Pennywort Health Benefits

History and Other Names

The health benefits of the pennywort plant were acknowledged many centuries ago for the treatment of various conditions. It is used as part of ayurvedic medicine, especially in traditional Indian and Chinese medicine practices.

Pennywort is a perennial herb that originates in moist areas. It is native to India, Sri Lanka, and Northern Australia as well as a few other areas in Asia.

Pennywort has been associated with a few Asian legends. It is alleged that a Tai Chi Chuan master, Li Ching-Yun, lived to the age of 256 years due to an assortment of herbs he consumed daily, one being pennywort.

Another tale is of King Aruna and his use of pennywort. He believed it gave him the energy and stamina necessary for his harem of 50 women.

Pennywort is also known as:

  • Centella asiatica
  • Gotu kola
  • Asiatic and indian pennywort
  • Grahmi
  • Marsh pennywort
  • Common pennywort
  • Waternavel
  • Sombrevillo de agua
  • Bachelor's buttons
  • Penny grass

The various names originate from the regions and languages in which it is used in around the world.

How It Works

  • This herb works by averting a disorderly manner of the absorption of nutrition and corrects this process through an improved progression of digestion of nutrients.
  • Pennywort has antibacterial, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • It contains vitamins B1, B2, B3, and B6 as well as calcium, magnesium, sodium, manganese, and zinc.

Health Benefits

The benefits of pennywort tea are numerous and many people use this tea as a health tonic. Maintaining youth and the treatment of arthritis are its most popular use.

It is recognized as a longevity herb because of its ability to help rebuild connective tissue, which in turn, can slow the aging process.


Plus, it has been commended as a great antidote for improving memory and, therefore, considered food for the brain. Studies have indicated that consuming 2-4 raw pennywort leaves a day may help sharpen alertness and memory and rejuvenate the brain.

There is important research being conducted to observe the effects this herb can have on those suffering with Alzheimer’s disease.

Nervous System

The central nervous system can receive amazing benefits with the consumption of pennywort. This herb works well in relaxing the mind and can assist in certain nervous disorders, senility, strokes, ADD, and epilepsy. It can be utilized as a nerve tonic when coping with mental stress and fatigue and encourage sleep due to a nervous condition.

Immune System

Pennywort can help protect our immune system from toxins. High blood pressure, congestive heart failure, venereal diseases and urinary tract infections are a few of a range of illnesses that can be treated with this remarkable herb.

Because of its antibiotic properties, it has the capability to speed up the healing process of wounds. Furthermore, pennywort can improve blood flow while also reinforcing veins and capillaries, making them stronger.

It is effective in bringing down fever and treating dysentery in children, which is a severe form of diarrhea.

Circulation and Skin Conditions

Studies have shown it to be beneficial in healing and preventing phlebitis, leg cramps, and blood clots as well as decreasing the appearance of varicose veins.

Pennywort has also proved to cleanse and purify the blood stream and can remedy certain skin conditions such as eczema, chronic ulcers, sores, and scleroderma, which is a condition that hardens the skin. A powder can be made from the leaves of this plant and applied to the eruptions on the skin. 

Side Effects

There are possible side effects of this herb and it should only be taken under the advise of your doctor. It is advised to follow the recommended doses, as increased use can lead to complications with your health.

It may increase cholesterol and blood sugar levels, therefore, it should be avoided by those with high cholesterol or diabetic individuals. It should not be used during pregnancy due to the possibility of miscarriage.

Before implementing pennywort into your diet, consult your doctor first to see if it's safe for you.



Comments 59 comments

Fiddleman profile image

Fiddleman 5 years ago from Zirconia, North Carolina

This is one herb I hadn't heard unless it has a different local name. Many here in the Blue Ridge use herbs as medicines.

peterdros 5 years ago

Nice, herb diet.Nice written hub!!!!!!!!

rls8994 profile image

rls8994 5 years ago from Mississippi Author


This plant does have several other names such as Brahmi, Kula Kud and Gotu kola to name a few. Thanks so much for your comment :)


Thank you for reading and so glad you liked it :)

Dom 5 years ago

It is called Rau Ma in Vietnamese.

Baz 5 years ago

Half crippled with arthritis in knees. After 2 weeks am bending again and walking with less than half the pain. I'm sold

alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

I've never even heard of this herb. I wonder if it grows in Southern California. Voting this Up and Interesting.

rls8994 profile image

rls8994 4 years ago from Mississippi Author

From what I have read I'm pretty sure that it does. It's an amazing herb with so many healthy benefits for our health. Thanks so much for your comment!

