Gotu kola / centella asiatica and your skin
Microcirculation, water retention, skin repair, cellulite
The asian herb gotu kola / centella asiatica has been used for millennia as a traditional skin medication and for good reason. Research, the most important of which is summarised below, has shown that the combination of the centella asiatica / gotu kola extracts asiatic acid + madecassic acid + madecassoside + asiaticoside comprises one of the most important anti-ageing, skin repairing, skin firming and anti-cellulite actives known today.
21 reasons why gotu kola / centella is so good for your skin
Specifically, centella / gotu kola may help:
- Boost the production of fibronectin, collagen type I, collagen type III, and stimulate fibroblast proliferation, for tighter skin and connective tissue
- Protects elastin and hyaluronic acid from breakdown, thereby protecting skin elasticity, health and hydration
- Improve stretch marks and cellulite
- Prevent hypertrophic scars and keloids
- Accelerate burn and other wound healing
- Prevent and treat fibrosis
- Repair skin and blood vessels
- Protect blood vessel walls and improves leaky capillaries, thereby improving water retention
- Boost lower leg tissue oxygenation, removal of carbon dioxide from tissues and reduce ankle swelling/oedema, leg heaviness, itching, pain, puffiness, restlessness, cramps and tiredness
- Improve chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), lymphoedema, vein hypertension, varicose veins, hemorrhoids and phlebitis
- Protect veins from the aftermath of deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- Diabetics avoid the clinical stages of vein disease
- Stabilise arterial plaque and prevent atherosclerosis
- Protect from sun damage
- Treat hyperpigmentation
- Reduce skin dryness
- Has anti-inflammatory properties
- Is a powerful antioxidant
- Fights glycation
- Treat fat tissue inflammation
- Stimulate lipolysis better than caffeine
To further explore the skin benefits of centella asiatica scroll down on this page to check the summarised extracts of 45+ science papers that we present below.
Centella asiatica / gotu kola cream
For all those reasons, concentrated extracts of centella asiatica / gotu kola are of great importance as active ingredients in anti-cellulite, anti-ageing, leg wellness, skin brightening, skin firming, stretch mark and under-eye creams [the Celluence® creams are the only cellulite creams in the world with high concentrations of 95%+ pure TECA, plus 39x other natural anti-cellulite actives].
Disclaimer: please note that the information supplied on this page is for information purposes only and neither this information, any products containing centella or any services using centella aim to replace medical advice, treat or diagnose any disease.
45+ ways Gotu kola / Centella asiatica
helps fight skin ageing and boost circulation, skin firmness, wound healing and cellulite
45/ The Gotu kola active madecassoside accelerates burn wound healing via multiple mechanisms...
...via its antioxidative activity, stimulation of collagen synthesis and angiogenesis. In addition, madecassoside was found to decrease nitric oxide (NO) levels, malondialdehyde (MDA) content, infiltration of inflammatory cells in the burn skin tissue and to boost glutathione (GSH), hydroxyproline levels as well as enhanced epithelisation resulting from dermal proliferation of fibroblasts [Source: Madecassoside isolated from Centella asiatica herbs facilitates burn wound healing in mice]
44/ Centella asiatica protects skin fibroblasts against UVB damage...
...by positively regulating cell proliferation and fighting apoptosis [Source: Titrated extract of Centella asiatica provides a UVB protective effect by altering microRNA expression profiles in human dermal fibroblasts]
43/ Gotu kola extract cream fights inflammation and hydrates skin...
...by decreasing transepidermal water loss [Source: Moisturising and Anti-inflammatory Properties of Cosmetic Formulations Containing Centella asiatica Extract]
42/ Centella asiatica extract facilitates connective tissue and blood vessel repair...
...by effecting the expression of genes involved in angiogenesis, extracellular matrix remodeling and several other growth factor, especially that of the TNFAIP6, an extracellular hyaluronan binding protein [Source: Gene expression changes in the human fibroblast induced by Centella asiatica triterpenoids]
41/ Asiaticoside promotes wound healing...
...by increasing skin cell migration rates, initial skin cell adhesion and normal human dermal fibroblast proliferation [Source: Asiaticoside enhances normal human skin cell migration, attachment and growth in vitro wound healing model]
40/ gotu kola and rutin improve chronic venous insufficiency...
...leg suprafascial oedema, water retention cramps, without the use of compression stockings, after just 30 days of treatment [Source: Effectiveness of the combination of alpha tocopherol, rutin, melilotus, and centella asiatica in the treatment of patients with chronic venous insufficiency]
39/ 67% of Asiaticoside from topical gotu kola cream application gets absorbed into the epidermis and dermis...
