Gotu kola has been used as a medicinal herb for thousands of years in India, China and Indonesia. Its ability to heal wounds, improve mental clarity, and treat skin conditions such as leprosy and psoriasis were important reasons for its extensive use in these countries. It has also been called one of the "miracle elixirs of life" because legend has it that an ancient Chinese herbalist lived for more than 200 years as a result of using the herb.
Historically, gotu kola has also been used to treat syphilis, hepatitis, stomach ulcers, mental fatigue, epilepsy, diarrhoea, fever, and asthma . Today, American and European herbalists use gotu kola for disorders that cause connective tissue swellin , such as scleroderma , psoriatic arthritis (arthritis occurring in conjunction with psoriasis) , anklylosing spondylitis (arthritis of the spine) , and rheumatoid arthritis . Recent studies confirm some of the traditional uses and also suggest possible new applications for gotu kola, such as lowering high blood pressure, treating venous insufficiency (pooling of blood in the veins, usually in the leg) , boosting memory and intelligence, easing anxiety, and speeding wound healing.