Pegaga Aquatic

Scientific name : Centella asiatica (L.)
Common name : Asiatic Pennywort, Gotu
Local name : Pegaga

Family : Umbelliferae

Pegaga Nyonya
Centella asiatica, also known as gotu kola, is an annual herb native to India, Australia and Asia.  The leaves and stems of the gotu kola plant are used as medicine. Its leaves are eaten as a vegetable and it is also an important herb in the traditional medicine systems of those places. Research has revealed support for several of Centella asiatica's purported health benefits. 

There are 3 types of pegaga: 
1.   Pennywort Centella asiatica, 
2.   Merremia emarginata 
3.   Hydrocotyle spp. 

Pegaga Village

Asian species known to be able to cure various types of diseases. Some cultivars are popular in this country is pennywort Mistress, pennywort village and pennywort Salad.

In Malaysia, pennywort is very popular among the country's three main races, namely Malays, Chinese and Indians. For the Malays, he's eaten fresh as a salad, the Chinese used as a beverage cooler body, while the Indians, used as a tonic brainpower. In pennywort Madagascar in dry, milled and used to treat leprosy, asthma, Syphilis, bronchitis and skin lesions. Currently pennywort widely used as ingredients in the preparation of drugs and cosmetics in the European countries, the USA and Japan.

Scientists are able to determine chemical composition of Centella asiatica or gotukola contains various alkaloids, triterpenes, sterols, tannins, and glycosides. Recently three new compounds centellin, asiaticin, and centellicin were isolated from this herb. Consult your doctor for guidance in the safe and appropriate use of Centella asiatica.

Common Name
Asiatic pennywort,  Indian pennywort, Indian navelwort, gotu kola (Sinhalese origin)  
ब॒हमामानडुकी, bemgsag, brahma manduki, brahmanduki, brahmi (North India, West India), gotu kola,mandukparni, Thankuni,
daun kaki kuda (Indonesia), gagan-gagan (Java), kerok batok (Java), antanan (West Java), pegaga, pegagan, rendeng
braahamii (brahami), brahambuti, ghodtaapre (ghodtapre), ghorataap (ghortap), kholca ghayn

takip-kohol, takip-suso(tagalog),
brahamamanduki, brahma manduki, brahmi, divya, jalneem, mandukaparni, mandukparni, nandukparni, thankuni

Small-sized leaves usually hug the ground and have a short petiole stem; however, large leaves can have a petiole up to 20cm long. When plants are grown in the shade, they tend to have large leaves and very long petioles. This petiole stem can have a pink/purple tinge. Pink flowers 5mm across, usually set 2 to 4, side by side, as an umbel, developing from the stem nodes. Flowers are so small (and often hidden underneath leaves) that, generally, the flower is not noticed at all. It is only under a microscope that the flower’s beauty is seen. Although gotu kola belongs to the umbel family of plants, now classified as Apiaceae, there is very little resemblance to other umbel plants: like parsley, dill, fennel and coriander. Seeds, of gotu kola, form in flat, oval capsules, usually containing two tiny, brown, kidneyshaped seeds.

Gotu kola (Centella asiatica) has been used to treat many conditions for thousands of years in India, China, and Indonesia. It was used to heal wounds, improve mental clarity, and treat skin conditions such as leprosy and psoriasis.

Some people use it to treat respiratory infections such as colds, and in the past it was used for that in China. It has been called "the fountain of life" because legend has it that an ancient Chinese herbalist lived for more than 200 years as a result of taking gotu kola.

Pegaga (Centella asiatica Linn.) is widely consumed as herb in different parts of the world. Pegaga is generally used in health food and cosmetic products. In Malaysia, it is commonly consumed as vegetable or ‘ulam’ amongst the Malays and as a cooling drink by the Chinese. The interest on herbal beverages such as pegaga drink is because of its pharmacological activity. The pharmacological activity is attributed to its phytochemical constituents such as asiaticoside and antioxidant property. Currently, several pegaga based herbal products have been developed and marketed by Small and Medium Industries (SMI). They are marketed as herbal drink, cosmetic products and herbal preparation in the form of capsule, tablet and powdered products. Pegaga have also been developed into herbal confectionary.

