Gotu kola may cause drowsiness, nausea, itching and tiredness. Other potential side effects include loss of appetite, yellowing of the skin or eyes, and tiredness. Some people may experience upper stomach pain, dark urine or clay colored stools, according to Drugs.com.
Some people may be allergic to gotu kola. Signs of an allergic reaction include hives, rash, difficulty breathing and itchy, red or burning skin. Swelling of the face, throat, tongue or lips is a sign of an allergic reaction to gotu kola, notes Drugs.com.
Gotu kola might damage the liver, so people with hepatitis or other liver diseases should not use it. Gotu kola should not be taken within two weeks of surgery, as it may cause excessive sleepiness when used alongside other medications, states WebMD. Nursing or pregnant women should avoid taking gotu kola, as not enough is known about it to determine its safety, as of 2015.
Gotu kola should not be taken with other medications or supplements that could damage the liver, including niacin, comfrey, chapparal, germander and pennyroyal oil. It should not be taken with other supplements that cause drowsiness, including melatonin, yerba mansa, valerian and St. John's wort. Other supplements to avoid include catnip, Jamaican dogwood, California poppy and kava, notes Drugs.com.