Today, I’m thrilled to whisk you away on an adventure deep into Asia’s lush, verdant rainforests, where an age-old skincare secret has been cultivated and cherished for millennia. Our destination? The fascinating world of Gotu Kola is a humble plant with an extraordinary punch of benefits for your skin. We’re diving into the mystique and magic of this little-known skincare superstar, so get ready for a rejuvenating journey that will reframe your beauty routine like never before.
By the time you finish this post, you’ll be privy to the top 12 benefits that Gotu Kola offers to your skin. And trust me, this isn’t your everyday essential moisturizer or cleanser talk – we’re exploring potent antioxidants, deep hydration, collagen synthesis, and so much more. You’ll learn how this fascinating herb can help rejuvenate your skin, fight off signs of aging, and even address sensitive skin issues like eczema and psoriasis.
Together, we’ll delve into the science behind these benefits, decipher the compounds that make Gotu Kola a potent skincare ingredient, and share my experience and tips on incorporating it into your skincare regimen. So buckle up, skincare enthusiasts, because this journey into the heart of botanical beauty is about to take off! Let’s unmask the enigma of Gotu Kola and transform how you care for your skin. Onward to radiant and revitalized skin!
Embrace Your Thirties with the Magic of Gotu Kola
Hello gorgeous! If, like me, you’ve noticed your thirties gracefully etching a few fine lines and wrinkles onto your face, don’t fret! It’s time to take a leaf out of Ayurveda’s book (or rather, plant) and dive into the transformative world of Gotu Kola – your skin’s new best friend.
Consider this nature’s own Botox therapy. Known to scientists as Centella Asiatica but to us as gotu kola, this humble herb is the current belle of the skincare ball. With its fantastic potential to boost skin elasticity, speed up wound healing, and even combat pesky acne, it’s no wonder that gotu kola is making waves.
Say ‘Hello!’ to Gotu Kola
Let’s get to know our star a little better, shall we? Gotu Kola is a therapeutic herb, part of the Apiaceae plant family. You’ll find it gracing salads and garnishing dishes across various Asian cuisines, from the Burmese and Sri Lankan to the Indian, Malay, and Bangladeshi.
One of my favorite ways to enjoy gotu kola? In a Bengali, treat called ‘Thankuni patar bora,’ delightful little cakes are made with this herb. A feast for your taste buds and your skin!
The Ayurvedic Perspective on Gotu Kola
Gotu Kola, also known as Mandukaparni, has long been hailed as a miraculous ‘rasayana’ herb in Ayurveda – a rejuvenator promoting skin health and working to slow down the aging process. It’s a natural balancer of the kapha and pitta doshas, making it a potent remedy for bleeding disorders and even colds and coughs.
My grandmother, a staunch believer in Ayurveda, always equated gotu kola with brahmi for its ‘media’ properties, which boosts memory. She’d also swear by it for detoxifying the body and treating conditions ranging from diabetes and urinary tract problems to cardiac disorders and anemia.
Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix, once told me, “Brahmi – Mandukaparni is a rasayana – vayasthapana drug. It delays physical and mental aging. Centella asiatica improves skin complexion and smoothness. It detoxifies the skin and also purifies the blood to promote skin health.”
The Science Behind Gotu Kola
Scientists (the modern alchemists, if you will) refer to our magical herb as Centella Asiatica. They’ve discovered that the secret behind gotu kola’s skin magic lies in its rich source of pentacyclic triterpenoids, a group of phytochemicals celebrated for their formidable anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anticancer, hepatoprotective, and wound-healing properties.
Remember its crowning glory – gotu kola is an effective collagen stimulant, earning its place as a top-tier anti-aging herb. Who wouldn’t want an ingredient that helps keep your skin firm and youthful in its beauty arsenal?
So there we have it, my beautiful friends – gotu kola in all its glory. Remember, you’re not just adding a skincare product to your routine; you’re embracing a balanced, natural, and empowering lifestyle. Until next time, keep shining!
Quench Your Skin’s Thirst with Gotu Kola
Hello, skin lovers! Ever felt like no matter how much moisturizer you slather on, your skin can’t seem to drink enough? Age, health conditions, and those pesky elements can take a toll on our skin, damaging our skin barrier and leaving our skin parched.
Gotu Kola, bursting with bioactive goodies like triterpenoid saponins, triterpene steroids, flavonoids, and essential amino acids, is a hydration powerhouse. It works diligently to repair our skin barrier and prevent water loss from the skin. The result? Plump, hydrated, and healthy skin that truly glows from within.
