Native to India and the South of the United States, this plant is currently found throughout the Indian Ocean, from Madagascar to Indonesia, as well as in Australia and South Africa, preferring tropical and sub-tropical marshlands and river banks. It is a plant of the Apiaceae (Compositae) family and its aerial parts are commonly used. This plant contains mainly triterpene saponosides (asiaticoside and madecassosides), in which the genins (asian acid and madecassic acid) may be free or esterified by a tri-holoside. Other minor saponins present are centelloside, bramoside, bramonoside and centellosaponines B, C and D.
It also contains essential oil, tannins, alkaloids, sterols, flavonol glycosides and polyines.
The triterpene saponosides promote re-epithelialization and it is also helpful in the treatment of chronic venous insufficiency.
Centella is used for reducing cellulitis and wrinkles and for wound healing.
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