I was visiting Chiang Mai-Thailand during the 2000s. It was the first time, I knowing other Centella asiatica benefits as an edible plant. When visiting one of the traditional markets, my colleagues offering special juice, named Bai-bua-bok juice (they said that is broken heart juice). 

The juice was green and fresh with ice. The taste is very yummy.  And from the taste, directly I realize that “this is the Pennyworth juice”. Khiewchanta.com, mention some benefits of Bai bua bok is good for the heart, refreshing our body, and maintain our blood pressure. 

Centella asiatica benefits

Pennyworth, with the Latin name Centella asiatica (L.), commonly known as Pegagan in Bahasa Indonesia, or Asiatic Pennyworth, natively came from South East Asia, such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand.  Also known as mandukparni or jalbrahmi in India and Gotu kola in China.  Indonesian people have already known Centella asiatica benefits and use it as food and medicine since a long time ago

Pennyworth has many local names in Indonesia, which is proofed that Pennyworth is common and become one of important plant for Indonesian peoples.  Some local name, such as antanan/rendeng (javanese), antanan ageung (sundanese), kos tekosan (Madura), pegaga (Makassar), dau tungke (Bugis), kori-kori (Halmahera), kolotidi manora (Ternate).

Pennyworth is edible and delicious.  All parts of the plants are edible, leaf, stem, and root, but usually leaf in the most common part.  Peoples in java consume Pennyworth in fresh also boiled first and put the salad. 

The benefits

Pennyworth is also well known as “food for the brain”.  Many peoples also named Indonesian Ginko biloba, because of the efficacy of Pennyworth for the brain.  Some reports from the scientific studies also mention the good activity of active compounds from Pennyworth for our brain. Chemical compounds known to work for neuroprotective are two major triterpene saponosides (asiatic and madecassic acids).

Based on ancient experience and folk remedies, Pennyworth has been used as a treatment for some diseases, such as wound healing, cardiovascular, anxiety, and rheumatism.  One scientific report also reviews some laboratory work to study the benefit of Pennyworth for Venous insufficiency, Sedative and anxiolytic, Antidepressant, Antiepileptic, Cognitive and antioxidant, Gastric ulcer, Antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory, Radiation protection


Ilkay Erdogan Orhan. 2012.  Centella asiatica (L.) Urban: From Traditional Medicine to Modern Medicine with Neuroprotective Potential. Evid Based Complement.  2012

Kashmira J. Gohil, Jagruti A. Patel, and Anuradha K. Gajjar. 2010. Pharmacological Review on Centella asiatica: A Potential Herbal Cure-all. Indian J Pharm.  2010. Sep-Oct; 72(5): 546–556. 

Categories: Medicinal

Muryanto Paiman

always love to learn from nature.  Passionate on studying plants in some aspects: the DNA, Identification, propagation, and their uses