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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names:

Generic Name: gotu kola (Pronunciation: GO too KOE la)

What is gotu kola ()?

Gotu kola is also known by many other names, including brahmi, centella, Indian pennywort, marsh penny, thick-leaved pennywort, white rot, hydrocotyle, Indian water navelwort, and talepetrako. Gotu kola is not related to kola (cola) nut.

Gotu kola has been used orally (by mouth) in alternative medicine as an aid to treating anxiety, depression, fatigue, memory loss, colds and flu, upset stomach, diarrhea, ulcer, bladder infections, liver problems, and diabetes. Gotu kola has also been used to treat circulation problems, varicose veins, anemia, lupus, menstrual problems, and birth control.

Topical forms of gotu kola have been used in alternative medicine to aid in wound healing and reducing scars.

Not all uses for gotu kola have been approved by the FDA. Gotu kola should not be substituted for medications prescribed for you by your doctor.

Gotu kola is often sold as an herbal supplement. There are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for many herbal compounds and some marketed supplements have been found to be contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.

Gotu kola may also be used for other purposes not listed in this product guide.

What are the possible side effects of gotu kola ()?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives, itching, redness, or burning of your skin; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using gotu kola and call your healthcare provider at once if you have any signs of liver problems, such as nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • nausea;
  • upset stomach; or
  • drowsiness.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about gotu kola ()?

Not all uses for gotu kola have been approved by the FDA. Gotu kola should not be substituted for medications prescribed for you by your doctor.

You should not use gotu kola if you have liver disease.

Before you use this product, tell your doctor, pharmacist, herbalist, or other healthcare provider if you have diabetes or high cholesterol.

Gotu kola is often sold as an herbal supplement. There are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for many herbal compounds and some marketed supplements have been found to be contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.

Use gotu kola as directed on the label, or as your healthcare provider has prescribed. Do not use this product in larger amounts or for longer than recommended.



Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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