Centella asiatica is a green to reddish annual climbing plant that belongs to the Umbelliferae family. Gotu kola is a tender plant, with numerous climbing stems with roots at the nodes.
Benefits: Centella asiatica has a complex composition that includes triterpenic saponins and genins, flavonoids (isoquercitrin, astragalin), tannins, phytosterols (beta sitosterol, stigmasterol, campesterol), amino acids, sugars, essential oil, fatty acids, etc. The plant has many important cosmetic benefits derived from its triterpene content. These benefits can be grouped into three main groups (Table): Stimulation of collagen synthesis, antioxidant and with activity on vascular tone.
-Stimulating activity of collagen synthesis: Centella asiatica triterpenes have modulating properties on the development and metabolism of connective tissue. In an animal study, a 0.2% solution of asiaticoside, applied topically twice daily for seven days, has been shown to produce a 57% increase in tensile strength, higher collagen content, and better epithelialization, in comparison. with a control. In cosmetic use, these substances could improve the recovery of skin subjected to stress induced by solar radiation, allowing a rapid recovery of elasticity.
-Antioxidant activity: Different studies show that centella extract is recommended when formulating cosmetic products to protect the skin and hair against oxidative processes.
Origin: This plant grows native in Asia, India, South Africa and different areas of China and America. Legend has it that tigers used to rub themselves with Tiger Grass (sparkle plant) to heal their wounds.
Traditional uses: The use of centella in the treatment of dermatological conditions has a long tradition in some regions of origin of this plant, such as India and Sri Lanka, where it is used to accelerate the healing of minor wounds, superficial burns and varicose ulcers. . Gotu kola has also traditionally been used as an anti-inflammatory, particularly in cases of eczema, as well as irritations.
The plant is harvested by hand every three months. A glycolic extract is obtained from the leaves that is used as an ingredient in cosmetics.