Gotu KolaCentella asiatica
• Anal Fissures,
Gotu kola is a creeping plant native to subtropical and tropical climates. Gotu kola has a long history of use in
Based on these many traditional indications, gotu kola was accepted as a drug in France in the 1880s. British physicians in Africa used a special extract to treat leprosy.
What Is Gotu Kola Used for Today?
The best-documented use of gotu kola is to treat chronic venous insufficiency
Gotu kola has also been suggested as a treatment for
Like other herbs used for the treatment of varicose veins, gotu kola is thought to work by strengthening connective tissues. This has led to trials of gotu kola extracts for preventing or treating
Gotu kola has a reputation for improving memory, and the positive results from a study in rats performed in 1992 produced a temporary rush of public interest in gotu kola as a "
Gotu kola should not be confused with the caffeine-containing
What Is the Scientific Evidence for Gotu Kola?
Venous Insufficiency/Varicose Veins
For example, a 2-month
Another 2-month study of double-blind design enrolled 90 people with varicose veins and compared the benefits of gotu kola at 60 mg and 30 mg daily against placebo.
In one study of people with venous insufficiency, 2 weeks of treatment with gotu kola extracts was shown to reduce the time necessary for the swelling to disappear.
Another study of double-blind design followed 87 people with varicose veins and compared the benefits of gotu kola at 60 mg and 30 mg daily against placebo.
Gotu kola has been used in traditional
The usual dosage of gotu kola is 20 to 60 mg 3 times daily of an extract standardized to contain 40% asiaticoside, 29% to 30% asiatic acid, 29% to 30% madecassic acid, and 1% to 2% madecassoside. When using it for venous insufficiency, give gotu kola at least 4 weeks to work.
For the prevention of keloid scars (a purpose for which gotu kola has not been proven effective), the herb is typically taken for 3 months prior to surgery, and for another 3 months afterwards.
When taken orally, gotu kola seldom causes any side effects other than the occasional allergic skin rash, and safety studies suggest that it is essentially non-toxic.
. However, one animal study hints that gotu kola might have carcinogenic effects if applied topically to the skin.
Although gotu kola has not been proven safe for pregnant or nursing women, studies in rabbits suggest that it does not harm fetal development,
2. Bradwejn J, Zhou Y, Koszycki D, et al. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study on the effects of Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica) on acoustic startle response in healthy subjects. J Clin Psychopharmacol . 2000;20:680-684.
6. Cesarone MR, Laurora G, De Sactis MT, et al. The microcirculatory activity of Centella asiatica in venous insufficiency. A double-blind study [translated from Italian]. Minerva Cardioangiol . 1994;42:299-304.
12. Bradwejn J, Zhou Y, Koszycki D, et al. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study on the effects of Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica) on acoustic startle response in healthy subjects. J Clin Psychopharmacol . 2000;20:680-684.
17. Klovekorn W, Tepe A, Danesch U. 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;45:583-591.
Last reviewed April 2009 by EBSCO CAM Review Board
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