Centella asiatica (L.) Urb. (Apiaceae)
Asiatic pennywort, Centella, Gota kola, Gotu cola, Hydrocotyle, Indian pennywort, Indian water navelwort. Hydrocotyle asiatica L., Hydrocotyle lurida Hance.
Centella (British Ph 2009, European Ph, 6th ed., 2008 and Supplements 6.1, 6.2, 6.3 and 6.4).
Gotu kola contains a wide range of triterpene saponin glycosides such as asiaticoside (to which it may be standardised), centelloside, madecassoside, brahmoside, brahminoside and others. Free asiatic, centellic, centoic betulinic and madecassic acids are also present and these are considered to be the main active constituents. Flavonoids based on quercetin and kaempferol, and a small amount of volatile oil containing farnesene, germacrene-D, elemene and other terpenes are also present.
Use and indications
Gotu kola is widely used, mainly for inflammatory dermatological disorders and to aid the healing of ulcers and wounds. It is applied externally and taken internally for venous insufficiency and as an immunomodulator and antioxidant, and for many other conditions including memory enhancement, circulatory disorders and anxiety. A number of pharmacological and clinical studies support some of these activities.