Gotu kola Reviews
Recent studies demonstrated that Gotu kola destroyed cultured tumor cells in the laboratory setting (in vitro),
promoted wound healing and more. This article summarize a few possible gotu kola benefits.
Gotu kola herb

Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica) is a slender, creeping plant that grows mainly in swampy areas of India, Sri Lanka,
Madagascara and South Africa. Because gotu kola's leaves are about the size of an old British penny, people also
called it  Indian pennywort, marsh penny or water pennywort.

Gotu Kola was considered as a spiritual herb in Ayurveda and it is used with meditation to revitalize the nerves and
brain cells. In traditional medicine, gotu kola is believed to help develop the crown charka, the energy center at the top
of the head. Gotu Kola is commonly used for "brain elevation". As early as in 1950s, Ratsimamanga AR et al and
Antonelli NS et al reported that gotu kola might have benefits on refractory wounds, such as leprosy, lupus and
ulcers.[1-5].  And the key ingredient of gotu kola is known to be asiatic acid, a pentacyclic triterpene. [6-9]
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POTENTIAL HEALTH BENEFITS OF GUTO KOLA - SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE

Oral treatment with crude methanol extract of gotu kola for 14 days was found to increase the anti-oxidant enzymes,
like superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase, and anti-oxidants like glutathione and ascorbic acid
decreased in lymphoma-bearing mice. [10] In another study, gotu Kola rendered radioprotection to DNA and
membranes against radiation exposure, both in vitro and in vivo. Administration of the extract was possibly able to
prevent a radiation-induced decline in antioxidant enzyme levels. [A2] Because of its anti-oxdative activities, there is a
reason to believe that gotu kola may have multiple health benefits. The following section discusses its potential benefits
on particular conditions.

Diabetes
Gotu Kola tablets, dosage 60 mg twice daily for 12 months, was found to be effective in improving the microcirculation
in diabetic microangiopathy and neuropathy, Treatment was well tolerated; no
side effects were reported. [Angiology.
2001 Oct;52 Suppl 2:S27-31] In another study, thirty patients with
diabetic microangiopathy were treated for 6 months
with total triterpenic fraction of Centella asiatica (
dosage 60 mg twice daily). After six months, there was a significant
improvement of microcirculatory parameter in patients treated with gotu kola. [Angiology. 2001 Oct;52 Suppl 2:S49-54.]
Thus, gotu kola may have benefit on people at risk of diabetes.

Venous Insufficiency and Hypertension
In a study of 94 patients suffered from venous insufficiency of the lower limbs, researchers found improvements in
symptoms of heaviness in the lower limbs and edema in the group treated with titrated extract of gotu kola
[11]

Total triterpenic fraction of gotu kola may benefit people with chronic venous hypertension and it may protect the
venous endothelium. The triterpenic fraction is active on connective tissue modulation, it improves the synthesis of
collagen and other tissue proteins by modulating the action of fibroblasts in the vein wall, and stimulates collagen
remodeling in and around the venous wall. Thus, it may have benefits in venous hypertension and edema or protection
against the deterioration of microcirculation (due to diabetic microangiopathy), but more studies are needed to confirm
this thought/finding.
[12]

Wound
Promoting wound healing may be one of the important gotu kola health benefits, studies of human skin fibroblast
culture suggest this wound healing action might be related to colagen and fibronectin. [13] There are some more
studies about gotu kola's potential health benefits on wound healing. In 1999, a study showed that topical asiaticoside
application twice daily for 7 days to excision-type cutaneous wounds in rats led to increased levels of antioxidants,
namely superoxide dismutase (35%), catalase (67%), glutathione peroxidase (49%), vitamin E (77%) and ascorbic acid
(36%) in newly formed tissues. These enhanced induction of antioxidant levels supports the hypothetical benefit claim
of guta kola on wound healing.
[14] Asiaticoside was also found to induce cell-cycle progression, proliferation and
collagen synthesis in human dermal fibroblasts. This may be another way to explain guta kola potential benefit on the
wound healing process. Again, clinical studies are needed to support this potential benefits.
[15]

In a study of rats suffered from gastric ulcer, the healing effect (the reduction of the ulcer size) of gotu kola water
extract/asiaticoside was dose-dependent. The healing effect seems to be related to NO synthesis inhibition. [17]
Furthermore, gotu kola juice was found to increase mucin secretion in rats, this may offer protection from ethanol-,
aspirin, cold-restraint stress- and pyloric ligation. [18]On the other hand, gotu kola water extract and asiaticoside was
found to upregulate the expression of basic fibroblast growth factor in ulcer tissue of rats suffered from gastric ulcers.
[19]

HSV
Aqueous extract of gotu kola was found to be  high effective on inhibition of HSV-II. [16] Thus, Gotu kola extract may
have some kinds of benefits against certain types of infection, but more studies are needed to verify the concept.

