Gotu Kola: An Ancient Remedy for Brain and Skin Health

health benefits of gotu kola

Gotu Kola, scientifically known as Centella Asiatica, is an herbaceous, perennial plant widely utilized in traditional medicine. Recognized for its potent healing properties, Gotu Kola is often praised as an herb of longevity. In this article, we explore the many benefits of Gotu Kola, its potential side effects, uses, and essential warnings associated with Gotu Kola.


What is Gotu Kola?

Gotu Kola


Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica) is a small, creeping plant native to the wetlands and marshy terrains of Asia. It is revered in the traditions of Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine for its extensive medicinal properties. The plant has slender stems that allow it to spread over large areas, with small, fan-shaped green leaves and tiny, light purple to pink flowers.


In the regions where it grows, particularly in countries like India, Sri Lanka, China, and Indonesia, Gotu Kola is not only a medicinal herb but also a culinary ingredient, often used in salads, juices, and traditional dishes.


Gotu Kola thrives in a moist, humid environment, which allows it to accumulate a rich composition of bioactive compounds. These include saponins, such as asiaticosidemadecassoside, and madasiatic acid, which are mainly responsible for its healing and health-promoting effects. (1)


Gotu Kola in Ayurvedic Medicine


In Ayurvedic medicine, Gotu Kola holds a place of honor as one of the most spiritual and rejuvenative herbs. Known in Sanskrit as "Brahmi," which means "godlike," it is highly revered for its potential to enhance mind and spirit and is often used in practices aimed at increasing longevity, as well as by practitioners of meditation to support meditative concentration.


Some of the primary uses of gotu kola in Ayurvedic medicine include:


  • Mental Clarity and Nervous System Support:  In Ayurveda, Gotu Kola is celebrated for its 'medhya' properties, meaning it enhances the mind and sharpens mental acuity. It is used to support meditation, improve concentration, and balance the nervous systemoften recommended for students and elderly individuals for maintaining and enhancing brain function.
  • Skin and Tissue Repair: Ayurvedic texts frequently cite Gotu Kola's powerful regenerative properties, making it a key herb in treatments for improving skin conditions and promoting rapid healing of wounds. The increased collagen production not only helps reduce signs of aging but also heals scars and improves the condition of connective tissues. (2)
  • Balancing the Doshas: Doshas are a concept in Ayurveda that refers to the energetic forces underlying physiological processes. There are three doshas – vata, pitta, and kapha. Gotu Kola is particularly revered for its ability to balance all three doshas in the body. Its cooling properties help soothe pitta, while its bitter and sweet taste addresses Kapha imbalances, and its light and dry qualities counteract Vata.


Gotu Kola Benefits

gotu kola health benefits



The health benefits of Gotu Kola are extensive, ranging from mental rejuvenation to skin health. Below, we will discuss some of the top benefits of Gotu Kola:


1. Gotu Kola Supports Cognitive Enhancement


Gotu Kola is commonly used for its cognitive-enhancing capabilities and has a long history of traditional use as a brain tonic. The herb is believed to improve cognitive functions such as memory, focus, and mental clarity. Research indicates that Gotu Kola supports neurological health and can mitigate symptoms of anxiety and depression. (3, 4


This makes Gotu Kola a popular choice among students seeking to enhance their learning and memory, people who want to support their mental clarity and function, and older individuals looking to preserve their cognitive function with age.


2. Gotu Kola Supports Skin Healing


Gotu Kola is widely used for its skin healing benefits, which are attributed to its high content of triterpenoid saponins, compounds that promote collagen production, essential for maintaining skin elasticity and strength. (5) The herb's effectiveness in reducing the appearance of scars and stretch marks, coupled with its wound-healing capabilities, makes it a valuable ingredient in dermatological treatments and cosmetic products.


3. Gotu Kola Supports Circulatory Health 


The circulatory benefits of Gotu Kola are significant, particularly in its ability to enhance blood flow and strengthen the veins. (6) This is particularly beneficial for those suffering from varicose veins, as it can help reduce swelling and discomfort associated with poor venous circulation. By improving blood flow, Gotu Kola not only supports overall vascular health but also enhances the efficiency of nutrient and oxygen delivery to tissues throughout the body.


