There are So Many All Around Benefits of Including Centella Asiatica in Your Skin Care
The addition of centella asiatica in skin care has been a long standing and historical practice since 200 B.C. (see below).
Centella asiatica, is also known as gotu kola, Indian pennywort, brahmi, or spade leaf. It is an ancient healing plant, and it’s making a comeback in the modern science of preventing skin aging.
Centella asiatica (often just called centella) is rich in amino acids, beta carotene, fatty acids, and numerous potent phytochemicals. Extracts have been found to calm inflammation, speed wound healing, stimulate new cell growth, build collagen, and improve circulation.
Lately, thanks to a new round of research into centella asiatica's wound-healing and skin rejuvenation properties, this herb has been turning up in a skin treatments (like our toner and setting spray).
Here's what history and science tells us about why you might want to read ingredient lists to find anti-aging skin serums and creams containing gotu kola.
Centella Asiatica Has a Long History of Skin Healing
A member of the parsley family, centella asiatica is used in cooking and as a medicine in India and China. In South India, the elephant’s long memory is attributed to centella, a favorite pachyderm food. One of the first mentions of centella asiatica can be found in the Chinese “Shennong Herbal ” dating to 200 to 100 BC. There it is noted as the “Fountain of Life.”
In Ayurveda, centella asiatica is referred to as “a pharmacy in one herb,” and is cherished for brain, nervous system, and memory support.
Few medicinal plants have as long a history as centella asiatica; there's evidence it was used even by prehistoric man. Known in Chinese medicine as gotu kola, it's listed among the "miracle elixirs of life" and mentioned in legends as the herb that helped a famous sage live past 200.
In India, centella has a host of names including mandukparni, jalbrahmi, and just plain brahmi (not to be confused with bacopa monnieri, another ayurvedic plant also called brahmi). A centerpiece of Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years, it's used to treat infected wounds, syphilis, eczema, psoriasis, lupus, and female disorders.
In England, where it's known by the lowly name pennywort for it's coin-shaped leaves, it was one of the earliest treatments for leprosy. In France, centella was first identified and accepted as a pharmaceutical agent in the 1800s for its use treating diarrhea, dysintery, and female issues including infertility.
Taken internally, usually as a tea or other beverage, it is considered an effective treatment for fever, dysentery, hepatitis, and recent research shows it boosts memory and relieves depression and anxiety. In Thailand, centella is drunk as a cold beverage and considered a turn-back-the-clock health tonic.
What the Science Shows
An overview in the Indian Journal of Medicine calls centella asiatica a "potential herbal cure-all" while a research summary published in Phytomedicine, says: "Centella asiatica has been subjected to quite extensive experimental and clinical investigations."
Recently, researchers delving into how centella asiatica heals wounds have identified specific plant chemicals called triterpenoid saponins (more specifically asiaticoside, brahmoside, brahminoside, madecassoside and madecassic or madasiatic acid) that have been shown to help heal wounds by boosting antioxidants, increasing the blood supply to the area and strengthening the skin.
There's also good evidence that centella asiatica helps repair veins. Recent research shows that centella, unlike some herbal extracts, is able to penetrate the skin well enough to be utilized effectively.
Scientists are experimenting with applying gotu kola to treat burns, prevent scars, treat psoriasis, and decrease stretch marks.
In fact, centella asiatica’s circulation-boosting abilities are so powerful that it's been used as an effective treatment for varicose veins and broken capillaries and to break down cellulite by shrinking the connective tissues that bind fat cells under the skin.
A very recent study show that including the ingredient centella asiatica in your skin care can significantly decrease inflammation of the skin, reduce oxidation on the surface of the skin, significantly reduce skin redness, and increase water content and hydration on the skin’s surface.
10 Benefits of Centella Asiatica for Your Skin
1. Wound Healing. For centuries, centella asiatica has been used to heal wounds and keep them clean. This is especially handy for those who like to periodically use a chemical peel or microneedle treatment. A recent study has shown that just 1% of centella asiatica in a product can decrease the severity of a topical infection considerably.
2. Eczema & Psoriasis Healing. Centella asiatica’s calming effects combined with it’s anti inflammatory benefits, makes it a superb fit for treating eczema or psoriasis flare ups.
3. Scar Reduction. Centella asiatica’s multitude of benefits can help reduce the appearance of scarring and acne scars. With the regular use of a product that contains centella, collagen production is increase, discoloration is reduced, and irritation is mitigated.
4. Collagen Production. Stimulating collagen synthesis is important for anti aging. A recent study describes that use of centella asiatica consistently helped the stimulation of collagen synthesis for tissue regeneration and additional antioxidant benefits.
5. Firming and Toning. Because centella asiatica helps promote fibroblast proliferation and increases the synthesis of collagen, it then can help improve the tensile strength of newly formed skin. This all results in renewed, firmer more toned skin.
6. Elasticity Improvement. Centella asiatica is very rich in chlorophyll, with additional nutrients like zinc, selenium, copper, amino acids, and beta-carotene. It provides a soothing effect to the skin and can also help promote skin cell growth, making your skin look strong and more fit.
7. Acne & Sebum Reduction. Since centella asiatica has the unique ability to calm and repair skin, one of the benefits of this process is less acne and a more balanced sebum production. This can help put an end to the volatile acne you might be experiencing or excessively oily skin that can be associated with hormones or seasonal changes.
8. UVB Protection. A 2012 Korean study showed that centella asiatica helped protect the skin from the damaging effects of too much UVB exposure. Centella asiatica has a unique way of strengthening the skin and then therefore protecting the skin, like an invisible barrier.
9. Antioxidant Protection. Centella asiatica is such a strong antioxidant, it’s been known to prevent E.coli in medical studies. It is considered just about equally effective as vitamin c or grape seed extract when it comes to antioxidant properties.
10. Reduced Inflammation. Centella asiatica is such a strong ingredient for reducing inflammation, it has been used for centuries by scientists to treat ulcers, eczema, skin tuberculosis, wounds, stomach aches, arthritis, varicose veins and high blood pressure. You can be sure that including it in your topical products will help calm a long list of skin ailments and help heal skin faster after evasive treatments.
Our organic firming and hydrating toner contains centella asiatica and it's just the thing for setting cosmetics or a quick pick me up during the day.
Including the ingredient centella asiatica in your skin care routine is a really important way to offer all around benefits to your skin. Whether you suffer from any specific skin ailments, centella asiatica has been proven to help combat those issues – ranging from environmental damage, inflammation, loss of firmness, and the effects of acne. Centella asiatica can help consistently keep your skin healthy, younger looking, and calmer.
One of our best selling products includes centella asiatica. Take a look here:
Questions? Please contact me direct at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jeanette | Formulator & Herb Expert at Claribelskincare.com