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Uses

Toxic parts

There is a warning that the plant can irritate the skin[1], though it is widely used to treat skin complaints[1].

Edible uses

Notes

Leaves - raw or cooked. Used in salads and in curries[1]. Cooked as a vegetable[2]. An aromatic flavour, we have found them to be rather overpowering in salads when used in any but small quantities[K].

Leaves

Material uses

Extracts of the plant are added to cosmetic masks and creams to increase collagen and firm the skin[1].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Gotu kola is an outstandingly important medicinal herb that is widely used in the Orient[1] and is becoming increasingly popular in the West[3]. Its Indian name is 'Brahmi' which means 'bringing knowledge of the Supreme Reality' and it has long been used there medicinally and as an aid to meditation[1]. It is a useful tonic and cleansing herb for skin problems and digestive disorders[3]. In India it is chiefly valued as a revitalizing herb that strengthens nervous function and memory[3].

The whole plant is alterative, cardio-depressant, hypotensive, weakly sedative and tonic[4]. It is a rejuvenating diuretic herb that clears toxins, reduces inflammations and fevers, improves healing and immunity, improves the memory and has a balancing effect on the nervous system[5][6][1][4]. It has been suggested that regular use of the herb can rejuvenate the nervous system and it therefore deserves attention as a possible cure for a wide range of nervous disorders including multiple sclerosis[K]. Recent research has shown that gotu kola reduces scarring, improves circulatory problems in the lower limbs and speeds the healing process[1]. It is used internally in the treatment of wounds, chronic skin conditions (including leprosy), venereal diseases, malaria, varicose veins, ulcers, nervous disorders and senility[1][4]. Caution should be observed since excess doses cause headaches and transient unconsciousness[1]. Externally, the herb is applied to wounds, haemorrhoids and rheumatic joints[1].

The plant can be harvested at any time of the year and is used fresh or dried[1]. Another report says that the dried herb quickly loses its medicinal properties and so is best used fresh[7].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse[1]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year, after the last expected frosts[K]. Division is simple at any time in the growing season, though the spring is probably best[K]. We find that it is best to pot up the divisions until they are rooting away well, though in selected mild gardens it should be possible to plant the divisions out directly into their permanent positions[K].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Centella asiatica. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Prefers a moist to wet soil in sun or partial shade[1]. Plants also grow on walls in the wild and so should tolerate drier conditions[K]. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c[8]. It grows and spreads very well outdoors during the summer in most parts of the country and is very easy to increase by division. It can therefore be grown as a summer crop with divisions being taken during the growing season and overwintered in a greenhouse in case the outdoor plants are killed by winter cold[K].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Centella asiatica. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Centella asiatica.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Centella asiatica
Genus
Centella
Family
Umbelliferae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
8
Heat Zone
?
Water
high
Sun
full sun
Shade
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    ?
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    ?
    Mature Size
    Fertility
    Pollinators
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type

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    References

    1. ? 1.001.011.021.031.041.051.061.071.081.091.101.111.121.131.141.151.16 Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
    2. ? 2.02.1 Manandhar. N. P. Plants and People of Nepal Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-527-6 (2002-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.13.23.3 Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants Dorling Kindersley. London ISBN 9-780751-303148 (1996-00-00)
    4. ? 4.04.14.24.3 Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement). Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi. (1986-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.1 ? A Barefoot Doctors Manual. Running Press ISBN 0-914294-92-X ()
    6. ? 6.06.1 Lassak. E. V. and McCarthy. T. Australian Medicinal Plants. ()
    7. ? 7.07.1 Hobbs. C. Ginkgo. Elixir of Youth. Botanica Press, California. ISBN 0-9618470-3-4 (1994-00-00)
    8. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    9. ? Ohwi. G. Flora of Japan. (English translation) Smithsonian Institution (1965-00-00)
    10. ? Carolin. R. & Tindale. M. Flora of the Sydney Region Reed. Australia. ISBN 0730104001 (1993-00-00)

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