What is Centella Asiatica? Health Benefits, Uses, and Side Effects of Indian Pennywort

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. What is Centella Asiatica? 
3. Morphology
4. Chemical Constituent 
5. Ayurvedic properties of Centella Asiatica
6. Health Benefits & Uses of Centella Asiatica
7. Suggested Dosage
8. Side Effects of Indian Pennywort
9. Spicy Flat Bread Recipe

1. Introduction

Welcome to a journey of discovery into the world of Centella Asiatica, better known as Indian Pennywort. This vibrant herb, treasured in traditional medicine and culinary practices, holds a wealth of health benefits and diverse applications that have captivated cultures for centuries.

In this post, we embark on an exploration of Centella Asiatica, delving into its rich history, remarkable health advantages, and the myriad ways it can enrich your life. From promoting cognitive health and skin vitality to its role in culinary creations and natural remedies, Indian Pennywort stands as a testament to the synergistic relationship between nature and well-being.

Join us as we unravel the layers of Centella Asiatica's allure, while also considering the potential side effects and considerations associated with its consumption. To add a flavorful twist to our journey, we'll also delve into a spicy flatbread recipe that showcases the herb's versatility and culinary magic.

Whether you're seeking to elevate your wellness, expand your culinary repertoire, or simply bask in the beauty of botanical treasures, Indian Pennywort invites you to explore its world of possibilities. Let's embark on this enlightening journey together, uncovering the mysteries and delights that Centella Asiatica has to offer.

2. What is Centella Asiatica?

Centella Asiatica is a perennial wild creeper, its common names are Indian Pennywort, Khulakundi, Brahmamanduki, Mandukparni, and Asiatic Pennywort. It grows horizontally and is small and smooth. It has slender branches with small internodes and several leaves shooting out. Indian Pennywort is a wonder herb and is considered one of the very important divine plants of the world.

Indian Pennywort is indigenous to India, it is found both in the plains and hilly tracts up to 2000 meters. It grows abundantly in moisture and river banks and thrives in shades.

Centella Asiatica Leaf

3. Morphology of the Centella Asiatica

Centella Asiatica A prostrate, faintly aromatic, stoloniferous perennial herb. The leaves are simple or of one blade, almost round or kidney-shaped, and yellowish green in color. The fruits are small, flat circular, and hard the fresh leaves have an aroma due to the presence of an oily matter called vellarine.

The aroma is lost on drying the leaves, serval other substances have been isolated from the herb, including essential oil, fatty oil, sitosterol, tannin, and a resinous substance.

4. Chemical Constituents of Indian Pennywort

The major chemical compound found in the plant is triterpene saponosides. The major ones are known as asiatic acid, madecassic acid, asiaticoside, madecassoside, and madasiatic acid, betulinic acid, thankunicacid and isothankunic acid. Moreover, there are some other triterpenes such as brahmic acid, centellin, asiaticin andterminolic acid.

Indian Pennywort Dry Leaves

5. Ayurvedic properties of Centella Asiatica

Centella asiatica, also known as "Gotu Kola" or "Mandukaparni" in Ayurveda, is a revered herb with a range of therapeutic properties.

Ayurvedic properties of Centella asiatica:

1. Rasa (Taste): Centella asiatica is believed to have a combination of bitter (Tikta) and astringent (Kashaya) tastes.

2. Virya (Potency): It is cooling in nature (Sheeta Virya).

3. Vipaka (Post-digestive taste): The post-digestive taste is sweet (Madhura Vipaka).

4. Dosha Effects: Centella asiatica is considered balancing for all three doshas—Vata, Pitta, and Kapha—due to its cooling and nourishing properties.

Ayurvedic Uses:

  1. Brain Health: Centella asiatica is renowned for its ability to support brain function and cognitive health. It is used to promote mental clarity, memory, and overall brain function.

  2. Nervous System: It is used to calm the nervous system, reduce stress, and support relaxation.

  3. Skin Health: Centella asiatica is used to promote healthy skin. Its cooling properties can help soothe irritated skin, manage inflammatory skin conditions, and support wound healing.

  4. Detoxification: It supports detoxification by aiding in the elimination of toxins from the body.

  5. Joint Health: Centella asiatica is believed to support joint health and flexibility.

  6. Wound Healing: It is traditionally used to promote wound healing due to its rejuvenating and skin-soothing properties.

  7. Anti-inflammatory: Centella asiatica has anti-inflammatory properties that may be beneficial for managing inflammatory conditions

6. What are the Health Benefits and Uses of Indian Pennywort?

The Indian Pennywort corrects the disordered process of nutrition, the processes by which organisms ingest, digest, absorb, utilize, and excretes food substances, and restores the normal functioning of the system.

It counteracts inflammation and is a mild purgative, it also increases the secretion and discharge of urine. All the parts of the creeper are used both for therapeutic and culinary purposes.

Extract of Centella Asiatica has been formulated into commercial medicinal preparations and is available over the counter across the world. Commonly used in Ayurvedic medicines for its effect on the mind, blood circulation, wound healing, and skin diseases.

