Centella Asiatica, more commonly known as Gotu Kola, is a green leaf shaped like a fan that has many medicinal purposes. It is native to Asian regions, such as China, Japan, India, and Indonesia, and has been used as a natural herbal remedy for stretch marks and other skin conditions.
Specifically, it has been considered one of the most important rejuvenating herbs in Ayurvedic medicine, which is holistic treatments used in India.
Citizens of Sri Lankan, a country in South Asia, first discovered Gotu Kola by observing elephants.
They noticed that elephants, animals that have long lifespans, often ate the leaves of Gotu Kola, and it became known as a “promoter of long life.” Gotu Kola’s nickname seems like a good fit.
The benefits of Gotu Kola are numerous. It has been known to improve the immune system, mental function, and the circulatory systems.
Gotu Kola is used to treat a wide variety of illness as well. It can fight against high blood pressure, numerous types of infections, respiratory illnesses, and much more. Furthermore, Gotu Kola provides many benefits to skin, which is the focus of this article (Gotukola, 2017).
There are three main ways Gotu Kola benefits the skin:
- healing skin injuries;
- combating skin conditions;
- improving overall skin health.
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Gotu Kola Promotes Rapid Healing
Gotu Kola is well known for its ability to heal wounds. It’s no surprise that it is often used as a natural healing remedy, as it has anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Some Chinese legends have even referred to Gotu Kola as “the fountain of life.”
There are quite a few ways that this healing herb helps repair skin that has been damaged.
Gotu Kola is applied to several types of burns. While it doesn’t completely heal a burn, it can speed up the healing process. It has even been found to be effective in healing second and third degree burns when it is applied to skin soon after it is burned.
Sometimes Gotu Kola is combined with intramuscular injections to limit how much the skin shrinks during a burn’s healing process.
Exactly how Gotu Kola is used to heal burns is a little fuzzy. Gotu Kola leaves can be placed directly onto wounds, and they often are. However, it is unclear whether leaves are placed directly on burns or how long they are kept on burns.
One suggestion for using Gotu Kola to heal minor burns is to find a burn cream that uses it as one of its ingredients.
Gotu Kola is often combined with other ingredients, such as Aloe Vera, that are commonly used to heal burns (Livestrong, 2017).
Along with healing burns, Gotu Kola reduces scarring caused by burns and other skin injuries. This is because Gotu Kola has active compounds called triterpenoid compounds. These triterpenoids are also known as asiaticoside, madecassoside, and madasiatic acid.
While the scientific names probably aren’t important to you, their ability to heal should be. They affect collagen in several ways. One way is by limiting or preventing scar tissue from producing.
Gotu Kola is often used to treat keloids. Keloids are hard growths that are a result of excessive scar tissue growth. They grow on the outside of the skin and are sometimes larger than the original wound was (Healthline, 2015).
Keloids can be caused by acne and chickenpox scars, burns, ear piercings, scratches, and surgeries. Typically, a topical form of Gotu Kola will be used to treat keloids.
Ointments, creams, and gels that contain Gotu Kola extract have been known to reduce keloid scars and to prevent them from growing later.
Reduces stretch marks
Along with reducing scars, Gotu Kola has been known to improve the appearance of stretch marks.
Technically, stretch marks are a type of scar. They are caused by stretching or tearing when an individual gains or loses a significant amount of weight in a brief period of time. They are found in the dermis layer of skin and can look purple, red, pink, or even white. Typically, stretch marks will appear around the hips, thighs, or butt.
Gotu Kola is effective in treating stretch marks because it stimulates collagen and improves blood circulation, both of which are important components of skin repair.
There are a couple of ways Gotu Kola can be used to reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Both topical creams and oral supplements have been known to have positive effects on stretch marks (Livestrong, 2017).
One research study showed that when Gotu Kola was combined with onion extract cream and hyaluronic acid, it reduced stretch marks significantly within 12 weeks. Creams that combine Gotu Kola Extract with vitamin E have also been found to be effective (Healthline, 2015).
Another way to receive the benefits of Gotu Kola is to take an oral supplement. Some studies have shown taking about 60mg of Gotu Kola for 90 days decreased the amount of cellulite in the butt and thighs.
Supplements that use the triterpene compounds of Gotu Kola can also be effective in treating stretch marks. However, before taking a Gotu Kola oral supplement do research on the one you plan to take. Make sure it has good customer reviews and contains the correct dosage amount to be effective.
Treats varicose veins
Varicose veins can be unsightly and painful. They are a result of veins twisting and swelling. Often they are a bluish, purplish color and feel raised when you run your fingers over them.
They can also be tender and sore to the touch. Luckily, there are many different treatments for varicose veins, including natural remedies such as Gotu Kola.
The asiaticoside and madecassoide found in Gotu Kola are often used to treat chronic venous insufficiency, which is a condition that can cause varicose and spider veins.
Asiaticoside and madecassoide prevent blood vessels from leaking, or pooling, essentially improving blood circulation. By preventing blood from pooling, Gotu Kola reduces the amount of swelling in the legs, which helps decrease the development of varicose veins.
