दिव्या- Centella asiatica

Name - ब्राह्मी

Botanical name - Centella asiatica

Description - The plant trails on the ground and its creeping stems bear roots on their nodes. Leaves small, 2-4 cm diameter, sometimes more rounded or broad kidney-shaped, their margins toothed. Flowers brownish, subsessile, in umbels (minute, pinkish red, 3-6 in cluster). Fruits small, like a grain of barley, 7-9 ridged compressed

Chemical Constituents- Plant contains triterpenoid asiaticoside-A and Asiaticoside-B, triterpene acid madasiatic acid. Two triterpene acids - brahmic acid, isobrahmic acid and two saponins - brahmoside and brahminoside isolated. A triterpene glycoside - thankuniside acid, thankunic acid isolated. Fresh leaves contain essential oil, fatty oil, sitosterols, tannin and resinous substance. Leaves and roots contain resin, bitter principle vellarine, pectic acid. Dried plant contains alkaloid hydrocotylin, glycoside asiaticoside.

Use - The drug comprises fresh and dried leaves and stems of this plant. Roots and seeds are also used in medicine. The leaves or the entire plant parts are boiled in water and this decoction is given in treatment of leprosy both as internal and external use. Experiments on animals have confirmed its property of inducing fast growth of skin, hair, and nails. The plant is also considered useful in certain kinds of tuberculosis and as a tonic for brain. The drug has weak sedative but cardio-depressant and hypotensive action. To rectify stuttering, leaves are advised. In large doses herb is stupefying narcotic or an irritant poison.

Medicinal plants of India ; Ayurveda

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