Throughout history, gotu kola has been used for a wide range of health problems, which have included:

Venous insufficiency and varicose veins
When blood vessels lose their elasticity, blood pools in the legs and fluid leaks out of the blood vessels. That causes the legs to swell (venous insufficiency). Several small studies suggest gotu kola may help reduce swelling and improve blood flow. In a study of 94 people with venous insufficiency, those who took gotu kola saw their symptoms improve compared to those who took placebo. In another study of people with varicose veins, ultrasound tests showed that people who took gotu kola has less leakage of fluid.

One study also found that people who took gotu kola before flying had less ankle and leg swelling than those who didn't take it.

Wound healing and skin lesions

Gotu kola has chemicals called triterpenoids. In animal and lab studies, these compounds seem to help heal wounds. For example, some studies suggest that triterpenoids strengthen the skin, boost antioxidants in wounds, and increase blood supply to the area. Based on these findings, gotu kola has been applied to the skin, or used topically, for minor burns, psoriasis, preventing scars after surgery, and preventing or reducing stretch marks.
You can find gotu kola in many creams for wound healing. Ask your health care provider if one is right for you.

These same chemicals -- triterpenoids -- seem to decrease anxiety and increase mental function in mice. One human study found that people who took gotu kola were less likely to be startled by a new noise than those who took placebo. Since the "startle noise" response can be a way to tell if someone is anxious, researchers think that gotu kola might help reduce anxiety symptoms. But the dose used in this study was very high, so it's impossible to say how gotu kola might be used to treat anxiety.

A single study of 13 women with scleroderma found that gotu kola decreased joint pain and skin hardening, and improved finger movement.

Gotu kola acts as a sedative when given to animals in tests. Because of that, it is sometimes suggested to help people with insomnia. But no human studies have been done to see whether it works and whether it's safe.

Gotu kola’s constituents have a strong blood purifying action, and help to lower serum cholesterol levels; this could be mainly due to the action of Beta-sitosterol. The plant saponins help the function of the immune system, by assisting in breaking down the walls of diseased cells, making microbes easier to kill. It seems likely, that it is this same action that has been seen in research, which works to kill the leprosy bacteria by dissolving the waxy, protective substance around the bacteria.

Rheumatoid arthritis, an auto-immune disease, is inflammation affecting the synovial membranes. Cartilage and tissue, surrounding the lubricating fluid in the joints, can be destroyed. The body replaces this damaged tissue with scar tissue, causing the spaces between the joints to become narrow, to develop folds and to fuse together. There is stiffness, swelling, anemia, weight loss, and often crippling pain, with loss of mobility to carry out normal activity, which means the quality of life becomes greatly reduced. Gout can be classed as another form of arthritis, which attacks the smaller joints of the feet and hands, depositing crystallised uric acid salts in the joints causing swelling, redness, a sensation of heat and extreme pain. People, who wished to be free of these painful, debilitating diseases, have taken the herb. After a period of weeks to months, they usually experience a lessening of pain and disability: some report a complete cure.

Uses in traditional medicine

To treat dizziness, boil the leaves with green beans then leave it overnight in the open. Eat the leaves and beans with some sugar the next morning. When the leaves are boiled with onions and drunk, it is effective for treating rheumatism, water boiled with the roots is taken as tonic.

To treat typhoid, pound the leaves finely and apply to the forehead. Water in which the roots have been soaked is used for bathing by mothers after childbirth. The roots when boiled are sometimes used by Malays as a decoction or douche to treat vaginitis and vaginal thrush.

Ayurvedic medicine recommends pegaga for treating asthma, anaemia and other blood disorders, to reduce inflammation and fever. It consider the herb a “balancing” tonic, that increases energy while it relaxes the body, it is held to be effective in combating insomnia and making one calm for yoga and meditation.

According to scientific study, it is also said to improve intelligence and memory retention. The study reveal that tablets made from this plant when taken orally over 12 weeks by mentally retarded children, produced significant capabilities in them Madasiatic acid and brahmic acid have been isolated from the plant.
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On December 24, 2016 at 12:02 AM , goodfoodttavel said...

You describe 3 types of pegaga but did not provide any comparison. Are they all having the same efficacy and composition ? Is Gotu Kola refers to one of the type or all of them ? The scientists research uses which type of pegaga?

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