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When taken orally, gotu kola seldom causes any side effects other than the occasional allergic skin rash, and safety studies suggest that it is essentially non-toxic. 1 . However, one animal study hints that gotu kola might have carcinogenic effects if applied topically to the skin. 2 Although gotu kola has not been proven safe for pregnant or nursing women, studies in rabbits suggest that it does not harm fetal development, 3 and Italian physicians have given it to pregnant women. 4 Safety in young children and those with severe liver or kidney disease has not been established.
- Kartnig T. Clinical applications of Centella asiatica (L.). Herbs Spices Med Plants. 1988;3:145-173.
- Laerum OD, Iversen OH. Reticuloses and epidermal tumors in hairless mice after topical skin applications of cantharidin and asiaticoside. Cancer Res. 32(7):1463-9.
- Bossé JP, Papillon J, Frenette G, Dansereau J, Cadotte M, Le Lorier J. Clinical study of a new antikeloid agent. Ann Plast Surg. 3(1):13-21.
- Basellini A, Agus GB, Antonucci E, et al. Varices in pregnancy (an up-date) [translated from Italian]. Ann Obstet Ginecol Med Perinat. 1985;106:337-341.