Background: This comprehensive research article analyzes the remedial and memory enhancing capacities of Centella asiatica (L.) Urban [Apiaceae], also known as C. asiatica or Indian pennywort. C. asiatica has been used for decades in parts of South-east Asia and India as an alternative herbal remedy for skin conditions, wound healing and memory improvement. The central focus of this research article was aimed to determine the positive influence of C. asiatica (dried form, whole plant, or aqueous extract) as a topical solution for skin conditions, wound healing, venous insufficiency and varicose veins, and anti-inflammation and Alzheimer’s disease, in various clinical and preclinical studies.
Methods and Findings: Content for this research review was gathered searching for “C. asiatica;” “Indian pennywort and memory;” “C. asiatica and Alzheimer’s;” “gotu kola;” and “C. asiatica remedies” through public electronic databases such as ProQuest, PubMed, Sciencedirect, and Google Scholar. Journals included Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior and Journal of Biotechnology. Over eighty articles were reviewed (seventy clinical studies) that used clinical and preclinical trials to test remedial properties and anti-degenerative properties of C. asiatica. Studies were focused on the therapeutic components of C. asiatica and:
• Alzheimer’s disease
• Memory decrease
• Diabetes mellitus
• Slow wound healing
• Venous insufficiency and varicose veins
Conclusions: Oral use of C. asiatica and in vitro studies improved memory and cognition, stabilized diabetic symptoms and aided topical wounds. In vitro studies in animals have found C. asiatica to improve memory and increase reaction time, and assist with the wound-healing process. Dose-dependent amounts of aqueous extract of C. asiatica also decrease the appearance of aging skin, collagen, and topical scars. Authors suggest that C. asiatica may be a leading candidate for aiding degenerative diseases with additional research.
Rafie Hamidpour, Soheila Hamidpour, Mohsen Hamidpour, Marriam Zarabi, Mahnaz Sohraby and Roxanna Hamidpour