Gotu kola leaf ( Centella asiatica ) is a wild plant that is often used by Asian people. This plant has also been used for a long time in traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine.
The benefits of gotu kola leaves in both traditional treatments are as an antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, antidepressant, and improve memory. What are the opinions of medical experts?
Benefits of gotu kola leaves that have been researched
Not all claims of people regarding the efficacy of gotu kola leaves are supported by evidence from scientific research. So far, some of the properties that have been studied by scientists include:
1. Improve brain function and memory
The benefits of gotu kola leaves as herbal ingredients to treat mood disorders and improve memory have been practiced in traditional medicine for a long time. Although the results of several scientific studies have not been able to fully support these claims, there is evidence that gotu kola leaves have direct and indirect benefits on brain health. Gotu kola leaves are thought to affect cognitive abilities and memory indirectly. The reason is, this plant does have the effect of increasing alertness which can then increase short-term memory abilities.
2. Improve mood and overcome depression
The benefits of gotu kola leaf appear to have a reducing effect anxiety disordersby controlling the activity of a neurotransmitter called
gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). The content of asiatic acid in this plant is thought to trigger the effect on GABA. The properties of asiatic acid in gotu kola leaves affect the absorption of GABA by the brain. This makes gotu kola leaves the potential to be a herbal remedy for anxiety disorders.insomnia, and depressionwithout the sedative effect as heavy as chemical drugs. For example, zolpidem and barbiturates .However, the benefits of gotu kola leaves above still require further scientific research.
3. Improve blood circulation
The next benefit of gotu kola leaves is to improve blood circulation. Based on research , there is some evidence regarding the benefits of gotu kola leaves to improve blood circulation for sufferers of
chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). This disease is a disorder of the veins in the legs, causing problems in getting blood back to the heart. A researchin Malaysia concluded that the elderly group treated with gotu kola leaf showed significant improvement of CVI symptoms. For example, the pain and edema are reduced and the leg no longer feels heavy.This effect is thought to be related to the content of the chemical compound triterpene in gotu kola leaves. This compound stimulates the production of cardiac glycosides which increase the pumping power of the heart and its frequency of contractions. Several other studies have also found that gotu kola leaves help stabilize fatty plaques on the walls of blood vessels, thereby preventing the release of plaque that can cause heart attack or stroke.
4. Disguise stretch marks and heal wounds
According to scientific researchIn 2013, the benefits of gotu kola were effective in disguising the appearance of
strechmarks on the skin. The content of terpenoids in this plant is thought to increase collagen production by the body.Thanks to that, gotu kola leaves are believed to be able to prevent the appearance of new stretch marks , as well as improve the appearance of the skin by disguising existing stretch marks . Other researchalso found that gotu kola leaf extract had a positive effect in accelerating wound healing, for some types. For example, wounds due to sharp differences, irregular tear wounds due to impact, and infected wounds.Skincare enthusiasts may be familiar with the benefits of gotu kola leaves for this wound. The reason is, cica cream containing centella asiatica has recently been in demand because of its benefits in healing wounds, in particularacne.
5. Helps in relieving joint pain
The anti-inflammatory properties of gotu kola are thought to help overcome arthritis. a study of mice in the laboratory found evidence that giving this plant can reduce arthritis and cartilage and bone erosion.
The antioxidant content in gotu kola leaves also has a positive effect on immunity, thereby reducing inflammation.
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Use of gotu kola leaves as a supplement
Supervision of the use of herbal medicines and traditional ingredients is not as strict as controlling chemical drugs. Scientific research on the benefits of gotu kola leaves has not yet gone through the clinical trial stage.Therefore, the side effects of using gotu kola leaves are not certain. This means, you must be careful in using this plant as a supplement.Pregnant women, nursing mothers, hepatitis sufferer and liver disorders, people who will undergo surgery, people with skin cancer, and children should avoid using gotu kola leaf supplements. Although gotu kola leaves are generally safe to use as herbal ingredients and supplements, it’s a good idea to keep them consult a doctorfirst if you intend to consume it. What is the reason?Gotu kola leaf supplements can not be used to replace treatment from a doctor. Its use without medical consultation carries the risk of unwanted side effects.