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Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica), this herb is known for calming depressive episodes, strengthening cognitive function, and helping one deal with both mental and physical stress

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Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica) – An antiseptic, antispasmodic, peripheral vasodilator, and nerving and relaxant, this herb is known for calming depressive episodes, strengthening cognitive function, and helping one deal with both mental and physical stress.

Centella asiatica, commonly known as centella and gotu kola, is a small, herbaceous, annual plant of the family Mackinlayaceae or subfamily Mackinlayoideae of family Apiaceae, and is native to wetlands in Asia.[2][3] It is used as a medicinal herb in Ayurvedic medicine,traditional African medicine, and traditional Chinese medicine. It is also known as the Asiatic pennywort or Indian pennywort in English, among various other names in other languages.

Description

Centella grows in tropical swampy areas.[4] The stems are slender, creeping stolons, green to reddish-green in color, connecting plants to each other. It has long-stalked, green, reniform leaves with rounded apices which have smooth texture with palmately netted veins. The leaves are borne on pericladial petioles, around 2 cm. The rootstock consists of rhizomes, growing vertically down. They are creamish in color and covered with root hairs.[5]

The flowers are white or pinkish to red in color, born in small, rounded bunches (umbels) near the surface of the soil. Each flower is partly enclosed in two green bracts. The hermaphrodite flowers are minute in size (less than 3 mm), with 5-6 corolla lobes per flower. Each flower bears five stamens and two styles. The fruit are densely reticulate, distinguishing it from species of Hydrocotyle which have smooth, ribbed or warty fruit.[3] The crop matures in three months, and the whole plant, including the roots, is harvested manually.

Habitat

Centella grows along ditches and in low, wet areas. In Indian and Southeast Asian centella, the plant frequently suffers from high levels of bacterial contamination, possibly from having been harvested from sewage ditches. Because the plant is aquatic, it is especially sensitive to pollutants in the water, which are easily incorporated into the plant.

Culinary use

Flowers and leaves centella asiatica

Bai bua bok served as a refreshing drink in Thailand

Centella is used as a leafy green in Sri Lankan cuisine, where it is called gotu kola. In Sinhalese, gotu is translated as “conical shape” andkola as “leaf”. It is most often prepared as malluma (මැල්ලුම), a traditional accompaniment to rice and curry, and goes especially well with vegetarian dishes, such as dhal, and jackfruit or pumpkin curry. It is considered quite nutritious. In addition to finely chopped gotu kola,malluma almost always contains grated coconut, and may also contain finely chopped green chilis, chili powder, turmeric powder and lime(or lemon) juice. A variation of the nutritious porridge known as kola kenda is also made with gotu kola by the Sinhalese people of Sri Lanka. Kola Kenda is made with very well-boiled red rice (with extra liquid), coconut milk and gotu kola, which is pureed. The porridge is accompanied with jaggery for sweetness. Centella leaves are also used in sweet “pennywort” drinks.

In Indonesia, the leaves are used for sambai oi peuga-ga, an Aceh type of salad, and is also mixed into asinan in Bogor.

In Vietnam and Thailand, this leaf is used for preparing a drink or can be eaten in raw form in salads or cold rolls. In Bangkok, vendors in the famous Chatuchak Weekend Market sell it alongside coconut, roselle, chrysanthemum, orange and other health drinks.

In Malay cuisine the leaves of this plant are used for ulam, a type of Malay salad.[6]

It is one of the constituents of the Indian summer drink thandaayyee.

In Bangladeshi cuisine mashed centella is eaten with rice and is popular for its medicinal properties.

