|Unani name||Khulakudi, Brahmi|
|English name||Asiatic Pennywort, Indian Pennywort, Gotu Kola|
Whole Plant, mainly Leaves
Centella asiaticaMorphological Characteristics
- The plant is a small trailing herb and it is the only species of Centella found in India.
- Stem is glabrous, pink striated and rooting at nodes.
- Leaves are fleshy, orbicular to reniform and dentate.
- Petiole is long, smooth on upper surface and hairy below.
- Flowers are pink and white in fascicled umbels.
- The fruits are oblong, dull brown, laterally compressed, pericarp hard, thickened and woody white.
The plant occurs in marshy places throughout the country in tropical and subtropical regions.Climate and Soil
- Plant naturally grows over moist, fertile, loose, sandy loam and clayey soil.
- Thrives best in monsoon periods in well drained beds.
The plant is propagated by rooted suckers and seeds.Agro-technique
- Raising Propagules: The plants grow well under shade and can tolerate heavy shade. One-node stem cuttings can be planted. The root develops from the nodes.
- Propagule Rate and Pretreatment: 300 kg rooted suckers are needed to plant one hectare land. No specific pretreatment is required.
- Land Preparation and Fertilizer Application: The field should be prepared well by giving one ploughing and two harrowings, followed by planting. Manure (FYM) at the rate of 20 t/ha should be mixed thoroughly with the soil at the time of field preparation. NPK fertilizers @ 100:50:50 kg/ha in 4 split doses are given.
- Transplanting and Optimum Spacing: The planting can be done in February-March at a spacing of 45X45 cm with irrigation. It is an irrigated crop.
- Intercropping System: The plant can be grown as pure crop in orchards of Mango and other trees.
- Interculture and Maintenance Practices: There is a profuse growth of weeds in the beds; hence it requires continuous hoeing and weeding. During monsoon months, it is essential to prevent water logging in the beds.
- Irrigation Practices: During dry months fortnightly irrigation is needed and needs drainage during rainy season.
- Disease and Pest Control: No disease, pests or any other physiological disorder was observed in the experimental plantation.
- Crop Maturity and Harvesting: The crop matures in 90 days period after planting. It is harvested through hand-cutting at fully grown leaf stage. The leaves are harvested in sunny weather to facilitate drying.
- Post-harvest Management: Unwanted material is sorted out from the crop before the harvested material is dried in shade.
- Chemical Constituents: Asiatic acid, asiaticoside, madecassic acid, brahmic acid, thankuniside, centellose. Total triterpinoids are in leaves and they are approximately 1.0% of leaves.
- Yield and Cost of Cultivation: As a pure crop, 10-12 t/ha/years yield is obtained by 3 harvests in a year. After second year, the yield begins to decline, needing fresh planting. Rs. 40000/- is the cost of cultivation for one hectare.
Centella asiatica in fieldTherapeutic Uses
- The whole plant has therapeutic values.
- It is used as nervine tonic, for improving memory and mental disorders.
- It is anti-leprosy, diuretic, stomachic and used in insomnia, asthma, abdominal disorders and fever.
- Decoction of the plant is given in the treatment of leprosy.