CANCER
Gotu Kola is believed to have many benefits on patients suffered from cancers; at least, it enhanced the anti-tumor
activities of vincristine in cell studies [17]

SKIN CANCER
A study demonstrated that asiatic acid (gotu kola) could  induce apoptosis of SK-MEL-2 human melanoma cells via
generation of ROS, alteration of Bax/Bcl-2 ratio and activation of caspase-3, but p53-independent. Consequently,  
asiatic acid (gotu kola)  may have potential health benefits on human skin cancer. [18]

GASTRIC ADENOCARCINOMA
A Japanese scientist prepared methanol extract from the aerial parts of gotu kola.  This extract contained ursolic acid
lactone, ursolic acid, pomolic acid, 2alpha,3alpha-dihydroxyurs-12-en-28-oic acid, 3-epimaslinic acid, asiatic acid,
corosolic acid, and rosmarinic acid. They found that all these compounds from gotu kola had antiproliferative activities
against human gastric adenocarcinoma (MK-1), human uterine carcinoma (HeLa), and murine melanoma (B16F10)
cells was estimated. [19]

UTERINE CARCINOMA
Yoshida M et al, Fukuoka University, Japan prepared methanol extract from the aerial parts of gotu kola.  This gotu
kola extract contained ursolic acid lactone, ursolic acid, pomolic acid, 2alpha,3alpha-dihydroxyurs-12-en-28-oic acid,
3-epimaslinic acid, asiatic acid, corosolic acid, and rosmarinic acid. They found that all these compounds had
antiproliferative activities against human gastric adenocarcinoma (MK-1), human uterine carcinoma (HeLa), and murine
melanoma (B16F10) cells was estimated. [20]

HEART AND LIVER CONDITIONS
Goto kola extract may benefit people at risk of certain cardiac and hepatic conditions. Researchers found that
pre-co-treatment with gotu kola (200 mg/kg of body wt/oral) extract significantly prevented the alterations of the levels
of serum makers LDH, CPK, GOT and GPT for myocardial damage as well as several important antioxidant enzymes
such as SOD, CAT, GPx, GST during the treatment of adriamycin. [21] Another group found that total glucosides of
gotu kola could improve the liver functions (in terms of serum ALT, AST, HA) as well as liver fibrosis during the
treatment with dimethylnitrosamine in animal studies. [22]

NEURON CONDITIONS
Gotu kola extracts are believe to benefit people at risk or even suffered from certain neuronal conditions. Researchers
have done extensive studies to investigate if this health benefit of gotu kola is true or not. Researchers from Seoul
National University, Korea, modified the chemical structure of asiatic acid (from gotu kola) and obtained 36 derivatives
and they found three derivatives significantly mitigated the neurotoxicity induced by glutamate in their screening
system. The neuroprotective activities of these 3 derivatives appeared to be more powerful than that of asiatic acid
itself. These 3 derivatives significantly attenuated decreases in the levels of glutathione, glutathione peroxidase and
other enzymes, which participate in the cellular defense mechanisms blunting oxidative stress. Furthermore, they also
significantly reduced the overproduction of NO induced by glutamate. [Res Commun Mol Pathol Pharmacol. 2000
Jul-Aug;108(1-2):75-86]

Considering, oxidative stress or an impaired endogenous anti-oxidant mechanism is an important factor for
Alzheimer's
disease and Intracerebroventricular streptozotocin (IS) in rats has been likened to sporadic Alzheimer's disease in
humans, Veerendra Kumar MH et al, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, India, studied the effect of an aqueous
extract of gotu kola on IS- rats. They found that rats treated with gotu kola showed a dose-dependent increase in
cognitive behaviour. They concluded that aqueous extract of C. asiatica is effective in preventing the cognitive deficits,
as well as the oxidative stress, caused by Intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) streptozotocin in rats. [Clin Exp Pharmacol
Physiol. 2003 May-Jun;30(5-6):336-42]

Researchers from Michigan State University showed that the neuroprotective properties of asiatic acid (a key
ingredient from Gotu Kola) might be mediated in part through decreased blood-brain barrier permeability and reduction
in mitochondrial injury in a mouse model of permanent cerebral ischemia. Asiatic acid significantly reduced the infarct
volume by 60% at day 1 and by 26% at day 7 postischemia and improved neurological outcome at 24 hr postischemia.
[A1]

Centella asiatica extract altered amyloid beta pathology in the brains of PSAPP mice and modulating components of
the oxidative stress response that has been implicated in the neurodegenerative changes that occur with Alzheimer's
disease. [A4]These findings are exciting, but still more studies are needed to test/or verify this hypothetical health
benefit of gotu kola.

RADIATION
Radiation is damaging to our body, especially if it intensity is high. However, gotu kola may protentially benefit us from
such condition. Researchers from University of Rajasthan, India showed that gotu kola dose increased the survival time
of the mice significantly, when the mice were irradiated with Co 60 gamma radiation externally. [Phytother Res. 2002
Dec;16(8):785-6] Anyway, I'm rather to avoid radiation, as the way to protect my body from radiation. Studies are
needed to verify the study results, and it is not sure how it protects us from radiation.

