Supplement Forms/Alternate Names:

  • Centella asiatica
  • Spadeleaf
  • Pennywort


Gotu kola is a plant that is used in oils, salves, and creams. It has been used to help promote healing and ease pain in skin problems, such as wounds and burns. Gotu kola has also been used to ease symptoms of anxiety and improve vein function. It can be taken by mouth as a pill, powder, or extract. Gotu kola can also be made into a tea.


100 milligrams 1 to 2 times daily

What Research Shows

May Be Effective

  • Anal fissure—may ease pain and improve healing A1
  • Burns /Wounds —used over skin, may ease burn and wound pain and help them heal faster D1, D2
  • Diabetic cystoid macular edema without macular thickening—may preserve retinal sensitivity F1
  • Atopic dermatitis (eczema) —may treat symptoms C1, C2

Unlikely to Be Effective

Not Enough Data to Assess

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

It is likely safe for most adults to use gotu kola on the skin and to take it orally in small doses for a short time. It may be safe for women who are pregnant to use it on the skin, but they should not take it orally. Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to use for a long period. It is also not known whether it is safe to take by women who are breastfeeding.


Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse.


REFA Anal Fissure

REFA1 Chiaretti M, Fegatelli DA, et al. Comparison of Flavonoids and Centella asiatica for the treatment of chronic anal fissure. A randomized clinical trial. Ann Ital Chir. 2018;89:330-336.

REFB Anxiety

REFB1 Jana U, Sur TK, et al. A clinical study on the management of generalized anxiety disorder with Centella asiatica. Nepal Med Coll J. 2010 Mar;12(1):8-11.

REFB2 Savage K, Firth J, et al. GABA-modulating phytomedicines for anxiety: A systematic review of preclinical and clinical evidence. Phytother Res. 2018 Jan;32(1):3-18.

REFC Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)

REFC1 Klövekorn W, Tepe A, et al. A randomized, double-blind, vehicle-controlled, half-side comparison with a herbal ointment containing Mahonia aquifolium, Viola tricolor and Centella asiatica for the treatment of mild-to-moderate atopic dermatitis. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2007 Nov;45(11):583-591.

REFC2 Khiljee S, Rehman N, et al. Formulation and clinical evaluation of topical dosage forms of Indian Penny Wort, walnut and turmeric in eczema. Pak J Pharm Sci. 2015 Nov;28(6):2001-2007.

REFD Burns/Wounds

REFD1 Paocharoen V. The efficacy and side effects of oral Centella asiatica extract for wound healing promotion in diabetic wound patients. J Med Assoc Thai. 2010;93(7):166-170.

REFD2 Saeidinia A, Keihanian F, et al. Partial-thickness burn wounds healing by topical treatment: A randomized controlled comparison between silver sulfadiazine and centiderm. Medicine (Baltimore). 2017;96(9):6168.

REFE Cognitive Function

REFE1 Carlson JJ, Farquhar JW, et al. Safety and efficacy of a ginkgo biloba-containing dietary supplement on cognitive function, quality of life, and platelet function in healthy, cognitively intact older adults. J Am Diet Assoc. 2007 Mar;107(3):422-432.

REFE2 Puttarak P, Dilokthornsakul P, et al. Effects of Centella asiatica (L.) Urb. on cognitive function and mood related outcomes: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Sci Rep. 2017 Sep 6;7(1):10646.

REFF Diabetic Cystoid Macular Edema without Macular Thickening

REFF1 Forte R, Cennamo G, et al. Long-term follow-up of oral administration of flavonoids, Centella asiatica and Melilotus, for diabetic cystoid macular edema without macular thickening. J Ocul Pharmacol Ther. 2013 Oct;29(8):733-737.

REFG Periodontal Therapy Support

REFG1 Sastravaha G, Yotnuengnit P, et al. Adjunctive periodontal treatment with Centella asiatica and Punica granatum extracts. A preliminary study. J Int Acad Periodontol. 2003 Oct;5(4):106-115.

REFG2 Sastravaha G, Gassmann G, et al. Adjunctive periodontal treatment with Centella asiatica and Punica granatum extracts in supportive periodontal therapy. J Int Acad Periodontol. 2005 Jul;7(3):70-79.

REFH Stretch Marks

REFH1 Draelos ZD, Gold MH, et al. Evaluation of an onion extract, Centella asiatica, and hyaluronic acid cream in the appearance of striae rubra. Skinmed. 2010 Mar-Apr;8(2):80-86.

REFH2 Brennan M, Young G, et al. Topical preparations for preventing stretch marks in pregnancy. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Nov 14;11:CD000066.

REFH3 García Hernández JÁ, Madera González D, et al. Use of a specific anti-stretch mark cream for preventing or reducing the severity of striae gravidarum. Randomized, double-blind, controlled trial. Int J Cosmet Sci. 2013 Jun;35(3):233-237.

REFI Venous Insufficiency

REFI1 Martinez-Zapata MJ, Vernooij RW, et al. Phlebotonics for venous insufficiency. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016;4:CD003229.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC
  • Review Date: 02/2020
  • Update Date: 05/27/2020