Thumbnail image of: My Medicines: Illustration

Gotu Kola

GOH-too KOH-la

What are other names for this remedy?

Type of medicine: natural remedy

Scientific and common names: Centella asiatica, Centella coriacea, brahma-buti, centella, centellase, gota kola, gotu cola, gotu-kola, hydrocotyle, indian pennywort, indian water navelwort, marsh penny, talepetrako, tungchian, white rot

What is gotu kola?

Gotu kola is a vine that grows in swampy areas of the tropics. The roots and leaves are used medicinally.

What is it used for?

This remedy has been used to treat several conditions. Studies in humans or animals have not proved that this remedy is safe or effective for all uses. Before using this remedy for a serious condition, you should talk with your healthcare provider.

This remedy is helpful to treat varicose veins.

Gotu kola has been used to treat:

  • Anxiety
  • Cirrhosis of the liver
  • Colds and flu
  • Jaundice
  • Leprosy
  • Problems with thinking and memory
  • Tiredness

Gotu kola is also used on the skin to improve psoriasis, stretch marks, scarring, and wound healing.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not approve uses for natural remedies. The FDA does not inspect or regulate natural remedies the way they do prescription medicines.

How is it taken?

Gotu kola comes in the form of an ointment, tablets, capsules, powder, extracts, and tinctures. Check the label on the package for the specific dose.

What if I overdose?

Symptoms of an acute overdose have not been reported.

What should I watch out for?

This remedy may make your skin more sensitive to the sun, which may lead to painful sunburns. While you are taking gotu kola, avoid long exposure to the sun. Wear protective clothing, a hat, and sunscreen lotion when you need to be outdoors. Do not use a sunlamp. If you get a severe sunburn, contact your healthcare provider right away.

If you have diabetes: Large doses of this remedy may raise your blood sugar level and change the amount of insulin or other diabetes medicines you may need. Talk to your healthcare provider before taking gotu kola.

Large doses of this remedy may raise cholesterol levels. If you have high cholesterol, talk to your healthcare provider before taking gotu kola.

This remedy may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive or operate machinery unless you are fully alert.

If you need emergency care, surgery, or dental work, tell the healthcare provider or dentist you are taking this medicine.

Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist about any natural remedy that you are using or thinking about using. If your provider does not tell you how to take it, follow the directions that come with the package. Do not take more or take it longer than recommended. Ask about anything you do not understand. Remember:

  • Natural remedies are not always safe.
  • You should not take them if you are pregnant or breast-feeding without your healthcare provider’s approval. They should not be taken by infants, children, or older adults without your provider’s approval.
  • They affect your body and may interact with prescription medicines that you take.
  • Natural remedies are not standardized and may have different strengths and effects. They may be contaminated.

What are the possible side effects?

Along with its desirable effects, this remedy may cause some unwanted side effects. Some side effects may be very serious. Some side effects may go away as your body adjusts to the remedy. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effects that continue or get worse.

Life-threatening (Report these to your healthcare provider right away. If you cannot reach your healthcare provider right away, get emergency medical care or call 911 for help.): Allergic reaction (hives; itching; rash; trouble breathing; chest pain or tightness in your chest; swelling of your lips, tongue, and throat).

Other: Nausea, rash, drowsiness, dizziness, stomach pain.

What products might interact with this remedy?

When you take this remedy with other medicines, it can change the way the remedy or the medicines work. Vitamins and certain foods may also interact. Using these products together might cause harmful side effects. Before taking this remedy, talk to your healthcare provider if you are taking:

  • Natural remedies such as calendula, California poppy, catnip, capsicum, chamomile, chaparral, comfrey, DHEA, germander, ginseng, goldenseal, kava, lemon balm, pennyroyal, red yeast, sage, sassafras, St. John’s wort, stinging nettle, and valerian
  • Sedatives such as alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), phenobarbital, thiopental (Pentothal), triazolam (Halcion), zaleplon (Sonata), and zolpidem (Ambien)

If you are not sure if your medicines might interact, ask your pharmacist or healthcare provider. Keep a list of all your medicines with you. List all the prescription medicines, nonprescription medicines, supplements, natural remedies, and vitamins that you take. Be sure that you tell all healthcare providers who treat you about all the products you are taking.

Keep all natural remedies and medicines out of the reach of children.

This advisory includes select information only. The information was obtained from scientific journals, study reports, and other documents. The author and publisher make no warranty, expressed or implied, as to the information. The advisory may not include all side effects associated with a remedy or interactions with other medicines. Nothing herein shall constitute a recommendation for the use of any remedy. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for more information.

Developed by RelayHealth.
Medication Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2014-08-11
Last reviewed: 2013-12-03
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Copyright ©1986-2015 McKesson Corporation and/or one of its subsidiaries. All rights reserved.

Patient Portal

myTuftsMed is our new online patient portal that provides you with access to your medical information in one place. MyTuftsMed can be accessed online or from your mobile device providing a convenient way to manage your health care needs from wherever you are.

With myTuftsMed, you can:

  1. View your health information including your medications, test results, scheduled appointments, medical bills even if you have multiple doctors in different locations.
  2. Make appointments at your convenience, complete pre-visit forms and medical questionnaires and find care or an emergency room.
  3. Connect with a doctor no matter where you are.
  4. Keep track of your children’s and family members’ medical care, view upcoming appointments, book visits and review test results.
  5. Check in on family members who need extra help, all from your private account.


Your privacy is important to us. Learn more about ourwebsite privacy policy. X