Gotu Kola / Mandukparni / Marshpenny (Centella Asiatica)- Ayurvedic Properties, Effects On Doshas & Dosage
All herbs in Ayurveda are having different properties and actions on different diseases. In Ayurveda herbs or drugs are mentioned as dravya which is used to treat various ailments within the body. Our Acharya has described the herbs in a different manner; they have categorised effects of dravya, properties of dravya, uses of the dravya, and many more in Charak Samhita they have characterised fifty mahakashayas, according to each herb and their actions. Similarly, Acharya Sushruthave mentioned thirty-seven gannas in their Samhita according to their properties. In this article writing, we are going to discuss the herb named Mandukaparni.
Gotu kola or mandukaparni has been used for thousands of years to treat various diseases, it is widely used in China, India, and Indonesia. This is widely used to combat wounds, mental illnesses, and various skin ailments like psoriasis, leprosy, etc. it can also be used in managing respiratory symptoms. In Chinese medicine, this herb is called the fountain of life. This is an Indian herb that is used for culinary and therapeutic purposes. It has been considered a brain tonic due to its beneficial neuroprotective properties.
Special Note About This Plant
This is a herbaceous perennial plant that Grows in temperate and tropical swampy areas in various parts of the world. The stems are slender in shape, green or reddish in colour, its nature is to connect other parts of the plant, it has long-stalked rounded in shape with palmately netted veins that have a smooth texture. This crop matures in three months and its whole is used for medicinal purposes so is harvested manually including its roots. This has been used in various disorders as well as in minor wounds, with confirmed safety. It can be successfully used for its internal and external applications.
- Botanical Name - Centella Asiatica
- Family - Apiaceae
- Genus - Centella
- Species - C. Asiatica
- Mandukparni - Its leaves resemble the shape of a frog.
- Maanduki - Because this herb is found near the pond areas or famous with the name of manduk rishi or this spreads on earth like a frog, it can be called Maanduki.
- Brahmi - Enhancing the memory
- Saraswati - Which helps to promote memory power and is found in watery areas.
Other Vernacular Names
- In English - Marsh penny or Indian Penny
- In Hindi - Bengseng, brahmi
- In Bengali - Thulkuddi
- In Malayalam - Karivanna
- In Gujarati - Khandbrahmi
- In Telugu - Manduka Brahmi
Mandukaparni is a small trailing herb or perennial plant and is the only species of Centella found in India. Its roots are nodular and the stem is glabrous and strips are present that are of pink colour, It has small fan-shaped green leaves that are fleshy, articulated, and dentate as well as reformed in structure. Its petioles are longer, and smoother on the upper part of the stem and on the bottom part it is hairy in structure. Its flowers are fascicled and umbels in pink and white colour. Its fruits are oblong, laterally compressed, and hard from the pericarp, thickened with dull brown and woody white in colour.
This plant is usually found in marshy places in tropical and subtropical regions all over the country, its founding soil is moist, fertile, and loose as well as clay-type soil.
This is found at the elevation of 2000 feet from sea level.
- Acharya Charak has mentioned this herb in tiktaskandha, and praja sthapana and vaya sthapan mahakashaya.
- Acharya Sushruta has described this herb in Tikta varga.
- In Shoddhal nighantu and Bhavprakash nighantu have also described this herb in their respective textbooks.
Shloka - 1
ब्राह्मी हिमासरा तिक्ता लघुर्मेध्या च शीतला। कषाया मधुरा स्वादुपाकायुष्या रसायनी।।
सवर्य स्मृतिप्रद कुष्ठपाण्डुमेहस्र्कासजित्। विषशोथज्वरहरी तद्वन्मण्डूकपर्णीनि।।
Reference - Bhavprakash nighantu / Guduchyadi Varga
Interpretation of Shloka - Brahmi is sheeta veerya or is of cold potency, sarak that means it is helpful in purgation, having bitter, astringent, and sweet in taste. It is light and good for memory retention. This herb is coolant, after digestion, it gives a sweet taste, is beneficial in gaining longevity, works as rejuvenator, is good for voice, boosts the thinking capacity, reduces skin diseases, anemic conditions, diabetes, bleeding disorders, inflammatory conditions, and helpful in reducing fever. Mandukparni has the same properties as brahmi.
