CENTELLA ASIATICA (L.) Urban.

Synonyms: Hydrocotyl asiatica L.

Family: Apiaceae

Bengali/Vernacular Name: Thankuni, Thulkuri, Takamanik, Brahmmakuti; Ada gunguni (Chittagong).

Tribal Name: Mrang khua (Marma); Menmeni (Chakma), Ting Thai (Murang).

English Name: Indian Pennywort.

Description of the Plant

A slender creeping herb. Leaves with long petiole, 1-3 from each node of the stems, lamina 1.3-6.3 cm diam., orbicular-reniform, rather broader than long, shallowly crenate. Flowers in fascicled umbel, consisting of 3-4 pink, small, sessile flowers. Fruit 4 mm, ovoid, hard, flat.

Using Information

The plant is alterative, astringent, tonic, diuretic, laxative, digestive and antipyretic; improves appetite, voice and memory; cures dysentery, leucoderma, urinary discharges, bronchitis, inflammations, fevers, convulsive disorders, insanity and syphilitic skin diseases. Leaves are used as a memory tonic. Its efficacy as an internal and external remedy in ulcerations, eczema, leprosy and other cutaneous affections are established. It has a special influence on the genito-urinary tracts.

The paste of the plant is taken with boiled rice as a remedy for loose motion, dysentery and stomach pain due to indigestion. Leaf juice of this plant in combination with the leaf juice of Euphorbia hirta is given in dysentery of the babies. Pills made from the leaves of this plant, black-pepper and honey is given daily for few days for restoring vigour. Marma's prescribe plant juice with table salt in Blood dysentery.

EtOH(50%) extract of the plant is antiprotozoic and spasmolytic (Asolkar et al., 1992). The ethanolic and water extract of the plant showed significant anti-diarrhoeal activity on castor oil induced diarrhoeal model in rats. Both extract also showed good antibacterial activities, prominently on Sigella dysenteriae (Mostafa et al., 2006).

CENTELLA ASIATICA (L.) Urban.
CENTELLA ASIATICA (L.) Urban.

Chemical Constituents

The plant shows the presence of alkaloids, glycosides, sterols, tannins and sugars. However, it principally contains triterpens and triterpene glycosides, thankuniside and iso- thankuniside, asiaticoside, madecassoside, asiatic, madecassic, madasiatic, ascorbic, thandunic, thankunic, pectic and barhmic, isobrahmic acids. It also contains small amounts of resin tannin, saponins, anthraquinone glycosides, sterols, sitosterol, essential oil, fatty oil, sugars, inorganic salts, a bitter principle, vellarine and an alkaloid, hydrocotyline (Ghani, 2003). Polyacetylenes (I, II, III, IV, V) and nine other acetylenes have been isolated from subterranean parts of the plant (Rastogi & Mehrotra, 1990 & 93).

Distribution

Throughout Bangladesh in fallow lands.


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