Centella Asiatic: what is it for and contraindications

This content is part of the Alternative Medicine category and may contain information that lacks scientific studies and/or medical consensus.

Centella Asiatic, or gotu kola , is a medicinal herb native to Asia and the Pacific Islands, widely used in traditional medicine in the region.

It became famous around the world for speeding up healing , smoothing out wrinkles and cellulite, controlling anxiety and helping to lose weight with health. Have you ever heard of her?

In addition to being rich in several phytochemicals important for health, it is still easy to find and use, and can be consumed in infusions and capsules or in the form of skin creams.

So that it serves to Asiatic Pennywort

Smooth wrinkles and help with healing

One of the most common uses of centella asiatica is in the production of healing and anti-wrinkle creams, thanks to its composition rich in substances known as triterpenes.

In particular, Asian acid, madecassic acid, asiaticoside and madecassoside, capable of reinforcing the production of collagen, a protein that gives the skin firmness and support .

Thanks to this they help to smooth and prevent the signs of age by favoring the filling of creases. The compounds also promote the creation of fibroblasts, cells that form connective tissue and are essential in wound healing.

Also due to the healing action , centella-based creams are great to reduce the appearance or prevent the appearance of new stretch marks , which are a type of scar that appears when the skin stretches too much. ( 1 )

Improve the appearance of cellulite

The consumption of centella improves the appearance of cellulite, a problem caused by the increase in fat cells.

The herb improves the metabolism of two types of amino acids: lysine and proline, used in building collagen fibers .

Combined with this, it stimulates blood circulation, contributing to cellular nutrition in the region and favoring the burning of accumulated fat . ( 1 )

Decrease anxiety and improve sleep

Consuming this plant daily is a natural way to deal with problems such as anxiety and insomnia .

Her phytochemicals act directly on the brain, reducing arousal. As a consequence, there is a decrease in anxiety and daily stress . ( 2 )

The herb is a source of substances known for its sedative effects , contributing to end sleep problems.

A curiosity: centella has a mild antidepressant effect, since the triterpenes found in it increase the presence of neurotransmitters related to the sensation of pleasure and well-being. ( 3 )

treat varicose veins

Do you suffer from varicose veins? Because the consumption of Asian centella can reduce the discomfort caused by this problem and also soften the appearance of the veins.

The triterpenes found in the herb are able to improve blood circulation by strengthening the connective tissue that forms the veins. ( 4 )

These phytocompounds also act by decreasing the amount of uronic acid, lysosomal and other types of enzymes that are related to the appearance of dilated vessels in the legs. ( 3 )

Give memory a boost

It also serves as a stimulant for memory as it increases the ability to store new information and, consequently, to learn.

Centella is a source of Asian acid and asiaticoside, substances known to help brain function by increasing the connections made by the brain. ( 2 )

Strengthen immunity

Lastly, centella asia helps to reduce the chances of getting diseases by strengthening the immune system, which is nothing more than your body’s defenses .

This effect is derived from the action of saponins, a type of triterpene that intensifies the production of white blood cells, antibodies and Natural killer cells , which are the main ones in this system.

As a result, the body becomes stronger to fight against and exterminate any invading micro-organisms . ( 3 )

How to make tea and other forms of use

It is recommended to prepare the Asian centella tea using 1 teaspoon of the leaves for every 1 cup of hot water.

The method of preparation is very simple, just let it rest for five minutes, strain and drink right away. But remember not to add sugar or any other type of sweetener.

This infusion can be drunk up to four times a day , always just before or right after meals. ( 5 )

The plant can also be used in capsules , at a dosage of 300 mg three times a day. ( 6 )

It is still possible to find tinctures, creams and even skin lotions produced with the active compounds of the Asian centella, indicated for treatments against wrinkles and to accelerate healing. ( 5 )

Centella asia for weight loss: does it really work?

The answer to this question is yes , the herb can contribute to weight loss, but alone it doesn’t do any miracles.

Centella’s phytochemicals help reduce blood glucose and fat levels , which is an important step towards losing those extra pounds, as these are the main sources of energy (staying in the tissues) and therefore actively contribute to weight gain. ( 7 )

The decrease in anxiety caused by it can reduce the compulsion to eat, which is also a very common problem in those with a few extra pounds. ( 2 )

All this helps to lose weight, but to obtain satisfactory results it is necessary to make a change in eating habits and exercise regularly.

Care and contraindications

When ingested in excess and for a period longer than four weeks, the herb can irritate the gastric mucosa, causing nausea and drowsiness, as a result of its sedative action.

External use can also cause dermatitis or sensitivity in some people sensitive to its components. ( 5 )

In addition, pregnant women, nursing mothers and young children should avoid using it indoors, as well as those with kidney, liver or gastric ulcers, as it can worsen symptoms. ( 6 )

Where to find the Asian centella

Feel like using the Asian centella? You can easily find this powerful herb at some street markets or health food stores , both the tea and capsule versions and the extract and skin cream versions.

Ellie Lauderdale

My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .

I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.

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