Gotu Kola: Your Antioxidant Arsenal
Did you know oxidative stress contributes to premature skin aging and various skin disorders, including skin cancer? Antioxidant enzymes like superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase work tirelessly to keep free radicals at bay.
Gotu Kola, enriched with triterpenes such as Asiatic acid, madecassoside, and madecassic acid, boosts these enzymes and our body’s antioxidant activity. It’s like your skin’s personal bodyguard, fighting off free radical damage!
The Cleansing Power of Gotu Kola
I’ve always been amazed at Gotu Kola’s detoxifying prowess. According to Ayurveda, it cleanses your skin and helps remove harmful toxins that cause various skin issues. Plus, its astringent properties sweep away excess oil, leaving your pores squeaky clean. As a fellow oily-skinned gal, I can’t recommend this enough!
Gotu Kola: The Skin Tightener
Nobody enjoys skin sagging, but it’s a natural part of aging. The phytochemicals in gotu kola, especially triterpenoid saponins, and polyacetylenes, stimulate collagen production and fibroblast proliferation, improving skin elasticity. It’s like a little skin workout, giving your skin the firmness it deserves.
Wound Healing with Gotu Kola
Having kids, I’ve had my fair share of dealing with scrapes and burns. With its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, Gotu kola has been a godsend. It soothes the skin, improves blood supply, and accelerates wound healing. And let’s remember its collagen-boosting powers, which help strengthen the healing area.
Brighten Up with Gotu Kola
Sun exposure and health conditions like diabetes can lead to hyperpigmentation. But worry not! Gotu Kola hailed as a ‘varna’ or skin-lightening herb in Ayurveda, works wonders to reduce melanogenesis and fade dark spots, leaving your skin with an unmistakable, radiant glow.
Stress Less with Gotu Kola
We all know stress is a skin villain. Gotu Kola, known for its calming, antidepressant, and anti-aging properties, helps combat the toll stress can take on your skin. And yes, it works both when consumed and applied topically!
Gotu Kola: The Acne Avenger
As someone battling adult acne, I can vouch for gotu kola’s abilities to help soothe and treat inflamed acne lesions. Its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties speed up wound healing and even help prevent acne scars and marks.
Soothing Eczema and Psoriasis with Gotu Kola
Gotu Kola’s triterpenes, particularly the Asiatic side, and madecassoside, help reduce inflammation and alleviate symptoms associated with atopic dermatitis (eczema) and psoriasis. As someone with eczema-prone skin, I’ve experienced the soothing effects first-hand!
Combat Skin Infections with Gotu Kola
From bacterial to viral, Gotu Kola is effective against various skin infections. Its potent component, Asiatic acid, can even stand against bacterial strains like Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli.
One study even found that extracts of Gotu Kola, Curcuma longa L., and Strobilanthes crispus L. effectively treat the herpes virus. So, not only does it keep your skin looking great, but it also supports your overall health!
There you have it, my skin-loving friends! This powerful little herb is a holistic remedy for many skin woes. Remember, Gotu Kola is more than just a skincare ingredient – it’s a lifestyle choice. Happy glowing!
Banish Cellulite, Scars & Stretch Marks with Gotu Kola
Oh, the struggle with cellulite, scars, and stretch marks! And let me tell you; it’s fundamental for all of us. These little nemeses can be a pain, affecting our self-esteem. But guess what? Gotu Kola might be the hero we need.
Its magic lies in stimulating new collagen synthesis and enhancing blood circulation, which helps eliminate cellulite. Plus, remember the saponins we talked about earlier? They prevent the formation of wound scars by regulating collagen production.
I read a study in 2015 where Gotu Kola extracts helped reduce the appearance of abdominal stretch marks in a few lucky participants over 6 to 12 weeks. Imagine having that kind of power in your skincare routine!
Gotu Kola: Your Skin Cancer Shield
UV rays can cause havoc on our skin, and they can even lead to melanoma. Enter Asiatic acid, a pentacyclic triterpenoid in Gotu Kola that shields your skin against UV rays and prevents further melanoma aggravation by causing cell death in cancer cells. And, as if that’s not enough, it also safeguards damaged cells by reducing oxidative stress and preventing healthy cell death.
Amazing Uses of Gotu Kola
As a traditional and Western medicine hero, Gotu Kola offers therapeutic benefits beyond skin health. It can treat wounds and burns, inflammatory skin conditions, acne, skin infections, and even health conditions like cardiac disorders, diabetes, liver conditions, urinary tract disorders, fever, and various types of cancer.
