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Health Research

7 Health Benefits of Gotu Kola [Infographic]

Gotu Kola
Gotu kola has a long history of use in many systems of medicine and today it is commonly used to enhance concentration and memory. Researchers believe the herb exhibits anti-aging effects and also helps improve joint function, promotes healing and tissue repair, and reduces the risk of various diseases. Gotu kola is mildly sweet in tea and adds a soothing woody fragrance.
Gotu Kola Infographic
What is gotu kola?
Gotu kola is known throughout Asia as a potent medicinal herb. It has been utilized for thousands of years in both traditional Chinese, Indonesian, African, and Ayurvedic medicine to treat wounds and skin conditions, and to improve mental clarity. In China, the herb was called “the fountain of life” because legend has it that an ancient Chinese herbalist lived for more than 200 years as a result of consuming gotu kola on a daily basis.
Just recently its value has been recognized in the US as an herb that supports cognition and vascular health. Gotu kola is used today for reducing fatigue, depression, abdominal pain, stomach discomfort, and other ailments.
Botanical name: Centella asiatica
Other names: Asiatic pennywort, Indian pennywort, marsh penny
Description: A perennial herb that grows to 2 feet tall with white or pink-red flowers and green, fan-shaped leaves
Habitat: Native to India, Australia, and Asia and now grows in tropical, swampy areas, including parts of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, and South Africa
Properties*: Anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, hypoglycemic, neuroprotective
The health benefits of gotu kola according to research
1. Anti-Aging
In Western herbal medicine, gotu kola is considered an adaptogen, a natural substance that helps the body adapt to stress and exerts a normalizing effect on bodily processes. Gotu kola is used as a herbal remedy to slow the aging process to and to help support healthy brain function. The herb is prized in traditional ayurvedic medicine as an anti-aging herb because of its ability to promote collagen production.
In modern science, gotu kola has been found to contain potent antioxidants that may have anti-aging effects. In a study published in the academic journal Experimental Gerontology, gotu kola was found to exert significant neuroprotective effects and appeared to help protect the brain against age-related oxidative damage, a process that could result in conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. According to New York University’s Langone Medical Center, gotu kola may also fight the effects of aging on the brain by improving memory function.
2. Bone & Joint Health
Gotu kola may provide therapeutic benefits in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic condition that affects many joints, including those in the hands and feet. According to a study published in 2009 in the Phytomedicine journal, the herb helps improve joint function, reduces inflammation, and alleviates symptoms of arthritis.
3. Energy & Brain Support
Research in the past decade indicate gotu kola supports healthy brain function and may be helpful against Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. The herb has been shown to improve attention, working memory, alertness and mood. Gotu kola is commonly used in India and southern Asia to aid concentration and memory.
A study published in early 2016 in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology reported that data from various animal studies indicates a cognitive-enhancing effect of gotu kola which may be related to its antioxidant properties.
4. Hair & Skin Health
In Ayurvedic medicine, gotu kola is used to promote healing in skin ulcers and skin problems, and to prevent scarring. The herb is applied directly to the skin or consumed internally to promote tissue repair.
In modern research, gotu kola has been shown to promote wound healing and repair tissue, making it useful for skin conditions such as psoriasis. Asiaticoside, a key constituent found in gotu kola, has been shown to speed up collagen formation.
5. Heart and Circulatory Health
Gotu kola has a long-standing reputation in Ayurvedic medicine for treating high blood pressure and heart disease.
Gotu kola may have therapeutic value in circulatory health according to modern science. In Western medicine, gotu kola extracts have been found to be successful in treating chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). CVI is a condition where leg veins are not working effectively, making it difficult for blood to return to the heart from the legs and causing swelling and skin changes. In addition, recent research in the US has shown signs that gotu kola positively benefits diabetic neuropathy, or nerve pain caused by poor circulation.
6. Immunity and Overall Health
Gotu kola has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Scientists believe that madecassoside, an active constituent found in gotu kola, may be responsible for the herb’s anti-inflammatory effects.
There is scientific interest in using gotu kola to treat cancer. In research studies conducted so far, dried powder extracts of gotu kola have exhibited anticarcinogenic (anti-cancer) properties.
7. Stress & Mood Support
Gotu kola contains naturally-occurring chemicals known as triterpenoids which seem to reduce anxiety and increase mental function, according to various research studies. One human study found that people who took gotu kola were less likely to be startled by a new noise compared to placebo. Since startle response is one way to measure anxiety, researchers believe that gotu kola might help reduce anxiety symptoms.

Disclaimer

* These are some of the pharmacological actions that have been observed or are under study in various evidence-based research studies. Herb may have other properties not listed here.
The statements on this page are for educational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult your healthcare practitioner prior to the use of any herbal products, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have allergies or medical conditions.
The information has been sourced and extracted from scientific papers, academic journals, research abstracts, and other sources. While Purify Tea makes every effort to present accurate and reliable information on this website, Purify Tea does not endorse, approve, or certify such information, nor does it guarantee the accuracy, completeness, efficiency, timeliness, or correct sequencing of such information. Use of such information is voluntary, and reliance on it should only be undertaken after an independent review of its accuracy, completeness, efficiency, and timeliness. While many traditional or folkloric remedies have a long history of use, modern research has only begun to investigate and substantiate their effectiveness. Research is still ongoing in many areas therefore conclusions are subject to change.

Sources

Chevallier, Andrew. Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine. New York, NY: DK Publishing, 2016. Print.
Duke J. A. Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases. Natural Agricultural Library. United States Department of Agriculture. Web. June 26, 2016.
“Gotu Kola.” The University of Michigan Health System. University of Michigan, March 24, 2015. Web. June 7, 2016.
“Gotu kola.” University of Maryland Medical System. University of Maryland School of Medicine, March 25, 2015. Web. July 23, 2016.
J Bradwejn, Y Zhou, D Koszycki, J Shlik. “A double-blind, placebo-controlled study on the effects of Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica) on acoustic startle response in healthy subjects.” J Clin Psychopharmacol. December 2000;20(6):6804.
Kane, Charles W. Herbal Medicine: Trends and Traditions. New York, NY: Lincoln Town Press, 2009. Print.
Mei Liu, Yue Dai, Xiujuan Yao, Ying Li, Yubin Luo, Yufeng Xia, Zhunan Gong. “Anti-rheumatoid arthritic effect of madecassoside on type II collagen-induced arthritis in mice.” Environ Int. February 2009;35(2):3537. Epub September 27, 2008.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Therapeutic Research Center. Web. June 22, 2016./div>

Nora E Gray, Christopher J Harris, Joseph F Quinn, Amala Soumyanath. “Centella asiatica modulates antioxidant and mitochondrial pathways and improves cognitive function in mice.” J Ethnopharmacol. January 16, 2016. Epub January 16, 2016.
United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville Area Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). November 28, 2015, Web. June 26, 2016.
World Health Organization. WHO Monographs on Selected Medicinal Plants – Volume 1. Geneva, 1999. Print.
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