Gotu Kola

Also indexed as:Centella asiatica
Gotu Kola: Main Image© Steven Foster
Botanical names:
Centella asiatica

How It Works

The primary active constituents of gotu kola are saponins (also called triterpenoids), which include asiaticoside, madecassoside and madasiatic acid.19 These saponins may prevent excessive scar formation by inhibiting the production of collagen (the material that makes up connective tissue) at the wound site. These constituents are also associated with promoting wound healing. One preliminary trial in humans found that a gotu kola extract improved healing of infected wounds (unless the infection had reached bone).20 Additionally, a review of French studies suggests that topical gotu kola can improve healing of burns and wounds.21 Clinical trials have also shown it can help those with chronic venous insufficiency22, 23 Another trial found gotu kola extract helpful for preventing and treating enlarged scars (keloids).24

How to Use It

Dried gotu kola leaf can be made into a tea by adding 1–2 teaspoons (5–10 grams) to about 2/3 cup (150 ml) of boiling water and allowing it to steep for ten to fifteen minutes. Three cups (750 ml) are usually suggested per day. Fluid extract (1/2–1 teaspoon (3–5 ml) per day) or a tincture (2–4 teaspoons (10–20 ml) per day) are sometimes recommended. Standardized extracts containing up to 100% total saponins (triterpenoids), 60 mg once or twice per day, are frequently used in modern herbal medicine.25

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.

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