Mandukaparni: Health Benefits, Uses and Side effects
Mandukaparni, commonly known as Gotu Kola,is a fragrant perennial herb. The leaves of Mandukaparni have a shape and look like skinned frog legs (mandook = frog and parni = leaf). It is a vine with roots on the branch nodes. The scientific name of Mandukaparni is Centella asiatica.
It is found in temperate and tropical climates and cultivated all over the world. Mandukaparni is a flowering plant found in the Asian regions and used as a medicine in cooking.
Medicinal Properties of Mandukaparni
Mandukaparni contains various medicinal properties that help to treat various ailments in the body. These are as follows-
- Adaptogen-Helps the body adapt to stress.
- Analgesic-Relieves pain.
- Angiogenic-Promotes the formation of new blood vessels.
- Anticonvulsant-Prevents or relieves seizures.
- Antidepressant-Relief from depression.
- Anti-inflammatory-Reduces inflammation.
- Antipyretic / Antifebrile-Effective against fever.
- Antirheumatic-Reduction or prevention of rheumatism.
- Anti-stress-Relieve stress.
- Anticancer-Prevents or inhibits tumor growth.
- Antiulcer-Tends to treat ulcers.
- Diuretics-Promotes excretion of urine.
- Depurative-Purifying agent.
- Immunomodulatory-Alters the immune response or immune system function.
- Sedative-Promotes calm or encourages sleep.
Importance of Mandukaparni in Ayurveda
According to Ayurveda, the nervous system is managed by Vata. Vata imbalance causes poor mental alertness. Mandukaparni helps improve mental alertness and memory due to its Medhya (brain-tonic) properties.
Benefits of Mandukaparni
The main cause of indigestion is a decrease in kapha, which leads to Agnimandya (bad digestive fire). Taking Mandukaparni helps increase Agni (digestive fire) and ease the digestion of food due to its deepan (appetizer) properties, thereby treatingindigestion.
Mandukaparni helps in reducing anxiety due to its anxiolytic activity. This reduces the effect of some of the mediators that cause anxiety. It also controls the function of neurotransmitters by balancing behavioral changes and hormone release.
Diabetes is caused by an increase in Vata dosha. This increases the buildup of Ama or toxins in the body. Mandukaparni balances Vata in the body and helps to eliminate toxins. It acts as a deepan or appetizer with pachan or digestive properties that control high blood sugar. Thus, Mandukaparni helps in the treatment of diabetes.
Treats Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)-
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is caused by an imbalance in the Pitta Dosha. Consuming Mandukaparni balances the Pitta and increases urine flow. Production of urine helps to cure swelling in the urinary tract.
Prevents liver problems-
Liver problems are caused by an imbalance in Pitta Dosha. When Pitta reduces, liver function begins to fail. Mandukaparni balances and improves the Pitta Dosha and thus also treats liver problems.
Uses of Mandukaparni
For cracked heels-Make a paste of mandukaparni powder with7 parts of bee wax and apply it on the cracks of the heels..
To increase attention-1 gram of Mandukaparni powder twice daily with milk helps to increase concentration.
For depression- Mandukaparni powder mixed withMukta Pishti and Jatamansi powder helps relieve depression.
To improve mental abilities-Mandukaparni powder mixed withghee helps to boost the brain thereby enhancing mental capabilities.
To reduce anxiety-Mandukaparni powder along withShankhpushpi powder helps reduce anxiety.
For insomnia-3 grams of Mandukaparni powder should be taken with milk at bedtime to relievethe problem of insomnia.
In wound healing-External application of Mandukaparni helps to heal the wound quickly.
Side effects of Mandukaparni
- It should not be given to people with epilepsy, especially children.
- It is best to avoid it during pregnancy.
- It affects the menstrual cycle.
- It can also cause itchy and red skin.
- Excessive intake can cause problems such as headache, poisoning, hallucination and dizziness.
Where is it found?
Mandukaparni is found in the Southeast Asian Countries such as India, Sri Lanka, China, Madagascar, and Indonesia.