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Gotu kola: the miracle herb for skin health

Centella natural diuretic

To soothe the skin, cosmetic ingredients derived from ancient herbal and plant-based formulas of traditional Asian medicine are increasingly being used.

Among these ingredients, gotu kola is undoubtedly one of the most popular and in vogue at the moment.

In Italy, 2 out of 3 women have sensitive skin. The main cause is pollution, especially fine dust, but also a stressful lifestyle and the use of aggressive cosmetics. This has led to an increase in redness, burning and tingling manifestations.

Centella natural diuretic

What is gotu kola

Gotu kola goes by many names and is a legendary plant that grows naturally in swampy regions of India, China, Indonesia and Madagascar.

Ayurvedic medicine attributes to it a regenerative action on nerve cells. It is nicknamed tiger grass , as the feline usually rolls on the plant when injured, proving its healing effect. Over time, Centella has also become a trademark, registered by Christian Papineau.

The look

With its thin stems and soft, round leaves, Gotu kola (another name for Gotu Kola) has something poetic about it. It is a semi-aquatic tropical herbaceous plant and belongs to the Apiaceae family. One of its main features is the arrangement of umbrella flowers. In other words, the small flowers and leaves of the centella, in fact, line up in a horizontal plane from the same point on the stem.

Legends and traditions

In popular Chinese tradition, Gotu Kola ensures longevity to those who use it.

Used in Ayurvedic medicine for more than 2000 years for its regenerative and healing properties, it is known to heal wounds and soothe skin lesions.

In Asia there are many legends about it. The most famous of these tells that in Laos a young farmer known as a skilled healer fell in love with the daughter of the village chief. When he proposed to marry the girl, the man, deeming him of too modest origins, cut off his ear with his sword and challenged him: and if he returned the following day with his ear healed, he would grant him his daughter's hand.

The young farmer knew the properties of Gotu kola, because he had often seen tigers rolling over on this plant to heal their wounds.

So he spent the whole night applying the herb to his ear and the next morning he appeared before the village chief with his ear healed. The marriage therefore took place and the legend of Centella Asiatica began to spread.

What is Gotu Kola used for?

Ayurvedic medicine recognizes several roles for gotu kola and indicates it as particularly suitable for reducing anxiety and improving memory . The actions tiger grass has on the brain is why yogis consider it a spiritual plant.

However, gotu kola is also a main ingredient for skin care. Used since ancient times in Japan to treat leprosy , it has been the subject of a series of laboratory researches. The healing properties of gotu kola have been proclaimed since 1940: its active ingredients help repair sensitive, problematic or mature skin and accelerate the healing of wounds and burns.

While not the first area of ​​application, tiger grass is also known to thin the blood and improve blood microcirculation. Finally, clinical studies have demonstrated the positive effects on varicose veins and venous insufficiency.

It has gained popularity in the cosmetics industry due to its beneficial properties for the skin. It is known to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, moisturizing and regenerative properties, making it useful for treating various skin conditions, such as acne, wrinkles and dark spots. It is also a common ingredient in many cosmetic products, such as creams, lotions, toners and face masks.

It is a popular ingredient in Korean face masks , which have become increasingly popular around the world for their ability to provide deep hydration and improve the appearance of skin. These face masks are often made with natural materials and active ingredients like Gotu Kola, which work together to promote younger, healthier, more radiant skin.

What's in it

The benefits of gotu kola are related to its nutritional composition, rich in compounds known for their amazing effect in wound healing and anti-aging properties. Among the active ingredients of tiger grass, we can mention:

  • triterpene compounds
  • phenolic compounds
  • flavonoids
  • C vitamin
  • tannins
  • saponosides

The anti-aging and healing properties of gotu kola are essentially due to triterpene compounds. Hydro Colitis contains the active ingredients of saponosides: asiaticaside and madecassoside. These two active ingredients have healing, antibacterial and regenerating properties.

Properties and benefits of gotu kola

The qualities make it a particularly interesting active ingredient, especially for dry and sensitive skin . In fact, tiger grass has an anti-wrinkle and firming action thanks to two of its components, asiaticoside and madecassoside, which stimulate the cells of the dermis and collagen. Stem cells have powerful antioxidant properties.

It also allows the amount of hyaluronic acid in the skin to be kept stable and enhances the activity of skin stem cells, acting directly at the source of skin aging.

Anti-inflammatory properties

It is a powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-radical. This is why it is used in treatments for sensitive skin. As an after-sun, it promotes skin repair.

Centella asiatica extract is often present in healing creams used both on irritated skin and after an aesthetic or surgical procedure.

Madecassoside is also a powerful ally against hair loss, because it acts on the micro-inflammation of the bulb.

Moisturizing properties

Promotes skin hydration. That's why many cosmetic brands include this ingredient in the composition of their products for dry, dehydrated or sensitive skin.

On the one hand, the plant stimulates the aquaporins (small channels that allow water to be transported in the skin), on the other it acts on the proteins of the stratum corneum and therefore allows the creation of a skin barrier.

Anti-aging properties

It is known as a powerful antioxidant and for its ability to stimulate the natural production of collagen, a protein synthesized in the skin. Its role is fundamental as it makes the skin resistant and elastic. For this reason, the plant is particularly suitable for slowing down the appearance of wrinkles and counteracting skin relaxation.

How to find gotu kola

In herbal medicine, the stems and leaves of centella asiatica and more rarely the roots are used. On the market it is presented in various galenic forms, including:

  • cream or ointment generally indicated to heal wounds and for better healing
  • essential oil with restorative properties (also used for relaxing massages)
  • mother tinctures
  • capsules and tablets
  • dust
  • leaves
  • infusions

In recent years, driven by South Korea, the cica cosmetics trend has conquered the world.

There are those who trace the name cica back to the fusion of the c of centella with the suffix ica of asiatica. According to others, however, cica would be the abbreviation of the French word cicatrise. In fact, it was in France that ointments and creams based on centella asiatica appeared on the European market for the first time.

Cica products are available in different forms: balms, lotions, healing sunscreens… In general, they are intended for local use.


Gotu kola is a well tolerated plant. However, in case of an overdose, some effects can be observed:

  • Nausea
  • abdominal pains
  • heachache
  • dizziness
  • lowering of blood pressure
  • drowsiness

To date, apart from plant allergy, no contraindications have been reported. However, it is not recommended for those who regularly take sedatives, opiates and hepatotoxic drugs.

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