 

 

Medicinal effects

According to the American Cancer Society, although centella is promoted for its health benefits, “available scientific evidence does not support claims of its effectiveness for treating cancer or any other disease in humans”.[7] However some research has shown a possible health benefit in the form of reduction of the progression of subclinical arterial lesions in low-risk asymptomatic subjects.[8]

Other names

In South Asia, other common names of centella include సరస్వతి ఆకు (sarswathi aku) in Telugu; കുടവൻ (kudavan), മുത്തിൾ (muththil), or കുടങ്ങൽ (kudangal) in Malayalam; থানকুনি (thankuni) in Bengali; ගොටුකොල (gotu kola) in Sinhala; मधुकपर्णी (mandukaparni) inSanskrit; ब्राम्ही / ब्राह्मी (brahmi) in Marathi: ಒಂದೆಲಗ (ondelaga) in Kannada; வல்லாரை (vallaarai) in Tamil; brahmi booti in Hindi; perookin Manipuri; মানিমুনি (manimuni) in Assamese; timare in Tulu; tangkuanteh in Paite; ब्रह्मबुटि (brahmabuti) or घोड टाप्रे (ghod-tapre) in Nepali; and खोलचा घायँ (kholcha ghyan) in Newari (Nepal Bhasa).

In India, particularly, it is popularly known by a variety of names: bemgsag, brahma manduki, brahmanduki, brahmi, ondelaga or ekpanni (south India, west India), sarswathi aku(Andhra Pradesh), gotu kola, khulakhudi, mandukparni, mandookaparni, or thankuni (Bengal), depending on region. Bacopa monnieri is the more widely known Brahmi; both have some common therapeutic properties in Vedic texts and are used for improving memory. C. asiatica is called brahmi particularly in north India,[9][10] although that may be a case of mistaken identity introduced during the 16th century, when brahmi was confused with mandukaparni, a name for C. asiatica.[11] [12] Probably the earliest study ofmandookaparni as medya rasayana (improving the mental ability) was carried out at the Dr. A. Lakshmipathy Research Centre (now under CCRAS).[13]

In Southeast Asia, it is known as ស្លឹកត្រចៀកក្រាញ់ (sleuk tracheakkranh) in Khmer; မြင်းခွာပင် (mying khwar ) in Burmese; ใบบัวบก (bai bua bok) in Thai; rau má (“mother vegetable”) in Vietnamese; pegagan or antanan in Indonesian; takip-kohol (literally “snail lid“)[14] or yahong yahong (“little bowl”) in Filipino; and pegagan or pegaga in Malay.

In East Asia, it is known as 雷公根 (lei gong gen; literally “thunder god’s root”) or 崩大碗 (“chipped big bowl”) in Chinese; and 병풀 (byeong-pul, literally “bottle/jar plant”) in Korean.

Folklore

Gotu kola is a minor feature in the longevity tradition of the T’ai chi ch’uan master Li Ching-Yuen. He purportedly lived to be 197 or 256, due in part to his usage of traditionalChinese herbs, including gotu kola.

See also

References

  1. Jump up^ “Pharmacological Review on Centella asiatica: A Potential Herbal Cure-all.”. Indian J Pharm Sci: 546–56. September 2010.
  2. Jump up^ United States Department of Agriculture. “Plant Profile for Centella asiatica”. Retrieved 15 July 2012 (Use Native Status Link on Page).
  3. ^ Jump up to:a b Floridata. Centella asiatica. Retrieved 15 July 2012.
  4. Jump up^ Meschino Health. “Comprehensive Guide to Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica)”. Retrieved 15 July 2012.
  5. Jump up^ “Leaf Extract Treatment During the Growth Spurt Period Enhances Hippocampal CA3 Neuronal Dendritic Arborization in Rats”. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med: 349–57. September 2006.
  6. Jump up^ “Nasi ulam”. Retrieved 2009-05-07.
  7. Jump up^ “Gotu Kola”. American Cancer Society. 28 November 2011. Retrieved August 2013.
  8. Jump up^ “Pycnogenol® and Centella Asiatica for asymptomatic atherosclerosis progression”.International Angiology. 33(1): 20–26. February 2014.
  9. Jump up^ Daniel, M. (2005). Medicinal plants: chemistry and properties. Science Publishers. p. 225. ISBN 978-1-57808-395-4.
  10. Jump up^ “In north India, however, brāhmī is commonly identified as Centella asiatica (Linn.) Urban, which in Malayalam is known as muttil. It seems that this identification of brāhmīas C. asiatica has been in use for long in northern India, as Hēmādri’s ‘Commentary on Aṣṭāṅgahṛdayaṃ (Āyuṛvēdarasāyanaṃ) treats maṇḍūkapaṛṇī (C. asiatica) as a synonym of brahmi.” Warrier, P K; V P K Nambiar, C Ramankutty, V.P.K. & Ramankutty, R Vasudevan Nair (1996). Indian Medicinal Plants: A Compendium of 500 Species, Volume 1. Orient Blackswan. p. 238. ISBN 978-81-250-0301-4.
  11. Jump up^ Khare, C. P. (2003). Indian Herbal Remedies: Rational Western Therapy, Ayurvedic, and Other Traditional Usage, Botany. Springer. p. 89. ISBN 978-3-540-01026-5.
  12. Jump up^ “Mandukaparni (Centella asiatica)”. National R & D Centre for Rasayana. Retrieved 15 August 2013.
  13. Jump up^ Appa Rao MVR, Srinivas K, Koteshwar Rao T. “The effect of Mandookaparni (Centella asiatica) on the general mental ability (medhya) of mentally retarded children”. J. Res Indian Med. 1973;8:9–16.
  14. Jump up^ “Takip-kohol / Centella asiatica / Pennyworth: Philippine Medicinal Herbs / Philippine Alternative Medicine”. Stuartxchange.org. Retrieved 2014-03-22.