If you’re into Ayurveda like I am, you might recognize ‘Ashtang Ghrita,’ a powerful nervine tonic that includes Mandukaparni or gotu kola as a main ingredient. It’s known to treat many neurological disorders, including ADHD, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. It’s like a little secret weapon in your wellness toolkit.
Incorporating Gotu Kola into Your Skincare Routine
Ready to give Gotu Kola a whirl? You can find it in various forms: leaves, powder, oil, cream, and even serums. I’ll walk you through some ways to integrate this powerhouse herb into your skincare routine.
Gotu Kola Oil
Gotu Kola oil, often extracted from the plant leaves through a carrier oil like sesame, is a treasure trove of skin benefits. Remember to check the bottle instructions before using it to see if it requires dilution. Here are a few ways I love to use it:
- Acne Treatment: For those pesky acne spots, mix 2-3 drops of tea tree essential oil with 10 ml of Gotu Kola oil and apply it as a spot treatment. Rinse off after 15-20 minutes.
- Suntan & Dark Spots Remedy: Mix 1 ½ tablespoons of gotu kola oil with equal parts red sandalwood and yashtimadhu powder to tackle sun damage and dark spots. Apply this paste to the affected areas, let it sit for 30 to 40 minutes, and wash off.
- Anti-Aging Massage Oil: Add 2-3 drops of rosehip essential oil to 10 ml of Gotu Kola oil and use it as a face massage oil. It’s an excellent skin rejuvenating routine, especially before bedtime.
Gotu Kola Powder
Gotu Kola powder can be a great addition to your DIY skincare recipes. Here are a few quick mixes:
- Dry Skin Face Pack: Mix a tablespoon of Gotu Kola powder with honey, ela powder, and Triphala powder. Add some milk to create a paste. Apply it on your face for 20 to 30 minutes and rinse.
- Oily Skin Face Pack: For oily skin, blend Gotu Kola powder with amla and hibiscus powders and rose water to make a paste. Wash it off on your face for 30 to 40 minutes.
- Anti-Aging Face Pack: Mix Gotu Kola powder with guduchi and ashwagandha powders. Add honey and rose water to create a paste, and leave it on your skin for about an hour before rinsing.
Gotu Kola Leaves
Consuming Gotu Kola leaves can be as beneficial as applying them externally. You can use them in tea or juice or even throw them into a salad. A paste made from the leaves can be applied directly to the skin for skin issues like wounds, infections, and eczema.
Gotu Kola Serum & Creams
Centella Asiatica serums and gotu kola creams can work wonders on scars, stretch marks, dark spots, and cellulite. These are a godsend for aging skin, and regular use can help fade age spots, reduce wrinkles, and boost collagen production. They are also recommended for sensitive skin.
Gotu Kola: Side Effects & Risks
As with any power plant, moderation is key. Overuse of Gotu Kola can lead to allergic reactions and skin irritations. Consuming may lead to headaches, diarrhea, dehydration, and drowsiness. Also, be mindful if you’re on certain medications, including antidepressants, sleeping medications, and hepatoprotective drugs.
Gotu Kola vs. Brahmi
While Gotu Kola and Brahmi are often mixed up, they have distinct benefits. Brahmi, or Bacopa monnieri, is a better memory booster, while Gotu Kola wins at skin healing. They also balance different doshas in the Ayurvedic system.
So, there you have it! Now you’re armed with many ways to incorporate Gotu Kola into your skincare routine. Let’s harness the power of this unique plant to achieve healthier, glowing skin! Remember to share your experiences with me in the comments. Stay radiant!
7 other Incredible benefits of Gotu Kola for the skin
In addition to collagen synthesis and hydration, Gotu Kola offers a range of other benefits for the skin:
- Anti-Aging Properties: Gotu Kola contains potent antioxidants that help combat free radicals, which are responsible for premature aging. Regular use of Gotu Kola can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots.
- Improved Elasticity: By promoting the production of collagen and elastin, Gotu Kola enhances the skin’s elasticity. This leads to firmer and more youthful-looking skin, reducing sagging and promoting a smoother texture.
- Wound Healing: Gotu Kola has been used for centuries in traditional medicine for its wound healing properties. It helps accelerate the healing process by stimulating the growth of new skin cells and reducing inflammation.
- Scar Reduction: Gotu Kola is known for its ability to minimize the appearance of scars. It aids in the synthesis of collagen, which helps repair damaged skin tissues and gradually fades scars, including acne scars and stretch marks.
- Soothing and Calming: Gotu Kola possesses anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe and calm irritated or sensitive skin. It can provide relief from conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis.
