Centella Asiatica: A Short Overview

November 4, 2020 | 1260 words | 6 minutes


INTRODUCTION:

Family: Apiaceae.

Botanical name: Centella asiatica.

Part used: Whole plant.

VERNACULAR NAMES:

Sanskrit: Mandukaparni, Saraswathi, Hindi: Jalabrahmi, Bengali: Thalkudi, Telugu: Sarasvathy, Tamil: Vallari Kirai, Marathi: Karivan, Karivana, Guajarati: Khanda Brahmi, Kannada: Ondelaga soppu.

FOREIGN NAMES:

English: Indian pennywort**, Chinese**: Gotu kola, **Spanish:** hierba de clavo, **German:** Asiatische Sumpfpfennigkraut, **Bangladesh:** pahartali, **American:** coinwort. **Japan:** tsubokusa, **French:** hydroctyle asiatique.

SANSKRIT SYNONYMS:

Mandukaparni – Reason: Leaves resemble shape and Colour of Frog

Manduki – Reason: Available in most places, Similar to Frogs

Sarasvati – Reason: Found in damp, moist places, Improves intelligence.

DESCRIPTION

Centella Asiatica is an essential medicinal herb used in the orient, becoming popular in the West and commonly known as Mandukaparni or Indian pennywort.

Centella Asiatica, a clonal, perennial herbaceous creeper belonging to the family Umbelliferae (Apiaceae), is found throughout India, growing in moist places (Swampy areas) up to an altitude of 1800m. It is a tasteless, odorless plant that thrives in and around water. It has small fan-shaped green leaves with white or light purple-to-pink or white flowers, and it bears small oval fruits.

Centella Asiatica
Centella Asiatica

HISTORY OF CENTELLA ASIATICA (MANDUKAPARNI):

It has been used as a medicine in India’s Ayurvedic tradition for thousands of years. It is listed in the historic ‘Sushruta Samhita’ and ‘Charaka Samhita,’ an ancient Indian medical text. The herb is also used by the people of Java and other Indonesian islands. In China, known as Gotu kola, it is one of the reported “miracle elixirs of life” known over 2000 years ago.

Gotu Kola is a cooking staple in Vietnamese, Burmese, Sri Lankan, and Indonesian food. From curries and dals to chutney’s and porridge, the Gotu Kola herb is a delightful addition to your culinary pantry with its sharp and vinegary taste profile.

Traditional medical practitioners who have been studying the plant for decades suggest that this plant can positively impact our brain, skin, liver, and kidney functionality even it was recommended for the treatment of various conditions such as leprosy, lupus, varicose ulcers, eczema, psoriasis, diarrhea, fever, amenorrhea, and diseases of the female genitourinary tract.

Centella Asiatica
Centella Asiatica

MAJOR CHEMICAL CONSTITUENTS:

The primary chemical composition of Centella Asiatica plays a vital role in medicinal and nutraceutical applications that consist of biologically active components of Triterpene saponins (Loiseau and Mercer, 2000.)

GLYCOSIDES:

FLAVANOIDS:

MEDICINAL USES:

The whole plant is used for medicinal purposes. It is widely used for memory enhancement, promoting longevity as a blood purifier, and treating high blood pressure.

In Ayurveda, it is one of the main herbs for revitalizing the nerves and brain cells. Eastern healers relied on Centella to treat emotional disorders, such as depression, that were thought to be rooted in physical problems. In Western medicine, during the middle of the twentieth century, CA and its alcohol extracts reported positive results in the treatment of leprosy.

This herbal remedy’s effect on cognitive function also helps with depression and positively affects regulating body weight, temperature, and heart rate.

Centella Asiatica
Centella Asiatica

The treatment and enhancement of memory and nerve function lead us to believe that this plant can have healing effects on Alzheimer’s patients. It protects the brain cells from toxic build-up and plaque associated with Alzheimer’s.

THERAPEUTIC USES OF CENTELLA ASIATICA (As per Ayurveda):

A Centella Asiatica Drink
A Centella Asiatica Drink

PHARMACODYNAMICS / KINETICS:

An animal study found that madecassoside, asiaticoside, Asiatic acid, and madecassic acid have a bioavailability between 30 and 50%. Vogel HG, Dsouza N

The report says that peak plasma levels are reached 2-4 hours after oral ingestion, Bosse et al. The area under the curve significantly increased in a dose-dependent fashion after single doses of either 30mg or 60mg in humans.

Moiety. Rush, W. R., Murray et al. Eur J Drug Metab Pharmacokinet 1993; 18(4):323-326. 8020529

The kidneys metabolize an unspecified amount. Bosse et al.

CLINICAL STUDIES REFERENCES OF CENTELLA ASIATICA:


First published on November 4, 2020
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