Gotu Kola: Benefits, Uses, and More

For centuries, gotu kola has been a superstar in traditional medicine. It’s like an herbal superhero, swooping in to save the day with mental clarity and memory improvement powers.
And if it were an herbal superhero, it would have more powers than just greater mental clarity and memory improvement.
It’s also noted to be good for the skin, reduce inflammation, improve blood flow, reduce blood pressure, and lessen anxiety.
If you’re looking to go to bed, it also can make you sleepy.
There are multiple benefits.

Gotu kola for sleep and overall health

Better sleep quality

By calming the mind and relaxing the body, gotu kola aids in sleep onset, allowing you to drift off into dreamland more easily.


Gotu kola has adaptogenic properties that support health and well-being. Adaptogens are a natural substance that help the body adapt to stress.

Cognitive enhancement

Gotu kola may enhance cognitive function. Improved brain function can improve sleep patterns. With sharper focus and mental clarity during the day, you may find it easier to unwind at bedtime.

Antioxidant effects

Gotu kola is believed to be an antioxidant. Antioxidants work to neutralize free radicals.

How to take gotu kola

  • Tea: Brew a warm cup of gotu kola tea before bedtime. The calming properties will relax you.

  • Cream: Try applying a gotu kola cream or balm to your temples or pulse points. The aroma and therapeutic properties can ease tension.

  • Supplements: The herb is available in pill form.


Caution for individuals with liver or kidney disease

High doses may impact liver function. Those with liver or kidney disease should check with their healthcare provider before using this herb.

Stomach upset and headache

High doses may lead to stomach upset or headaches.

Interactions with medications

Gotu kola may interfere with blood-thinning medications. It also may interact with drugs metabolized by liver enzymes responsible for breaking down medications in our bodies.

Pregnant or Breastfeeding

There’s limited research on its effects during pregnancy and lactation. Check with your obstetrician.

Side Effects of gotu kola and how to minimize them

Mild side effects of gotu kola may include nausea or drowsiness.

If you experience nausea and drowsiness (and you may want the drowsiness) while using gotu kola, there are several steps you can take to minimize their impact.

Next time, start with a lower dose; this allows your body to adjust. You can consider increasing the dosage if needed. User experience indicates that this herb needs titration to achieve its desired effect.

Gotu kola can also interact with other medications and herbs you’re taking. Consult a healthcare practitioner for any questions in this matter.


Sturdivant, Lee, and Tim Blakley. The Bootstrap Guide to Medicinal Herbs in the Garden, Field & Marketplace. Friday Harbor, WA: San Juan Naturals, 1999. Print.


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James Cobb, RN, MSN, is an emergency department nurse and the founder of the Dream Recovery System. His goal is to provide his readers with simple, actionable ways to improve their health and maximize their quality of life. 

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