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  Centella asiatica
   
 
Centella asiatica has 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.

Gotu Kola herb is one of the chief herbs for revitalizing the nerves and brain cells; hence primarily known as a brain food. It has also been called one of the "miracle elixirs of life".
   
 
Botanical Name
Common name
Family Name
Standardized For
Description
Plant part used
Applications
: Centella asiatica
: Gotu Kola
: Apiaceae
: Up to 50% Asiaticosides by HPLC
: Brown Coloured Powder
: Aerial Part
: Brain Tonic
 
 
Chemical Constituents:
Gotu Kola herb contains the following glycosides: indocentelloside, brahmoside, brahminoside, asiaticoside, thankuniside and isothankuniside.

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. 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.
   
 
Uses of Centella asiatica:
 
1. Centella asiatica as Brain tonic:
Centella asiatica 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. It was also found to help improve and overcome the negative effects associated with stress and fatigue.
 
 
2. Centella asiatica contains a blend of compounds including at least 3 triterpenes (asiatic acid, madecassic acid and asiaticoside) that has antioxidant benefits and an ability to stimulate collagen synthesis for tissue regeneration.

3. Centella asiatica 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 brain function.

4. Centella asiatica as good I.Q. and mental ability stimulator:
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 behaviour. This improved behaviour and mental capacity can help individuals with mental and learning disabilities to achieve a higher quality of life.

5. Centella asiatica as Antibiotic with Wound Healing Property
It is tonic, diuretic and alterative. It is used in treatment of leprosy and
 

known to ameliorate the symptoms of the disease and improves general health of the patient. The whole plant possesses antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antifebrile, diuretic and galactagogic activity.

Scleroderma - Gotu Kola decreased joint pain, skin hardening, and improved finger movement.

   
 
Other Uses:
    • Protective against aspirin- and ethanol-induced gastric ulcers – Centella significantly induced gastric mucin secretion.
    • When blood vessels lose their elasticity, blood pools in the legs and fluid leaks out of the blood vessels, causing the legs to swell (venous insufficiency). Gotu Kola improves the vascular tone of blood.
    • High Blood Pressure - Gotu Kola helps in significant reduction in diastolic blood pressure.
    • Insomnia - Gotu Kola has been used to help people with insomnia because of its sedative effects.
    • Stimulates hair growth.