Gotu kola: a powerful ingredient for wellness and skin

by | Aug 22, 2023 | Diet & herbs, Featured blog post

Centella Asiatica L. or gotu kola, also known as Indian pennywort and Asiatic pennywort, has been gaining a lot of attention lately, especially in skin care. What makes it so unique?

Used traditionally in the foods and as traditional medicine of South East Asia, gotu kola is a leafy green vegetable known as highly valued for its high triterpenoids and beneficial carotenoids. Full of vitamins B and C, proteins and minerals, and other phytonutrients. 

Gotu kola benefits

Gotu kola has a rich history of usage in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. In Ayurveda, it’s known as tridoshic, which means that it balances all three doshas: vata, pitta, and kapha. 

Even though it’s often referred to as brahmi (bacopa monnieri), these two herbs are not the same. Both herbs are rasayana or rejuvenating herbs, and while they have many similar benefits, they also provide unique ones. For example, both function as medhyarasayanas or memory enhancers, but brahmi is believed to be more potent, while gotu kola is more effective in helping address skin disorders. Gotu kola is renowned for its ability to help promote healthy skin and slow down aging. 

For thousands of years, it’s been used to aid in a wide range of situations, such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Brain function
  • Boosting energy
  • Boosting vitality and promoting longevity 
  • Cardiac disorders
  • Common colds and coughs
  • Aid in detoxification
  • Diabetes
  • Diarrhea
  • Emotional well-being
  • Enhancing sexual potency
  • Menstrual disorders
  • Sinus conditions
  • Slowing Hansen’s (leprosy) disease
  • Skin diseases
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Venereal diseases

Gotu kola and skin care

While known for its effectiveness in helping treat skin wounds and burns, research shows that gotu kola helps promote increased collagen production and improve the tensile strength of newly formed skin, thus resulting in beneficial applications in skin care. 

Other gotu kola skincare benefits include:

  • Cooling effect: Delivers a cooling effect that helps soothe red, irritated, and sensitive skin.
  • Limits appearance of varicose veins: Penetrating deep into the skin, gotu kola has been found to repair varicose veins as it aids in breaking down the cellulite and shrinking the connective tissues.
  • Increases blood flow and circulation: Aids in increased blood circulation to deliver vital skin nutrients.
  • Helps tighten loose skin: Aids in collagen production as well as helps prevent further collagen breakdown, improving skin elasticity. Especially when combined with other Ayurvedic herbs such as ashwagandha and amalaki.
  • Brightens skin: Extracts from gotu kola are rich in centelloids, flavonoids, and tannis. These components have a high tyrosinase content, which helps prevent melanogenesis production. In turn, it helps reduce the appearance of dark spots, leaving your skin looking bright, clear, and glowing.
  • Reduces sight of stress marks: Chronic stress can take a toll on just on your physical health but your overall skin health as well. Gotu kola, we know, is known to host anti-aging properties, but it’s hailed for its calming antidepressant effects as well.
  • Help manage acne: Gotu kola has been used to treat acne for ages. Its anti-inflammatory properties aid in treating acne lesions, and its antibacterial and antioxidant properties assist in stopping bacterial buildup. So it helps prevent and heal old acne scars.

DIY skincare tips with gotu kola 

Gotu kola can be used for skin care in various forms, such as:

Gotu kola oil

Extracted from the leaves via infusion with a carrier oil such as sesame. Use to help treat red, inflamed acne by adding 10ml of gotu kola oil along with two to three drops of tea tree oil for a no-drying, skin-nourishing acne spot treatment.

Gotu kola powder

Gotu kola can also be found in powdered form. You can create your own gotu kola face mask or try the MY24/7 Milk and Honey Face Mask to restore, nourish and brighten your skin. 

If you want to create your own, take gotu kola powder with honey, ela powder, triphala powder, and some milk, and use it as a mask on your face to help relieve dry skin. To fight anti-aging, mix gotu kola powder, guduchi, and ashwagandha powders with some honey and rose water for an anti-aging mask. 

If you’re looking for a facial toner with gotu kola, check out the MY24/7 Facial Toner and Spray, which contains the power trio of gotu kola, amalaki, and ashwagandha to help with collagen and elastin production. 

Gotu kola leaves

Lastly, you can consume gotu kola and its leaves in a lovely gotu kola tea or toss in some loose gotu kola leaves with your own tea. Better yet, make gotu kola juice by blending the leaves and combining lemon juice, roasted cumin powder, and black salt. Ingesting gotu kola can still help numerous skin ailments, including anti-aging and just overall health.

Happy experimenting! 

Image from wikipedia.org

This post aims to give you the ayurvedic perspective on health and is not meant as medical advice. Consult a qualified healthcare professional about your specific situation.

Click here to learn more about our guest author, Janis Beck.
Reviewed and edited by board-certified ayurvedic medicine practitioner, Petra N.

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