Medicinal Plants

Centella - Indian pennynut

  • Hindi: Brahmanduki, Brahmi
    Bengali : Thankuria
    Gujarati: BArmi
    Kannada: Vondelega
    Marathi : Brahmi
    Punjabi: Brahmibuti
    Sanskrit : Mandukparni
    Tamil: Vallarai elai
    Telugu : Bokkudu, Nacley
    Malayama: Muthil, Kudangal
  • The sanskrit name 'mandukparni' refers to the leaves of the plant, which resembles the claw of a frog.
  • In some regions of North India, this plant is treated as 'Brahmi'.
  • Actually 'Brahmi is another plant having the scientific name Bacopa monnier.
  • According to some Ayurvedic literature they resemble each other in their medicinal properties, but botanically they are entirely different.


  • It is a native of Madagascar, but is widely distributed throughout the tropics of both hemispheres.
  • It is found in moisturized ares throughout India.
  • It can be commonly found in marshy banks of streams, ponds, rivers and irrigated lawns, where there is moisturized aoil up 1500 Mt Elevation.


  • This herb has slender stem, which grows horizontally along the soil.
  • Nodes produce slightly erect leaves to the top and roots to the down.
  • Leaves are simple, kidney shaped or rounded with slightly serrate margin and haivng a diameter between 2-10 cm.
  • Flowers are small, brown or red in colour.
  • Single bunch contains 3-6 flowers.
  • Fruits are small look like barley grains.

Medicinal Importance

  • The plant contains asiaticoside, which is reposnsible for its use in leprosy.
  • The plant is also found useful in certain kinds of tuberculosis.
  • Centella plays a major role in the treatment of metnally retarded patients for improving their mental ability.
  • It is also very useful in the case of anxiety neurosis
  • Experiments on animals have confirmed its property of inducing fast growth of skin, hair and nails.
  • Leaves of this plant are widely used against various skin diseases, cuts and wounds.
  • Its capacity to improve mental stability, memory power and concentration is experimentally proved.

Parts used

  • The drug comprises fresh and dried leaves, stems, roots and seeds.

Some medicinal usages

  • Usage of dried plant powder (0.5 gm) continuously for 12 weeks may improve memory power, concentration and mental stability in mentally retarded patients.
  • Seven days usage of leaf juice (20 ml.) with milk cure Leucorrhoea
  • Usage of leaf juice early in the morning (10 ml.) will improve dbody colour and body strength.
  • Leaf juice with honey is an effective remedy for urinary problems.
  • Leaves are also used against skin diseases, wounds etc.,
  • The leaves or entire plant parts are bioled in water and this decoction is used in the treatment of leprosy.

Other uses

  • Beautiful lawns can be prepared by cultivating this plant in the garden

Chemical nature

  • The powder of entire dried plant contains amino acids, asparitic acid, glycine, glutamic acid and phenyl analine.
  • The burned ash of the plant contains chloride, sulphate, phosphate, iron, calcium, magnesium and sodium.

Cultivation technique

  • Nodes, which produce roots can be used as a source for cultivating this plant.
  • This can be cultivated in polythene bags containg biofertilizers or directly to soil itself.
  • It is moist loving so frequent watering and shading is very important.
  • It can be cultivated easily, no extreme care is essential.