You might think of gotu kola to be a strange word, but even if you do, learn it by heart because the bounty of benefits this herb offers is unimaginable. Also called centella asiatica, Asiatic pennywort or brahmi (meaning ‘Greatest of the Great’) in Ayurveda—this miracle ingredient has been used for centuries by people from all over the world for its healing and anti-inflammatory properties.
There are several interesting legends around it. For instance, it is believed that elephants who ate the plant increased their longevity, while the French used it to heal wounds on the skin in the late 1800s. It has also been widely used in Chinese medicine as a ‘miracle elixir of life’, as it helped a famous sage live beyond the age of 200.
Not many know that gotu kola can also bestow you with a range of skincare benefits. So ladies, if you are looking for tight, wrinkle-free and glowing skin, then it’s time to make this herb your BFF.
We have celebrity dermatologist, Dr Kiran Sethi, to tell us more about its benefits. Are you all set?
There’s a reason why gotu kola is now viewed beyond its medicinal benefits, and has become an integral part of the wellness world. Several cosmetics and spa treatments today incorporate this herb for its restorative benefits for the skin.
It is primarily found in anti-ageing and sun-care products, especially because it promotes the production of collagen, reduces scars and stretches, and increases the levels of antioxidants in newly-formed tissues. Moreover, it helps to keep skin cells tight, and prevents sagging of skin.
In a research study conducted in 2012, gotu kola was applied to the skin of rats, who had open wounds, and it was found that the formulation stopped bacterial growth, promoted the production of new skin cells, and enhanced the skin’s resilience.
This is all because of the wonders of triterpenoids, a class of chemical compounds that play a role in plants’ self-defense mechanisms. Besides, the miracle herb also contains vitamins B and C, flavonoids, tannins and polyphenol. In a nutshell, these nutrients help to heal wounds, and provide antioxidant properties.
In one study, published in Clinical, Cosmetic, and Investigation Dermatology in 2017, researchers tested out a fluid containing hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and centella asiatica extract on 20 women’s forearms over the course one day. One arm got the fluid while the other forearm got a control cream.
The researchers measured the hydration level and the amount of water lost throughout the day. Results showed that the arm that got the centella asiatica fluid showed significantly more hydration and less water loss compared to both the participants’ baseline measurements and the control. That suggests that the fluid containing centella asiatica was effective at improving skin hydration.
Gotu kola is also known to repair veins on your skin. That’s because it can penetrate into the deep layers, and show its benefits. It is so effective that it is widely used as a treatment for varicose veins, and helps to break down cellulite by shrinking connective tissues that bind fat cells under the skin.
So ladies, are you all set to add gotu kola to your skincare routine? We certainly are!