Parts Used & Where Grown
This plant grows in a widespread distribution in tropical, swampy areas, including parts of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, and South Africa. It also grows in Eastern Europe. The roots and leaves are used medicinally.
How It Works
The primary active constituents of gotu kola are saponins (also called triterpenoids), which include asiaticoside, madecassoside and madasiatic acid.1 These saponins may prevent excessive scar formation by inhibiting the production of collagen (the material that makes up connective tissue) at the wound site. These constituents are also associated with promoting wound healing. One preliminary trial in humans found that a gotu kola extract improved healing of infected wounds (unless the infection had reached bone).2 Additionally, a review of French studies suggests that topical gotu kola can improve healing of burns and wounds.1 Clinical trials have also shown it can help those with chronic venous insufficiency4,5 Another trial found gotu kola extract helpful for preventing and treating enlarged scars (keloids).6