5 Gotu Kola Studies You Should Know About

5 Gotu Kola Studies You Should Know About

Gotu kola, or brahmi, has been revered by Ayurvedic herbalists and yogis for ages. Known by some as “the herb of enlightenment,”1 it carries the qualities of clarity and calm and has traditionally been used to support healthy brain and nervous system function.

As gotu kola's recognition as a nootropic herb has spread in recent years, the humble marsh-dwelling plant has piqued the interest of researchers and scientists who seek to better understand its effects. 

Along with cognitive support, these benefits include things like skin rejuvenation, stress management, and mood support.

Gotu kola is a true botanical gem for both the body and the mind. 

In this article, we'll delve into five scientific studies that affirm gotu kola's myriad benefits and bring Ayurveda's ancient wisdom to life in a more modern context. 

So grab your herbal tea and let's get started. And if you need a little extra focus, we recommend a tea infused with gotu kola!

5 Noteworthy Gotu Kola Studies

1. Gotu Kola for Healthy Skin

This 2020 study focused on gotu kola's benefits for the skin and ability to support a healthy skin barrier. It targeted a group of 30 Indonesian batik workers who suffered from dry skin as a result of their exposure to the chemicals in batik dyes. 

Over the course of four weeks, the participants were given a cream containing gotu kola to rub into their hands and arms twice a day. 

Various aspects of the skin's health—including hydration and skin acidity—were tested for baseline levels before beginning the trial using a sophisticated device called a Cutometer dual MP-580. The same measurements were then taken again halfway through the study and at the end of the four week period.

After four weeks, significant improvement was observed in the skin's hydration levels as well as its acidity levels, or pH balance, which is crucial for maintaining a healthy skin microbiome and overall skin health.2

2. Gotu Kola for Facial Complexion

Similarly to the previous study, a 2019 double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial studied the effect of gotu kola on 30 adults who had recently undergone laser skin treatment.

Each participant was given two different gels to apply to their face—one for each side. One gel contained gotu kola and the other was a placebo. For the first week, the gels were applied four times daily, and then they were applied twice a day for the following three months. 

The skin's texture, biophysics, and levels of redness were recorded at baseline before using the gels, and then tracked by dermatologists at regular intervals throughout the trial period. 

At the end of the three months of regular use, the gel containing gotu kola was shown to improve skin texture and decrease the appearance of redness in the skin.3

3. Gotu Kola for Skin Rejuvenation

Along the same line as the previous two studies, a 2022 systematic review sought to analyze the effects of gotu kola on the rejuvenation of healthy skin tissue. 

The review covered four separate clinical trials and focused on various aspects of skin tissue rejuvenation, including the growth of new skin cells, the time taken for skin cells to regenerate, and the color and appearance of new tissue growth.

While further studies are needed to fully understand gotu kola's benefits, the findings of this review supported the herb's potential to support healthy skin rejuvenation. Gotu kola was also shown to positively affect the growth of new blood vessels, possibly due to its stimulating effect on collagen.4

4. Gotu Kola for the Nervous System

This study, which focused on the restorative and neuroprotective qualities of gotu kola, was conducted in a laboratory setting. An extract of the herb was incubated into individual nerve cells, then observed for neurite outgrowth under the careful scrutiny of a microscope.

Neurite what? Neurite outgrowth is basically another way of saying cell growth. It's an important initial step in the formation of a neural network—a complex web of interconnected nerve cells that transmit information throughout the brain and nervous system. 

The scientists conducting the study took precise measurements of the cells after 24 and 48 hours, finding that the gotu kola extract significantly enhanced neurite outgrowth. In other words, it was an up-close and real-time demonstration of gotu kola's ability to support a healthy nervous system.5

5. Gotu Kola for Cognitive Function

This randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study investigated the effect of gotu kola on the overall cognitive function of healthy elderly volunteers. 

Fairly straightforward in design, the trial consisted of twenty-eight participants taking various doses of the plant extract once daily over the course of two months. Assessment tools were used to measure both cognitive function and mood before the trial, after one single use of the extract, and after each full month of use.

These assessment tools included computerized cognition tests, mood assessment scales, and event related potential (recordings of the brain's electrical field in response to stimuli).

The results of the study showed that the higher doses of gotu kola enhanced memory and increased overall brain engagement. The participants also reported improvements in their mood.6

The studies highlighted here give just a glimpse of the wealth of research conducted in relation to gotu kola in recent years. The majority of these projects reinforce what Ayurveda has known for millennia—the astounding potential of this herb, particularly in enhancing the health of the skin, brain, and nervous system.

Curious to learn more? 




1Faerman, Justin. “Gotu Kola: The Ancient Indian Herb of Enlightenment and Longevity.” Conscious Lifestyle Magazine, April 22, 2019. http://www.consciouslifestylemag.com/gotu-kola-benefits-of-the-herb-of-enlightenment/

2Anggraeni , Sylvia, Menul Ayu Umborowati, and Damayanti Damayanti. “Role of Centella Asiatica and Ceramide in Skin Barrier Improvement: A Double Blind Clinical Trial of Indonesian Batik Workers.” Journal of basic and clinical physiology and pharmacology, June 2021. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34214362/. 

3Damkerngsuntorn, Wilawan, Pawinee Rerknimitr , and Ratchathorn Panchaprateep. “The Effects of a Standardized Extract of Centella Asiatica on Postlaser Resurfacing Wound Healing on the Face: A Split-Face, Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial.” Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.), April 2020. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32310680/. 

4Arribas-López, Elena, Nazanin Zand, and Omorogieva Ojo. “A Systematic Review of the Effect of Centella Asiatica on Wound Healing.” International journal of environmental research and public health, March 2022. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35328954/. 

5Wanakhachornkrai, Oraphan, Varisa Pongrakhananon, and Preedakorn Chunhacha. “Neuritogenic Effect of Standardized Extract of Centella Asiatica ECA233 on Human Neuroblastoma Cells.” BMC complementary and alternative medicine, August 2013. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23915016/. 

6Wattanathorn, Jintanaporn, Lugkana Mator, and Supaporn Muchimapura. “Positive Modulation of Cognition and Mood in the Healthy Elderly Volunteer Following the Administration of Centella Asiatica.” Journal of ethnopharmacology, March 2008. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18191355/.