7 Gotu Kola Benefits
1. Enhances Memory
One of the most well-known gotu kola benefits is its potential to improve cognition and sharpen memory.
A study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease revealed that gotu kola extract may be able to improve memory at the molecular level by enhancing the activity of a pathway that is associated with long-term memory formation. (2)
This was demonstrated in a 2002 animal study in which rats were given gotu kola extract and put through a series of tests to measure their cognitive function. The extract was shown to improve learning and memory by increasing antioxidant levels in the blood. (3)
Another study found that supplementation with gotu kola was able to boost both memory and cognitive function in elderly participants. (4)
Thanks to its strong memory-enhancing abilities, this powerful plant has found itself in the spotlight lately as a natural treatment to help slow age-related decline and the progression of conditions like Alzheimer’s disease.
2. Improves Circulation
Poor circulation can be a result of many different causes, including varicose veins, obesity, diabetes and peripheral artery disease. Decreases in blood flow can be behind symptoms like numbness, tingling and muscle pain.
Traditional treatments to help improve circulation include exercising, elevating your legs and avoiding long periods of immobility. Supplementation with gotu kola may also help, as it has been studied extensively for its unique ability to naturally improve blood circulation.
One study gave 87 participants with poor circulation a dosage of 30 milligrams or 60 milligrams twice a day for 60 days. This was found to significantly improve circulation compared to a placebo. (5)
Meanwhile, a review published in 2013 looked at eight studies and found that gotu kola was effective at improving circulation and alleviating symptoms of poor circulation such as swelling, leg heaviness and pain. (5)
Adding gotu kola to your daily routine, along with other remedies like regular physical activity, can increase blood flow to help you avoid the negative side effects of poor circulation.
3. Repairs Skin
Another remarkable benefit of gotu kola is its ability to repair skin cells and boost the health of your skin.
It effectively enhances antioxidant activity in your tissues. This aids in wound healing and skin regeneration. Antioxidants can help neutralize harmful free radicals. These are compounds that accumulate over time to cause oxidative damage and accelerate aging.
One animal study found that applying gotu kola to wounds twice daily increased the levels of some antioxidants by up to 77 percent after seven days. (6)
In another animal study, it was applied to wounds three times a day for 24 days, which was found to increase collagen production and regenerate new skin cells faster. (7) Collagen is the most abundant type of protein in the body and it is responsible for the repair and renewal of the skin.
Because of its positive effects on skin health, gotu kola is also often used topically as a natural remedy for skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.
4. Eases Depression and Anxiety
In addition to being good for your physical health, some studies have found that gotu kola could benefit your mental health too.
This is because it possesses anxiolytic and antidepressant properties. This means it can naturally inhibit anxiety, help treat depression, calm nerves and even act as a sedative to promote better sleep. (8)
A 2010 study gave 33 participants 500 milligrams of gotu kola twice a day for 60 days. Not only did this cause a reduction in anxiety levels, but it also decreased levels of stress and depression as well. (9)
A study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology produced similar findings and showed that elderly participants supplementing with gotu kola showed improvements in both mood and memory. (10)
Additionally, there have been multiple animal studies that have confirmed the beneficial anxiety-relieving and antidepressant effects of gotu kola. (11, 12)
5. Prevents Gastric Ulcers
Gastric ulcers are sores that form on the lining of the stomach, esophagus or small intestine. They cause symptoms like pain, nausea and bleeding. (13)
Some studies suggest that gotu kola can help prevent and treat these harmful lesions by strengthening the intestinal barrier and blocking damage from harmful free radicals.
In fact, a study in the journal Life Sciences showed that supplementing rats with gotu kola reduced the formation of gastric ulcers by up to 82 percent. (14)
Another animal study found that the active compounds of gotu kola were able to decrease gastric ulcer size after just three days. (15)
Paired with other gastric ulcer treatments, such as reducing stress levels, limiting alcohol consumption and avoiding foods that irritate your stomach, gotu kola could aid in the prevention and treatment of gastric ulcers.
6. Reduces Inflammation
Inflammation is a normal biological response to injury. Chronic inflammation, however, can wreak major havoc on the body and contribute to conditions like heart disease, obesity, arthritis, diabetes and cancer.
From protecting your cells against damage to preventing chronic disease, antioxidants are essential to many aspects of health. They have even been shown to help alleviate inflammation. (16)
Gotu kola can enhance antioxidant activity in the body. This may help reduce inflammation and aid in the treatment of several inflammatory disorders. (17)
A 2008 animal study, for example, showed that its active compounds were able to decrease several inflammatory markers and reduce arthritis severity in rats. (18)
To really take advantage of its inflammation-busting benefits, be sure to fill your diet with other antioxidant-rich whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables.
7. May Help Kill Cancer Cells
Though current research is limited to test-tube studies, some evidence shows that gotu kola could help kill cancer cells.
This is likely due to its potent antioxidant activity, as antioxidants can help neutralize cancer-causing free radicals and prevent damage to your cells.
One study in 2008 treated human breast cancer cells with gotu kola extract and found that it successfully blocked cancer growth and induced cancer cell death. (19)
Another study found that it was effective in causing cell death for several strains of cancer cells, including human breast cancer cells, mouse skin cancer cells, and rat brain cancer cells. (20)
However, although this evidence is promising, more studies are needed to evaluate the potential effect of gotu kola on cancer cells in humans