7 incredible health benefits of Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica)
If you follow the world of natural skin care, anti-aging remedies, mental alertness supplements, and herbal wound care, you may well have come across Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica, CA). Derived from Asian herbs that have been used for centuries in traditional medicine, this herb has a remarkable range of benefits, which may be why it has a cult following all over the world.
Read on to discover more about Gotu Kola and its many benefits.
Brain training is probably the most famous of all Gotu Kola benefits. If you struggle to remember shopping lists or your mind feels foggy at times, this herb could be the secret ingredient your lifestyle has been missing.
How does Centella Asiatica enhance the mind? Well, studies have discovered that the herb acts by promoting the growth and regrowth of neurons - the nerve fibers which govern how efficiently our brains function. In one 2016 study of stroke patients, regular administration of the herb was found to dramatically reduce vascular cognitive impairment. Significantly, it has particularly impressive abilities to improve memory - and should have the same effect in anyone who takes it.
At a neurological level, Gotu Kola works by promoting a key substance called Neurotrophic Factor, which acts like an all-purpose nerve repair by fixing problems with our neurons before they become critical. This may also be why many experts link the supplement to combating Alzheimer's disease, a condition which revolves around nerve degradation. And it may also protect against Parkinson's Disease for exactly the same reasons.
Many supplements make big claims about fighting hair loss, only to deliver very few benefits. But in this case, the claims actually show to be valid.
According to a recent study, it works by enlarging the dermal papilla, which are part of human hair follicles. When the papilla shrinks, it often triggers the death of follicles, causing the hair to fall out. But Centella Asiatica seems to head off this process, keeping skin cells healthy for longer.
Others have suggested that the flavonoids in the herb have therapeutic effects for hair follicles. This doesn't just prevent hair loss, but also promotes faster, lusher hair growth - especially when part of "polyherbal" combinations with other health-promoting compounds.
Inflammation affects millions of Americans daily, causing gastric pain, tiredness, and speeding up the ageing process. But - you've probably guessed already - this is an area where Gotu Kola can be helpful.
The herb has been flagged as one of the most powerful natural remedies for inflammation. For example, one comprehensive survey article from 2001 noted that the compounds found in Centella help wounds to heal faster, while a group of chemicals called asiaticosides have been connected to healing stomach ulcers.
Just as importantly, the survey reported that rodent studies had found that Centella has potent "antinociceptive" (pain killing) properties. This compared favorably to aspirin, while not quite matching morphine.
Throughout history, humans have sought to extend their lifespans, experimenting endlessly with natural substances to find the holy grail of longevity. In Asia, CA has long been thought of as a life extender, and not just for the neuroprotective properties we noted earlier.
Some studies have found that the herb is a powerful weapon against skin or breast cancer, preventing harmful cell division processes before they become malignant.
And others have shown that Centella drastically cuts back the activity of free radicals in the blood. These chemicals contribute to a process known as "oxidative stress", which is one of the key components of neurological and dermatological decline. So, if you regularly take CA, there's a good chance you'll look and feel years younger.
Another impressive aspect of Centella is its ability to act as a calming agent. Ayurvedic practitioners have long used it to help distressed children and adults who are undergoing trauma. And there are good reasons why the herb should help us relax.
Researchers have investigated this matter and found that CA is a potent "anxiolytic" substance. This class of drugs effectively acts as a mild sedative, calming our nervous systems and restoring the balance between our senses. When we feel anxious, it's often because our rational minds are out of kilter. And by calming our nerves, we can take a step back and let our senses fall back into place.
Wound healing is another one of the most practical Gotu Kola benefits. Again, this is an area where Indian and Chinese herbal practitioners have led the way, and Western science is starting to catch up. Numerous studies have looked into Centella's healing properties, and they appear to be significant.
Animal studies have confirmed that CA contributes to both epithelialization and keratinization - the twin processes which govern how quickly cuts and burns heal. And this has been backed up by prominent hospitals like Mount Sinai, which recommends trying Centella-based ointments for minor wounds. So it's definitely a substance that has a place in all domestic first aid kits.
Given that CA is known to heal wounds, it may not be surprising to learn that it's become a cult remedy for dry or peeling skin, while the presence of a couple of compounds called madecassoside and asiaticoside are highly effective treatments for psoriasis.
How does it work? Well, as far as we can tell, it's all about collagen production. This crucial substance ensures that your skin has a healthy look and feel. CA works by maximizing collagen production, and allowing it to bind efficiently, resulting in glowing, youthful skin.
If these Gotu Kola benefits sound appealing, adding this popular herb to your diet and health routine is simple. As with all vitamins, when prescribing the correct dose, it helps to work with nutritional experts. Take our 5-minute consultation quiz and discover which high-quality vitamins are right for you. In no time, you'll have a personalized nutrition plan which delivers the many benefits associated with Centella.
Farhana, Kun Marisa et al. Effectiveness Of Gotu Kola Extract 750 Mg And 1000 Mg Compared With Folic Acid 3 Mg In Improving Vascular Cognitive Impairment After Stroke. 2019.
Choi YM, et al. "Titrated Extract Of Centella Asiatica Increases Hair Inductive Property Through Inhibition Of STAT Signaling Pathway In Three-Dimensional Spheroid - Pubmed - NCBI". Ncbi.Nlm.Nih.Gov, 2019.
Gohil, KashmiraJ et al. Pharmacological Review On Centella Asiatica: A Potential Herbal Cure-All. 2019.
Yoshida M, et al. "Antiproliferative Constituents From Umbelliferae Plants VII. Active Triterpenes And Rosmarinic Acid From Centella Asiatica. - Pubmed - NCBI". Ncbi.Nlm.Nih.Gov, 2019.