... and after 48 hours a substantial amount of asiaticoside still remains inside the skin [Source: Development of a High-Performance Liquid Chromatographic Method for Asiaticoside Quantification in Different Skin Layers after Topical Application of a Centella asiatica Extract]
38/ Centella highly significantly reduces vein wall catabolic enzymes...
...thereby improving varicose veins naturally [Source: Effects of Centella asiatica extract on mucopolysaccharide metabolism in subjects with varicose veins]
37/ TTFCA Centella asiatica extract improves chronic venous insufficiency and microangiopathy...
...modulating the action of fibroblasts in the vein wall and stimulating collagen remodeling in and around the venous wall. TTFCA has a moderate in-vitro and in-vivo stimulating effect on collagen synthesis and, at higher dosages, an inhibition on the synthesis of collagen and acid mucopolysaccharides. The tissue-stimulating action of TTFCA is due to increased collagen production by each cells and it is not due to stimulation of fibroblast proliferation (this differentiates the action of TTFCA from cell growth factors). [Source: Total triterpenic fraction of Centella asiatica in chronic venous insufficiency and in high-perfusion microangiopathy]
36/ TECA centella asiatica extract improves leg heaviness...
...oedema and water retention in lower legs [Source: Titrated extract of Centella asiatica (TECA) in the treatment of venous insufficiency of the lower limbs]
35/ Asiaticoside reduces melanin and hyperpigmentation...
...by inhibiting tyrosinase and MITF [Source: Asiaticoside, a component of Centella asiatica, inhibits melanogenesis in B16F10 mouse melanoma]
34/ Centella asiatica improves venous insufficiency, stretch marks and wound healing
Centella asiatica is a medicinal plant that has been in use since prehistoric times and is used in folk medicine to treat a wide range of indications. However, in contrast to other medicinal plants, centella asiatica and its triterpenes have been subjected to quite extensive experimental and clinical investigations. Studies conducted in accordance to standardised scientific criteria have shown it to have a positive effect in the treatment of venous insufficiency and stretch marks (striae) and wound healing. [Source: Chemical, pharmacological and clinical profile of the East Asian medical plant Centella asiatica]
33/ gotu kola extract TECA remodels collagen in a dose-dependent manner...
...with asiatic acid specifically being the only component of TECA responsible for collagen synthesis stimulation [Source: Stimulation of collagen synthesis in fibroblast cultures by a triterpene extracted from Centella asiatica]
32/ Centella asiatica and vitamin B5 boost wound healing...
...by activating and protecting fibroblasts. In a study examining the wound healing activity of centella / gotu kola extract and dexpanthenol (a type of vitamin B5), it was found that both boost wound repair by activating and protecting fibroblasts, each via a different mechanism [Source: Testing Wound-healing Activity in T15 Fibroblast Cultures: A Morphometric Analysis]
31/ Centella ointment improves burn wounds in less than 3 days...
...(both objective and subjective signs) and results in tissue re-epithelialization and complete healing, without any infection [Source: Partial-thickness burn wounds healing by topical treatment: A randomized controlled comparison between silver sulfadiazine and centiderm]
30/ Centella asiatica / gotu kola: the 3000-year old "panacea"...
...worth its reputation. The south Asian medicinal herb centella asiatica (gotu kola) has been used as a cure-all for thousands of years for the treatment of hypertrophic scars (which are very common in Asia), wound healing and burns. The main actives compounds of the herb are asiaticoside, madecasosside, asiatic acid and madecassic acid and together they are called TTFCA (total triterpenic fraction of centella asiatica) or TECA (titrated extract of centella asiatica) [Source: Centella asiatica in dermatology: an overview]
29/ Madecassoside reduces hyper-pigmentation caused by UV exposure...
...and reduces UV-induced melanin index within 8 weeks of topical application" by inhibiting UV ray induced melanin synthesis, melanosome transfer and multiple markers of skin inflammation (keratinocyte cyclooxygenase-2, prostaglandin E2 and prostaglandin F2 alpha) [Source: Madecassoside inhibits melanin synthesis by blocking ultraviolet-induced inflammation]
28/ Gotu kola extract fights skin "inflammaging", inhibits oxidative damage and glycation and boosts collagen synthesis.
