What is Gotu Kola?
Also known as Asiatic or Indian Pennywort, Gotu Kola is a perennial plant that can be used in herbal medicine or for culinary uses. Its scientific name is Centella asiatica. It is generally used to flavour curries or other dishes, blended to make cold drinks, or in salads.
Where Does Gotu Kola Come From?
Gotu Kola is found in many subtropical places, including Sri Lanka, India, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, and other Asian countries. In tends to grow in warm, swampy areas, and along the sides of streams and rivers.
Gotu Kola Health Benefits
Gotu Kola has many interactions with the mind and cognition. It appears to promote neural growth, and may slow down the appearance of Parkinson's symptoms. It also has neuroprotective effects; as well anti-anxiety properties in both stressed and non-stressed individuals. Gotu Kola has further beneficial effects on memory and learning, as well as increased attention and vigilance.
Its benefits extend to the cardiovascular system, too. It can improve circulation, reduce blood pressure, and improve the health of cardiac tissue. In addition, it has anti-inflammatory effects that extend to helping with rheumatoid arthritis.
Gotu Kola Benefits for Bodybuilding
Gotu Kola has pain reducing effects, allowing longer and more intense workouts, as well as being an anti-inflammatory. It also increases feelings of calmness, contentness and alertness; all beneficial for maintaining an effective workout program.
Gotu Kola Side Effects, Safety and Negatives
Gotu Kola is susceptible to bacterial contamination in unregulated products. This is most likely due to it being collected from along the banks of sewerage ditches. Since it is a semi aquatic plant, it is also more sensitive to pollutants as they will be absorbed from the water. It is therefore advisable to buy Gotu Kola from FDA accredited companies such as Swisse.
There have been several case studies reporting liver damage associated with this herb's use, although no clinical studies have demonstrated the same effect. It is thought that it may be due to inherent susceptibility in the individuals involved.
Gotu Kola may also have testosterone suppressing effects, working in a dose dependent manner, meaning that the effects are increased at higher doses. It is generally a fairly mild decrease, however, and testosterone still remains within the normal parameters.
Gotu Kola Recommended Doses and Ingredient Timing
32 – 48 mg/kilo of the whole plant extract appears to have the most health benefits, especially for learning and cognition. This is generally split into 3 doses; for an 80kg male this would correlate to around 850mg – 1200mg 3 times a day. However, lower doses at 500mg a day still have anti-anxiety and mood boosting properties.
Gotu Kola Supplements
Gotu Kola can be bought as a dried herb from specialist shops, or in capsules or as a liquid solution as an extract. It is also an ingredient in some health supplements, such as NuZest Good Green Stuff or Swisse Ultivite Super Foods. It can also be found in small doses in some multivitamins, such as Nature's Own Mens Multivitamin and Swisse Womens Ultivite.
Stacking Gotu Kola
Gotu Kola stacks well with most health products, as well as any bodybuilding supplements. It may go well with preworkouts to calm the mind ready for a session in the gym, although it may benefit from having a testosterone booster stacked with it in order to counteract its anti-testosterone properties.