CentellaThursday 09 July 2015
Other Local Name : Asiatic pennywort, Indian pennywort
Botanical Name : Centella asiatica
Family : Mackinlayoideae
Main Use : Leafy vegetable and Medicine
Other Uses : Centella is used as a leafy green in Sri Lankan cuisine, where it is called gotu kola. In Sinhalese, gotu is translated as "conical shape" and kola as "leaf". It is most often prepared as malluma (මැල්ලුම), a traditional accompaniment to rice and curry, and goes especially well with vegetarian dishes, such as dhal, and jackfruit or pumpkin curry. It is considered quite nutritious. In addition to finely chopped gotu kola, malluma almost always contains grated coconut, and may also contain finely chopped green chilis, chili powder, turmeric powder and lime (or lemon) juice. A variation of the nutritious porridge known as kola kenda is also made with gotu kola by the Sinhalese people of Sri Lanka. Kola Kenda is made with very well-boiled red rice (with extra liquid), coconut milk and gotu kola, which is pureed. The porridge is accompanied with jaggery for sweetness. Centella leaves are also used in sweet "pennywort" drinks. In Indonesia, the leaves are used for sambai oi peuga-ga, an Aceh type of salad, and is also mixed into asinan in Bogor. In Vietnam and Thailand, this leaf is used for preparing a drink or can be eaten in raw form in salads or cold rolls. In Bangkok, vendors in the famous Chatuchak Weekend Market sell it alongside coconut, roselle, chrysanthemum, orange and other health drinks. In Malay cuisine the leaves of this plant are used for ulam, a type of Malay salad. It is one of the constituents of the Indian summer drink thandaayyee. In Bangladeshi cuisine mashed centella is eaten with rice. Medicinal Use The whole plant is used for medicinal purposes Centella asiatica (CA), a clonal, perennial herbaceous creeper belonging to the family Umbellifere (Apiceae) is found throughout India growing in moist places up to an altitude of 1800 m. It is found in most tropical and subtropical countries growing in swampy areas, including parts of Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, and South Africa and South pacific and Eastern Europe. About 20 species related to CA grow in most parts of the tropic or wet pantropical areas such as rice paddies, and also in rocky, higher elevations It is a tasteless, odourless plant that thrives in and around water. It has small fan-shaped green leaves with white or light purple-to-pink or white flowers and it bears small oval fruit. It is widely used as a blood purifier as well as for treating high blood pressure, for memory enhancement and promoting longevity. In Ayurveda, CA is one of the main herbs for revitalizing the nerves and brain cells. Eastern healers relied on CA to treat emotional disorders, such as depression, that were thought to be rooted in physical problems[10,11]. In the Western medicine, during the middle of the twentieth century, CA and its alcohol extracts reported to have shown positive results in the treatment of leprosy.
Centella asiatica, commonly known as centella is a small, herbaceous, annual 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.