Plant name: Mandookaparni, Centella asiatica (L.) Urban
Location at TDU: Garden between Vyasa and Nagarjuna block
Author: Renuka, 3rd Semester, MSc LS AB
Although small and innocuous to look at, Ayurveda says this tiny plant is packed with medicinal benefits. It spreads by shooting out a new green leaf and planting itself a hop-distance away, literally jumping from spot to spot, giving rise to its Sanskrit name Manduki, or frog-like plant!
The whole plant has been used traditionally for various diseases, from the skin to the brain. It is perhaps the best known Ayurveda drug and used traditionally in keeping the mind sharp! But that’s not all. It is packed with chemicals that help in bleeding disorders, skin diseases, diabetes, cough and cold. This little herb is not only useful by itself but also a major ingredient of Ayurveda formulations like Brahmi ghrita and Medhya rasayana. It is a wonder that this tiny herb can be used for many different ailments.
Modern scientific studies are trying to understand how the chemical cocktail contained in this plant is effective. One idea is that it contains triterpenoids which are good at reducing inflammation and promoting death of unwanted cells.