Gotu Cola (Asian gas horse, Centella asiatica in Latin). It grows mainly in high humidity mountain areas at altitudes of up to 1800 m. Grows in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, South Africa and Northern Europe.
A growing number of studies are investigating the beneficial effects og Gotu Kola, with the triterpenoids and saponins it contains providing much of its health benefits.
Because of its role in wound healing and the treatment of skin diseases (leprosy, ulcers, eczema, psoriasis, lupus), Gotu Kola is used in many creams. The researchers have identified an active ingredient in Gotu Kola that stimulates collagen synthesis and the formation of new blood vessels - the role of Gotu Kola in wound healing can be explained by this active ingredinet - and by stimulating collagen formation, it can also help to maintain skin firmness and healthy joints and blood vessels (of course, this requires adequate collagen). It also has a role to play in the treatment of skin disease, both by helping to produce new connective tissue as mentioned above (so that the body can more easily replace problematic connective tissue) and by increasing the function of anti-inflammatory antioxidant enzymes.
So Gotu Kola also has anti-inflammatory effects, which is why a number of active ingredients work together - some have a direct antioxidant effect to fight free radicals that damage cells, some stimulate the action of antioxidant enzymes (like the enzyme mentioned above) and some reduce the number of inflammatory cells - these inflammatory cells would damage healthy cells with free radicals if they overproliferated. Because of its anti-inflammatory effect, it can generally prevent many diseases or improve existing ones. In addition to skin ulcers, it can also improve stomach ulcers.
Inflammatory cells are also activated by an enzyme responsible for the sensation of pain (called cyclooxygenase COX). The active ingredients in Gotu Kola are able to reduce the activity of this enzyme, so in addititon to its anti-inflammatory effects, it may also have analgesic effects. This is why it has been used in traditional medicine to relieve pain and treat joint disorders (such as rheumatism).
Its anti-inflammatory properties and its serotonin and GABA hormone boosting effects also protect against a number of nervous system disorders and may stimulate brain function and well-being. Serotonin is the happy hormone and can help manage stress and improve mood - so Gotu Kola can also improve low mood in times of depression. GABA is the main inhibitory hormone, it inhibits nerve cell function and in epilepsy the nerve cells suddenly start to overwork - in many cases GABA levels are reduced, Gotu Kola's GABA stimulating effect can also improve epilepsy and further enhance its stress management effect.
Gotu Kola extract is considered safe to take if the recommended amounts are adhered to. However, side effects may occur, when used externally, it can cause allergies and burning sensations, when used internally it can cause headaches, upset stomach, dizziness and drowsiness. These side effects are most common at higher doses. Long-term use may cause infertility in women. In the absence of information, it is not recommended for use in pregnant or breastfeeding women.
The recommended daily dose of Gotu Kola is 600 mg of dried leaf (powder) or 60-120 mg of extract is the most commonly used. It is important to add, as with all herbs, consume for 6 weeks, then rest for 2 weeks, then resume consumption. In addition, consult a doctor before taking any supplements.