The Benefits of Gotu Kola for Your Skin December 17 2015
Gotu kola (Centella asiatica or brahmi) has been used as a medicine for thousands of years in India, China, and Indonesia, particularly for healing wounds, improving mental function and treating the symptoms of leprosy. It even has a reputation for promoting longevity.
Historically, gotu kola has also been used to treat syphilis, hepatitis, stomach ulcers, mental fatigue, epilepsy, diarrhea, fever, and asthma. Today, in the U.S. and Europe gotu kola is most often used to treat varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency, a condition where blood pools in the legs. It is also used in ointments to treat psoriasis and help heal minor wounds.
Gotu kola is not the same as kola nut (Cola nitida). Unlike kola nut, gotu kola does not have caffeine, and is not a stimulant.
Medical studies show that Gotu kola can:
• Increase the strength of the dermis and increased keratinisation (healing) of the epidermis of the skin
• Stimulate blood vessel growth into connective tissue
• Increase antioxidant and collagen concentration in wounds and stimulate wound healing
• Enhance growth of connective tissue, skin, hair, nail and joint repair
• Exhibit anti-anxiety activity and enhance mental function
• Have anti-inflammatory qualities
Gotu kola has chemicals called triterpenoids. In lab studies, these compounds seem to help heal wounds. For example, some studies suggest that triterpenoids strengthen the skin, boost antioxidants in wounds, and increase blood supply to the area. Based on these findings, gotu kola has been applied to the skin, or used topically, for minor burns, psoriasis, preventing scars after surgery, and preventing or reducing stretch marks.
An overview in the Indian Journal of Medicine calls gotu kola a “potential herbal cure-all” while a research summary published in Phytomedicine, says: “Centella asiatica has been subjected to quite extensive experimental and clinical investigations.”
Recently, researchers delving into how gotu kola heals wounds have identified specific plant chemicals called triterpenoid saponins (more specifically asiaticoside, brahmoside, brahminoside, madecassoside and madecassic or madasiatic acid) that have been shown to help heal wounds by boosting antioxidants, increasing the blood supply to the area and strengthening the skin.
In a 2012 study, researchers conducted a study of topical application of gotu kola and found that if applied to open wounds, it inhibited bacterial growth, fueled the growth of new skin cells and increased skin “tensile strength” and resilience.
There’s also good evidence that gotu kola helps repair veins. Recent research shows that unlike some herbal extracts, is able to penetrate the skin well enough to be utilized effectively.
Some people take gotu kola supplements to treat respiratory infections, such as colds, and in the past it was used for that in China. It has been called "the fountain of life" because legend has it that an ancient Chinese herbalist lived for more than 200 years as a result of taking gotu kola.
Using skin care treatments that contain gotu kola can greatly improve the elasticity, rate of repair, and youthful appearance of your skin.
Jeanette Quillen, Owner & Formulator