5 Amazing Benefits, Uses Of Gotu Kola | Centella Asiatica | Vallarai For Skin, Hair & Health

Gotu kola is a very important herb that has wonderful health benefits and especially it’s use in improving memory is legendary. It is called Indian Penny Wort in English, Madukaparni in Sanskrit, Vallarai in Tamil and it’s botanical name is Centella Asiatica. If a child finds it difficult to retain what he has memorized, this is the first herb that he or she is advised to take.

It also has a soothing effect on the nervous system and is very popular throughout India. Since this herb has been used in cooking very often, you can easily buy it in markets. Every year new medicines and tonics based on gotu kola are marketed but I prefer using the fresh herb itself.

Here in Tamil Nadu, you can find gotu kola in all the markets but most of the time the greens that we get from the markets smell bad because it is grown in very dirty waters. In my house, I rarely buy greens from the market as I have experienced this problem again and again. If you have this same problem, try growing gotu kola from seeds in your home, it needs very less space and very little maintenance.

Gotu Kola Traditional Uses:

Gotu kola improves memory, treats skin and hair problems and is one of the best natural herbs that soothes our nervous system. It treats anxiety and is recommended for people who suffer from anxiety attacks and it is also very rich in nutrients.

Gotu Kola & Brahmi:

But many confuse brahmi plant with gotu kola and many claim that both are the same. Though both the plants have many similarities, they both are different plants and have their own unique characteristics. The botanical name of brahmi is Bacopa Monneiri and it is a safe herb that can be consumed by everyone whereas gotu kola is not. This is why it is very important to identify the herbs correctly and know their proper usage and side effects before using them regularly. Dosage: Usually up to 2 to 4 gms of gotu kola powder per day is recommended, but don’t go above this dosage.

Gotu Kola Side Effects:

Pregnant women, small children and lactating women should not consume gotu kola. Even others should not consume gotu kola herb regularly for longer periods of time as it might cause headaches and even skin problems.

5 Top Health Benefits Of Gotu Kola:

1. Gotu Kola Extract For Cellulite:

Cellulite is one big problem that every women faces and almost 90 to 95 % of the women have cellulite. Because it affects almost all the women, the market for selling anti cellulite medicines, creams and lotions are also big. Every year millions are spent on anti cellulite creams and treatments but very few have been proven to be effective.

Out of the few, gotu kola stands out for it’s use in reducing cellulite as it has been proven through research that it is very effective for reducing cellulite. The research was conducted on 35 people and all the participants were measured in the glutes and deltoids for their cellulite. Out of the 35 participants, 20 people were given 60 mg of gotu kola in dry form and the rest of the participants took placebo.

The results after 90 days showed reduction in fat tissues in all the people who consumed gotu kola supplements and the reduction in cellulite was more prominent in the glutes. Even research on the external application of gotu kola based cream  has proven that gotu kola reduced cellulite significantly. You can either consume in the form of tablets or in powder form. Finally we have scientific proof that a herb does reduce cellulite 🙂

2. Gotu Kola Herb For Anxiety:

The main reason many are skeptical about home remedies is that they are not proven scientifically so I get very excited when certain remedies are proven without doubt through clinical studies. Since gotu kola is a very famous herb, lot of research is been going on and lot of remedies that has been based on gotu kola has been proven through research. One such use of gotu kola is in treating anxiety, gotu kola is an amazing herb that helps us handle stressful times in our life without going into depression or other anxiety disorders.

In fact gotu kola has been used for many years as an anti anxiety medicine in Ayurveda and research is proving what our elders have known for centuries. It also help sus get a deep sleep in the night. The study for anxiety was done on 33 participants out of which 18 were male and 15 were female. Gotu kola tablets were given twice daily in the dosage of 500 mg after food. The study revealed that anxiety was greatly reduced and along with that the participants were able to handle stress very effectively.

If you are going through a lot of stress consider taking gotu kola tablets for a few days. You get very good quality gotu kola tablets in the markets and the dosage is usually 500 mg twice a day. If you are not sure about the dosage you can also ask a herbalist or an ayurvedic doctor. You can also try taking the fresh leaves in the diet daily for a few days. Here in my place, we make kootu (gotu kola cooked along with toor dal) or poriyal (gotu kola stir fry).

3. Gotu Kola Oil For Hair Loss:

Both internal consumption and external application of gotu kola is very good for promoting hair growth and for preventing hair loss. The best way to use gotu kola for hair externally is by applying gotu kola oil. You get good quality gotu kola oil in the markets.

Gotu kola oil can also made at home by infusing dried leaves in cold pressed oil by heating it under sunlight. To make the oil, collect fresh gotu kola leaves, wash them well and sun dry them well till crisp. Now take the leaves in a glass bottle, add virgin coconut oil and heat it again under sunlight till the gotu kola extract is infused into the oil. This oil can be used to massage the scalp. You can also take gotu kola tea along with applying gotu kola oil on the scalp for best results.

If you have gotu kola powder at home, you can make a very effective hair mask with it. To make gotu kola hair mask, combine fresh Aloe Vera gel along with gotu kola powder and mix into a paste and use it as a hair mask, this mask will prevent hair fall and treat all scalp infections.

