Centella asiatica (Indian pennywort), an effective therapeutic but a weak sensitizer

Contact Dermatitis. 1993 Oct;29(4):175-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0536.1993.tb03532.x.


The sensitizing capacity of Centella asiatica (raw extract) and its triterpenic constituents asiaticoside, asiatic acid and madecassic acid has been studied in guinea pigs. The extract itself as well as the 3 acids were found to be very weak sensitizers. Centella asiatica extract is used effectively in the treatment of keloids, leg ulcers, phlebitis, slow-healing wounds, leprosy, surgical lesions, striae distensae and cellulitis. Although applied frequently to damaged skin, the risk of acquiring contact sensitivity to this plant or its constituents is low.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / immunology
  • Desensitization, Immunologic*
  • Female
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Humans
  • Intradermal Tests
  • Patch Tests
  • Pentacyclic Triterpenes
  • Plant Extracts / immunology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Plants, Medicinal*
  • Terpenes / immunology
  • Terpenes / therapeutic use
  • Triterpenes / immunology
  • Triterpenes / therapeutic use*


  • Pentacyclic Triterpenes
  • Plant Extracts
  • Terpenes
  • Triterpenes
  • asiatic acid
  • madecassic acid