Centella asiatica herb side effects and health benefit supplement

Centella asiatica herb is commonly used in the Ayurvedic system of medicine. Traditionally, Centella asiatica has been used as a nerve tonic for memory and clarity of thinking, for the therapy of anxiety and depression, and sometimes for indigestion. The name Centella asiatica in Sanskrit is Brahmi, which means wisdom or consciousness.

Centella asiatica benefits
Centella asiatica improves circulation, causes alertness, and helps in relaxation. It may also have antioxidant properties. Oral treatment of a methanol extract of Centella asiatica for 14 days significantly increased the anti-oxidant enzymes, like superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase and glutathione peroxidase (GSHPx), and anti-oxidants like glutathione (GSH) and ascorbic acid decreased in lymphoma-bearing mice.
   Other studies in mice shows Centella asiatica to have antidepressant and anti-ulcer ability along with possibility being helpful in preventing neuronal damage that occurs as a result of Alzheimer's disease.

Centella asiatica Herb, 435 mg
Nature's Way

Centella asiatica (gotu kola) is used in India similar to how the Chinese use Ginseng, for longevity and vitality. Although its name is similar to cola nut, Gotu "Kola" does not contain caffeine. Centella asiatica is sometimes used by individuals wanting to avoid caffeine as a part of their diet.

Centella asiatica Supplement Facts
Serving Size 2 Capsules
Servings Per Container 90

Amount Per Serving
Centella asiatica (stem, leaf) - 870 mg*

Recommendation: Take 1 Centella asiatica capsule daily or as directed by your health care provider.
* Centella asiatica daily value not established.

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Mind Power Rx with Centella asiatica - Formulated by Ray Sahelian, M.D.

Mind Power Rx is a sophisticated cognitive formula with Centella asiatica and a dozen brain herbs and nutrients. It combines a delicate balance of brain circulation agents and neurotransmitter precursors with powerful natural brain chemicals that support healthy:

Memory and Mood
Mental clarity
Alertness & Focus

The herbs in Mind Power Rx include: Ashwagandha, Bacopa, Fo-Ti, Ginkgo biloba,  Ginseng, Centella asiatica, Mucuna pruriens, Reishi, and Rhodiola.  The nutrients and vitamins in Mind Power Rx include Acetyl-l-carnitine, Carnitine, Carnosine, Choline, DMAE, Inositol, Methylcobalamin, Pantothenic acid, Trimethylglycine, Tyrosine, and Vinpocetine.

Alzheimer's disease
Centella asiatica extract selectively decreases amyloid beta levels in hippocampus of Alzheimer's disease animal model.
Phytother Res. 2009 Jan; Dhanasekaran M, Holcomb LA, Hitt AR, Tharakan B, Porter JW, Young KA, Manyam BV. Department of Neurology, Scott and White Clinic, Texas A & M University System HSC College of Medicine, Texas, USA.
Centella asiatica has a long history of use in India as a memory enhancing drug in Ayurvedic literature. The study investigated whether Centella asiatica extract can alter the amyloid pathology in PSAPP mice by administering Centella asiatica extract starting at 2 months of age prior to the onset of detectable amyloid deposition and continued for either 2 months or 8 months. A significant decrease in amyloid beta 1-40 and 1-42 was detectable by ELISA following an 8 month treatment with Centella asiatica extract. Centella asiatica extract functions as an antioxidant in vitro, scavenging free radicals, reducing lipid peroxidation and protecting against DNA damage. The data indicate that Centella asiatica extract can impact the amyloid cascade altering amyloid beta pathology in the brains of PSAPP mice and modulating components of the oxidative stress response that has been implicated in the neurodegenerative changes that occur with Alzheimer's disease.

chemical composition
Centella asiatica contains various alkaloids, triterpenes, sterols, tannins, and glycosides. Recently three new compounds were isolated from the aerial parts named centellin, asiaticin, and centellicin.

Centella asiatica is sold by raw material suppliers in various extract potencies, including a standardized Centella asiatica extract of 10% triterpenes. Consumers can purchase Centella asiatica in capsules or liquid extracts.

Side effects
Not enough human research for any prolonged period has been done with Centella asiatica to know whether it is safe or whether it has side effects.

Centella asiatica and wound healing
Centella asiatica is  used in the treatment of various skin diseases by Ayurvedic doctors.
Effect of Centella asiatica L (Umbelliferae) on normal and dexamethasone-suppressed wound healing in Wistar Albino rats.
Int J Low Extrem Wounds. 2006 Sep;5(3):137-43. Department of Biochemistry, Melaka Manipal Medical College, India.
The objective of the study presented in this article was to evaluate the wound-healing potential of the ethanolic extract of Centella asiatica in both normal and dexamethasone-suppressed wound healing. The study was done on Wistar albino rats using incision, excision, and dead space wounds models. The extract of Centella asiatica significantly increased the wound breaking strength in incision wound model compared to controls. The extract-treated wounds were found to epithelize faster, and the rate of wound contraction was significantly increased as compared to control wounds. The extract of the leaves had the effect of attenuating the known effects of dexamethasone healing in all wound models. The results indicated that the leaf extract promotes wound healing significantly and is able to overcome the wound-healing suppressing action of dexamethasone in a rat model.

Centella asiatica Research Update
Effect of total triterpenes from Centella asiatica on the depression behavior and concentration of amino acid in forced swimming mice
Zhong Yao Cai. 2003 Dec;26(12):870-3.
To evaluate the antidepressant activity of total triterpenes from Centella asiatica in forced swimming test.  Mice were randomly divided into control group, model group and treatment group. The effect of total triterpenes from Centella asiatica on the immobility time in forced swimming mice and concentration of amino acid in mice brain tissue was observed.  Imipramine and total triterpenes from Centella asiatica reduced the immobility time and ameliorated the imbalance of amino acid levels. The total triterpenes from Centella asiatica had antidepressant activity.

The healing effects of Centella extract - Centella asiatica - and asiaticoside on acetic acid induced gastric ulcers in rats.
Life Sci. 2004 Mar 19;74(18):2237-49.
In this study, the healing effects of
Centella asiatica water extract and asiaticoside (AC), an active constituent of Centella asiatica, on acetic acid induced gastric ulcers (kissing ulcers) in rats were examined. Centella asiatica was prepared from Centella asiatica dry plant and the concentration of AC in Centella asiatica was quantitatively determined with the use of high performance liquid chromatography analysis. Different concentrations of Centella asiatica and AC were orally administered to rats with kissing ulcers. They were found to reduce the size of the ulcers at day 3 and 7 in a dose-dependent manner, with a concomitant attenuation of myeloperoxidase activity at the ulcer tissues. Epithelial cell proliferation and angiogenesis were on the other hand promoted. The expression of basic fibroblast growth factor, an important angiogenic factor, was also upregulated in the ulcer tissues in rats treated with Centella asiatica or AC. These results further suggest the potential use of Centella asiatica and its active ingredient as anti-gastric ulcers drugs.

Centella asiatica herb has pentacyclic triterpene derivatives. Centella asiatica may be used in chronic venous insufficiency and wound healing.
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