Unlocking the Wonders of Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica) – Mandukaparni & Marshpenny Revealed!


Gotu kola (centella Asiatica), also known as ”Mandukaparni,” ”Indian pennywort,” or ”jal brahmi,” is a medicinal herb popular in the Orient that is prized for its nutritional and therapeutic benefits. India, Japan, China, Indonesia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and the South Pacific are its natural habitats. Plants have been utilised as therapies for thousands of years, and their function in the treatment of moderate and chronic disease continues to get widespread attention. It is one of the ”wonder elixirs of life,” recognized over 2000 years ago in China as gotu kola. In 19th century centella Asiatica and its extracts were incorporated into the Indian pharmacopoeia wherein in addition to wound healing it was recommended for the treatment of various skin conditions such as Raktpitta (haemoptysis – bleeding disorder), relieving anxiety, kushtha (leprosy), lupus, varicose ulcer, jwara (fever), disease of female genitourinary tract etc.

Gotu Kola


It is an ancient Indian herb used for both culinary and medicinal uses. In Sanskrit, it is called mandukaparni. It is a member of the Apieacea family (shatapushpa kula). Ayurvedic medicine has been practised in India for thousands of years and is mentioned in the classic ”Sushruta Samhita,” an ancient medical text. Centella Asiatica is found in temperate and tropical marshy places all over the world.

Historical View

In Atharva veda – Mandukaparni is referred to as Medhya Rasayana. In Matsya purana – Mandukaparni is referred to as one of the medicinal herbs that is beneficial to the brain. In Agni Purana – it is grouped with plants used as sterilisers, i.e. poison killers and to cure Kamla in Agni Purana. Mandukaparni is one of the eight brahma-nas described in the Shath-pathabrahmana. It is characterised as an Aushadhi that resembles manduka in the Kausika Sutra.

Sanskrit Synonyms

  • Mandukaparni – Leaves resemble the shape of a frog.
  • Manduki – available in moist places, similar to frogs. The herb spreads all over the ground like a frog.
  • Sarasvati – found in watery, moist places, improves intelligence.
  • Maha Aushadhi – one among the best medicinal plants.
  • Tvashti – Mandukaparni is believed to be an abode of goddess Laxmi.
  • Brahmi – Enhancing the memory.

Vernacular Names

Region / Language Vernacular Names
Hindi Brahma – Manduki, Mandookaparni, Khukakhudi, Brahmibhooti
English Indian pennywort, Thick-leaved pennywort, Marsh pennywort
Sanskrit Bhekaparni, Brahmananduki
Assam Manimini
Bengali Thankuni, Tholkuri
Bihar Chokiora
Chinese Fo-te-tieng, chi-hsueh-ts ao
Cook islands Kapukapu
Deccan Vallaral
Fiji Totoro
Gujarati Barmi, Moti brami
Hawaii Pohe kula
Kannada Ondelaga, Brahmi-soppu
Malayalam Kodangal, kadagam, kuta km
Marathi Karinga Karivana
Meghalaya Bat – maina
Nepal Ghod tapre
Oriya Thalkudi
Samoa Tono
Tamil Babassa, vallari
Telugu Bokkudu, Saraswataku
Urdu Brahmi

Geographical Distribution

  • Centella Asiatica is found throughout temperate, subtropical, and tropical regions of both hemispheres. Mostly found in moist locations in India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Pakistan, Indo-nesia, Africa, Australia, China, and the Philippines etc.
  • This plant is found practically everywhere in India from the base of the Himalayas to Celon (up to 2,000 feet above sea level).
  • It grows abundantly in streams, riverbeds, tanks, or ponds, as well as at the borders of rice fields, and frequently during the rainy season.

Propagation and Cultivation

  • It can be propagated from seeds or stolons and cultivated in a variety of soils. However, wet environments are preferable.It can also grow in shaded areas.
  • Seed propagation – fresh seeds are harvested in February and March. Seeds are sown in nursery beds or directly in fields. Seed germination takes about 10 days and has a success rate of roughly 60%.
  • Vegetative propagation – direct planting of cuttings with 3 to 4 nodes or rooted plants in fields or polybags Up sprouting takes roughly 7 to 10 days. When approximately 100 percent establishment is obtained.


