Nepali Name: Godtapre
Sanskrit Name: Mandukparni
Botanical Names:Family Umbelliferae Centella asiatica syn. Hydrocotyle asiatica
Common Names: Marsh Penny, Hydrocotyle, White Rot,
Synonyms:Centella asiatica, Hydrocotyle asiatica,Centella asiatique(in French)
description of Centella asiatica.:
Centella asiatica is known as a longevity herb and is used widely in Nepal as part of their traditional medicine Ayurveda. In Sanskrit it is called ‘Mandukparni’ as its leaf appears as a standing frog from its backside. It is also called ‘Brahmi’, the goddess of supreme wisdom and ‘saraswati’, the goddess knowledge & wisdom. This red flowered plant grows naturally in swampy areas of Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, South Africa, Australia, China and the southern United States in an altitude up to 200ft. Its roots and leaves are used for medicinal purposes and provide important health benefits related to healthy veins and blood vessels, to treat skin disorders, help with better memory and improve brain function. Centella asiatica is a slender, creeping plant that grows commonly in swampy areas of Nepal, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, South Africa and the tropics. Its fan shaped leaves are about the size of an old British penny - hence its common names Nepali pennywort, marsh penny and water pennywort. Centella asiatica also grows in tropical and subtropical parts of Australia, Southern Africa, and South America. It prefers marshy areas and riverbanks. Although usually gathered wild, Centella asiatica can be cultivated from seed in spring. The aerial parts are harvested throughout the year. This slender perennial is found throughout tropical regions of the world. Its nearly smooth surface and kidney-shaped or heart-shaped leaves accompanied by dark-purple flower petals make for a somewhat exquisite plant. But efforts to domesticate it have often failed, because its apparent obstinance requires human persecution in order to spread. Thus, when Centella asiatica is sprayed with herbicides, only the leaves die, while the root actually seems to thrive on these harmful chemicals. After one good spraying, the plant usually proliferates like crazy. In Sri Lanka, it was observed that elephants, noted for their longevity among beasts, fed extensively on the plant. This gave rise to the reputation of the herb as a longevity promoter for people. Eating a few leaves daily was thought to "strengthen and revitalize worn out bodies and brains." Centella asiatica has also been recommended as a treatment for mental troubles, high blood pressure, abscesses, rheumatism, fever, ulcers, leprosy, skin eruptions, nervous disorders, and jaundice. More recently, Centella asiatica has acquired a considerable reputation as an aphrodisiac, an agent that stimulates sexual desire and ability. The crushed leaves are commonly consumed by people in Sri Lanka, either in the form of a salad or as a hot beverage. It is an ancient remedy that has been used for thousands of years in Nepal and is now becoming popular in the West. Since the late 1800s, it has been used in France and other European countries to promote healing of burns and other skin wounds. Interest in it is relatively new in the US, and its healing properties are still being discovered.
Phytochemicals,Constituients and mechanism of Centella asiatica.:
Centella asiatica contains a blend of compounds including at least 3 triterpenes (asiatic acid, madecassic acid and asiaticoside) that appear to have antioxidant benefits and an ability to stimulate collagen synthesis for tissue regeneration.
Centella asiatica contains chemicals called triterpines (saponins) like asiaticoside, madecassoside and madasiatic acid which enhance the formulation of collagen in bones, cartilage and connective tissue. These substances work to promote healthy blood vessels by strengthening their walls and improving blood flow. Centella asiatica encourages production of chemical messengers called neurotransmitters to help with brain function.
There are three main chemical constituents in Centella asiatica. The first is asiaticoside, which is a triterpene glycoside and classified as an antibiotic. It aids in wound healing and has been used in the treatment of leprosy and tuberculosis in the Far East. The second constituent is a pair of chemicals, brahmoside and brahminoside, which are saponin glycosides. These are diuretic in nature and have a slightly sedative action in large doses. Finally, there is madecassoside, a glycoside that is a strong anti-inflammatory agent. The plant is also a source of Vitamin K, magnesium, calcium and sodium.
Application and Uses of Centella asiatica Products in details.:
1.Centella asiatica is the main Ayurvedic brain-mind tonic for children and adults:
Centella asiatica has been referred to as "food for the brain". This oriental herb has demonstrated mild tranquilizing, anti-anxiety and anti-stress effects, as well as improving mental functions such as concentration and memory. It has a calming effect on the body and is chiefly used to support the central nervous system. These beneficial qualities make Centella asiatica an excellent herb for children with A.D.D. because it has a stimulating effect on the brain that increases one's ability to focus while having a soothing and relaxing effect on an overactive nervous system.
Centella asiatica is often used to increase mental function and performance. Many studies have confirmed the usefulness of Centella asiatica in improving brain function. It is commonly prescribed in Europe and Nepal to improve mental function. Research done in Nepal found the water extract of fresh leaves to help improve memory and learning. It was also found to help improve and overcome the negative effects associated with stress and fatigue.
2.Centella asiatica products used as good I.Q. and mental ability stimulator:
Centella asiatica is regarded as one of the most spiritual and rejuvenating herbs in Ayurveda and is used to improve meditation. It is said to develop the crown chakra, the energy center at the top of the head, and to balance the right and left hemispheres of the brain, which the leaf is said to resemble.
Other clinical trials in Nepal have found that Centella asiatica can help increase the I.Q. and mental ability of mentally retarded children. The children involved in the study showed improved mental capacity as well as improved behavior. It was given to the children in combination with capsicum and ginseng. 248 This improved behavior and mental capacity can help individuals with mental and learning disabilities to achieve a higher quality of life.
Another study found improvement in the memory of rats when given the Centella asiatica extract. The learned behavior retention improved dramatically in the rats. The conclusion of the study was that Centella asiatica improves learning and memory.
3.Centella asiatica as General antibiotics with super wound healing and anti-inflammatory active.