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The Health Benefits of Centella Asiatica

Updated on March 27, 2013

Centella, or Centella asiatica, is better known as Gotu kola. The leaves of this plant are often used as an herbal remedy to treat a variety of medical conditions. Although the leaves are both tasteless and odorless, they are used in Sri Lankan cuisine, mostly as salad greens.

The herb Centella is available in dried form as well as in teas, capsules, tablets, tinctures and ointments. Use of Centella as an herbal remedy is not recommended for children. Keep reading to learn more about the health benefits of gotu kola.

Treating Varicose Veins with Centella

One of the many medicinal uses for centella is a treatment for varicose veins. Two different studies have shown an improvement in symptoms of varicose veins in patients who took gotu kola compared to those who were given a placebo.

A centella extract is usually used for treating varicose veins.  The standard dosage is 90-120 mg per day.

Using Centella for Wound Healing

Centella contains substances called triterpenoids, which have been shown to aid in the healing of wounds.  These chemicals help strengthen the skin and increase the amount of antioxidants in the area.  They also help increase the blood supply.  To use centella to help speed up healing, a topical ointment is recommended.

Centella as a Leprosy Treatment

Because of its wound healing properties, centella has traditionally been used to treat leprosy.  Researchers have found that when centella extract is injected into the ulcerated areas of the body in leprosy patients, it helps dissolve the covering on the wound and leads to the eventual healing of the area.

Centella Used to Prevent Stretch Marks and Scarring

A topical centella ointment or cream can also be used to prevent stretch marks or scarring.  It is often used by pregnant women to reduce the stretch marks caused by pregnancy.  It can also help prevent scarring following surgery.

Other Health Benefits of Centella

Animal studies have indicated that centella may be useful to help treat anxiety.  However, further study is needed to determine whether there is any benefit to humans in this area.  Other health conditions that centella is rumored to help include insomnia and schleroderma.  Some people claim that it can improve mental functioning and combat aging as well.


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    • askjanbrass profile image

      askjanbrass 7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      This was a very interesting and informative post. I don't know that I've ever had Sri Lankan cuisine, so I've never actually heard of this plant. It seems to have some unique and useful herbal uses though, such as helping with wound healing.

      Thanks for sharing this unique information!