Description of the species
Indian pennywort or Asiatic pennywort (Centella asiatica) has a worldwide distribution in the tropics and subtropics and is native to tropical America, Africa, India, West Pakistan, the People's Republic of China, Japan and the Pacific islands. The species prefers moist to swampy, humus-rich and nutrient-rich habitats at altitudes between 200 and 1900 metres. It is often found on riverbanks or in rice fields.
Usage of the species
Indian pennywort is used in traditional Chinese medicine and in Ayurvedic medicine in India for wound healing, mental disorders and arteriosclerosis. It is also said to have antibiotic, antifungal and cytostatic effects. According to Charaka, often considered the Father of Ayurveda, Indian pennywort is a very useful medicinal plant in preventing aging. Since about 2000, Indian pennywort has been increasingly used in Europe and North America by the wellness and cosmetics industry for that purpose. Extracts of the herb are used for skin tightening as well as skin rejuvenation and in anti-aging products, partly to the plants’ antioxidative properties.