Maṇḍūka Parṇī (Gotu Kola)
Centella asiatica (syn. Hydrocotyle asiatica)
Madhuka Parni is a very good herb for clearing toxins from the liver, calming the mind, increasing intellectual capacity, and reducing high pitta in general. Its properties are very similar to Brahmi (for which it may be used as a substitute). Madhuka Parni and Brahmi are used in Ayurveda interchangeably and there seems to be some confusion between the two plants. Both plants are said to grow wild in the South Eastern part of Virginia. Other herbs with similar cooling and intellect stimulating properties are skullcap and gingko. The leaves of Madhuka Parni look like the cerebellum. It is a good example of the doctrine of signatures which states that if a plant resembles a something, that it will be good for treating the conditions related to that thing. Though madhuka parni and brahmi are both said to be good for increasing memory, brahmi is better for treating mental illness and stimulating spiritual awareness. Brahmi also has a more powerful quality of subtle / astral protection. Madhuka parni however has better properties for stimulating the flow of blood. It is good for all conditions of the veins including varicose veins. Madhuka parni is useful for treating wounds, scars, burns, and psoriasis. For varicose veins Madhuka parni may be cooked into sesame oil. 3 tsp of brahmi may be mixed with 4 tsp each of crushed fresh ginger and garlic pulp. This is cooked with 4 cup of water and one cup organic sesame oil slowly (for 4 to 10 hours) until all the water evaporates. Then the herbs are strained through several layers of cheesecloth and the oil is sealed in a bottle.