Chemical, pharmacological and clinical profile of the East Asian medical plant Centella asiatica.


Brinkhaus B, Lindner M, Schuppan D, Hahn EG






Centella asiatica is a medicinal plant that has been in use since prehistoric times. Its active constituents include pentacyclic triterpene derivatives. Studies have been conducted in particular to investigate the madecassosides and asiaticosides. In common with most traditional phytotherapeutic agents, Centella asiatica is used in folk medicine to treat a wide range of indications. In contrast to other medicinal plants, however, Centella asiatica has been subjected to quite extensive experimental and clinical investigations. Studies done in accordance with standardized scientific criteria have shown it to have a positive effect in the treatment of venous insufficiency and striae gravidarum. Centella asiatica also appears to be effective in the treatment of wound healing disturbances. At the present time, clinical studies aimed at investigating the sedative, analgesic, antidepressive, antimicrobial, antiviral and immunomodulatory effects that have been demonstrated experimentally, are still lacking. However, the therapeutic potential of this plant in terms of its efficacy and versatility is such that further detailed research would appear worthwhile.