and punctate bleeding.


Gotu kola, good for the brain

Because gotu kola is a tonic for the brain and nerve cells, it is used for all kinds of brain disorders. Increased GABA in the brain promotes mental balance. It is also an antidepressant. Brahmaside and brahminoside make it a sedative and sleep-enhancing agent. Due to these medicinal effects, gotu kola is prescribed by herbalists for:

  • Senility, memory loss, decreased ability to concentrate,
  • Loss of sharp mind, mental fatigue,
  • Lack of mental development,
  • Anxiety, stress, fears, insomnia,
  • Nervous diseases, epilepsy.


Gotu kola, good for the body

Gotu kola is an adaptogen. This means that this plant increases its adaptability to adverse conditions. It is a general tonic for the body, a stimulant and vitalizing agent. It is a tonic especially for the adrenal glands and pituitary gland. It is also known as an aphrodisiac. Due to these medicinal effects, gotu kola can be used for:

  • Fatigue, lack of energy, exhaustion, listlessness,
  • Poor stamina,
  • Decreased sex drive, impotence,
  • Absence of menstruation.


Other medicinal effects

  • Because gotu kola protects mucous membranes, it is a remedy against stomach and duodenal ulcers.
  • Since it has a rejuvenating effect, this plant is used for aging problems such as skin wrinkles and age spots.
  • Because it is detoxifying and a diuretic, this plant counteracts the cause of rheumatic diseases.
  • Its antipyretic effect makes it a plant against fever attacks,
  • The anti-inflammatory effect means that it is a remedy for liver cirrhosis, hepatitis and jaundice.


Before doing a treatment

The use of gotu kola has no side effects at normal, low doses. Yet there are always individuals who react differently than average to a particular substance. In general, everyone should become aware of whether there is an adverse side effect. In the case of gotu kola, some people have mild intestinal discomfort and others become drowsy. It should not be used by pregnant women and children under the age of 12. It is very wise to first consult a herbalist before taking a treatment with medicinal plants, especially if you also use other medications. All effects described in this article come from Geert Verhelst’s Large Handbook of Medicinal Plants, a standard work in phytotherapy.

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