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How To Take Gotu Kola – 4 Top Questions Answered


Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica or Indian Pennywort) is a perennial plant in the parsley family. Gotu Kola is native to moist regions of Asia and has widespread use in traditional medicines such as TCM and Ayurveda. While it is a key herb in Ayurvedic pharmacopeia, it is also becoming popular in complementary medicine for its wide therapeutic properties.

Why do People Take Gotu Kola?

Gotu Kola is well known for its cognitive-enhancing abilities, inducing mental clarity, improving memory, and lowering everyday stress. Beyond the herb's neuroprotective qualities, it is used to improve circulation, speed up wound healing, and to reduce oxidative stress.1 For more information about Gotu Kola benefits or side effects, check out some of our blog posts.

This article focuses on the key questions regarding Gotu Kola usage:

We look into important safety aspects, interactions with other herbs or medications, and recommended dosage. If you are interested in trying Gotu Kola to get a brain boost and are unsure how and when is best to take it, continue reading!

Gotu Kola ingredients close up.

How Much Gotu Kola to Take?

The serving size of Gotu Kola depends on desired effects and the form. Gotu Kola is commonly sold as a dried herbal extract, a tea, tincture, powder, or in capsules. The dried herbs/tea can be taken at a dose of 600 mg per day.

In regards to supplemental dosage, it's best to start with lower serving sizes and gradually increase. Some prefer capsules over powders as they are quick and easy.

For more specific usage, Gotu Kola supplements are considered safe and effective in the following doses:

  • Cognitive enhancement: Human studies have found 750 mg/day of a 5% asiaticoside extract to be effective in improving cognitive functions.2 Another study found 500 mg taken twice daily for 30 to 60 days had significant effects on attention.3
A woman meditating with a lens flare from the sun.

When to take Gotu Kola?

Gotu Kola supplements can be taken at any time of the day. The best way to consume this product is to take separate servings, especially if you are consuming higher doses. Since Gotu Kola has sedative properties, it does not interfere with circadian rhythms, so it can be taken in the evening as well.

Gotu Kola is more effective and less likely to cause digestive upset when consumed with meals.7

How to take Gotu Kola?

There are many forms of Gotu Kola available in health food stores and produce shops. The plant's dried leaves are commonly used in Asian cuisine in salads, stews, dahls, and condiments. It can also be sipped as a healing tea or taken in a powdered or encapsulated supplement form.

In an herbal tea form, standard doses include 1-2 teaspoons (5-10 g) to 150 ml to a pot and heat until water is boiling, letting it steep for 10 to 15 minutes.8

If you are taking Gotu Kola in powdered form, it would be tastier and easier to have it with hot water as a tea or add it to your morning smoothies/juices to mask the herb’s slight bitter taste. We’ve found that Gotu Kola pairs well with warming grain and legume-based dishes.

Are there any Side Effects or Drug Interactions?

Research indicates Gotu Kola does not exhibit any cytotoxic effects against normal cells. A study looking at use of Gotu Kola in servings up to 1g/kg daily for 90 days showed no toxicological symptoms.9 Large servings may be safe, but it is not recommended to exceed the serving suggestion.10

Some rare and mild side effects associated with Gotu Kola may occur. These include stomach pain, nausea, and drowsiness.

Gotu Kola may not be safe for those with liver issues as it may cause herb-induced hepatotoxicity. Topical application of Gotu Kola may cause skin irritations. To avoid this, do a patch test before widespread use.

There is not sufficient research regarding the safety of Gotu Kola on breastfeeding and pregnant women nor on infants. For this reason, please consult your doctor before taking Gotu Kola.

Lastly, there are no documented interactions between Gotu Kola and medications to date. However, since high doses of Gotu Kola can cause drowsiness, it is recommended to avoid taking it with sleep medications. In addition, Gotu Kola may decrease blood glucose and cholesterol levels. Therefore, please consult your doctor to monitor insulin levels when taking Gotu Kola if you experience insulin resistance or cholesterol problems.


In conclusion, Gotu Kola is a potent supplement for supporting healthy brain function and reducing everyday stress levels. It is especially beneficial for individuals looking to improve attention, memory, and mood and looking for general health and longevity.

Gotu Kola can be taken at any time of the day and is most beneficial in doses of around 500 -1000 mg per day. You can take Gotu Kola with food or on an empty stomach (if taken as a tea). Please consult your healthcare provider before taking this product if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, are diabetic or experience liver problems.


  1. Howes M.J. & Houghton P.J. (2003). ‘Plants used in Chinese and Indian traditional medicine for improvement of memory and cognitive function’, Pharmacology and Biochemical Behavior, 75(3), pp.513-527. doi: 10.1016/s0091-3057(03)00128-x. PMID: 12895669.
  2. Wattanathorn J., Mator L., Muchimapura S., et al. (2007). ‘Positive modulation of cognition and mood in the healthy elderly volunteer following the administration of Centella asiatica’, Journal of Ethnopharmacoly, 116 (2) pp.325-332. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2007.11.038. Epub 2007 Dec 4. PMID: 18191355.
  3. Gohil, K. J., Patel, J. A., & Gajjar, A. K. (2010). Pharmacological Review on Centella asiatica: A Potential Herbal Cure-all. Indian journal of pharmaceutical sciences, 72(5), 546–556. https://doi.org/10.4103/0250-474X.78519
  4. Chivapat, Songpol & Tantisira, Mayuree. (2011). Acute and sub-chronic toxicity of a standardized extract of Centella asiatica ECa 233.. Thai Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. 35. 55-64.
  5. Deshpande, P. O. Mohan, V. & Thakurdesai, P. (2015). ‘Preclinical Safety Assessment of Standardized Extract of Centella asiatica (L.) Urban Leaves’, Toxicology International, 22(1), 10–20. https://doi.org/10.4103/0971-6580.172251

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