8 Amazing Gotu Kola Benefits & Healing Effects

gotu kola benefits

Just recently I started taking the intriguing herb called gotu kola, as I’d had it on my supplements-to-try list for a little while.

I’d been repeatedly coming across articles about all the gotu kola benefits and thought – this could be really good for some of my health issues.

Any natural treatments that fight brain fog, inflammation and memory problems tends to jump out at me and require further investigation.  And gotu kola was definitely one of them!

So, below I share the results of my research – the lowdown on some of the biggest gotu kola benefits.  As well as its nutrition, best ways to cook it and my initial experiences using a good quality supplement.

What Is Gotu Kola?

Gotu kola (Centella asiatica) is a wetland plant from Asia, which also goes by the names Indian or Asiatic Pennywort.  It can have a mild to slightly bitter flavour, and is related to more familiar edible plants such as parsley, celery and carrot.

Gotu Kola Nutrition

Gotu kola is a nutritionally important plant.  In Asia it’s commonly eaten as a green leafy vegetable, as well as being used for its medicinal properties.

All the gotu kola benefits come from its collection of phytonutrients, which include:

  • carotenoids and triterpenoids, including asiatic acid
  • vitamins B and C
  • various important minerals and proteins
  • glycosides, volatile oils, tannins, flavanoids and polyphenols [1][1a]

8 Amazing Gotu Kola Benefits

1  Antioxidant & Anti-Inflammatory

Gotu kola’s many antioxidant compounds make it an excellent treatment for oxidative stress and damage within the body.

It’s also able to enhance production of the body’s own antioxidant compounds like glutathione, superoxide dismutase and ascorbic acid [2].  This speeds up healing in all sorts of chronic diseases and degenerative processes.

2  Skin-Nourishing

Among the various gotu kola benefits are its skin-nourishing ones!

Gotu kola has been found to speed up wound healing by increasing collagen levels and the rates of skin cell regeneration and repair [3][3a].

And these skin healing effects make gotu kola great for treating skin ageing and inflammatory conditions like eczema and psoriasis.  Using gotu kola alongside other skin-healing remedies, makes for great all-round skin health.

3  Circulation-Boosting

Gotu kola has been shown to improve blood vessel health and circulation.

A 2013 review of 8 separate scientific studies found that it did this whilst improving symptoms of circulatory dysfunction such as leg heaviness, pain and swelling [4].

4  Neuroprotective & Memory-Enhancing

One of the most well-known gotu kola benefits is its memory-enhancing ability.
And it shows promise as a possible treatment for age-related brain conditions, like Alzheimer’s.

In fact, gotu kola features in Datis Kharrazian’s awesome brain book – Why Isn’t My Brain Working? as a herb to protect the brain against toxic damage.

Various studies on both humans and animals also show encouraging results at boosting cognitive function.

  • In 2008 a trial of gotu kola supplementation by elderly patients found that the herb improved working memory and mood (at a dose of 750mg once a day for 2 months) [4a].
  • Also in 2008 a separate study showed that gotu kola provides a possible memory-enhancing mechanism in neuroblastoma brain cells [4b].
  • While a 2002 study using rats and a 2014 study with mice, found that gotu kola had a beneficial effect on both learning and impaired memory function [4c][4d].

5  Anti-Cancer

Currently, in-vitro studies show that gotu kola has promise as an important natural anti-cancer remedy.  These include blocking the growth of cancer cells and destroying them through apoptosis (cell death).

These effects have been demonstrated in several different cancers including skin, brain, lung, colon, ovarian and breast cancer [6a][6b][6d].

And this effect is partly due to one of gotu kola’s very powerful medicinal compounds called asiatic acid [6][6c].

6  Cardioprotective

Various tripertenoids in gotu kola exhibit protective effects over cells within organs like the heart.  These phytonutrients can significantly reduce oxidative damage brought about by toxic compounds.  For example such as those found in pharmaceutical drugs.

This was demonstrated in a 2018 study using the chemotherapy drug doxorubicin, where once again asiatic acid played a protective role [6].

7   Stomach-Protective

Gotu kola also has some promise in the treatment of gastric ulcers.

This is because its antioxidant ability helps to prevent damage to the stomach and intestinal lining.  And several studies have shown that it reduces both gastric ulcer formation and overall size [7][7a].

8  Depression & Anxiety Relief

Among all these other gotu kola benefits, it can also induce calming, soothing effects which help to relieve anxiety and promote sleep.

In fact various animal studies have confirmed its antidepressant properties.
While a 2010 study using human participants, found that giving 500mg of gotu kola twice a day for 2 months, reduced anxiety and improved mood [8a][8b][8c].

Indeed gotu kola is fantastic when used as part of a combination of natural treatments for depression!

gotu kola benefits

How To Preserve The Gotu Kola Benefits When Cooking

So, if all of this gotu kola research fires up your interest in this wonderful herb, then bear in mind that there are right ways and wrong ways to prepare it!

Frying for example is NOT really a sensible option, as it damages important nutrients such as proteins.

Instead, use either steaming or boiling, as these cooking methods better protect the health-promoting properties of the plant [9].

  • Fresh Gotu Kola Tea – The best method for producing gotu kola tea is to boil an infusion at 100ºc for about 10 minutes.
    This has been shown to release the highest concentration of antioxidants, such as gallic acid, catechin, rutin and quercetin and produce the most healing preparation [10].

Choosing A Good Gotu Kola Supplement

As with all herbal supplements, I always recommend choosing an organic, Soil Association-certified product which hasn’t been made from plants grown with pesticides and chemicals.

The best supplements are also free of gluten, fillers, binders and unnecessary additives, which can cause gut problems in many of us.  And even better, if supplements are vegan/vegi friendly too.

I also like to source locally-made products, (which for me means the UK), but that will of course vary depending on where you are in the world.

Be sure to do your own research as there are usually lots of products to choose from!

Amazon is a great place to start as it has such a vast choice and is a reliable marketplace. Take a look through ingredients, check authenticity and certification, and watch for bad reviews.  You can even do a little background research into the manufacturer, if you have time.

When I shopped around for gotu kola, I went for Simply Pure Organic Gotu Kola on Amazon, because it ticked all these boxes and even came with a 100% moneyback guarantee (which is always a good sign).

I’ve had great results with it so far (about 10 months as of December 2018) – feeling very clear-headed, motivated and less brain-foggy.  Which is a big deal and big improvement from my normal day-to-day brain function!

And just as importantly I’ve had no apparent side effects, making the gotu kola benefits even more worth it.  Fingers crossed this carries on – watch this space for any updates on that!

Note – Just remember, never take any supplements if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, and never give them to children, unless of course you’ve been advised to do so by your doctor or healthcare provider.

 

Why not get in touch with your own thoughts on gotu kola benefits and supplements, or even bad experiences if you’ve had any.

I’m always researching and learning, and would love to hear from you! x

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