Potential Benefits on Joints Researchers from Centre for Specialised Nutrition demonstrated that Centella asiatica
fraction was able to inhibit the zymosan-induced cartilage degradation in vivo without affecting the zymosan-induced
inflammatory cell infiltration and joint swelling. [A3]
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Gotu Kola Side Effects??
Some websites say asiaticoside is associated with tumor in an animal study. But an in vitro study indicates asiaticoside
is an anti-tumor agent and enhanced anti-tumor activity of vincristine in the study. [A5]
Overdosage of gotu kola may
cause
side effects such as headache, stomach upset, nausea, dizziness, and extreme drowsiness.
For details, please, click
Gotu Kola Side Effects.
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Gotu Kola Tea Benefits
Gotu Kola Tea has been claimed to have benefits of enhancing brain and memory functions, treating Alzheimer's
Disease and overcoming stress and fatigue by online venders. Unfortunately, these claims have no or very limited
direct scientific support. Clinical studies or at least more animal studies are needed to verify these
gotu kola tea
benefits.
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Cellulite Hair Loss
Gotu kola benefits, gotu kola side effects
gotu kola reviews and gotu kola dosage Reviewed on September 29, 2013
A1 Krishnamurthy RG, Senut MC, Zemke D, Min J, Frenkel MB, Greenberg EJ, Yu SW, Ahn N, Goudreau J, Kassab M, Panickar KS, Majid A. Asiatic acid, a pentacyclic triterpene from Centella
asiatica, is neuroprotective in a mouse model of focal cerebral ischemia. J Neurosci Res. 2009 Aug 15;87(11):2541-50. A2. Joy J, Nair CK. Protection of DNA and membranes from
gamma-radiation induced damages by Centella asiatica. J Pharm Pharmacol. 2009 Jul;61(7):941-7.  A3 Hartog A, Smit HF, van der Kraan PM, Hoijer MA, Garssen J.  In vitro and in vivo
modulation of cartilage degradation by a standardized Centella asiatica fraction.Exp Biol Med (Maywood).  2009 Jun;234(6):617-23. Epub 2009 Mar 23.  [A4] Dhanasekaran M, Holcomb LA, Hitt
AR, Tharakan B, Porter JW, Young KA, Manyam BV. Centella asiatica extract selectively decreases amyloid beta levels in hippocampus of Alzheimer's disease animal model. Phytother Res.
2009 Jan;23(1):14-9.  [A5] Huang YH, Zhang SH, Zhen RX, Xu XD, Zhen YS. Asiaticoside inducing apoptosis of tumor cells and enhancing anti-tumor activity of vincristine. Ai Zheng. 2004
Dec;23(12):1599-604.1. RATSIMAMANGA AR et al., Therapie. 1956;11(1):125-49. 2. RATSIMAMANGA AR et al., Lyon Med. 1957 Apr 28;89(17):389-95. 3. RATSIMAMANGA AR et al., Presse
Med. 1958 Dec 6;66(86):1933 passim. 4. Fubcato M., Minerva Chir. 1960 Nov 30;15:1235-8. 5. Antonellic NS, Prensa Med Argent. 1961 Nov 24;48:3154-6. 6. RAHANDRAHA T et al, Ann Pharm
Fr. 1963 Apr;21:313-20. 7. RAHANDRAHA T et al, Ann Pharm Fr. 1963 Jul-Aug;21:561-7. 8. Boiteau P et al, C R Acad Sci Hebd Seances Acad Sci D. 1967 Jan 9;264(2):407-10. 9. Park BC et
al, Cancer Lett. 2005 Jan 31;218(1):81-90 10 [Jayashree G et alFitoterapia. 2003 Jul;74(5):431-4]. [11] Angiology. 1987 Jan;38(1 Pt 1):46-50]. [12] Incandela L et al Angiology. 2001 Oct;52
Suppl 2:S9-13, Angiology. 2001 Oct;52 Suppl 2:S61-7, Angiology. 2001 Oct;52 Suppl 2:S55-9, Angiology. 2001 Oct;52 Suppl 2:S49-54][13] Tenni R et al Ital J Biochem. 1988
Mar-Apr;37(2):69-77].[14] Shukla et al Phytother Res. 1999 Feb;13(1):50-4][15] Lu L et alInt J Dermatol. 2004 Nov;43(11):801-7].[16] J Tradit Chin Med. 1989 Jun;9(2):113-6][17] Guo JS et
al,Planta Med. 2004 Dec;70(12):1150-4]. [18] Indian J Exp Biol. 2001 Feb;39(2):137-42].19] Life Sci. 2004 Mar 19;74(18):2237-49][17] Huang YH et al Ai Zheng. 2004 Dec;23(12):1599-604][18]
Park BC et alCancer Lett. 2005 Jan 31;218(1):81-90]. [19] Yoshida M et al Biol Pharm Bull. 2005 Jan;28(1):173-5][20] Biol Pharm Bull. 2005 Jan;28(1):173-5][21] Life Sci. 2004 Dec
17;76(5):585-97][22] Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. 2004 Aug;24(8):731-4].
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This article discusses the benefits and side effects of guto kola extracts. New information is always available. Please, send me an email
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