Byline: Kashmira. Gohil, Jagruti. Patel, Anuradha. Gajjar
In recent times, focus on plant research has increased all over the world. Centella asiatica is an important medicinal herb that is widely used in the orient and is becoming popular in the West. Triterpenoid, saponins, the primary constituents of Centella asiatica are manly believed to be responsible for its wide therapeutic actions. Apart from wound healing, the herb is recommended for the treatment of various skin conditions such as leprosy, lupus, varicose ulcers, eczema, psoriasis, diarrhoea, fever, amenorrhea, diseases of the female genitourinary tract and also for relieving anxiety and improving cognition. The present review attempts to provide comprehensive information on pharmacology, mechanisms of action, various preclinical and clinical studies, safety precautions and current research prospects of the herb. At the same time, studies to evaluate the likelihood of interactions with drugs and herbs on simultaneous use, which is imperative for optimal and safe utilization of the herb, are discussed.
Plants have been used as treatments for thousands of years, based on experience and folk remedies and continue to draw wide attention for their role in the treatment of mild and chronic diseases. In recent times, focus on plant research has increased all over the world and a large body of evidence has been accumulated to highlight the immense potential of medicinal plants used in various traditional systems of medicine [sup],, . Centella asiatica (CA) is a very important medicinal herb used in the orient [sup] , which is also becoming popular in the West [sup] . Commonly known as mandukparni or Indian pennywort or jalbrahmi , it has been used as a medicine in the Ayurvedic tradition of India for thousands of years and listed in the historic ' Sushruta Samhita ', an ancient Indian medical text [sup], . The herb is also used by the people of Java and other Indonesian islands. In China, known as gotu kola , it is one of the reported "miracle elixirs of life" known over 2000 years ago [sup] . CA or gotu kola should not be confused with kola nut as it does not contain any caffeine and has not been shown to have stimulant properties. In the nineteenth century, CA and its extracts were incorporated into the Indian pharmacopoeia, wherein in addition to wound healing, it was recommended for the treatment of various skin conditions such as leprosy, lupus, varicose ulcers, eczema, psoriasis, diarrhoea, fever, amenorrhea, and diseases of the female genitourinary tract [sup] . Despite large number of studies reported over the past decades on the evaluation of biologically active components and their mechanisms of action, the outcome of these studies is still unsatisfactory. Although there have been several claims regarding the underlying mechanisms involved in the biological actions of this herb, more scientific data are needed to justify its ever increasing use. Therapeutic potential of this plant in terms of its efficacy and versatility is such that further detailed research would appear momentous. The present review incorporated a detailed account...
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