Gotu Kola
Gotu Kola
This information describes the common uses of Gotu Kola, how it works, and its possible side effects.

Common Name

Indian pennywort, hydrocotyle, mandukaparni, madecassol, TECA, centelase, tsubo-kusa, luei gong gen, idrocotyle, kaki kuda

How It Works

Gotu kola has not been shown to treat or prevent cancer.

Gotu kola is a plant that contains many biologically active compounds. Although this botanical has been studied extensively in the laboratory, very few studies have been conducted in humans. Laboratory studies have found a range of effects including improved wound healing and anti-inflammatory effects. Studies in humans have suggested that gotu kola can decrease venous pressure in people with venous insufficiency and may be able to relieve anxiety.

Purported Uses

  • To treat burns
    Laboratory data and few human studies suggest that gotu kola aids in wound healing.
  • To lower high blood pressure
    Several clinical trials show that gotu kola can reduce venous hypertension in patients with chronic venous insufficiency, but there is no evidence that this herb can treat typical (arterial) high blood pressure.
  • To treat psoriasis
    Laboratory experiments suggest that gotu kola can reduce inflammation, but human data are lacking.
  • For sedation
    One preliminary study in humans found that gotu kola can decrease the ”startle response.”
  • To treat chronic venous insufficiency
    Several clinical trials support this use.
  • To improve cognitive function
    Data from a clinical study supports this claim.

Do Not Take If

  • You are taking drugs that are substrates of CytochromeP450 2C9, CYP 2D6, CYP 3A4, and CYP2 C19enzymes (Gotu kola may increase the risk of side effects of these drugs).

Side Effects

  • Contact dermatitis
  • Liver toxicity
  • Reduced fertility in female mice

Special Point

  • Gotu kola should not be confused with kolanut. Gotu kola does not contain any caffeine and has not been shown to have stimulant properties.
  • Depending on where gotu kola is grown, the content of active compounds in this herb can vary widely.