Medical use of centella has begun in India, where it is part of an ancient tradition of treatment known as Ayurveda. Records of her healing properties in skin diseases slowly spread to Asia to Europe, and since the mid-’80s of the 19th century centella has been used in France for the treatment of burns and other wounds.
Centella is a plant with red flowers that loves warm, swampy areas. It is a wild plant in India, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Central and South Africa, China and the southern parts of the United States. Its appearance depends on whether it grows in water (broad leaves) or on dry soil (small, tiny leaves). Leaves are most commonly used for medical purposes.
How does it work?
Centella has many beneficial effects, whether the preparations are used orally or applied directly to the skin. The plant contains the active ingredients of triterpem (especially azathioside) which appear to increase collagen production in bone, cartilage and connective tissue. In addition, it has beneficial effects on the blood vessels, and may also have a beneficial effect on the balance of neurotransmitter activity, chemical substances that transmit brain messages.
MAIN USEFUL EFFECTS: as the herb has a beneficial effect on the connective tissues, stimulating the normal function and preventing the formation of hard areas, has the potential to treat many skin diseases. It can help with burns, creating keloids (excessive growth of scar tissue) and wounds (including surgical cuts and skin ulcus). It also appears to strengthen cells of blood vessels and improve blood flow, which can be useful in treating enlarged veins. Data collected in researches are very impressive. Some studies have shown that local application of the centella preparations to the parts of the skin affected by psoriasis can help treat this disease.
ADDITIONAL USEFUL EFFECTS: for a thousands of years, centella was used to improve mental abilities. Contemporary research show that centella enhances memory, increases learning ability, and possible helps in returning a part of lost memory in people who have Alzheimer’s disease. In one study, a group of 30 children with learning problems after 12 weeks of taking this plant showed a much better concentration and level of attention than at the beginning of the study.
How to take it?
DOSAGE: when treating enlarged veins: take 200 mg of standardized extract three times a day. When treating burns: take 200 mg of extract twice a day until you’re healed. To improve memory and possibly slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease: take the dose of 200 mg of extract three times a day.
An individual dose of a standardized 200 mg extract corresponds to the gram of raw plants.
USE GUIDELINES: in most cases centella is taken orally, with food or without. You can also apply tea or tincture locally to your skin for the treatment of psoriasis, burns, wounds, cuts, or scars. You can take centella both orally and locally at the same time.
For local application, the coating should be soaked in tea or tincture and put on the affected part of the skin. Begin with lighter preparations whose concentration can be increased as needed. When you want to prepare tea, pour one cup of hot water over one to two teaspoons of dried leaves and let it stand for about 15 minutes. The paste applied to the psychiatric skin focal points is prepared by mixing the contents of the two capsules of the preparation with a small amount of water.
Possible side effects
In most cases, there are no side effects. Dermatitis, sensitivity to sunlight and headache may appear, but rarely. If these side effects occur, reduce the dose or stop using such preparations.
IMPORTANT: pregnant women should not take centella.