4. Gotu Kola Has Anti-inflammatory Properties


Gotu Kola contains asiaticoside, a compound known for its strong anti-inflammatory properties. (7) This makes the herb particularly effective in alleviating inflammatory conditions, as well as soothing skin irritations and inflammations. The anti-inflammatory effects also contribute to Gotu Kola's general health benefits, offering relief from various inflammatory-related conditions and promoting a more regulated immune response.


5. Gotu Kola Has Adaptogenic Effects


As an adaptogen, Gotu Kola plays a crucial role in helping the body manage stress. It aids in modulating the body's response to physical, chemical, and biological stressors, promoting overall resilience and vitality. (8) This adaptogenic quality makes Gotu Kola a valuable herb for those looking to enhance their body's ability to cope with stress, whether it's due to environmental factors, personal health challenges, or the pressures of daily life.


What Are The Active Compounds in Gotu Kola?


The health benefits of herbs are largely attributed to the bioactive compounds found within them. Gotu Kola contains a diversity of phytochemicals that drive its health benefits. Triterpenoid saponins are the most notable compounds in Gotu Kola, including asiaticosidemadecassoside, and brahmoside, which are key to its ability to enhance collagen production and skin tissue regeneration, alongside anti-inflammatory effects. Asiatic and madecassic acids also contribute significantly, promoting wound healing, anti-aging for the skin, and vascular health by strengthening capillaries. (9)


Additionally, Gotu Kola contains flavonoids like quercetin and kaempferol, which provide antioxidant benefits and improve circulation, as well as volatile oils that offer mild antimicrobial properties and a soothing aroma. (9) Together, these compounds make Gotu Kola a versatile herb used in traditional medicine to improve cognitive functions, skin health, and overall resilience against physical and mental stress.


How to Use Gotu Kola for Skin Tightening


Gotu Kola's ability to stimulate collagen production makes it an excellent choice for skin tightening. For topical application you can use a gotu kola infused oil. You can either purchase a gotu kola oil or make your own by steeping dried leaves in a carrier oil like coconut or jojoba oil for a few weeks. Once ready, apply it directly to the skin to help firm up and rejuvenate the skin.


How to Eat Gotu Kola Leaves


Gotu Kola leaves are edible and can be consumed in various ways. They are often consumed raw in salads, made into a concentrated juice, or eaten as cooked greens.


Gotu Kola Side Effects


While Gotu Kola is safe for most people, it can cause side effects in some, especially when taken in high doses. Common side effects include headache, dizziness, and gastrointestinal discomfort. It is recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women to avoid gotu kola due to insufficient evidence regarding its safety during these periods.


Gotu Kola Warnings


While Gotu Kola is generally safe, some of the potential "warnings" associated with it include allergic reactions, interactions with medications, or concerns with surgery due to its impacts on blood sugar levels and circulation. It is recommended to consult a healthcare professional before consuming Gotu Kola, especially if you are currently taking medications or may be undergoing surgery.


What is Gotu Kola Good For?

Gotu Kola


Overall, Gotu Kola is good for enhancing mental functions, promoting skin health, supporting vascular health, and serving as an anti-inflammatory agent. Its role in traditional medicine as a healing powerhouse is well-documented and continues to be validated by modern science.


Zuma Nutrition's Endocrine Cleanse & Support Tonic


We use an active ingredient extract of Gotu Kola in our Endocrine Cleanse & Support Tonic due to its impact on circulation and nervous system health. This ingredient is combined with other endocrine and hormone-supporting herbs to make a one of a kind herbal formula for supporting endocrine health and balance.




Gotu Kola is a versatile herb that holds a respected spot in the pharmacopeia of traditional medicine. With benefits spanning from cognitive enhancement to skin rejuvenation, it's a natural remedy worth considering for those who seek holistic health improvements. However, like all supplements, it should be used with caution, keeping potential side effects and interactions in mind. Whether used topically or ingested, Gotu Kola remains a timeless, beneficial herb that promises significant health benefits.




Products mentioned in this post

True Health Starts with Feeding the Body

Subscribe to receive updates, access to exclusive deals, and more.