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.
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.
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.
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.)
Centellosides (Inamdar etal,1996).
Glucosylkaempferol (Zainl etal 2004).
Centellic acid (Zheng and Qin, 2007.),
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.
Centella Asiatica is known to revitalize the brain and nervous system, increase attention span and concentration, and combat aging. (Nalini K, Aroor AR, Karanth Ks and Rao A.,)
The antidepressant effects of total triterpenes from Centella Asiatica on the immobility time in forced swimming mice and concentration of amino acid in mice brain tissue was observed. (Chen Y, Han T, Qin L, Rui Y, and Zheng H.).There have been many animal-based studies on the effects of Gotu Kola on anxiety. The results were quite promising; Gotu Kola had lowered anxiety-like behavior and oxidative damage and improved body movement and function.
This herbal remedy’s effect on cognitive function also helps with depression and positively affects regulating body weight, temperature, and heart rate.
Centella Asiatica possesses CNS effects in Indian literature such as stimulatory-nervine tonic, Rejuvenative, sedative, tranquilizer, and intelligence promoting property.
Centella Asiatica extracts have been used traditionally for wound healing. (Srivastava R, Shukla YN and Kumar S)
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.
A laboratory study was reported in which aqueous extract of Centella Asiatica was found to be effective in inhibiting gastric lesions induced by ethanol administration. (Srivastava R, Shukla YN and Kumar S)
It has got excellent antioxidant property and wound healing property. Hence it protects from irradiation effects. (Shobi V and Goel HC)
Get rid of stretch marks. Studies show that Gotu Kola can increase collagen on the skin, linked to dulling existing scars and keeping new ones from popping up. Gotu Kola is full of Terpenoids, a naturally occurring chemical with many therapeutic uses, ranging from anti-inflammatory, antioxidants, anti-parasitic, immune-modulatory, and skin permeation enhancers. These properties help with other wounds and scars too!
Detox: Gotu Kola helps keep liver and kidney toxicity low. This phenomenon was studied in animals after giving Isoniazid doses, a treatment for tuberculosis with numerous adverse effects. Once given a steady dosage of Gotu Kola, the animals showed reduced toxins, and their liver and kidney function returned to normal.
The primary effects of Gotu Kola include both wound healing and improvement of mental clarity and emotional balance. For one thing, the nervous system and skin both originate embryologically from the ectoderm, and the skin is a sense organ.
With your physician’s endorsement, work this herbal remedy into your schedule. You could start to see results by beginning with a modest quantity and slowly increasing the dose after some time.
THERAPEUTIC USES OF CENTELLA ASIATICA (As per Ayurveda):
It is used extensively as Rasayana – Anti-aging, Rejuvenative.
Centella Asiatica improves:
Bala- Strength, Immunity Booster.
Varna – Skin quality.
Swarya – Voice strength
Agni – Digestive power
Medhya – Improves intelligence & relieves stress.
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.
Metabolism: A study in 12 healthy volunteers found that asiaticoside is converted to Asiatic acid in vivo by hydrolytic cleavage of the sugar
Moiety. Rush, W. R., Murray et al. Eur J Drug Metab Pharmacokinet 1993; 18(4):323-326. 8020529
Elimination: Madecassol is predominantly eliminated in the feces within 24-76 hours after ingestion, injection, or application, with a small
The kidneys metabolize an unspecified amount. Bosse et al.
CLINICAL STUDIES REFERENCES OF CENTELLA ASIATICA:
Effect of acute administration of Gotu-kola (Centella Asiatica) on acoustic startle response in healthy volunteers. (Bradwejn J, Zhou Y, Koszycki, and et al.).
A clinical study on managing generalized anxiety disorder with Centella Asiatica(U Jana, TK Sur, LN Maity, et al.).
Use of a titrated extract of Centella Asiatica in chronic hepatic disorders. Darnis F, Orcel L, de Saint-Maur PP, Mamou P.
**Protection against radiation-induced conditioned taste aversion by Centella Asiatica_. (Shobi V, Goel HC, Physiol Be**
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