4. Gotu Kola Powder For Memory:

Gotu kola has been prescribed for improving memory for centuries. The best way to consume gotu kola  for memory is in the form of powder. You can either buy it from the markets or make your own. Since gotu kola is very very famous, most of the reputed companies manufacture gotu kola powder so getting good quality gotu kola powder is not a problem at all. But if you want to make it at home, you can easily make it within a day or two.

Gotu kola powder is made by steaming the fresh leaves and always cows milk is used to steam the leaves. To make the powder, collect fresh gotu kola leaves and clean them well. Now take a double boiler (I use my idli steamer) and fill the bottom part with milk. Spread a white cotton cloth on the idli steamer and spread the leaves on top of the cloth. Close with a lid and steam till it is cooked, once it is cooked, remove and spread it on a thin dry muslin cloth and shade dry till crisp.

Once crisp, powder and store. The whole process should be done in a very low flame else the milk will boil over. To use, take around half tsp of gotu kola powder and mix it with a cup of sweetened milk. Make sure to dry the gotu kola leaves well else the powder will spoil faster.

5. Gotu Kola Herb For Skin:

Gotu kola along with treating cellulite is used for all skin problems from acne to wrinkles. Gotu kola increases the collagen production in the skin so it prevents skin aging and maintains the youthfulness of the skin. Gotu kola when taken internally treats acne and when gotu kola oil is applied externally, it treats acne scars too. Gotu kola also firms up the skin and prevents skin wrinkles. Gotu kola extract also can be used as a massage oil to treat and prevent stretch marks.

Gotu kola oil is also used to treat minor burns and most of the skin infections. Since gotu kola has been proven without doubt that it is very effective for treating all the skin problems, gotu kola based creams are widely available now. Try either the gotu kola cream or oil for external application and gotu kola tea for internal consumption.



  1. nandoos Kitchen
    May 12, 2015 / 9:03 am

    Nice post dear. First time here.. Nice space..

  2. vyjayanthi anand
    September 18, 2015 / 3:43 pm

    Hi, Your blog is informative and very relevant. The gotu kola plant that I have has glossy leaves. Is it gotu kola?

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      September 22, 2015 / 5:12 am

      Th leaves of gotu kola I have are not glossy. Watch this video to see the different varieties of gotu kola: https://youtu.be/3HTQCCzHUGo

  3. Unknown
    February 2, 2016 / 10:02 am

    Where I can get the seeds of this?

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      March 5, 2016 / 3:57 pm

      If you are living in India, Gotu kola seeds can be got easily in all nurseries…

  4. Anonymous
    March 1, 2016 / 12:16 am

    Is gotu kola vallarai keerai in tamil? could you please post a recipe for vallarai chutney. how often can we eat the chutney and can kids also eat it?

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      March 20, 2016 / 3:25 am

      Yes, gotukola is vallarai. For vallarai chutney: Heat oil in a pan and fry 2 tbsp of urad dhal, 2 to 3 red chillies till urad dhal turns golden brown and keep aside. In the same pan add some more oil and fry 5 to 6 small onions cut in half and then add a cup of vallarai leaves and fry well. Once it is wilted add 1/4 cup coconut and required amount of tamarind and fry well. Add a small piece of jaggery, salt, fried urad dhal and chillies and grind to a thick, coarse paste using very very little water..

    • Ramesh Gopalan
      January 26, 2018 / 4:25 am

      Never add tamarind with vallarai

  5. Anonymous
    June 7, 2016 / 6:00 pm

    Is Vallarai leaves availa.ble in chicago ? Please let me know by what name can I get it here

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      June 8, 2016 / 8:46 am

      I am not sure of the fresh leaves but dried vallarai leaves can be easily got in herb shops, ask for gotu kola…

  6. Anonymous
    June 23, 2016 / 5:37 pm

    Can you give goth kola powder to my seven year old and how much??

  7. Rita Adhikary
    December 12, 2016 / 5:14 pm

    Really this herb is very effective in gastrointestinal disease

  8. Unknown
    January 11, 2017 / 12:37 pm

    From which age vallarai can be given to kids ?

  9. Ananthalakshmi Ayangar
    April 10, 2017 / 4:35 pm

    Hi, my mother recently underwent cardiac bypass surgery…being diabetic, her wounds are not heeling fast and she has undergone resuturing twice..NeEd to know whether vallarai can be given to her to prevent more skin infections?

  10. syed
    April 29, 2017 / 5:48 am

    Please give me the amount we should consume

  11. syed
    April 29, 2017 / 5:50 am

    Can we elderly too consume on daily basis and how much…where to get this in powder form???is it good quality???

  12. josephine
    October 3, 2017 / 9:14 am

    dear ramya, i'm a huge fan of your website. thank you for putting together such a comprehensive collection! i refer to your work often. i have one technical feedback – it would be visually easier on the eyes for reading if the text (such as beneath the photo at top of page) could be separated in to several paragraphs rather then one block of text as it is. again, many thanks for your care and knowledge! sincerely, josephine(auroville)

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      October 3, 2017 / 2:53 pm

      Hi Josephine, Thanks a lot for the suggestion, I will try in the future posts…

  13. Priya
    November 9, 2017 / 10:32 am

    Hi Ramya,Can i use gotu kola powder topically on skin..will it benefit the skin?Thanks

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