A synergistic triterpene + polyphenolic extract of centella asiatica has been found to protecting DNA from UV-induced damage, decrease thymine photodimerization by over 28%, reduce expression of interleukin-1α by 26%, inhibit carboxymethyl lysine formation induced by the glycating agent methylglyoxal by 100% and densify the collagen network in the papillary dermis [Source: Anti-inflammaging and antiglycation activity of a novel botanical ingredient from African biodiversity (centevita)]
27/ Gotu kola treats photoaged skin, cellulite and striae (stretch marks), small wounds, hypertrophic wounds burns, psoriasis and scleroderma...
...by boosting fibroblast proliferation, collagen synthesis, intracellular fibronectin content and tensile strength of newly formed skin as well as inhibiting the inflammatory phase of hypertrophic scars and keloids [Source: Centella asiatica in cosmetology]
26/ Madecassoside from centella asiatica improves keloid scars...
...by inhibiting keloid fibroblast proliferation via depolarising the mitochondrial membrane potential [Source: Madecassoside Induces Apoptosis of Keloid Fibroblasts via a Mitochondrial-Dependent Pathway]
25/ asiatic acid inhibits keloid scars by blocking TGF-beta and PAI-1...
...and by boosting Smad 7 and PPAR-gamma. Keloid fibroblasts show higher responsiveness to TGF-β1 stimulation than normal fibroblasts in terms of invasion and collagen synthesis. However, asiatic acid suppresses TGF-β1 induced expression of collagen type I, Smad 2/3 and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) and elevates Smad 7. Furthermore, it's effects on keloid fibroblasts are cancelled by PPAR-γ inhibition. [Source: Asiatic acid isolated from Centella asiatica inhibits TGF-β1-induced collagen expression in human keloid fibroblasts via PPAR-γ activation]
24/ Madecassoside and asiaticoside from gotu kola / centella asiatica...
...are identified as major burn wound healing actives [Source: Medicinal plants and their natural components as future drugs for the treatment of burn wounds: an integrative review]
23/ High concentration topical centella asiatica / gotu kola spray completes wound healing in 14 days
[Source: Evaluation of the topical spray containing Centella asiatica extract and its efficacy on excision wounds in rats]
22/ Combination of Centella asiatica (gotu kola)...
...glycolic acid and vitamins A, C and E stimulates collagen and fibronectin synthesis in fibroblasts [Source: The effect of Centella asiatica, vitamins, glycolic acid and their mixtures preparations in stimulating collagen and fibronectin synthesis in cultured human skin fibroblast]
21/ Madecassoside protects vein endothelial cells from oxidative injury.
Madecassoside boosts cell viability and prevents apoptosis, activation of caspase-3, loss of mitochondria membrane potential and inhibits malondialdehyde levels caused by hydrogen peroxide in a concentration-dependent manner. [Source: Madecassoside, a triterpenoid saponin isolated from Centella asiatica herbs, protects endothelial cells against oxidative stress]
20/ Venotonics, such as gotu kola, rutin, diosmin and pine bark extract reduce oedema, cramps, restless legs on lower legs
[Source: Phlebotonics for venous insufficiency]
19/ The gotu kola molecule madecassoside suppresses hypertrophic scars and keloids by inhibiting excessive fibroblast migration
Keloid is a specific skin scar that expands beyond the boundaries of the original injury as it heals. The invasive nature of keloid and notable migratory activity of fibroblasts are a hallmark, which distinguishes keloids from other common scars. However, madecassoside pretreatment was found to considerably suppress keloid fibroblast migration and synthesis of F-actin filaments, thereby inhibiting the growth of keloids. [Source: Madecassoside suppresses migration of fibroblasts from keloids: involvement of p38 kinase and PI3K signaling pathways]
18/ madecassoside stimulates wound healing and collagen III formation
In contrast to what was previously thought, asiaticoside and, especially, madecassoside are the main actives in centella asiatica responsible for burn wound healing and collagen types I and III production (and not asiatic acid and madecassic acid) [Source: Identification of Major Active Ingredients Responsible for Burn Wound Healing of Centella asiatica Herbs]
17/ TTFCA aids wound healing by boosting collagen and fibronectin..
...synthesis in fibroblasts [Source: Effect of the triterpenoid fraction of Centella asiatica on macromolecules of the connective matrix in human skin fibroblast cultures]
16/ centella asiatica reduces leg heaviness, pain and oedema...