Stacie L profile image

Stacie L 4 years ago

well this is a new one for me. i research herbs and alternative medicine and this one is one I've never heard of til now .Good.

rls8994 profile image

rls8994 4 years ago from Mississippi Author

I actually stumbled upon it one day and was impressed with its abilities. Thanks for your comment :)

markbennis 4 years ago

This was interesting and learned something new, I like the thought of organic healing methods and believe Mother Nature has a cure or remedy for every need on the planet. So much to re learn and discover, thanks voted up!

rls8994 profile image

rls8994 4 years ago from Mississippi Author


I too believe these plants are not utilized as much as they should be and that we are just now starting to see how beneficial they can be to our health. Thanks so much for taking the time to read my article. I appreciate it so much :)

Guest 4 years ago

Is this the same as dollar weed. It grows wildfire in St Augustine!

rls8994 profile image

rls8994 4 years ago from Mississippi Author

Yes, dollar weed is another name for pennywort. Thanks for taking the time to read my article :)

Scott 4 years ago

My Filipina friend gave me a few roots last October. I planted them in a 12-16 quart planter in my yard and they grew hogwild after a slow start. Ran out ofHBP med 2 days ago, so broke off 2 leaves with about 2 inches of stem each, rinsed and ate raw...felt my BP going down in about 5-10 minutes.

Dan 4 years ago

If any one is having trouble finding this herb, you can usually get it at your local asian food market!

rls8994 profile image

rls8994 4 years ago from Mississippi Author


That is amazing. So glad that this herb did that for you. Pennywort has so many health benefits. Thanks so much for reading :)


Thank you for your insight on where to find this herb and thanks for reading :)

tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York

Like those above, I've never heard of pennywort but after reading this hub I want to learn more. The comment by Baz definitely makes this more interesting. It seems the benefits are extraordinary. So glad you wrote this! Voted up, interesting, and so very useful.

Mk 4 years ago

My mom always use it to lower my temperature whenever I have hight temperature in my body , we make juice out of pennywort and then mixe it with young fresh coconut water.

rls8994 profile image

rls8994 4 years ago from Mississippi Author

Hi tillsontitian, I came across pennywort one day as I was researching another herb and was amazed at its potential health benefits. It is definitely worth looking into. Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. I appreciate it! :)

rls8994 profile image

rls8994 4 years ago from Mississippi Author

Mk, that is great that it has done that for you. I have never thought of mixing with coconut water. I will try that. Thanks so much for your comment :)

James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago

I must confess that I had never heard of pennywort. I appreciate the education about this miraculous plant. Thank you for an excellent and needful Hub. :-)

rls8994 profile image

rls8994 4 years ago from Mississippi Author


I had never heard of it either until I found it one day when I was looking for information on another herb. It seems to work great for a lot of people and is well worth checking out. Thanks for your comments as always :)

Calif 4 years ago

Go to any Chinese stores like lion or ranch99 ,you will get pennywort juice

Calif 4 years ago


Thanks for publishing such an informative article on pennywort.

Let me share one personnel experience on this pennywort herb...

I was born and brought up in some village in south east Asia(India),when I was a kid, I was too bad at studies due to lack of memory and focus...

At that age,My grandmother suggested me to eat this pennywort leaves to improve my memory

I took that suggestion seriously and started eating pennywort leaves almost every day continuously for 3-4 years (pennywort leaves were too bitter to eat,but believe me getting used to bitterness will bring sweetness one fine day :-)) after few years of eating pennywort I literally started developing good memory,focus,knowledge, brain power etc...

Here I'm with good engineering graduation working for leading software org in California :-)

rls8994 profile image

rls8994 4 years ago from Mississippi Author

Hi Calif

That is great! I have heard some amazing testimonies about this herb. It is truly something wonderful. So happy it did great things for you and has helped you with what sounds like a great career. Thanks so much for your comments and reading! :)

rls8994 profile image

rls8994 4 years ago from Mississippi Author

Thanks for the tip! :)

Henry Truong 4 years ago

I grow them in my backyard here in Virginia. You can buy the seeds from ebay or

BC 4 years ago

Just had a pennywort juice made fresh and the local supermarket, might have to make a habit of it, thanks for the info on this page.

rls8994 profile image

rls8994 4 years ago from Mississippi Author

Hi BC, I think that would be a great habit to have :) Thanks so much for reading and I'm glad you found it useful.

Suharni 4 years ago

Thk you for the above info. Recently I found this herbs and has been juicing it. Add green apples for that little natural sweetness.

Maribel 4 years ago

It's going to sound strange in how I heard of pennywort since I'm not much of a reader. In a movie. But now I'm having a hard time finding in Austin TX.

rls8994 profile image

rls8994 3 years ago from Mississippi Author


Thanks for the great tip and for reading :)

Le 3 years ago

I've been consuming this herb for years and i was told that its good for facial skin. Keeps you cool that way u dont sweat and keeps dirt from getting into your pores. My parents also use it for soups, helps extract the leaves. But i prefer it as a drink. Find a way to grind it into a paste then add water and sugar

rls8994 profile image

rls8994 3 years ago from Mississippi Author


Thanks for the other suggested uses for this herb. I was unaware of its use for facial skin.This is really an amazing plant that is so beneficial to our health. Thanks so much for reading and your comments :)

helen 3 years ago

Thanks for great info. Have been trying to find this in Ireland. Garden centre never heard of it. Would Asian shops have it here and if I got seeds do you know would it grow in our wet cold climate. Many thanks

rls8994 profile image

rls8994 3 years ago from Mississippi Author


So glad that you found this information useful. This herb can be ordered many places on the internet if the Asian shops do not have it. Pennywort likes wet climates so you should be able to grow it without a problem. Thanks so much for reading! :)

Joe 3 years ago

I literally have thousands in my yard

rls8994 profile image

rls8994 3 years ago from Mississippi Author


Thanks for reading!

