The Gerson Institute of Ayurvedic Medicine

Scott Gerson, M.D., Ph.D. (Ayurveda) Medical Director, Jupiter Medical Center Dept. of Integrative Medicine Division of Education and Research

Jupiter Medical Center at The Calcagnini Center for Mindfulness
1210 S. Old Dixie Highway, Jupiter, Florida 33458, Suite M-117.2


 (561) 263-MIND (6463); option #2 or (561) 510-3833
Executive Office: 1116 Jackpine St. Wellington, Florida 33414                                                                                                                                                                     

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M e d i c i n a l P l a n t s

Latin: Centella asiatica Linn.
(syn. Hydrocotyle asiatica [Linn.] Urban)
Family: Umbelliferae

Vernacular names: Sanskrit - Mandukaparni - Brahmi; Hindi - Brahmamanduki - Gotu kola; English - Indian Pennywort; Unani - Khulakudi; Bengali - Tholkuri; Malayalam - Muttil; Gujarati - Karbrahmi; Tamil - Vallarai; Japanese - Tsubokura; Tibetan - Sin-mnar

Part Used: whole plant

Ayurvedic Energetics:
Rasa: sweet, bitter, astringent
Veerya: cooling
Vipaka: sweet
Gunas: light, sharp, liquid

Doshas: VPK -

Pharmacological Action: tonic, sedative, alterative, anxiolytic

Clinical Research: Ramaswamy, et al. , Aithal, et al. , Malhotra, et al.and others have all reported on the sedative effects of C. asiatica. The plant extract also has been shown to be effective in anxiety neurosis and peptic ulcer . One interesting six-month study conducted on normal adults showed the herb increased mean RBC count, hemoglobin concentration, blood sugar, serum cholesterol, total serum protein, and vital capacity. Another study showed a significant improvement in memory and behavior pattern when administered to retarded children for a period of twelve weeks. Two glycosides, brahmoside and brahminoside, have been shown to exert sedative and hypoglycemic effects in experimental rats.

Traditional Uses: There is some confusion with regard to the two plants mandukaparni (Centella asiatica) and brahmi (Bacopa monniera) which have similar appearance, properties, synoymns, and lack of textual descriptions. Careful study of the texts clearly indicate that they are two different plants. Charaka recognises both as being promoters of mental faculties but assigns brahmi a more specific role in treating mental diseases--like insanity, anxiety, depression, and epilepsy--while mandukaparni improves mental function through its more general rasayana effect.
In addition to its intellect-promoting and anxiolytic effects, the plant is also used in chronic cough, eczema, psoriasis, and boils. It is in preparations given for anemia, dyspnea, emaciation, splenic enlargement, rheumatic joint pain, amenorrhea, and blood toxicity.

Indications: anxiety, minor memory loss, mental fatigue,eczema

Formulations and Dosage:
infusion : 2-4 oz. bid
leaf juice : 10-15 ml. bid
powder : 1-3 g. bid

Ramaswamy, AS et al., Pharmacological studies on C. asiatica, J Res Ind Med, 4, 160, 1970.
Aithal, HM, et al., Preliminary pharmacological studies on C. asiatica, Antiseptic, May, 1961
Malhotra, et al., Chemical and pharmacological studies on H. asiatica, Ind J Pharm, 23, 106, 1961.
Singh, RH, Shukla, SP, Mishra, BK , Psychotropic effect of mandukaparni, part II, J Res Ayur Siddha, 2(1), 1-10
Chao, et al. reported in Sivarajan and Balachandran, Ayurvedic Drug and Their Plant Sources, Int. Science Publ., 290, 1994.
Appa Rao, MVR, Rajgopalan, SS, et al., Effect of Mandukaparni and Punarnava for their rasayana effect on normal adults, J Res Ind Med, 2, 79, 1967.
Appa Rao, MVR, Srinivasan, K and Rao, KT, Effect of Mandukaparni on general mental ability of mentally retarded children, J Res Ind Med, 8, 9, 1973.
Agrawal, SS, J Res Ayur Siddha, 11: 11, 1981.