There is not much information regarding how much, or what form of, Gotu Kola should be taken. One source suggests that 180mg of Gotu Kola a day will improve venous conditions, such as varicose veins.
Typically, oral supplements are used to treat conditions like varicose veins, as they improve blood circulation from the inside of the body instead of through a cream or gel.
Gotu Kola fights skin diseases
Not only does Gotu Kola help the skin heal quicker after burns and other injuries, but it fights against several specific skin diseases.
Its ability to fight skin disease was probably first discovered, when it was originally used to treat leprosy.
Today, Gotu Kola’s ability to treat skin disease has grown. The more research that is conducted about this herb’s anti-bacterial properties, the more evidence there is supporting the claim that it can be used as an effective prevention plan for a variety of conditions.
Cellulite is a skin condition in which fat deposits build underneath the skin making it look dimply or lumpy.
It is most commonly appears in the butt and thighs and usually doesn’t appear in individuals that have not gone through puberty.
Cellulite doesn’t seem to cause serious health problem, but it can look unsightly and feel uncomfortable. Some common nicknames for cellulite include cottage cheese skin and the mattress phenomenon.
There currently are no scientific methods known to get rid of cellulite after it forms.
Eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly has to be the best method for preventing cellulite from forming and for reducing the appearing of cellulite. However, there are some herbs, such as Gotu Kola, that have been known to fight against the formation of cellulite.
Gotu Kola fights against cellulite by acting as a natural diuretic. It increases blood flow to areas where cellulite typical forms, and reducing any inflammation (Gotukola, 2017).
Furthermore, the healing properties of Gotu Kola help support connective tissue, which can possibly prevent cellulite from forming.
Gotu Kola can also be combined with other fat-reducing ingredients, such as glycyrrhetinic acid and horse chestnut, to make it more effective.
Similar to how it fights against the formation of cellulite, Gotu Kola also protects the skin from the formation of cancer. Damage from the sun is one of the main causes of skin cancer. Every time an individual tans or discolors their skin and every time you get a sunburn, the chances of developing skin cancer increases.
This is because UV light damages elastin, which is the fibers in our skin. When elastin is damaged, it causes the skin to sag and stretch. Over a period of time damaged elastin also makes it difficult for skin to heal quickly.
Eventually, UV light can cause enough damage to cause skin cancer. Therefore, it is important to do whatever you can to reduce exposure to UV. This is where Gotu Kola can be useful (MedicineNet, 2017).
While Gotu Kola cannot be used to cure cancer, it has been known to be effective in preventing cancer. This is because Gotu Kola can protect the skin from UV radiation. In one study completed in 2012, human cells that were treated with Gotu Kola were not as affected by the toxicity of UV radiation.
Treats acne and dermatitis
Acne may not be the worst skin condition an individual has to deal with, but it can still be annoying and make an individual feel insecure about the way he or she looks.
Of course, there are a lot of creams, wipes, and facial treatments meant to get rid of acne. However, for those who prefer using natural remedies, Gotu Kola is an option.
It’s anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties helps clear up acne and dermatitis. Creams that use Gotu Kola Extract should be effective in treating acne. However, individuals who take 1 to 3oz. of Gotu Kola should also see results.
Read: How To Get Rid Of Stretch Marks: The Ultimate Guide
Gotu Kola Has Anti-Aging Properties
It probably comes as no surprise to find out Gotu Kola has anti-aging properties, considering it plays an important role in the healing of various skin injuries. This article has already touched on the way Gotu Kola improves the look and feel of skin.
For example, the positive effects Gotu Kola has on collagen production reduces scars and stretch marks. However, collagen also plays a role in how young and healthy skin looks.
So, what exactly is collagen? Collagen is a protein in the body that is considered one of the “building blocks” for bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and skin. Specifically, it is collagen type IV that is found in skin.
When collagen production decreases, your skin suffers. Skin elasticity starts to decrease, which will make your skin sag. Therefore, the boost in collagen production Gotu Kola provides, tightens skin. This reduces wrinkles and other fine lines, making your skin look young and vibrant (Truthinageing, 2017).
There are several ways you can use Gotu Kola to make skin look young, healthy, and vibrant.
The first way is to purchase a cream that includes Gotu Kola Extract as one of its ingredients. Many skin-tightening or anti-aging creams include it in their formula. However, you might want to find a cream that uses it as a main ingredient in order to actually benefit from it.
Another suggestion is to ingest Gotu Kola. You can do this by purchasing Gotu Kola tea or other drinks that use it as one of the ingredients.
Read: 39 Foods And Vitamins To Help You Avoid Stretch Marks
Gotu Kola: A Miracle Herb?
Gotu Kola certainly provides many skin benefits, as well as benefits not included in this article. While it may have been dubbed “promoter of life” and “the fountain of life” by early users, there is still a lot of research being conducted about this herb.
In the meantime, it is still a promising idea to look into Gotu Kola supplements and topical creams that use Gotu Kola as one of its ingredients.
The skin benefits Gotu Kola provides are just too good to pass up.
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