A cold, humid climate is preferable. However, it may be produced effectively in the majority of the region on fertile terrain with enough water supply. This crop thrives on sandy, sandy loam, and black cotton soils. It can also grow in shaded areas.


The soil should be porous and nutrient-rich. The soil should be kept moist. If a pond with a shadow area is available in the garden, the Indian pennywort can be grown as a shoreline plant. Gotu Kola is easily planted on balconies.


The plant has an economic life of 20 to 25 years. As a tropical plant, it thrives in temperatures ranging from 280 to 440 degrees Celsius with rainfall of 800-1500 mm each year.


  • Habitat – slender herbaceous creeper, faintly aromatic plant
  • Stem – Herbaceous, weak, long, cylindrical, filiform, leaf axial of a vertical root stock, long internodes, reddish, and rooting at nodes.
  • Leaves – Diameter 1.5 – 6.5 cm, simple, growing in a group from node, reniform, lobed, shiny, petiolate, length 7.5 – 15cm, and stipulate.
  • Root – Branched tap root.
  • Flower – White to pinkish to red in colour. Born in small, rounded branches.
  • Fruit – Cremocarp, compressed laterally, 1/8-1/6 .


  • Botanical Name – Centella Asiatica
  • Family – Apiaceae
  • Kingdom – Plantae
  • Division – Spermatophyta
  • Sub – Division – Angiospermae
  • Class – Magnoliopsida
  • Order – Apiales
  • Genus – Centella
  • Species – Asiatica



  • Triterpenoids
  • Asiaticoside – A,B
  • Triterpene acid
  • Triterpenoid glycoside
  • Flavonoids
  • Polyphenols
  • Madasia acid

Fresh Leaves

  • Fatty oil
  • Sitosterols
  • Tannin
  • Peptic acid
  • Minerals
  • Manganese
  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Amino acid


  • Resin
  • Peptic acid
  • Bitter component (Vellarine)
  • Phosphorus
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Copper


  • Phosphorus
  • Zinc
  • Sodium
  • Triterpenic steroid
  • Brahmo Sides

Pharmacological Properties

  • Rasa (taste) – tikta (bitter).
  • Anuras – Kashaya (Astringent).
  • Guna (qualities) – Laghu (light to digest).
  • Veerya (potency) – sheeta (cold).
  • Vipaka (taste conversion after digestion) – Madhura (sweet).
  • Karma (action) – balances the pitta and kapha dosha.

Classical Categorization

  • Charak samhita – Vayasthapana (set of herbs used for anti-aging treatment), Praja sthapana (beneficial for pregnancy protection), Tiktaskandha (bitter-tasting plant group).
  • Tikta varga – bitter taste group of herbs from the Sushruta Samhita.
  • Bhavaprakasha Guduchyadi varga – Nighantu

Ancient Verses

Shloka 1

मण्डूकपर्ण्याः स्वरसः प्रयोज्यः|
आयुःप्रदान्यामयनाशनानि बलाग्निवर्णस्वरवर्धनानि|
मेध्यानि चैतानि रसायनानि ||

(Reference – Charaka Samhita Chikitsa Sthana 1/3)

Interpretation of Shloka

The Mandukaparni Swaras or juice should be used. This Medhya Rasayna is utilised to attain duration of life by destroying all the doshas, strengthening the body, enhancing the digestive fire, improving the complexion or voice, and remembering power.

