Gotu Kola

General Information

Common Name:

Gotu Kola

Latin Name:

Centella Asiatica


Umbelliferae [Apiaceae]

Other Names:

  • Centella-a specific variety of Gotu Kola. This contains the highest amounts of the active ingredients;
  • Indian penny wort;
  • Hydrocotyle;
  • Marsh penny;
  • Sheep rot;
  • Water penny wort;
  • Talepetrako.

Indications & Historical Uses

  • Increases sex drive;
  • Decreases fatigue and depression;
  • Central nervous system stimulant; enhances memory and learning;
  • Treatment of skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, lupus , varicose ulcers and leprosy;
  • Healing of post surgical wounds, burns, open wounds, sores, cuts, ulcers,- applied topically or taken internally;
  • For promoting longevity.

Contraindications & Precautions

None known. See Caution.

None known. See Caution.

Adverse Side Effects:
None known. See Caution.

Drug Interactions:
None known. See Caution.

Dosage Information

How Supplied:

50 & 100 mg tablets.
1% preparation for local use.


50 mg to 100 mg per day orally.
Topical: 1% preparation twice a day.


Asiaticosides stimulate the reticulo-endothelial system, and help in the healing process by connective tissue development. Centella also enhances the process of keratinisation, the process of building more skin in areas of skin damage such as sores and ulcers. Asiaticosides also stimulate the synthesis of lipids and proteins which are essential for healthy skin. Centella strengthens veins by repairing tissues surrounding the veins, and by decreasing capillary fragility. Gotu Kola applied locally has both skin healing and anti-inflammatory properties. Extracts of Asiaticosides have proved valuable in stimulating a scar- free wound healing in surgical wounds, skin ulcers, fistulas, episiotomies [perineal lesions occurring during deliveries and obstetrical manipulations], radiation ulcers, skin grafts ,skin tuberculosis and lupus lesion. In a small 1973 study, painful psoriasis lesions responded positively to gotukola cream[ containing oil and water extracts of the leaves]. In 5 out of 7 subjects ,the welts resolved completely within 3 to 7 weeks. Gotu Kola asiaticosides also enhance sexual function in both males and females by stimulating the central nervous system and historically has been used for this purpose on the Indian subcontinent. It has also been used as an antidepressant and in the treatment of fatigue.

Active Ingredients:

  • Asiaticosides;
  • Triterpenes.


It is a creeping perennial found in wet ,swampy areas in India ,Sri-Lanka, South Africa , Madagascar and other Tropical environments .Some of its common names e.g Indian penny wort ,refers to the size of its fan-shaped leaves which are the size of an old British penny. The leaves are used medicinally. The plant also bears fruits and clusters of small red flowers.


All aerial parts are used in the extraction process. Extraction is carried out with acetone-based solutions. The extract is then dried & standardized.

Scientific References

Mowrey, D. (1990) Guaranteed Potency Herbs.

Balch & Balch: Prescription for Nutritional Healing. 2nd Ed. (1997). Avery Publishing N.Y.

T.D.Babu et al ,Journal of Ethnopharmacolgy ,48 [1995]:53.

S. Natarajan and P.P.Paily, ,Indian Journal of Dermatology, 18[4] [1973] :82.

F. Damis et al, Semaine des Hospitaux de Paris ,55 [1979] 1749-50.

H.C.Eun and A,Y.Lee, Contact Dermatitis, 13 [5] [1985] :310.

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