Fighting inflammation and oxidative damage in the liver
Centella asiatica's protective effect on skin and connective tissue has been known for centuries and plenty of studies in the last few decades have confirmed the validity of this traditional knowledge.
Gotu kola / centella asiatica possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and in this new study published this month it was shown that centella exerts the same anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and overall protective effects in the liver too.
Specifically, gotu kola reduced malondialdehyde (MDA), a marker of lipid oxidation, significantly increased the levels of antioxidant enzymes, such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase and catalase, and may have provided direct antioxidant protection against reactive oxygen species (ROS) too.
Furthermore, centella significantly reduced a host of inflammatory markers, including interleukin (IL)‑1β, IL‑2, IL‑6, IL‑10, IL‑12 and TNF‑alpha, among others!
The authors of the study concluded that "centella asiatica may be useful in preventing liver damage"
Clearly centella is not just an active for anti-cellulite creams or circulation-boosting supplements, and possesses diverse beneficial properties for multiple tissues and organs in the body. In addition to it's inclusion in creams and supplements, gotu kola can also be eaten as a salad or drunk as a herbal tea made with fresh or dried leaves.
- Paper: Protective effects of Centella asiatica leaf extract on dimethylnitrosamine‑induced liver injury in rats.
- Abstract: Oxidative stress in liver injury is a major pathogenetic factor in the progression of liver damage. Centella asiatica (L.) Urban, known in the United States as Gotu kola, is widely used as a traditional herbal medicine in Chinese or Indian Pennywort. The efficacy of Centella asiatica is comprehensive and is used as an anti‑inflammatory agent, for memory improvement, for its antitumor activity and for treatment of gastric ulcers. The present study investigated the protective effects of Centella asiatica on dimethylnitrosamine (DMN)‑induced liver injury in rats. The rats in the treatment groups were treated with Centella asiatica at either 100 or 200 mg/kg in distilled water (D.W) or with silymarin (200 mg/kg in D.W) by oral administration for 5 days daily following intraperitoneal injections of 30 mg/kg DMN. Centella asiatica significantly decreased the relative liver weights in the DMN‑induced liver injury group, compared with the control. The assessment of liver histology showed that Centella asiatica significantly alleviated mass periportal ± bridging necrosis, intralobular degeneration and focal necrosis, with fibrosis of liver tissues. Additionally, Centella asiatica significantly decreased the level of malondialdehyde, significantly increased the levels of antioxidant enzymes, including superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase and catalase, and may have provided protection against the deleterious effects of reactive oxygen species. In addition, Centella asiatica significantly decreased inflammatory mediators, including interleukin (IL)‑1β, IL‑2, IL‑6, IL‑10, IL‑12, tumor necrosis factor‑α, interferon‑γ and granulocyte/macrophage colony‑stimulating factor. These results suggested that Centella asiatica had hepatoprotective effects through increasing the levels of antioxidant enzymes and reducing the levels of inflammatory mediators in rats with DMN‑induced liver injury. Therefore, Centella asiatica may be useful in preventing liver damage.