What is the Asian Pennywort and how can it be used?

The Asian Pennywort also known as Centella Asiatica is a perennial herbaceous plant, originating in India and Madagascar which grows in damp and shady places, typically along the watercourses.
The Asian pennywort has purple flowers and its active principles are found in the leaves. It is also known with the name of “Tiger grass” because it is said that the Tigers use it to medicate their wounds and from here we can already figure out some of its properties.


The properties of the Asian Pennywort are many and relate mainly to the benefits that you can have against venous insufficiency, especially in the lower limbs, in the case of varicose veins. It acts by protecting the structure and natural tone of the walls and the vessels. It is also used as an essential component for cosmetic creams, because it has an important action in the treatment of certain skin disorders such as, for example, wounds or abrasions.

The triterpene saponins (asiaticoside, asiatic acid and madecassoside) of which the leaves of the Pennywort are rich improve the venous circulation stimulating the fibroblasts. These are cells that synthesize collagen, which as we know is essential for the health of different tissue, such as the dermis,  the connective tissue and the vessel walls.
Other active principles present in the centella are phytosterols, polyphenols and essential oil.
It is also useful for a treatment against cellulitis.

By using the Pennywort gives relief to the swelling and heaviness in the legs, night cramps and haemorrhoids.
It also contains many active principles, as we have already said including flavonoids and tannins. Its extracts are indicated as cicatrizing also gastric ulcers and in the treatment of psoriasis.


The Pennywort is used as a dry extract, atomized and titrated in derivatives that are triterpenoid (minimum 5%). The best form however is the total triterpenoid fraction of the Centella Asiatica, constituted by 40 per cent from asiaticoside and asiatic acid and madecassic acid for the remaining 60 per cent.
This must be taken away from meals, two times a day for a total of 30-60 mg daily.


The pennywort however also has a few contraindications.

Well than; do not use it during pregnancy or in the lactation (breast feeding) period. During gestation it could cause the release of uterine muscles. There may be adverse reactions in the interaction with drugs, if both elements are used for long periods without breaks. In general one should be careful not to use the plant in combination with benzodiazepines and anti-depressants.

Moreover amonst the side effects of the Centella asiatica there may also be allergic reactions. The latter occur possibly through oral intake, but also due to the topical use of the plant, if the extract is applied in a direct manner on the damaged skin.
Of course if  you assume massive doses you may incur in headache. It is not certain but it also seems that it can also have a hyperglycaemic effect.

Discover also the properties of Broad beans.

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