Centella asiatica, also known as ‘Vallarai’ in South India, belongs to the family of herbs that help in maintaining youthful vigour and strength, reveals Charaka, the foremost exponent of Ayurveda.
Apart from providing vigour and strength, it improves the receptive capacity of the mind, improves memory, voice, physical stamina, complexion and digestive capacity of the body. The herb is also advisable for diabetics and people suffering from anaemia. The extracts of the plant are also being used in cosmetology as an ingredient in face creams and anti-wrinkle creams.
Vallarai should however, not be confused with Brahmi, as the former is grown naturally on the banks of ponds, streams, rice fields and even at home without much effort. The leaves of the plant, which is slightly bitter in taste, could be dried and powdered, and a quarter teaspoon of the powder could be taken regularly as a general tonic by adults or could be included while cooking food.
Vallarai tonic is also found to improve memory power among children, when given in small proportions by mixing concentrated aqueous extracts with sugar and honey. The tonic does not require any terminal processing, except addition of milk, to a tablespoon of the tonic.
Vallarai, being a well-known traditional herb in India, is mainly used as an alternative tonic and diuretic, and with no side effects being found, it is safe for use. Pregnant women should however, consult a physician prior to use.