Gotu kola is used for burns and poor circulation that can lead to varicose veins (venous insufficiency). It is also used for scars, stretch marks, and many other conditions but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
How does it work ?
Uses & Effectiveness ?
Possibly Effective for
- Burns. Applying gotu kola to second-degree burns seems todecrease the time that it takes for burns to heal.
- Poor circulation that can lead to varicose veins and other conditions (venous insufficiency). Taking gotu kola or a specific extract of gotu kola (Centellase) by mouth for 4-8 weeks seems to improve blood circulation and reduce swelling in people with poor blood circulation in the legs.
Possibly Ineffective for
- Skin damage caused by radiation therapy (radiation dermatitis). Applying a cream containing gotu kola extract doesn't seem to reduce the severity of skin damage caused by radiation in women being treated for breast cancer.
Insufficient Evidence for
- Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis). People with atherosclerosis have fatty deposits called plaques along the lining of their blood vessels. There is some evidence that taking gotu kola for 3 months to 4 years, with or without maritime pine, might help stabilize these plaques so they are less likely to break off and trigger clot formation. This could reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
- A disease of small blood vessels in people with diabetes (diabetic microangiopathy). Taking gotu kola for 6-12 months might help increase circulation and decrease fluid retention in people with diabetes whose small blood vessels have been damaged by their disease.
- Excess scar tissue (keloids). There is some evidence that applying an extract of gotu kola to the skin might help reduce keloids. Early research also shows that taking gotu kola by mouth may improve the appearance of keloids.
- Scarring. Early research suggests that applying a specific gotu kola cream (Alpha Centella, not available in the U.S.) to the skin twice daily for 6-8 weeks after the removal of stitches might help reduce scarring.
- A disease caused by parasitic worms (schistosomiasis). There is some evidence that gotu kola injected by a healthcare provider might help bladder wounds caused by a parasitic infection called schistosomiasis.
- Stretch marks. Applying cream containing gotu kola and other ingredients may help prevent stretch marks during pregnancy. Early research also shows that taking gotu kola seems to make stretch marks thicker and more flexible when compared to using stretch mark creams.
- Blood clots that form in the veins (venous thromboembolism or VTE). Gotu kola might help prevent blood clots from occurring during long plane flights. Early research shows that gotu kola might decrease fluid retention and improve blood circulation in people traveling on airplanes for more than 3 hours. But it's unknown if this finding translates into fewer blood clots.
- Wound healing. Early research shows that applying gotu kola on the skin helps improve wound healing.
- Eczema (atopic dermatitis).
- Memory and thinking skills (cognitive function).
- Thick, raised scars (hypertrophic scars).
- Common cold and flu.
- Urinary tract infection (UTI).
- Other conditions.
When applied to the skin: Gotu kola is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when applied to the skin for up to 10 weeks. Gotu kola may cause itchiness and redness.
Special Precautions and Warnings
Lactation: There isn't enough reliable information to know if gotu kola is safe to use when breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Liver disease: There is concern that gotu kola might cause liver damage. People who already have a liver disease should avoid using gotu kola. It might make liver problems worse.
Surgery: Gotu kola might cause too much sleepiness if combined with medications used during and after surgery. Stop using gotu kola at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Sedative medications (CNS depressants) interacts with GOTU KOLA
Large amounts of gotu kola might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Medications that cause sleepiness are called sedatives. Taking gotu kola along with sedative medications might cause too much sleepiness.
Some sedative medications include clonazepam (Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan), phenobarbital (Donnatal), zolpidem (Ambien), and others.
Do not take this combination
Medications that can harm the liver (Hepatotoxic drugs) interacts with GOTU KOLA
Gotu kola might harm the liver. Taking gotu kola along with medication that might also harm the liver can increase the risk of liver damage.
Some medications that can harm the liver include acetaminophen (Tylenol and others), amiodarone (Cordarone), carbamazepine (Tegretol), isoniazid (INH), methotrexate (Rheumatrex), methyldopa (Aldomet), fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox), erythromycin (Erythrocin, Ilosone, others), phenytoin (Dilantin), lovastatin (Mevacor), pravastatin (Pravachol), simvastatin (Zocor), and many others.
Be cautious with this combination
- For poor circulation that can lead to varicose veins and other conditions (venous insufficiency): 60-180 mg of gotu kola extract daily has been used.
- For burns: A cream containing 3% gotu kola, applied to the burns daily, has been used until the burns heal. A gauze dressing containing 5% gotu kola and 2.5% aloe vera, wrapped around the burns and changed every 3 days, has been used until the burns heal.
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Cesarone MR, Incandela L, De Sanctis MT, and et al. Evaluation of treatment of diabetic microangiopathy with total triterpenic fraction of Centella asiatica: a clinical prospective randomized trial with a microcirculatory model. Angiology 2001;52(10 suppl 2):S49-S54.
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