Gotu Kola Benefits For Skin, Brain, Hair and Side Effects

Gotu Kola Benefits and Side Effects. Gotu kola is a type of leafy plant traditionally used in Asian cuisines that also has a long history of use in both traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine.

It is a perennial plant indigenous to the tropical wetlands of Southeast Asia, where it is a commonly used as a juice, tea, or green leafy vegetable.

Nutritional Facts

In Southeast Asia, gotu kola is used as much for food as for medicinal purposes. Gotu kola is an excellent source of essential vitamins and minerals needed to maintain optimal health.

According to a review in the International Food Research Journal, 100 grams of fresh gotu kola delivers the following nutrients and meets the following recommended dietary intake (RDI) needs:

  • Calcium: 171 milligrams (17% of the RDI)
  • Iron: 5.6 milligrams (31% of the RDI)
  • Potassium: 391 milligrams (11% of the RDI)
  • Vitamin A: 442 micrograms (49% of the RDI)
  • Vitamin C: 48.5 milligrams (81% of the RDI)
  • Vitamin B2: 0.19 milligrams (9% of the RDI)
  • Dietary Fiber (8 of the RDI)

Gotu Kola Benefits and Side Effects

Health Benefits of Gotu Kola

1. Gotu Kola Benefits For Brain

According to one review of studies, gotu kola may help support the functioning of the brain and nervous system, improve memory, and protect against aging.

A small 2016 study compared the effects of gotu kola extract and folic acid in boosting cognitive function after a stroke. This small study assessed the impact on three groups of participants — one taking 1,000 milligrams (mg) of gotu kola per day, one taking 750 mg of gotu kola per day, and one taking 3 mg of folic acid per day.

Although gotu kola and folic acid were equally beneficial in improving overall cognition, gotu kola was more effective in improving memory domain.

2. Gotu Kola Benefits For Skin

From reducing the appearance of stretch marks to promoting wound healing on the skin, here is what Gotu kola can do for your skin.

According to a 2013 study, Gotu kola can reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Gotu kola contains terpenoid compounds that can increase the production of collagen in the body. These terpenoid compounds can help prevent the formation of new stretch marks, and help heal existing scars.

A 2015 study also found that wound dressings containing Gotu kola had a healing effect on various types of wounds. These include clean cuts by sharp objects, irregular tears caused by infected tissue, and blunt force trauma.

Herbalists have long used Gotu kola poultices and ointments to aid in wound healing. According to a 2010 study, several studies support the use of gotu kola to help heal wounds and burns. In the study reported that many studies have found that gotu kola accelerates wound healing.

3. Reduce Anxiety

A 2013 review Source of anti-anxiety herbal medicines also concluded that gotu kola has an acute anti-anxiety effect. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings.

According to Winchester Hospital, an older study of 40 participants found that gotu kola helped improve the startle response. This is relevant because, as the hospital explains, easy startling is associated with anxiety.

4. Help Treat Alzheimer’s Disease

Gotu kola has the ability to enhance memory and nerve function, which gives it potential in treating Alzheimer’s disease.

Still, further research is needed to determine exactly how gotu kola could be used to treat Alzheimer’s.

5. Antidepressant

Gotu kola’s positive effect on brain function may also make it an effective antidepressant.

A review from 2016 supports these findings, in part due to a study on 33 people with generalized anxiety disorder. The participants were asked to take gotu kola in place of their antidepressant medication for 60 days. They self-reported decreased stress, anxiety, and depression.

6. Help Ease Insomnia

Gotu kola may also be used to treat the insomnia. Some consider this herbal remedy to be a safe alternative to prescription medications used to treat insomnia and other sleep disorders.

7. Treating Varicose Veins

According to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, several studies claim that gotu kola can help treat varicose veins and venous insufficiency.

An older study, from 2001, found that participants who received 60 milligrams of triterpenic fraction of gotu kola twice daily for 8 weeks experienced improvements in the health of their veins.

Another study from the same year, and from some of the same researchers, produced similar results.

The second study found that gotu kola extracts helped with diabetic microangiopathy by improving the function of the veins.

8. Have a Detox Effect

Newer research is taking a look at gotu kola’s effect on liver and kidney toxicity.

According to one 2017 study, gotu kola can be used to suppress the toxic side effects of the antibiotic isoniazid. Isoniazid is used to treat and prevent tuberculosis.

9. Treating Arthritis

The anti-inflammatory properties of gotu kola may be useful in treating arthritis.

In fact, one 2014 study on collagen-induced arthritis in rats found that oral administration of gotu kola reduced joint inflammation, cartilage erosion, and bone erosion. Its antioxidant effect also had a positive effect on the immune system.

10. Gotu Kola Benefits For Hair

Gotu kola is one of the most popular Ayurvedic herbs. It is thought to stimulate hair growth and increase hair length, possibly by increasing blood circulation to the scalp.

Possible Side Effects of Gotu Kola

Although side effects are rare, some people taking gotu kola may experience upset stomach, headache, and drowsiness.

When applied topically, gotu kola has the potential to cause skin irritation. You should always do a patch test before moving forward with a full application.

It is crucial to consult a doctor before using gotu kola. Make sure that the doctor knows about all ongoing medications and treatments.