Centella asiatica, also known as gotu kola and pennywort

Natural Herbal Remedies for the Skin


Gotu kola is known as a medicinal plant in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda. Over centuries, gotu kola (Centella asiatica) has been relied on by these and other traditional medical practitioners in countries like China,24 India,24 and Madagascar3 as a natural herbal remedy to treat or prevent a wide variety of skin diseases. It has beneficial properties that can help heal skin rashes and conditions, including eczema, psoriasis, leprosy, skin ulcers, varicose veins, cellulite, burns, and wounds.3,24,40 Modern research has led to commercial production of this herb for medicinal purposes in Western countries—especially for treating wounds, cellulite, stretch marks, aging skin (e.g., wrinkles), and varicose veins.51

How Does Gotu Kola Work on Skin?

Gotu kola contains beneficial bioactive components, including amino acids and flavonoids.39 The primary ones, like madecassoside and asiatic acid, are triterpenoid saponins—metabolites of beneficial compounds attached to sugar molecules.39 In general, saponins have a number of medicinal properties, including anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, antiviral, and fungicidal effects.52 Lab experiments indicate that one way these saponin constituents of gotu kola help with skin repair may be by promoting expression of genes that affect blood vessel development, as well as growth and restructuring of the extracellular matrix.53 Researchers also discovered that another triterpenoid saponin, asiaticoside, dissolves the coating of the bacteria that causes leprosy—validating this traditional use of gotu kola.54

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The connective tissue composed
of different types of proteins (including collagen)
that surrounds our cells and organs.
A disfiguring disease that is
characterized by sores and large nodules
on the skin and eventually nerve and muscle damage.