Sabtu, 20 April 2013


Centella asiatica is a medicinal plant with a long history of therapeutic use. It is a creeping plant which has its origin in tropical and subtropical climates. In India and Indonesia it has a long history of use, healing wounds and slowing the progression of leper. Furthermore, it is considered to prolong life and to increase energy and sexual potency.

Based on many indications of the traditional medicine, it was accepted in France in 1880. British physicians used it in Africa for leper treatment. In the 70s, Italian and European investigators found evidence that this plant may significantly improve the symptoms caused by hemorrhoids and varicose veins.

Parts used
The dried and fragmented aerial parts of Asian Centella (L.) Urban (Asian herb Centella) are used.

1. Skin:
According to the WHO and various clinical studies, the Centella preparations are indicated for external use as healing substance, particularly to accelerate the healing of postraumatic or postsurgical wounds, as well as for second and third degree burns and the prevention of gravidic stretch marks. Furthermore, they prevent the formation of hypertrophic scars. Also for the treatment of the psoriasis and skin damage of simple herpes.

2. Vascular and lymphatic pathologies

Various clinical studies indicate its application for chronical venous insufficiency, varicose veins, venous hypertension, and its use for the prevention of circulatory problems on medium and long distance flights.

Other recent studies confirm its usefulness in diabetic microangiopathy. Some clinical tests suggest the action against stretch marks and cellulitis, for its diuretic action and improvement of lymphatic circulation.

3. Action on the nervous system
Asian Centella increases the cerebral levels of GABA, which explains its traditional use as ansiolytic and anti-convulsive.
Centella has been used for the treatment of the
syndrome of concentration deficit and in cases of feeble-mindedness, although its action mechanism in these pathologies is not known.

4. Anti-tumor action
Probably due to its immune-stimulating properties it produces immunological cytolysis which explains the benefits observed in cancer patients.

5. Peptic ulcer desease
It may be used orally for the treatment of gastric and duodenal ulcers due to stress. Its benefit is apparently due to the immune-modulating active components that act at the gastrointestinal level.

28 January, 2009

Other traditional practices

Healthy Skin

Traditional values among the Indians
Application of pegaga paste on babies as a body scrub to further improve their complexion

Selected recipes..

How to make vallarai thoveyal???

Vallarai thoveyal is a very simple dish prepared by the Indians and its taken in a form of ulam similiar to the Malays.


Salt to taste
Grated coconut
Chillies (Cabai burung)

Mix all the ingredients together and blend to form a paste. No water should be added. Preferably use pestle and mortar instead of blender. You may add tamarind (asam jawa) to further improve the flavour. Store the paste in fridge. Thaw the paste for about half an hour before usage.

This recipe is brought to you by my grandmother;

Panjavarnam Krishnan

25 January, 2009

Etnobotany values of pegaga at varying locations throughout the world


A crystallized substance, asiaticoside, was found, thought at first to be a glucoside.
It has been shown that it is an ester. The compound broke down the leprosy nodules, perforating ulcers and lesions on fingers and early eye lesions. It has been suggested that this medicine probably dissolve at the waxy covering of the leprosy basillus so that it becomes fragile and can be easily destroyed either by the body.


The plant is valued in indigenous medicine for treatment of leprosy and skin diseases and also to improve memory.

A cold poultice of the fresh herb is used as an external application in rheumatism, elephantiasis and hydrocele.

For treating leprosy and other skin diseases it is given as an ointment or dusting powder.

Internally it has been valued as a tonic and is used in bronchitis, asthma, gastric catarahh, leucorrhoea, kidney troubles, urethritis and dropsy.

A decoction of very young shoots is given for haemorrhoids. It is used for Blood Conditions, Brain and Nervous System Conditions, Cardiovascular Conditions Gastrointestinal Conditions, Glandular Conditions, Immune System Conditions, cough problems, Liver Conditions, Respiratory Tract Conditions, and Tissue Development.

Medicinal and pharmacological activities

Antiulcerogenic activity: The antiulcerogenic activity of the fresh juice of C. asiatica wasstudied against ethanol-, aspirin-, cold restraint stress- and pyloric ligation-induced gastric ulcers in rats.

When given orally at doses of 200 and 600 mg/kg twice daily for 5 days, the drug showed significant protection against all the above experimental ulcer models. This effect was thought to be due to the strengthening of mucosal defensive factors.

Oral administration of Centella extract (0.05, 0.25 and 0.50 g/kg) before ethanol administration significantly inhibited gastric lesion formation (by 58-82%) and decreased mucosal myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity in a dose-dependent manner. It prevented gastric mucosal lesions by strengthening the mucosal barrier and reducing the damaging effects of free radicals.

Spasmolytic activity: Activity was demonstrated when tested in vitro on isolated guinea pig ileum.

Wound-healing activity: A titrated extract of Centella asiatica (TECA), containing asiatic acid, madecassic acid and asiaticoside, and its separate components were evaluated for their effects in the wound chamber model. TECA-injected wound chambers were characterised by increased dry weight, DNA, total protein, collagen and uronic acid contents.

Peptidic hydroxyproline was also increased, showing an increased remodelling of the collagen matrix in the wound. The three purified components ofTECA were all able to reproduce the effects of the complete drug. The activity of asiaticoside was studied in normal and delayed-type wound healing.

In guinea pig punch wounds topical applications of a 0.2% solution of asiaticoside produced a 56% increase in hydroxyproline, 57% increase in tensile strength, increased collagen content and improved epithelialisation.

