Herb-Mandukaparni

Mandukaparni
(Centella asiatica

 

Part Used: Herb

Habitat:
This herb is found almost all over the world, particularly during rainy season and in damp and marshy areas.

Introduction:
Centella asiatica has been considered by Vagbhatt as the best herb for improving memory and intellect. It belongs to the group of drugs known as medhya rasayanas (psychotropic drugs) and is also known as Brahmi. The literal, meaning of the term, Brahmi is one which promotes the intellect and that is why many herbs with similar effects are known as Brahmi.
D. Arora et al. / Journal of Natural Remedies, Vol. 2/2 (2002) 143 - 149

Mechanism of Action:

This herb has the capacity to regenerate axons which helps in nerve healing during nerve damage. C. asiatica helps to recover more quickly after nerve damage with increases axonal regeneration and more rapid functional recovery.
Alternative Medicine Review Volume 12, Number 1 2007

Pharmacological Actions:

Neuroprotective – C. asiatica showed significant improvement in catalase, superoxide dismutase and lipid peroxides levels in hippocampus and striatum regions. The antioxidant activity of the herb indicates the neuroprotective effect.
Indian J Exp Biol. 2007 May;45(5):425:31.

Venous Insufficiency – Strengthens weakened veins, assist in stabilizing connective tissue growth of the vascular wall.

Anxiolytic – The brahmoside and brahminoside constituents of C. asiatica, has CNS effects. It stimulates the nervous system and helps to decrease anxiety.

Antidepressant- Total triterpines of C. asiatica, reduces the corticosterone level in the brain which improves the function of HPA axis and increases the level of neurotransmitters which exerts antidepressant effects.
Cognitive and antioxidant Effect – C. asiatica is known to revitalize the brain and nervous system and increase attention span. As the cognitive impairment is associated with free radical generation, this herb has the oxidative stress reducing effect and it improves the impaired endogenous anti-oxidant mechanism. This prevents cognitive deficits as well as protects the neurons from oxidative damage.
Indian J Pharm Sci. 2010 Sep-Oct; 72(5): 546–556; .doi: 10.4103/0250-474X.78519


Clinical Studies:

1. According to a double-blind, placebo-controlled study , gotukola (C. asiatica) decreases anxiety.

J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2000 Dec;20(6):680-4.

2. According to a randomized, placebo controlled, double blind study, Centella asiatica has the potential to attenuate the age-related decline in cognitive function and mood disorder in the healthy elderly.
Journal of Ethnopharmacology
Volume 116, Issue 2, 5 March 2008, Pages 325–332



Conclusion:
Mandukaparni is one of the herb of the group medhya rasayana, known for its regenerating and antioxidant activity. This herb gerenerates the brain cells (axons) and prevents all the damage in the neurons and hence improves cognition and removes anxiety and depression.