Shloka 2

हृतदोष एव प्रतिसंसृष्टभक्तो यथाक्रममागारं प्रविश्य मण्डूकपर्णी स्वरसमादाय सहस्र सम्पाताभिहुतं कृत्वा यथाबलं पयसा पिबेत् |
एवं द्वादशरात्रमुपयुज्य मेधावी वर्षशतायुर्भवति | |

(Reference – Sushrut Samhita, Chikitsa sthana 28/4)

Interpretation of Shloka

After the body has been detoxified by suitable panchkarma therapies, Peya, Vilepi and Samsarjan karmas should be performed according to bhallataka sevan protocol, enter the house, and after chanting one thousand Sampat mantras, the juice of Mandukaparni herb should be put to a glass of milk and consumed.

Action On Different System

1. External application

Increases blood circulation while applied to the skin, is indicated in a variety of skin conditions, and promotes wound healing.

2. Internal management

  • Nervous system – It benefits the intellect (Medhya) through improving memory. As a result, it is used to treat brain hysteria and epilepsy.
  • Digestive system – due to its bitter flavour, it improves digestive fire, which is appropriate in low digestive fire, poor absorption syndrome, and so on.
  • Respiratory System – due to its bitter taste, it aids in the elimination of stored kapha and is also beneficial to the voice. Coughing, trouble breathing, and other symptoms indicate this.
  • Circulatory system – It acts as a heart tonic and decreases oedema. It is used to treat oedema induced by heart weakness, lymphadenopathy, and filariasis.
  • Skin – Because it enhances blood circulation, it aids in the treatment of skin diseases and promotes wound healing. Syphilis, lymphadenitis, and filariasis are all suggested in the second stage.
  • Urinary system – diuretic by Sheeta Veerya hence it is used in dysuria it should be given according to the stage of urinary disorder which are induced by pitta.
  • Reproductive system – Because of its cold potency and sweet flavour, it aids in the production of breast milk. It also cleanses breast milk due to its bitter taste.
  • Body temperature – due to its bitter taste, it is useful in fever and ama pachana.
  • Exertion – drug is excreted through the skin kidney and it stimulates both these organs.

Therapeutic Indication

  • Haridvikara (cardiac tonic)
  • Grahani (IBS)
  • Unmada (Insanity)
  • Vayu Vikar
  • Kamla (Jaundice)
  • Pandu (Anaemia)
  • Apsmara (Epilepsy)
  • Kustha (skin disorders)
  • Amadosha (indigestion)
  • Jwara (fever)
  • Svara (power of the voice)
  • Samriti Hrasa (dementia)
  • Bala (strength)
  • Aruchi (anorexia)
  • Blood clots
  • Fatigue

Properties Of Mandukaparni

  • Anti-ulcer.
  • Anti-seizures.
  • Anti-diabetic.
  • Anti cardiac.
  • Antiviral.
  • AntiDepressants.
  • Antimicrobial.
  • Antifungal.
  • Antioxidant.
  • Anti Inflammatory.

Side Effects

  • Drowsiness
  • GI upset and nausea
  • Headache
  • Giddiness
  • Should not be used by pregnant women as it can cause uterine contraction
  • Dyspepsia
  • Dizziness

Historically Used

  • Leprosy symptoms
  • Hepatitis Syphilis
  • Ulcers of the stomach
  • Fatigue of the Mind
  • Epilepsy
  • Diarrhoea
  • Cognition
  • Fever
  • The Common Cold
  • Tuberculosis
  • Dysentery caused by amoebic bacteria
  • Asthma
  • Hair Development
  • Dementia

