Species: Centella asiatica
Common names: Gotu kola, Bemgsag, Brahma manduki, Brahmanduki, Brahmi
Centella asiatica is native to Sri Lanka, northern Australia, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Melanesia, New Guinea, and other parts of Asia. It is a small herbaceous plant with green and reddish stolons which are quite slender. The leaves are green with round apices and a smooth texture. The creamish rootstock are covered with hair and grow vertically downwards. The flowers are pink/reddish and grows in little bunches.
Centella is known to be a mild adaptogen, has antibacterial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcerogenic properties and are also used as an anxiolytic. Further uses of the plant is as a cerebral tonic, a circulatory stimulant, a diuretic, nervine and vulnerary.
In Ayurvedic use, the plant are used to enhance mental ability - some sort of "brain food", because it supports and approves concentration, comprehension and increase one's ability to perform mentally. The plant also aids in bone marrow and nerves.
Centella can also be eaten raw as a salad. Centella can relieve hypertension and helps to maintain youthfulness. The anti-bacterial properties of the plant can be used to treat sores and wounds and has been used in leprosy. The fresh leaves can be made into a poultice. In general, Centella is a very good tonic.
Because Centella grows in wet areas and sewage ditches, it falls victim to bacterial contamination. The plant is commonly used in Sri Lankan cuisine and prepared as mallung to be served with rice and curry. Centella are very nutritious and are used in more recipes as a salad.
In India, Centella are known by a number of other names: Bemgsag, Brahma manduki, Brahmanduki, Brahmi (North India, West India), Gotu kola, Khulakhudi, Mandukparni, Mandookaparni, Mandukaparni (South India), or Thankuni.