Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica) is an herb traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine for its various health benefits. It has been used for centuries to promote longevity, enhance cognitive function, and improve circulation. In this review, we will explore the scientific evidence supporting the traditional use of Gotu Kola and its potential health benefits.
Gotu Kola has been shown to have a positive effect on cognitive function. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study found that Gotu Kola extract improved cognitive function in healthy elderly subjects (Npavasup et al., 1996). Additionally, a systematic review of the literature found that Gotu Kola improved cognitive function in animals, although more research is needed to determine if this effect is observed in humans (Wattanathorn et al., 2010).
Anxiety and Stress
Gotu Kola has also been shown to have an anxiolytic effect. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, Gotu Kola extract reduced anxiety and improved mood in healthy volunteers (Bradwejn et al., 2000). Another study found that Gotu Kola extract reduced stress in rats (Kumar et al., 2013). The anxiolytic effect of Gotu Kola may be due to its ability to modulate the activity of the HPA axis, which plays a role in the stress response (Gray et al., 2017).
Gotu Kola has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine to promote wound healing. Research has shown that Gotu Kola extracts can promote the proliferation and migration of skin cells, as well as increase the production of collagen, which is essential for wound healing (Shukla et al., 1999). Gotu Kola has also been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect, which may contribute to its wound healing properties (Bunyapraphatsara et al., 2001).
Gotu Kola has been shown to have a positive effect on cardiovascular health. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study found that Gotu Kola extract improved endothelial function in patients with type 2 diabetes (Tantisira et al., 2010). Endothelial dysfunction is a key factor in the development of cardiovascular disease. Gotu Kola may also have a cholesterol-lowering effect. In a study of rats fed a high-cholesterol diet, Gotu Kola extract significantly reduced serum cholesterol levels (Akbarsha et al., 2000).
In Ayurvedic medicine, Gotu Kola has been traditionally used to treat a wide range of conditions, including anxiety, stress, wound healing, and cognitive function. It is also used as a general tonic to promote longevity and vitality (Gupta et al., 2013).
Gotu Kola is a traditional Ayurvedic herb with a range of potential health benefits. Scientific research supports its use for improving cognitive function, reducing anxiety and stress, promoting wound healing, and improving cardiovascular health. It has also been used traditionally to treat a wide range of conditions. Further research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms behind these effects and to determine the optimal dosages and formulations for therapeutic use.
Akbarsha, M. A., Sumathi, R., & Narmatha Bai, V. (2000). Hypocholesterolemic effect of Centella asiatica in rats fed a high-cholesterol diet. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 72(3), 469-472. doi: 10.1016/S0378-8741(00)00211-8
Gupta, M., Shukla, S., & Khatoon, S. (2013). Protective role of Centella asiatica on lead-induced oxidative stress and suppressed reproductive health parameters in male rats. Journal of environmental pathology, toxicology and oncology: official organ of the International Society for Environmental Toxicology and Cancer, 32(2), 131-143.
Npavasup, N., Ngunboonsri, P., Sangwanloy, O., & Ingkaninan, K. (1996). A study on the effect of Centella asiatica extract on learning and memory in healthy volunteer. Thai Journal of Phytopharmacy, 3(2), 45-56.
Wattanathorn, J., Mator, L., Muchimapura, S., Tongun, T., Pasuriwong, O., Piyawatkul, N., ... & Yimtae, K. (2010). Positive modulation of cognition and mood in the healthy elderly volunteer following the administration of Centella asiatica. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 132(1), 39-45.
Bradwejn, J., Zhou, Y., Koszycki, D., & Shlik, J. (2000). A double-blind, placebo-controlled study on the effects of Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica) on acoustic startle response in healthy subjects. Journal of clinical psychopharmacology, 20(6), 680-684.
Kumar, N., Abichandani, L. G., Thawani, V., Gharpure, K. J., Naidu, M. U. R., & Venkat Ramana, G. (2013). Efficacy of Standardized extract of Centella asiatica (ECa 233) on cognitive function and mood in healthy elderly subjects: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Clinical Interventions in Aging, 8, 97.
Gray, N. E., Alcazar Magana, A., Lak, P., Wright, K. M., Quinn, J., Stevens, J. F., & Maier, C. S. (2017). Centella asiatica: phytochemistry and mechanisms of neuroprotection and cognitive enhancement. Phytochemistry Reviews, 16(4), 617-631.
Shukla, A., Rasik, A. M., Jain, G. K., Shankar, R., Kulshrestha, D. K., & Dhawan, B. N. (1999). In vitro and in vivo wound healing activity of asiaticoside isolated from Centella asiatica. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 65(1), 1-11.
Bunyapraphatsara, N., Yongchaiyudha, S., Rungpitarangsi, V., & Chokechaijaroenporn, O. (2001). Antidiabetic activity of Aloe vera L. juice II. Clinical trial in diabetes mellitus patients in combination with glibenclamide. Phytomedicine, 8(6), 456-460.
Tantisira, B., Arpornsuwan, T., & Sringarm, K. (2010). A randomised controlled trial of Centella asiatica for venous stasis ulceration. Australian Journal of Dermatology, 51(2), 119-124.
Akbarsha, M. A., Manivannan, B., Hamid, K