Centella asiatica, also known as pennywort, is a member of the parsley family. It is native to South Africa, Eastern and South Asia.
Of the plant’s many indications, nervous system support and memory enhancement are at the forefront. Based on a study done in 2011 by Soumyanath and team, Gotu kola demonstrates positive changes in "beta-amyloid-associated behavioral abnormalities.”1 Specifically, it prevents the accumulation of toxins in certain immature nervous system cells not only from the environment but also the harmful substance that already-damaged nerve cells create, beta-amyloid.
Within pennywort exists a component called asiatic acid. Upon consumption of the herb, this acid has been detected in brain tissue and so it can cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Therefore, Gotu kola demonstrates evidence for potentially protecting the mind from neuro-degenerative disorders.2
The initial recommended dosing is somewhere between 60-90 mg of concentrated extract powder/day by mouth. One with a (family) history of seizures should be careful with higher doses.3 This means pennywort can interact with medications used to treat epilepsy, and so liver lab values should be monitored.
I take Gotu kola (almost) every day
Soumyanath A, Zhong YP, Henson E, et al. Centella asiatica Extract Improves Behavioral Deficits in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease: Investigation of a Possible Mechanism of Action. Int J Alzheimers Dis. 2012;2012:381974.
Mohamed MFN, Goyal SN, Suchal K et al. Pharmacological Properties, Molecular Mechanisms, and Pharmaceutical Development of Asiatic Acid: A Pentacyclic Triterpenoid of Therapeutic Promise. Front Pharmacol. 2018;9:892.
“Centiella Asiatica (Gotu Kola)”, https://www.alzdiscovery.org/.