In streptozotocin-diabetic rats, where healing is delayed, topical application of a 0.4% solution of asiaticoside over punch wounds increased hydroxyproline content, tensile strength, collagen content and epithelialisation, thereby facilitating healing.

Asiaticoside was also active by the oral route at 1 mg/kg and is thought to be the main active constituent of Centella asiatica. Asiaticoside enhanced antioxidant levels at an initial stage of wound healing which may be an important contributory factor in the healing properties of this constituent.

The extract also protected skin against radiation injury. Immunomodulatory activity: An alcoholic extract showed stimulatory effect on the reticuloendothelial system (RES) in mice and an in vitro study of the aq ueous extract demonstrated a positive effect on both the classic and alternative pathways of complement activation.

Antitubercular activity: An injection of 0.5 ml of a 4% solution of hydroxyasiaticoside was given in guinea pigs, inoculated 15 days preyiously with tubercle bacillus. It reduced the number of tubercular lesions in the liver, lungs, nerve ganglions and spleen and decreased the volume of the spleen over that of untreated control animals, thereby displaying antitubercular activity.

Psychoneurological activity: The alcoholic extract, when given orally to rats and mice treated with phenobarbitone, significantly prolonged sleeping time. In the maximum electroshock-induced convulsion test in rats, it significantly reduced the duration of individual convulsions. In a behavioural test it reduced the duration of the immobilityphase, indicating sedative, antidepressive and analgesic actions.

Antimicrobial activity: Asiaticoside at a concentration of 10 mglml showed antibacterial activity against Pseudomonas pyocyaneus and Trichoderma mentagrophytes.

Antiviral activity: The alcoholic extract showed antiviral activity against Herpes simplex type II virus.Antilarval activity: A new triterpenoid glycoside 3-0-[ a- L-arabinopyranosyl] 2a,3 p, 6p ,23a - tetrahydroxyurs-12-ene- 28-oic acid exhibited dose-dependent growth inhibitory activity against larvae of Spilarctia obliqua.

According to Hartwell (1967–1971), the flowers, leaves, and roots are used in folk remedies for tumors, the seed for abdominal tumors.

The root decoction is used in Nicaragua for dropsy. Root juice is applied externally as rubefacient or counter-irritant.

Leaves applied as poultice to sores, rubbed on the temples for headaches, and said to have purgative properties.

Bark, leaves and roots are acrid and pungent, and are taken to promote digestion. Oil is somewhat dangerous if taken internally, but is applied externally for skin diseases. Bark regarded as antiscorbic, and exudes a reddish gum with properties of tragacanth; sometimes used for diarrhea.

Roots are bitter, act as a tonic to the body and lungs, and are emmenagogue, expectorant, mild diuretic and stimulant in paralytic afflictions, epilepsy and hysteria.

Etnobotany values among communities in Malaysia

Traditional use of pegaga among the Malays

-Leaves can be eaten raw.Whole plant is a vegetable need among the Malay community throughout Malaysia.List of favourite meals include:-

a)gulai lemak

d)tonic drink

Traditional use of pegaga among the Indians

-Young leaves are eaten as vegetables either cooked or raw. The leaves can be boiled and consumed to prevent or cure urinary tract infection and stone.

Traditional use of pegaga among the Chinese

In Chinese folk medicine, a decoction of this herb is used for the treatment of colds, sunstroke, tonsilitis, pleurisy, urinary tract infections, infectious hepatitis, jaundice, and dysentery; as an antidote for arsenic poisoning, toxic mushroom and as an external poultice for snake bites, scabies, traumatic injuries, and herpes zoster.

23 January, 2009

Botany and Nomenclature of Pegaga

Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Apiales
Family: Umbilliferae

Botanical Name: Centella asiatica


A tailing herb of moist places with slender stems, rounded, simple leaves and inconspicious flowers in short clusters. The small fruits are laterally compressed schizocarps, each comprising two mericarps that split apart at maturity.

The stems are slender,creeping stolons, green to reddish green in colour, interconnecting one plant to the another. It has long-stalked, green, reniform leaves with rounded apices which have smooth textures with palmately netted veins.

The leaves are borne on pericladial petioles, around 20cm. The rootstock consist of rhizomes, growing vertically down. They are creamish in colour and covered with root hairs.
The flowers are pinkish to red in colour, borne in small, rounded bunches near the surface of the soil. Each flower is partly enclosed in two green bracts. The hermaphrodite flowers are minute in size (less than 3mm). with 5-6 corolla lobes per flower. Each flower bears five stamens and two styles. The fruit are densely reticulate, distinguishing it from species of Hydrocotyle which have smooth, ribbed or warty fruit.The crop matures in 3 months and the whole plant, including the roots is harvested manually.


Chromosome Number Nature of Pollination

Description: A rhizomatous spreading herb with a basal stump. Leaves closely inserted; petioles to19cm long with fine white hair; lamina reniform with crenate margins, glaborous, to 5cm wide. Inflorescence, a flat top umbel of 3 flowers; bracts 2-3, purplish green and cup shaped; sepals 5; stamens 5; stigmas 2; ovary inferior round and flat, hairy with 2 locules. Capsules to 3mm in diameter and flat.

Breeding Methods

Pegaga plant can grow esily by its nature. However, this plant possesse some ornamental value as the leaves are present in large
amount, big in size and beautiful.

This plant can be propagated from:-


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