...review finds. In a meta-analysis of 8 randomised controlled trials assessing the efficacy of centella asiatica / gotu kola for chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) it was found that the herb significantly improves microcirculatory parameters, ankle swelling and other CVI signs such as leg heaviness, pain and oedema. [Source: A Systematic Review of the Efficacy of Centella asiatica for Improvement of the Signs and Symptoms of Chronic Venous Insufficiency]
15/ Asiaticoside and Gotu kola extract fight fibrosis...
...by inhibiting transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-beta1) [Source: Antifibrotic effect of Centella asiatica Linn and asiatic acid on arecoline-induced fibrosis in human buccal fibroblasts]
14/ TTFCA (total triterpenic fraction of centella asiatica) improves...
...improves vein function, venous inflammation and venous hypertension in just 8 weeks, resulting in objective improvement (blood flow at rest, leg tissue oxygenation, removal of carbon dioxide from tissues, capillary permeability/filtration, reduced ankle swelling/oedema); and subjective improvement (feeling of heaviness, itching, puffiness, swelling sensation, restless lower extremity, pain, cramps, tiredness) as reported by patients.
The studies showed that the higher dose of centella asiatica (120mg of TTFCA per day) offered the most impressive results. Higher doses producing better results, there were no side effects and the placebo group experienced no results at all. Furthermore, all the above changes were shown to protect diabetics from microangiopathy and progression to clinical stages.
[Source 1: Effects of the total triterpenic fraction of Centella asiatica in venous hypertensive microangiopathy: a prospective, placebo-controlled, randomized trial; Source 2: Total triterpenic fraction of Centella asiatica in the treatment of venous hypertension: a clinical, prospective, randomized trial using a combined microcirculatory model; Source 3: The microcirculatory activity of Centella asiatica in venous insufficiency. A double-blind study; Source 4: Microcirculatory effects of total triterpenic fraction of Centella asiatica in chronic venous hypertension: measurement by laser Doppler, TcPO2-CO2, and leg volumetry; Source 5: Improvement of capillary permeability in patients with venous hypertension after treatment with TTFCA; Source 6: Treatment of edema and increased capillary filtration in venous hypertension with total triterpenic fraction of Centella asiatica: a clinical, prospective, placebo-controlled, randomized, dose-ranging trial; Source 7: Evaluation of treatment of diabetic microangiopathy with total triterpenic fraction of Centella asiatica: a clinical prospective randomized trial with a microcirculatory model; Source 8: Treatment of diabetic microangiopathy and edema with total triterpenic fraction of Centella asiatica: a prospective, placebo-controlled randomized study; Source 9: Activity of Centella asiatica in venous insufficiency; Source 10: TECA (Titrated Extract of Centella Asiatica): new microcirculatory, biomolecular, and vascular application in preventive and clinical medicine. A status paper.]
13/ Asiaticoside from gotu kola prevents skin ageing and prevents the breakdown of elastin and hyaluronic acid in skin...
...by inhibiting hyaluronidase, elastase and MMP-1 [Source: Matrix metalloproteinase, hyaluronidase and elastase inhibitory potential of standardized extract of Centella asiatica]
12/ Asiaticoside boosts type I collagen synthesis...
...via the Smad pathway but independently of TGF-beta receptor I kinase (TbetaRI kinase) [Source: Asiaticoside induces human collagen I synthesis through TGF-beta receptor I kinase (TbetaRI kinase)-independent Smad signaling]
11/ Centella minimises ankle swelling / oedema in long haul flights...
...and improves tissue oxygenation and vein-artery function [Source: Flight microangiopathy in medium-to long-distance flights: prevention of edema and microcirculation alterations with total triterpenic fraction of Centella asiatica]
10/ Gotu kola: the ideal scar / wound healing active
"As current aesthetic surgical techniques become more standardised and results more predictable, a fine scar may be the demarcating line between acceptable and unacceptable aesthetic results". This paper describes how tension is the initiating factor of hypertrophic scar formation or incomplete healing and also how the principal extracts of the centella asiatica plant (asiatic acid, madecassic acid and asiaticoside) have been documented in a large number of scientific reports to: aid wound healing; stimulate scar maturation; produce collagen type I; decrease inflammation; and reduce myofibroblast differentiation [Source: New innovations in scar management]
9/ centella protects veins from damage after deep vein thrombosis...
...(postphlebitic syndrome (PPS) by preserving the integrity of the connective tissue to which endothelial cells are attached, and thereby reducing endothelial cell shedding into the bloodstream [Source: Centella Asiatica Triterpenic Fraction (CATTF) reduces the number of circulating endothelial cells in subjects with post phlebitic syndrome]
8/ asiaticoside affects the expression of 54 genes related to connective tissue function...
