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Centella asiatica, commonly known as centella and gotu kola, is a small, herbaceous, frost-tender perennial plant of the family Mackinlayaceae or subfamily Mackinlayoideae of family Apiaceae, and is native to wetlands in Asia. 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.
Mandukparni is used in Ayurveda as is Medhya Rasayana and works on mind for the improvement of intellect. It is also indicated in swelling, low appetite, fever, skin diseases, bleeding disorders, urinary disorders, asthma, anemia and diseases due to vitiation of blood. Mandukaparni contains triterpenoid saponins—brahmoside, thankuniside, alkaloids (hydrocotyline), bitter principles (vellarin) and asiaticoside. It contains not less than 0.5 per cent of asiaticoside, calculated on the dried basis.
Asiaticoside, shows beneficial effects in leprosy and skin diseases. It reduced the number tubercular lesions in the liver, lungs, nerve ganglia and spleen in experimental animals. It seems to elevate blood glucose, triglycerides and cholesterol levels and to decrease blood urea nitrogen and acid phosphatase levels. Brahmoside, is reported to exhibit tranquilizing and anabolic activity.