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Updated on July 5, 2015

What Is Gotukola

Gotukola is a herb which is a member of the parsley family and can be found growing naturally in certain areas of Sri Lanka.

It is known as Centella and Indian Pennywort in English and is also found in countries like India, China and Indonesia.


Health Benefits of Gotukola

The herb is highly valued for its medicinal properties.

Since ancient times it was used for the treatment of diseases such as hepatitis, mental fatigue, diarrhea, fever, and asthma.

Today it’s even used in the treatment of varicose veins in countries like Europe and the U.S.


Gotukola For Skincare

Studies done reveal gotu kola is effective in treating wounds and cuts since it contains triterpenoids.

These findings have further enabled the herb to be used to treat ‘minor burns, psoriasis’ and in the prevention and reduction of ‘stretch marks.’

David Wolfe on Gotu Kola

China and Gotukola

In China the herb is called the ‘fountain of life.’

The reason the herb got such a name can be traced to an ancient story about a Chinese herbalist who lived for more than two centuries after consuming the herb.

Vitamins and Minerals in Gotukola

Gotukola contains Vitamins A, G, K and magnesium.


Gotukola Side Effects

It should be taken in moderation as the herb is said to cause side effects such as headaches, nausea, itching and redness of the skin.

Gotukola is also believed to cause liver damage if taken in excess. People suffering from liver problems are advised to refrain from taking the herb.


Gotukola For Mental Health

Gotu kola is also used in the treatment of psychological disorders such as depression, mental fatigue and Alzheimer’s disease.

The herb also cures dizziness and promotes mental clarity when taken regularly.

How Gotukola is Consumed in Sri lanka

In Sri Lanka the herb is made into a broth called Gotukola Kenda and consumed during the morning.

It’s also made into a salad called ‘Gotukola Mallum’ and served with rice and curry for lunch or dinner.

Gotukola Kenda Recipe


  • Raw Red Rice – 1 cup
  • Chopped Gotu Kola leaves – 1 cup
  • Thick Coconut Milk – 3 cups
  • Water – 2 cups
  • Ginger paste – 1 teaspoon
  • Garlic paste – 1 ½ teaspoons
  • Lemon Juice – 1 teaspoon
  • Salt – 1 teaspoon


Wash the rice and add to a pan along with the salt and water and cook on medium heat.

When water begins to boil reduce the flame and cook the rice on low fire.

Blend the chopped gotu kola and 1 cup of the coconut milk in a blender.

Add this along with the garlic paste, ginger paste and the balance 2 cups of coconut milk to the rice which is cooking.

Cook until the mixture resembles a broth.

Season with lemon juice and salt and serve.

* In Sri lanka a lot of people enjoy having the broth with a piece of jaggery.

Gotukola Mallum

  • 2 cups thinly shredded Gotukola
  • ½ cup freshly grated coconut
  • 1 thinly sliced green chili
  • 3 thinly sliced red onions or a ¼ of a big onion
  • 1 ½ teaspoons powdered Maldive fish
  • Juice of ½ a lime
  • Salt to taste


Add the shredded Gotukola, coconut, green chili, onions, and Maldive fish into a bowl.

Then add the lime juice and mix all the ingredients together. Season with salt. The mallum is ready to be served.


Gotukola Sambol

How to Grow Gotukola Plants in the Ground

Dig a 6 inch diameter hole having a 3 inch depth.

Take the soil which you’ve dug up and mix it with equal parts of compost and sand.

Place ½ of the mixture into the hole.

Then place the gotukola plant and cover with the rest of the soil mixture.

Water daily but do not over water.

*Keep a spacing of 6 inches per plant if you are growing more than one plant.

© 2012 Suranee Perera


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    • Suranee1969 profile image

      Suranee Perera 5 years ago from Kandy, Sri Lanka

      Gotukola Kenda is quite tasty and very easy to make. I do hope you enjoy it if you do happen to make it.

      You are welcome Connieow and I'm happy you found the information useful. Thank you for stopping by.

    • connieow profile image

      Connie S Owens 5 years ago from El Cajon, CA

      Will have to give the recipe a try.

      Great information. I did not know the plant was a life plant. Too bad for the side effects or you could live for ever? Not sure I would want to.

      Thank you Suranee