Shloka - 2
मण्डूकपर्ण्या: स्वरस: प्रयोज्य:।
आयु: प्रदान्यामयनाशनानि बलाग्निवर्णस्वरवर्धनानि।
मेध्यानि चैतानि रसायनानि।
Reference - Charak Samhita Ckikitsa Sthana 1 / 3
Interpretation of Shloka - The swaras or juice of the mandukparni should be used. This medhya Rasayana is used to gain longevity of life, destroys all the doshas, strengthens the body, enhances the digestive fire, complexion and voice may be improved by its usage, and memory power can also be improved with mandukparni.
Shloka - 3
रसो मण्डूकपर्ण्यास्तु प्रलेपात् पिटिकामयम् प्रणाशयेत्।।
Reference - Shoddal nighantu
Interpretation of Shloka - Juice of the mandukparni and the paste of mandukparni leaves can be applied to the skin to reduce any type of skin disorder like acne.
Shloka - 4
हृत्दोष एव प्रतिसंसृष्ट्भक्तो यथाक्रममागारं प्रविश्य मण्डूकपर्णी स्वरसमादाय सहस्र संपाताभिहुतम् कृत्वा यथाबलम् पयसा पिबेत्। एव दशरात्रमुप्युज्य मेधावी वर्षशतायु: भवति।
Reference - Sushrut Samhita Chikitsa Sthana 28 / 8
Interpretation of Shloka - After proper panchakarma therapies body must be detoxified then peya, vilepi and all samsarjana kramas should be done, according to bhallatak Sevan procedure, enter into the house and after chanting one thousand smpaat mantras the juice of mandukparni herb should be added into the glass of milk and consume it.
- Rasa (Taste) - Tikta (Bitter).
- Guna (Quality) - Guru (Heavy), Snigadh (Moist)
- Veerya (Potency) - Sheet (Cool)
- Anuras - Kashaya (Astringent)
- Vipaka (Post digestive effect) - Madhur (Sweet).
- Karma (Action) - Balances the Kapha and Pitta dosha.
- Projyang (Part used) - Panchang is used (leaves, flowers, fruits, stem, roots)
Effects On Doshas
This herb helps to balance the Kapha and Pitta dosha with the help of tikta rasa.
- Mandukparni contains various proteins, dietary fibres, carbohydrates, vitamins A, B, and C along with iron, sodium, calcium, and many more.
- Mandukparni has various properties in maintaining our body such as hepato-protection, anti- inflammation, anti-ulcerous, anti- epileptic, helps to stimulate the immune system, and may help in inducing sleep due to its calming and sedation property, anti-diabetic, cardiac tonic, anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial with wound healing property.
- This herb is bitter in taste so it pacifies Kapha and pitta dosha.
- When it is used as paste form on the external surface of the skin it gives a result with its antioxidant properties or by increasing the blood circulation to that particular area.
- This herb helps to enhance memory power and thinking capacity with retention properties.
- Due to its tikta or bitter taste, it helps to enhance the digestive fire, and maintain the flora in the intestine.
- Due to its tikta rasa, it also helps in Kapha nihasaran, which rectifies the mucus in the respiratory system.
- It also acts on the pancreas so works like an anti-diabetic in nature.
- Due to its sweet post digestion effect and its cold potency, it works on milk production in females, it also helps in the detoxification of milk and female secondary reproductive organs.
- This herb helps in strengthening and also gives anti-aging effects, enhances the work capacity of every part of the body along with is helpful in maintaining a disease-free life.
- This is used in patients who are suffering from weakness in the brain, slurred speech, and various skin-related conditions, such as psoriasis, and fungal infections.
- This herb is also used in various bleeding disorders like epistaxis, gum bleeding and many more.
- This is used to expel the toxins from the body and pacify the fever.
- This herb is categorised in medhya Rasayana herbs by Acharya Charaka because it has a rejuvenating effect with anti-aging effects.
- In decoction or in juice form - 10 to 20 ml can be used.
- In the form of powder - 2-4 grams.