- Improved Circulation: The herb’s vasodilating properties enhance blood circulation, which aids in delivering essential nutrients and oxygen to the skin cells. This increased circulation promotes a healthy complexion and a natural glow.
- Protection against Environmental Damage: Gotu Kola contains antioxidants that help protect the skin from environmental pollutants and UV radiation. This shielding effect helps prevent oxidative stress and damage caused by free radicals.
It’s important to note that individual results may vary, and it’s always advisable to consult with a dermatologist or healthcare professional before incorporating any new skincare ingredient into your routine.
How exactly does Gotu Kola work to combat acne and other skin issues?
Gotu Kola works in multiple ways to combat acne and other skin issues:
- Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Acne is often accompanied by inflammation, redness, and swelling. Gotu Kola contains compounds that possess anti-inflammatory properties, which help reduce inflammation and soothe irritated skin. By calming the inflammation, Gotu Kola can help alleviate the symptoms of acne.
- Antibacterial Properties: Certain bacteria, particularly Propionibacterium acnes, play a significant role in the development of acne. Gotu Kola has antibacterial properties that can help combat these bacteria and inhibit their growth. By reducing the bacterial population on the skin, it helps prevent the formation of new acne lesions.
- Enhanced Wound Healing: Acne breakouts can cause skin damage and result in wounds, such as acne scars. Gotu Kola promotes wound healing by stimulating the production of collagen and increasing blood flow to the affected area. This accelerates the repair process, reduces the likelihood of scarring, and helps restore the skin’s integrity.
- Balancing Sebum Production: Excessive sebum production is a common factor in acne development. Gotu Kola helps regulate sebum production, preventing the skin from becoming excessively oily. By maintaining a balanced sebum level, it helps reduce clogged pores and the formation of acne.
- Antioxidant Activity: Gotu Kola contains antioxidants that combat oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Free radicals can damage skin cells, leading to inflammation, premature aging, and acne. The antioxidant activity of Gotu Kola helps neutralize these free radicals, protecting the skin from damage and reducing the likelihood of acne flare-ups.
It’s important to note that while Gotu Kola can be beneficial for combating acne, individual results may vary. If you have persistent or severe acne, it is recommended to consult with a dermatologist for a comprehensive treatment plan.
5 Potential Risks Associated With Using Gotu Kola You Should be Aware Of
While Gotu Kola is generally considered safe for topical use, it’s essential to be aware of potential side effects or risks, especially if you have sensitive skin or specific medical conditions. Here are a few considerations:
- Allergic Reactions: Some individuals may be allergic to Gotu Kola. If you experience any signs of an allergic reaction, such as itching, redness, swelling, or rash, discontinue use immediately and consult a healthcare professional.
- Skin Sensitivity: Like any new skincare ingredient, Gotu Kola may cause skin sensitivity or irritation in some individuals. It’s advisable to perform a patch test before applying it to a larger area of the skin. Apply a small amount of the product to a small patch of skin (such as the inner forearm) and observe for 24-48 hours for any adverse reactions.
- Interactions with Medications: If you are taking any medications or have any underlying medical conditions, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before using Gotu Kola topically. Some medications, such as blood thinners, may interact with Gotu Kola and increase the risk of bleeding or other complications.
- Sun Sensitivity: Although not a common concern with topical use, some sources suggest that oral consumption of high doses of Gotu Kola may increase sensitivity to sunlight. If you are using Gotu Kola supplements or consuming it orally, it’s advisable to take appropriate sun protection measures.
- Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Limited information is available on the safety of Gotu Kola use during pregnancy or breastfeeding. It’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid using Gotu Kola topically or orally during these periods without consulting a healthcare professional.
As with any skincare product, it’s always recommended to read and follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer and consult a healthcare professional or dermatologist if you have any concerns or specific medical conditions.
And there you have it, my skin-loving friends! Gotu Kola is truly a fantastic gift from nature, helping us tackle various skin issues, from cellulite, scars, and stretch marks, to combating the harmful effects of UV rays. Its diverse range of forms—leaves, powder, oil, cream, or serums—makes it easy to incorporate into your beauty regime. But remember, as with all good things, moderation is crucial. Overuse can lead to minor irritations or other side effects, so always listen to your skin and body. Our journey to beautiful skin is all about balance and mindfulness. I hope this newfound knowledge about Gotu Kola inspires you to explore and add it to your skincare routine. Remember, your skin is unique, and it’s all about finding what works best for you. Here’s to celebrating our skin and striving for a healthier, happier daily glow. Stay beautiful!
feature image @sahdev.haldar via instagram
Last reviewed and updated on July 9, 2023