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Centella asiatica: The miracle plant

Update : 04 Feb 2023, 14:07

Centella asiatica or Thankuni Pata, also known as Gotu kola  or tiger grass has been used to treat many conditions for thousands of years in Asia. It was used to heal wounds, improve mental clarity, and treat skin conditions such as leprosy and psoriasis.

Legend has it that people were taught to use centella by an Asian tiger. A wounded animal would find a spot where centella grows and roll in it until the wounds healed. However, it is not recommended for children.

An ancient Sinhalese saying goes: “Eat two leaves of centella asiatica a day, and you’ll cheat age”. It has been called "the fountain of life" because legend has it that an ancient Chinese herbalist lived for more than 200 years as a result of taking Centella asiatica.

Benefits of centella asiatica

Stomach ulcer and urinary tract infections

With its antibacterial properties, centella asiatica is commonly used to treat stomach and urinary tract infections. Boil the clean fresh pennywort, strain it into a glass, add honey and have it every morning to rid of stomach ulcer and urinary problems.

Treats alzheimer’s disease
Centella asiatica can effectively improve memory and enhance nerve functions. These characteristics of Gotu kola make it a potential medicine for treating Alzheimer’s Disease. 

A small study in 2012 on mice with Alzheimer’s Disease showed that Gotu kola water extract possessed a significant effect on behavioral abnormalities.


Having a digestion problem? Boil fresh pennywort with a pinch of salt and drink the juice every day for a healthy digestion.

Venous insufficiency and varicose veins

When blood vessels lose their elasticity, blood pools in the legs and fluid leaks out of the blood vessels. That causes the legs to swell (venous insufficiency). Several small studies suggest gotu kola may help reduce swelling and improve blood flow. In a study of 94 people with venous insufficiency, those who took gotu kola saw their symptoms improve compared to those who took placebo. In another study of people with varicose veins, ultrasound tests showed that people who took gotu kola had less leakage of fluid.

One study also found that people who took centella asiatica before flying had less ankle and leg swelling than those who did not take it.

Boosts cognitive function
In 2016, a study was conducted to compare centella asiatica and folic acid’s effect in boosting cognitive function in patients who recovered from a stroke. This minor study subjected three groups of people. The first group consumed 1000 mg of Gotu kola per day, the second group took 3 mg of folic acid per day, and the third group again consumed 750 mg of Gotu kola per day.

Folic acid and centella asiatica both indeed do wonders in treating cognitive functions. But, the study shows that the herb was very effective than folic acid in boosting memory power.

In another animal study, centella asiatica water extract was given to young and old mice to show the cognitive improving effects of centella asiatica. Old and young mice showed noticeable improvement in memory and learning, but there was more effective in older mice.


The anti-inflammatory property in centella asiatica is said to treat Arthritis. Experts suggest eating two leaves of fresh pennywort daily.

Cough and other respiratory disorders

Juice of the centella asiatica leaf with honey may help ease . Decoction of pennywort with holy basil, black pepper also cures cold and fever. To cure sore throat and cough, pound pennywort leaves and strain it and mix with sugar. Consume it for a week or until the throat or cough is cured.


Got constipation problems? Try this healing herb. Eating centella asiatica as food is said to relieve constipation

Soothe wounds
Centella asiatica plant has soothing and protective properties, which contribute to its skin enhancing qualities.

Suits every skin type
Laden with various healing, soothing, hydrating and anti-inflammatory components, tiger grass can be used by anyone and on any skin type. Even if you have the most delicate and sensitive skin you can use it. In fact, most of the beauty products contain centella asiatica.

Beautiful hair
The centella asiatica acts as a fortifying agent that nourishes the hair follicles and scalp and priming it for a healthy hair growth. It helps in improving blood circulation, allowing the proper flow of oxygen and nutrients to the scalp.

Regulate blood sugar level
Centella asiatica is well known by the Khasis' people in helping to control blood sugar levels. The herb is steeped overnight in hot water, and the water is extracted and consumed the following day. It is a strong candidate for alleviating diabetic symptoms, and perhaps controlling the increase of diabetes mellitus, because of its various compounds and functions.

Stress buster
Centella asiatica is a natural anxiety reliever. It has immense therapeutic potential. The herb has a positive effect on anxiety issues. It calms the adrenal glands, which in turn lowers the release of stress hormone and increases dopamine and serotonin levels.



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