Indian Pennywort has great potential to cure various disorders and diseases, it helps in curing various ailments and disorders such as Chronic fever, Bone, T.B., Tuberculosis, Urinary tract infection, Leprosy, Dermatitis, Pruritis, Hair fall, greying hairs, Rheumatic affections, Cardiotonic, Cardiac spasm, Hypertension, Asthma, Insomnia, and Female hormonal disorders. It is also used as a general tonic to enhance the vigor and vitality of the body.

Here are some health benefits and uses of Centella Asiatica

For Bowel Problem

In case of bowel complaints in children, a single dose of half a cup of an infusion of leaves with fenugreek can be taken.

For Dysentery in Children

The leaves of the plant are an effective remedy in the early stages of dysentery, three or four leaves can be taken with cumin and sugar in addition to applying a paste of leaves on the navel of the child.

For Female Sterility

Indian Pennywort is effective in female sterility when combined with another herb called Chotakalpa. The herbs when mature are uprooted and dried in shade for use. An equal quantity of both herbs should be powdered with sugar candy in the ratio of 2:1 with three grams dose of this powder in the morning and evening with cow milk for 3 consecutive days after menstruation.

It is beneficial in treating sterility; however, women should be free from menstrual pain, leucorrhea, obesity, or any such disease. If she has any of these problems, they should be treated before starting this remedy.

 For Improving Memory

The Centella Asiatica leaves powder is beneficial to improve memory, taking the powder with milk in small doses is an effective memory-enhancing remedy.

For Nervous Disorders

The herb is effective in nervous disorders including nervous debility, the leaf powder is taken in doses of 3 to 6 decigrams, thrice a day for adults, and is effective. For children, a dose of 0.75 to 2.5 decigrams is advised.

For Skin Disorders

Centella Asiatica is a common household remedy for chronic and persistent eczema, chronic ulcers, and syphilitic sores. A fine powder of the dried leaves is dusted over the skin eruptions and syphilic ulcers. To check fever associated with these diseases, juice of the leaves thrice a day in doses of 1 to 5 drops is recommended.

Other Uses

The leaves of Indian Pennywort are used for making soups, raw chutney, tea, and raw juice and mixed with wheat flour to prepare chapatis or paratha.

7. Suggested Dosage

Generally, it is given as a decoction in doses of 30 to 60 ml or as a powder in doses of 2 to 6 decigrams thrice a day. The leaves of the plant can be taken in doses of 30 to 60 grams, the juice of the leaves can be taken in doses of 60 to 100 ml and the decoction of the leaves is 120 to 150 ml.

Precaution: It is advisable to take raw juice of the leaf only in small doses as the juice is very potent and an excess intake may lead to coma.

8. Side Effects of Indian Pennywort

All Ayurveda herbs are plant-based, and they do not have any side effects, but they may react with some allopathy or homeopathy medicine. It is better to consult the doctor if you are on any medications or have unique health issues.

Overdose of Centella Asiatica may cause nausea, headache, vomiting, skin irritation, and heartburn, leading to dizziness and nausea or coma.

Here are some side effects of Centella Asiatica

  • Consult the doctor if you are breastfeeding.
  • Do not take Centella Asiatica without a doctor’s prescription if you are pregnant.
  • Do not take Centella Asiatica, if you are suffering from any kind of critical disease.
  • If you are on diabetes or hypertension medication. Consult first the doctor before consuming Centella Asiatica.
  • If you are above 65 years old and want to start Centella Asiatica, consult the doctor, and talk about your health conditions.
  • If you are on any supplements, vitamins, or herbal medication, consult the doctor before taking Centella Asiatica.
  • Centella Asiatica may interact with other medicines like blood sugar or blood pressure allopathy medicines.

Note: This post is about educating the benefits and uses of Centella Asiatica, consult the Ayurvedic doctor before starting.

9. Centella Asiatica Spicy Flat Bread Recipe

This is a very delicious and healthy recipe that is made by mixing different flours, you can use all-purpose flour if have any allergen. You can serve this bread for breakfast or as a brunch with tea, coffee, pickles, and coriander chutney.

Let’s check out the recipe, try it at home, and impress your family and friends. This recipe is made with different flours.

Centella Asiatica Spicy Flat Bread Recipe


For 3 Indian Bread

  • Centella Asiatica fresh leaves – ½ cup
  • Gram flour – 1 tbsp.
  • Wheat flour – 2 tbsp.
  • Barley flour – 1 tbsp.
  • Garlic minced – 1tsp
  • Ginger minced – ¼ tsp
  • Green Chilled – deseeded and finely chopped – ½ tsp
  • Red chili flakes – a pinch
  • Onion finely chopped – 1 tsp
  • Fennel seed – coarse powder – ½ tsp
  • Salt – ¼ tsp
  • Vegetable oil – 1 tbsp.
  • Water – 1 cup

Method of making Centella Asiatica Spicy Flat Bread

  • Take a kneading bowl and all the ingredients except oil and water.
  • Mix them and knead the dough with water, then rest it for 1 hour.
  • Divide the dough into small balls for making flatbread.
  • Put the pan on the heat and start making flatbread, put the bread on the heated pan and bake that for half a minute.
  • Flip the bread and put some oil on it and then again flip it and oil it.
  • Bake the bread on medium flame on both sides.
  • Once done, serve hot with mint chutney or coriander chutney.

Note: This post is about educating about the benefits and uses of Centella Asiatica, consult the Ayurvedic doctor before starting.

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