Home Remedies Of Mandukaparni

  • In Insanity (Unmada) – fresh juice of Mandukaparni and Acorus Calamus is blended with powder of Sausserea lappa and honey to treat insanity.
  • To increase intelligence (Medhya) – Herbs are collected and used consistently for one month with ghee.
  • In Apasmara (Epilepsy) – Mandukaparni and Brahmi juice is possessed with ghee and taken.
  • For wound healing – one of the chemicals in Gotu kola is asiaticoside which possesses wound healing properties. It starts healing even in chronic unhealed wounds.
  • For dysentery – combine a tiny amount of Mandukaparni leaves with cumin and sugar and drink. Apply the paste of the leaves on the navel as well.
  • In Anorexia (Aruchi) – Mandukaparni juice is blended with honey and consumed.
  • In diabetes – a dose of 60 ml of Mandukaparni decoction is administered.
  • In Voice – Mandukaparni and Sausserea lappa are blended with honey and taken for voice disorders.
  • To boost memory – crush a few Mandukaparni leaves and mix them with milk. Take this mixture on a regular basis.
  • In Fever – A dose of 60 ml of Brahmi and Mandukaparni decoction is used to treat fever.
  • To cure stress – Crush a few Gotu kola (Mandukaparni) leaves and combine them with milk. Take the combination everyday.
  • In hair growth – Mandukaparni leaf extract is mixed with coconut oil and applied to the scalp before bathing. This increases hair development by strengthening the hair follicles.
  • In Ulcer – A fine powder made from dried Mandukaparni leaves is used to treat skin eruptions and syphilis ulcers.
  • To treat elephantiasis of the scrotum and legs – mix the juice of fresh leaves or dried stems with water and apply it to the affected areas.
  • Female infertility – Take the dried root powder of Mandukaparni with sugar candy. Consume the powder with cow’s milk every evening for three days after menstruation.
  • To treat nerve diseases – dry the leaves of Mandukaparni in the shade and grind them into a powder. And consume it.
  • In the Liver – Drinking Mandukaparni juice with honey once a day enhances liver function.
  • For cold – Mandukaparni has been used to treat kapha dosha. Coughing and respiratory issues are brought on by Kapha.
  • For urinary tract infection (UTI) or Mutrakcchra – is caused by a pitta dosha imbalance. Mandukaparni consumption balances the pitta and promotes urine flow. Urine output heals the infection and edema in the urinary tract.
  • For children and rejuvenation – drinking Brahmi juice on an empty stomach in the morning is beneficial for children’s daily use and also aids with geriatric difficulties.

Ayurvedic Products From Mandukaparni

  1. Mandukaparni churna
  2. Gotu kola capsules

Part Used

Panchang is used (Leaves, flowers, fruits, stem, roots)

Dosage Of Mandukaparni

  • Powder (churna) – 5-10 gm
  • Juice (swarsasa) – 10-20 ml
  • Decoction (kwatha) – 50-100 ml


  • Allergy : When administered externally, Mandukaparni may induce skin allergies in certain people.
  • Pregnancy : Mandukaparni may be safe to apply to the skin of pregnant women, nonetheless, it is best to consult a physician before use.
  • Liver Disease : Mandukaparni may cause liver disease . So it is advisable for liver patients to avoid it or consult your doctor.
  • Diabetes : Mandukaparni may raise sugar levels. So it is advisable to Diabetic patients to avoid it.
  • Heart Disease : In some people Mandukaparni may cause a rise in lipid level. So it is advisable to heat patients to avoid it


Centella Asiatica is well known for its traditional applications and therapeutic capabilities in the treatment of a wide range of ailments. Centella Asiatica contains useful chemicals. Its active components can be utilised to treat symptoms such as epilepsy, ageing, neurodegenerative illnesses, skin problems, diabetes, cardiac disorders,etc

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Dr. Vikram Chauhan

Dr. Vikram Chauhan (MD - Ayurveda) is a Globally Renowned Ayurveda Physician with Expertise of more than 25 Years. He is the CEO & Founder of http://www.PlanetAyurveda.com, a leading Ayurveda Brand, Manufacturing, and Export Company with a Chain of Clinics and Branches in the US, Europe, Africa, Southeast Asia, India, and other parts of the World. He is also an Ayurveda Author who has written Books on Ayurveda, translated into Many European Languages. One of his Books is "Ayurveda – God’s Manual for Healing". He is on a Mission to Spread Ayurveda All Over the Planet through all the Possible Mediums. With his Vast Experience in Herbs and their Applied Uses, he is successfully treating Numerous Patients suffering from Various Ailments with the help of the Purest Herbal Supplements, Diet, and Lifestyle, according to the Principles of Ayurveda. For More Details, visit. Read More

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