..."boosting "cell proliferation, cell-cycle progression and synthesis of the extracellular matrix", especially that of type I and type III collagen. This, in simple terms, means that collagen cells mature faster, multiply faster and produce more collagen and other connective tissue proteins. [Source: Asiaticoside induction for cell-cycle progression, proliferation and collagen synthesis in human dermal fibroblasts]
7/ The collagen boosting, lipolytic, antioxidant and anti-cellulite properties of centella asiatica
In this study it was found that gotu kola extract stimulates collagen synthesis (better than vitamin C), lipolysis (better than that of caffeine), exhibits potent antioxidant / free radical scavenging activity (equal to that of grape seed extract and vitamin C) and exhibits similar UV protection effect to oligomeric cyanidins [Source: Triterpene Composition and Bioactivities of Centella asiatica]
6/ TTFCA stabilises arterial plaques via increased collagen synthesis...
...thereby reducing the risk of thrombosis, artery rupture and embolization [Source 1: Modification of the echogenicity of femoral plaques after treatment with total triterpenic fraction of Centella asiatica: a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled trial; Source 2: Increase in echogenicity of echolucent carotid plaques after treatment with total triterpenic fraction of Centella asiatica: a prospective, placebo-controlled, randomized trial]
5/ Centella and pine bark combination helps prevent atherosclerosis...
...by halting the accumulation of arterial plaques and their progression to clinical stages, mainly via reducing oxidative stress [Source 1: Pycnogenol® and Centella asiatica to prevent asymptomatic atherosclerosis progression in clinical events; Source 2: Pycnogenol® and Centella asiatica in the management of asymptomatic atherosclerosis progression]
4/ The combination of centella asiatica, esculoside caffeine and L-carnitine maximise lipolysis by inhibiting alpha-2 adrenoreceptors
In vitro tests demonstrated (a) a dramatic increase in the cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) content in human adipocytes, with a subsequent rise in the nonesterified fatty acids (NEFA) content of human adipocyte incubation medium, and (b) in vivo studies showed an actual potent slimming effect on human volunteers. Moreover, the combination antagonises the alpha(2)-adrenergic receptor that is known to reduce intracellular AMPc content and, subsequently, to down-regulate lipolysis. [Source: An in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo demonstration of the lipolytic effect of slimming liposomes: an unexpected alpha(2)-adrenergic antagonism]
3/ gotu kola/centella asiatica can improve chronic venous insufficiency, lymphoedema and circulation impairment
Impaired skin microcirculation is a major contributing factor towards inflammation in patients with chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). Increase of capillary filtration rate predisposes to the formation of edema. Local lymphedema is a complication of CVI, often underdiagnosed. This paper, a review of randomised prospective controlled trials, shows that horse chestnut extract, flavonoids, total triterpenic fraction of centella asiatica (TTFCA) and procyanidins reduce capillary filtration rate and improve levels of partial pressures of oxygen and carbon dioxide in skin. The study found that combining with compression therapy may have some additive effects. [Source: A review of the microcirculation in skin in patients with chronic venous insufficiency: the problem and the evidence available for therapeutic options]
2/ Phlebitis ulcers heal with the aid of herbal cream consisting of gotu kola and other botanicals
This herbal compound, in combination with compression garments, significantly improved inflammation, healing time and pain in phlebitis, in relation to compression garments alone. Ivy extract in the cream contributed to pain reduction; horse chestnut, butcher's broom and grape seed extract reduced inflammation; and allantoin, gotu kola and hyaluronic acid aided sore healing. In patients who applied both the cream and the compression garment pain stopped in 72 hours, inflammation disappeared in one week, tissue swelling stopped in one week and healing was complete in 4 weeks. [Source: Multicentric study on a topical compound with lymph-draining action in the treatment of the phlebostatic ulcer of the inferior limbs]
1/ Review paper suggests gotu kola for the treatment of varicose veins and hemorrhoids
The loss of vascular integrity is associated with the pathogenesis of varicose veins. Several botanical extracts (horse chestnut/aesculus, butcher's broom/ruscus, gotu kola, flavonoids and pine bark) have been shown to improve microcirculation, capillary flow and vascular tone, and to strengthen the connective tissue of the perivascular amorphous substrate. Oral supplementation may prevent time-consuming, painful, and expensive complications of varicose veins and hemorrhoids [Source: Hemorrhoids and varicose veins: a review of treatment options]