External links

 

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DR ANTHONY CRASTO

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DR ANTHONY MELVIN CRASTO Ph.D

DR ANTHONY MELVIN CRASTO Ph.D

DR ANTHONY MELVIN CRASTO, Born in Mumbai in 1964 and graduated from Mumbai University, Completed his Ph.D from ICT, 1991,Matunga, Mumbai, India, in Organic Chemistry, The thesis topic was Synthesis of Novel Pyrethroid Analogues, Currently he is working with GLENMARK PHARMACEUTICALS LTD, Research Centre as Principal Scientist, Process Research (bulk actives) at Mahape, Navi Mumbai, India. Total Industry exp 29 plus yrs, Prior to joining Glenmark, he has worked with major multinationals like Hoechst Marion Roussel, now Sanofi, Searle India Ltd, now RPG lifesciences, etc. He has worked with notable scientists like Dr K Nagarajan, Dr Ralph Stapel, Prof S Seshadri etc, He did custom synthesis for major multinationals in his career like BASF, Novartis, Sanofi, etc., He has worked in Discovery, Natural products, Bulk drugs, Generics, Intermediates, Fine chemicals, Neutraceuticals, GMP, Scaleups, etc, he is now helping millions, has 9 million plus hits on Google on all Organic chemistry websites. His friends call him worlddrugtracker. His New Drug Approvals, Green Chemistry International, All about drugs, Eurekamoments, Organic spectroscopy international, etc in organic chemistry are some most read blogs He has hands on experience in initiation and developing novel routes for drug molecules and implementation them on commercial scale over a 29 year tenure till date Aug 2016, Around 30 plus products in his career. He has good knowledge of IPM, GMP, Regulatory aspects, he has several International patents published worldwide . He has good proficiency in Technology transfer, Spectroscopy, Stereochemistry, Synthesis, Polymorphism etc., He suffered a paralytic stroke/ Acute Transverse mylitis in Dec 2007 and is 90 %Paralysed, He is bound to a wheelchair, this seems to have injected feul in him to help chemists all around the world, he is more active than before and is pushing boundaries, He has 9 million plus hits on Google, 2.5 lakh plus connections on all networking sites, 25 Lakh plus views on dozen plus blogs, He makes himself available to all, contact him on +91 9323115463, email amcrasto@gmail.com, Twitter, @amcrasto , He lives and will die for his family, 90% paralysis cannot kill his soul., Notably he has 13 lakh plus views on New Drug Approvals Blog in 212 countries......https://newdrugapprovals.wordpress.com/ , He appreciates the help he gets from one and all, Friends, Family, Glenmark, Readers, Wellwishers, Doctors, Drug authorities, His Contacts, Physiotherapist, etc

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