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

How It Works

Only a few studies suggest that gotu kola may be helpful for wound healing or poor circulation. Larger studies that confirm such results are needed.

Gotu kola is a plant that contains many biologically active compounds. Although this botanical is popular in traditional medicines, it has mostly been studied in the lab. A variety of properties have been described, including improved wound healing and anti-inflammatory effects.

Only a few studies of gotu kola have been conducted in humans. Some data suggest that it can decrease venous pressure in people with venous insufficiency, speed wound healing, relieve anxiety, or improve cognition. However, there is insufficient evidence to support its use for any of these conditions.

Purported Uses

  • To lower high blood pressure
    Several clinical trials suggest 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 chronic venous insufficiency
    Several clinical trials suggest benefit.
  • To treat wounds or burns
    Only a few lab and human studies suggest that gotu kola aids in wound healing and may reduce inflammation. Additional studies are needed.
  • To improve cognitive function
    A preliminary study suggests benefit, but a meta-analysis did not find strong enough evidence to support the use of gotu kola for cognitive function improvement. Larger well-designed studies are needed.

Do Not Take If

  • You are taking drugs that are substrates of cytochrome P450 1A2, 2C9, 2D6, 3A4, and 2C19 enzymes: Lab studies suggest that gotu kola may increase the risk of side effects of these drugs. Clinical relevance has yet to be determined.

Side Effects

  • Skin rash
  • Liver toxicity

Special Point

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