Una Harrison 2 years ago

Many years ago I came across an item in a magazine, an elderly couple had been crippled with arthritis and told how Pennywort had given them back their pain free life.

I found a plant in a local nursery and bought it home, planted in my shade house alongside orchids etc. Promptly forgot about it, as you do (as I could do). 2 days ago I was diagnosed with arthritis in my neck spine. Since I usually have a high tolerance to pain, I became concerned that the pain in my neck was getting more severe. An x ray showed the problem and I was advised to take pain/anti-inflammatory medication.

Then I remembered my very large tub of healthy Pennywort. I am now going to do with this wonderful plant what I intended to do in the first place. I will also take a visit to a local Homeopathy clinic, a place where I was able to get amazing results and remove a condition of incontinence. Thanks Daren Grech, a naturopath, you gave me back my life.

Thank you so much. Una Harrison

rls8994 profile image

rls8994 2 years ago from Mississippi Author

Una Harrison

I'm so sorry you have this painful diagnosis. Neck and back pain can be so debilitating. I have heard many stories of how pennywort has helped so many. I do hope it can bring you much relief from your condition. Good thing you have a hearty supply of it! :)

Thanks so much for reading and leaving your comment! :)

cygnetbrown profile image

cygnetbrown 2 years ago from Alton, Missouri

The leaves remind me of nasturtiums. It certainly is amazing how valuable plants can be to our health.

sam 2 years ago

These plants have medicinal value and is ayurvedic.we bought some of the plants from a store in Liverpool in scott street. think was vinayak spice shop at 25 scott st.

we have placed some orders for aloe vera , pennywort and tulsi. these herbs are amazing .

rls8994 profile image

rls8994 2 years ago from Mississippi Author

I have been so surprised of the health benefits of plants since I begin studing them. Some of them are just amazing at what they can do. Thanks so much for your comment! :)

rls8994 profile image

rls8994 2 years ago from Mississippi Author

Yes, they really are amazing! Thanks so much for reading and commenting :)

suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM

Fascinating hub on pennywort. It is everywhere and so plentiful. I never knew of its health benefits and I thank you for writing this article to inform us of how healthy and helpful it is to our well being. Voted up+ and shared.

Khin Zaw 2 years ago

It's called Myin Khwar in Burmese. It's a traditional Myanmar herbal medicine and used for various diseases as well as tonic good for brain and eye power.

rls8994 profile image

rls8994 2 years ago from Mississippi Author

So glad you found this hub helpful. It really is an amazing herb. Thanks so much for your sweet comment! :)

rls8994 profile image

rls8994 2 years ago from Mississippi Author

Thanks for reading and your comment :)

poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 19 months ago

It looks like an herb well worth checking out.

rls8994 profile image

rls8994 19 months ago from Mississippi Author


It seems to be a very beneficial plant that has apparently helped many with various ailments.

Thanks so much for reading and commenting! :)

Khin Oo 16 months ago

In Burma we call this plant as Horse Shoe Leaves

Larry Rankin profile image

Larry Rankin 14 months ago from Oklahoma

Was not familiar with the pennywort plant. Very informative.

miriam 13 months ago

Thanks for the information. i started drinking last night,& i like it

Usha Umapathi 6 months ago

In India it's been used from ancient times for many of the purposes that you have mentioned as well as to make hair oil. Thanks for all this information. It's an easy to grow plant in the tropics.

Richard Pham 4 months ago

Pennywort is called rau ma in Vietnamese, you can almost find this in all vietnamese restaurant. Very beneficial and healthy it aides quickly in loosening up hard stool adding fiber to it and makes it more liquid. It is normally blended into a juice drink in the restaurant and taste very good.

Lo 2 weeks ago

Bad for high cholesterol and diabetic individual,, hard to believe. I love this drink but im pre diabetic got to think twice now if I should continue drinking this stuff.

ummar 2 weeks ago

In Malaysia we called it as daun pegaga and we eat it raw with rice.

Van 6 days ago

Do you get this plant anywhere in New Zealand? It sounds like a wonder plant!

Sujoy Ghosh 2 days ago

I am from India.On a visit to my elder daughter in Australia her mother-in-law recommended Pennywort leaves,in Bengali,an Indian language,it is known as 'thankuni pata'.I have been taking it regularly every morning on an empty stomach and my knee pain due to arthritis, is no longer felt.I have not felt any side effects though I am close to eighty and am able to walk very freely.Sujoy Ghosh

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