Centella asiatica, also known as gotu kola and pennywort

Gotu Kola Helps Skin Look Better

Topical gotu kola skin cream may help improve the appearance of skin.

Gotu kola (Centella asiatica) cream may be a natural treatment to improve aging skin. As we age, sun damage and other factors can cause our skin to dry out and become wrinkled, rough, and sagging. The anti-inflammatory and collagen-supporting properties of the phytochemical madecassoside from gotu kola, used in an anti-aging cream, can help prevent and treat skin damage, wrinkles, and aging skin.5

In one double-blind clinical study, two-thirds of the female participants with sun-damaged skin who used cream with 0.1% madecassoside over a 6-month period showed marked improvement in wrinkles (even deep ones), elasticity, and skin texture. Significantly, the results revealed actual structural changes to the photo-aged skin—repairing the underlying damage caused by chronic sun exposure.5

Gotu Kola for Stretch Marks and Cellulite


Studies show that gotu kola (Centella asiatica) supplements and skin creams containing the natural herb may help get rid of stretch marks and cellulite. Stretch marks are actually a form of scarring in the skin caused by constant stretching (usually from weight gain or pregnancy) that damages the dermis layer of skin.55 Typically stretch marks are a reddish color at first, and then they turn silvery-white. 59 Cellulite is a very common skin condition that typically appears in women.48 It is caused by fat cells pushing through the collagen-fiber columns that help form the structure of skin’s middle layer.48

Like stretch marks, cellulite is often seen in the hips, thighs, and buttocks; both conditions often appear together. This may be reflective of the fact that both cellulite and stretch marks are defined by an alteration or damage to the connective tissue of the skin.48

In addition to connective tissue damage, circulatory system dysfunction encourages the development of cellulite. Poor lymph drainage causes swelling, which blocks blood flow and inhibits collagen production. Research suggests that both topical creams containing pharmaceutical-grade extracts and oral supplementation of gotu kola may help prevent conditions related to connective tissue damage, especially because of its collagen-stimulating and circulatory-improving properties.38,39

Although clinical trials are not extensive, those that have been conducted have shown promising results:

  • Results of a clinical study on the effects of an onion extract cream containing gotu kola and hyaluronic acid over a 12-week period demonstrated improvements in the appearance of stretch marks on the treated thigh of female participants.30 One particularly vigorous review of clinical trials involving all topical treatments for stretch marks suggested that an ointment combining extracts of gotu kola with vitamin E is the most effective therapy of this kind to date.40
  • Studies involving patients taking 60-mg/day of gotu kola for 90 days showed a decrease in the size of cellulite fat cells in the buttocks and thighs.49 Clinical and other studies have demonstrated that some 70% of patients who have used products containing the active triterpene constituents of gotu kola have experienced improvements in cellulite conditions.60
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The middle layer of skin containing structurally supportive collagen fibers.
The lymphatic system is a system of vessels,
like blood vessels, that work in consort with the circulatory
system to move beneficial substances to the blood system
and remove toxic substances from it.