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Gotu Kola

Supplement Forms/Alternate Names:

Centella asiaticaSpadeleafPennywort

Introduction

Gotu kola is a plant that is used in oils, salves, and creams. It has been used to help promote healing and ease pain in skin problems, such as wounds and burns. Gotu kola has also been used to ease symptoms of anxiety and improve vein function. It can be taken by mouth as a pill, powder, or extract. Gotu kola can also be made into a tea.

Dosages

100 milligrams 1 to 2 times daily

What Research Shows

May Be Effective

  • Anal fissure —may ease pain and improve healing A1
  • Burns / Wounds —used over skin, may ease burn and wound pain and help them heal faster D1, D2
  • Diabetic cystoid macular edema without macular thickening—may preserve retinal sensitivity F1
  • Atopic dermatitis (eczema) —may treat symptoms C1, C2

Unlikely to Be Effective

  • Cognitive function —unlikely to improve cognitive function E1, E2
  • Stretch marks —may not prevent or treat stretch marks from pregnancy H1-H3

Not Enough Data to Assess

  • Anxiety B1, B2
  • Periodontal therapy support G1, G2
  • Venous insufficiency I1

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

It is likely safe for most adults to use gotu kola on the skin and to take it orally in small doses for a short time. It may be safe for women who are pregnant to use it on the skin, but they should not take it orally. Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to use for a long period. It is also not known whether it is safe to take by women who are breastfeeding.

Interactions

Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse.

 

References

A. Anal Fissure

A1. Chiaretti M, Fegatelli DA, et al. Comparison of Flavonoids and Centella asiatica for the treatment of chronic anal fissure. A randomized clinical trial. Ann Ital Chir. 2018;89:330-336.

B. Anxiety

B1. Jana U, Sur TK, et al. A clinical study on the management of generalized anxiety disorder with Centella asiatica. Nepal Med Coll J. 2010 Mar;12(1):8-11.

B2. Savage K, Firth J, et al. GABA-modulating phytomedicines for anxiety: A systematic review of preclinical and clinical evidence. Phytother Res. 2018 Jan;32(1):3-18.

C. Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)

C1. Klövekorn W, Tepe A, et al. A randomized, double-blind, vehicle-controlled, half-side comparison with a herbal ointment containing Mahonia aquifolium, Viola tricolor and Centella asiatica for the treatment of mild-to-moderate atopic dermatitis. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2007 Nov;45(11):583-591.

C2. Khiljee S, Rehman N, et al. Formulation and clinical evaluation of topical dosage forms of Indian Penny Wort, walnut and turmeric in eczema. Pak J Pharm Sci. 2015 Nov;28(6):2001-2007.

D. Burns/Wounds

D1. Paocharoen V. The efficacy and side effects of oral Centella asiatica extract for wound healing promotion in diabetic wound patients. J Med Assoc Thai. 2010;93(7):166-170.

D2. Saeidinia A, Keihanian F, et al. Partial-thickness burn wounds healing by topical treatment: A randomized controlled comparison between silver sulfadiazine and centiderm. Medicine (Baltimore). 2017;96(9):6168.

E. Cognitive Function

E1. Carlson JJ, Farquhar JW, et al. Safety and efficacy of a ginkgo biloba-containing dietary supplement on cognitive function, quality of life, and platelet function in healthy, cognitively intact older adults. J Am Diet Assoc. 2007 Mar;107(3):422-432.

E2. Puttarak P, Dilokthornsakul P, et al. Effects of Centella asiatica (L.) Urb. on cognitive function and mood related outcomes: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Sci Rep. 2017 Sep 6;7(1):10646.

F. Diabetic Cystoid Macular Edema without Macular Thickening

F1. Forte R, Cennamo G, et al. Long-term follow-up of oral administration of flavonoids, Centella asiatica and Melilotus, for diabetic cystoid macular edema without macular thickening. J Ocul Pharmacol Ther. 2013 Oct;29(8):733-737.

G. Periodontal Therapy Support

G1. Sastravaha G, Yotnuengnit P, et al. Adjunctive periodontal treatment with Centella asiatica and Punica granatum extracts. A preliminary study. J Int Acad Periodontol. 2003 Oct;5(4):106-115.

G2. Sastravaha G, Gassmann G, et al. Adjunctive periodontal treatment with Centella asiatica and Punica granatum extracts in supportive periodontal therapy. J Int Acad Periodontol. 2005 Jul;7(3):70-79.

H. Stretch Marks

H1. Draelos ZD, Gold MH, et al. Evaluation of an onion extract, Centella asiatica, and hyaluronic acid cream in the appearance of striae rubra. Skinmed. 2010 Mar-Apr;8(2):80-86.

H2. Brennan M, Young G, et al. Topical preparations for preventing stretch marks in pregnancy. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Nov 14;11:CD000066.

H3. García Hernández JÁ, Madera González D, et al. Use of a specific anti-stretch mark cream for preventing or reducing the severity of striae gravidarum. Randomized, double-blind, controlled trial. Int J Cosmet Sci. 2013 Jun;35(3):233-237.

I. Venous Insufficiency

I1. Martinez-Zapata MJ, Vernooij RW, et al. Phlebotonics for venous insufficiency. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016;4:CD003229.

Last reviewed February 2020 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC  Last Updated: 5/27/2020