Centella asiatica

hydrocotyle_vulgaris_lge-K

Botanical Name: Centella asiatica
Common name: Gotu cola, Marsh pennywort, Centella, Brahmi (Sanskrit) (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 657).
Family: Apiacea(Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 658)
Parts used: Aerial parts (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 657).

 

Constituents

  • Triterpebe saponins (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 657)
  • Monoterpenoids and sesquiterpenoids (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 657)
  • Flavenoids: quercetin and kaempferol glucosides (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 658)

 

Qualities

Auyrveda: Seen as a cooling, drying herb administered to drive out heat or inflammation (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 657).
Traditional Chinese Medicine: Used to clear damp heat or cool blood. Said to stops bleeding, clears the liver and brighten the eyes (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 657).

 

Actions

  • Anti-inflammatory (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 657).
  • Anti-fibrotic (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 657).
  • Adaptogenic (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 657).
  • Assists cognitive function (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 657).
  • Promotes both internal and external tissue healing (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 657).
  • Moderates stress response (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 657).
  • Nervine tonic (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 657).
  • Neuroprotective and neuroregenerative (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 657).
  • Depurative (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 657).
  • Venotonic (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 657).
  • Vulnerary (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 657).

 

History/Traditional Use

Traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine. The name gotu kola originated from Sri Lanka and translates to “cup shaped leaf”, its Sanskrit name means ‘from Brahma’ (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 657). The herb is considered one of the esteemed rasayana herbs in Ayurvedic medicine. Rasayan herbs are seen as tonics, which are seen to rejuvenate and restore body, mind and spirit (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 657).

In South Asia the herb is traditionally use for a variety of chronic skin conditions (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 657).

 

Contemporary Indications

  • Diabetic microangiopathy
  • Liver fibrosis
  • Chronic venous insufficiency
  • Peridontal disease
  • Osteopenia and osteoarthritis
  • Promotes both internal and external wound healing
  • Promotes regeneration of tissues via epithelial and connective tissue regeneration.
  • Regeneration effects on vein walls (therefore also may improve micro-circulation)
  • Specific examples include: Scleroderma, Leg ulcers, Leprosy, Keloids and hypertrophic scars, Haemorrhoids, Athersclerotic plaque stabilisation, Psoriasis, Peptic ulceration
  • Conditions of nervous system, such as: Anxiety and enhancement of cognitive function

(Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 657).

 

Preparation
Internal

  • Infusion
  • Liquid extract
  • Tablets and capsules

External

  • Decoction
  • Succus
  • Incorporated into creams and ointments

(Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 658)

 

Dosage

  • Infusion: 3-30g dried herb/day
  • Liquid extract (1:1): 3-9mL/day
  • Tablets & Capsules: 60-180mg/day

(Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 658)

 

Cautions: Apart from infrequent gastrointestinal upset (as a result of saponins) and contact dermatitis no adverse effects have been recorded (Bone & Mills, 2013, pp. 658, 667).

 

Contradictions: Known allergy (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 666).

 

REFERENCE
Bone, K., & Mills, S. (2013). Principals and Practice of Phytotherapy (2nd ed.). Edinborough: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier.

Image: Stüber, K. (1999). Aquarium and Pond Plants of the World. Retrieved from: http://idtools.org/id/aquariumplants/Aquarium_&_Pond_Plants_of_the_World/key/Aquarium_&_Pond_Plants/Media/Html/Fact_sheets/hydrocotyle.html