Gotu Kola Health Benefits Explained

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With so many different herbal remedies out there, I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve never heard of gotu kola before. I certainly hadn’t until I began researching for this article – but now that I have, I’m pleased to tell you all about this incredible herb and the benefits it can have for your physical and mental health. It may have a funny name, but boy, does it do a lot! Read on to discover how gotu kola can help with all kinds of conditions, from the very mild to the very serious, and everything in between.

What Is Gotu Kola? Where Does Gotu Kola Come From?

This interestingly-named plant is a herb, and native to Asia. It’s been used for centuries to heal wounds or skin issues, like psoriasis, eczema, and even leprosy. These days, it has many different medicinal benefits for all sorts of conditions, including UTIs, epilepsy, shingles, the flu, and stomach pain – to name but a few! It’s also used in many cuisines, including Sri Lankan, Indonesian and Vietnamese. Because it’s a herb, it works well in salads, rice dishes, curries, drinks and even porridge.

What Are The Benefits Of Gotu Kola?

There are numerous benefits that this humble herb has to offer – so many, in fact, that it has been coined ‘the herb of longevity’, because it benefits your health in so many ways. I’m going to focus on three of the most important ones, but you can rest assured that there are plenty more than what I’ll discuss today!

1. Cognitive Function

Woman looking at her laptop.

Woman working.

Ok, it isn’t going to turn you into Albert Einstein overnight – or even over a while. Still, there is evidence to suggest that gotu kola can help improve your cognitive function, because it has a centering effect. This means that it can help you become more aware and mindful of the world around you, and the things you learn and observe. It’s very different from a stimulant, which tends to have side effects and can also throw you off balance until you figure out the correct dosage. 

Gotu kola can help children who have difficulty concentrating to stay in the moment and keep focused on the task at hand. This is probably due to the fact that it promotes healthier blood circulation, including blood flow to the brain, which in turn improves mental abilities. The herb can also help improve memory, which makes it ideal for people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

People who live with neurological disorders like epilepsy  may also benefit from this herb. Thanks to its calming and mood-enhancing properties, it can help people deal with the condition. It also has a high antioxidant content, which may help to fight off free radicals in the brain and clear up neural pathways.  

2. Skin Health

Woman laughing with moisturizing lotion lines on face.

Woman with clear skin.

Due once again to those antioxidants, gotu kola has amazing anti-ageing effects on the skin. It’s also great for helping your skin deal with harsher environments, such as extreme cold.

In gotu kola you can find a compound known as Asiatic acid. This compound helps to strengthen the skin and increase collagen production, making it helpful for healing wounds and other skin damage. It’s also great for psoriasis, though perhaps not as effective as medication that is usually prescribed for the condition.

The herb is famous for combating cellulite, another skin condition which makes the skin look lumpy (not a good look). It works to increase blood flow to the affected area, which fights off inflammation and helps reduce the effects of the condition.

3. Mental Health & Mood

Finding yourself stressed out lately? You could be needing an extra dose of gotu kola. (A vacation probably wouldn’t hurt, either, but it’s a lot more expensive and a lot less practical.) Gotu kola has been proven to have relaxing and calming properties, as well as being helpful at increasing alertness. Sometimes taken by people suffering from depression or anxiety, albeit as a secondary treatment, it can help to boost mood and lower ‘startle response’.

People who suffer from anxiety generally react more extremely to things that startle them, such as a loud noise. Reducing the startle response is a good way to tell if the herb is helping to lower a person’s anxiety levels.

In some cases, gotu kola is also being used to help treat insomnia, because its relaxing effects help to calm the mind.

Gotu Kola Extract Explained

To reap the mental health benefits of gotu kola, you’ll need to take it in extract form. The average adult will need to take between 2,100 mg and 5,500 mg of extract to see the cognitive enhancing effects. Speak to your doctor or naturopath to determine what the correct dosage might be for you, if you are considering taking it as a supplement. Taking 500 mg of gotu kola extract twice a day has been shown to reduce anxiety, whilst taking 750 mg seems to have mood-enhancing effects.

Gotu Kola Cream Explained

Hands dipping finger in moisturizing lotion.

Applying gotu kola cream topically can be highly effective.

If you plan to use gotu kola for your skin, you’ll need to apply it topically in cream form. Many skin creams, particularly of the anti-ageing kind, boast gotu kola as an ingredient. It can help reduce or even eliminate wrinkles, fine lines and roughness, and helps to moisturize the skin. It can also be applied to affected skin, such as skin with cellulite, wounds, psoriasis or other damage.

Gotu Kola Powder Explained

Gotu kola is also available in powder form. You might prefer taking a tea of the herb rather than a supplement, for digestive or other benefits. If the taste is not your favorite, you can mask it by adding the powder to your morning smoothie or yogurt. There is no better way to start off your day than by giving yourself a brain boost! The powder of this herb is a great addition to your regular skin cream for supplementary skin health benefits. 

What Is A Safe Dosage Of Gotu Kola?

Taking anything between 1 gram and 5.5 grams a day, in capsule or extract form, can have tremendous benefits. Again, don’t decide how much to take on your own. The correct dosage depends on many factors – your health goals, weight, physical and mental state of health, etc. The dosage should be determined by a doctor or naturopath, and followed as instructed.

Conclusion

Herbal remedies are the method of choice for many people. Some are allergic to common medications or prescriptions, and therefore prefer to go natural. Others feel that they would rather try the natural route before letting unknown processed ingredients affect their body. Either way, there are definitely many instances where a person could benefit from a natural remedy. Herbs are generally cheaper, safer, and don’t run the risk of addiction.

If you find yourself suffering from a physical or mental ailment, it might be helpful to look into this amazing herb. It doesn’t only help with the conditions I’ve mentioned – there are many more that (due to word count, and all that) I haven’t even mentioned. You can purchase gotu kola in supplement, powder, leaf or cream form. And trust me, you won’t be sorry you did!

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