|Indian Pennywort Or Thankuni|
The Thankuni in coloquial language or Indian Pennywort is another herb which has great significance in the world of Ayurveda. The Atharva veda has several commentaries attributed to the pennywort by various scholars since the vedic age. It has also been stated that lord Indra has been greatly benefited by the use of pennywort. The Atharva veda highlightes the significance of this herb by informing the readers its power of rejuvination of the merit and overall physical strength and energy. Taking the cue from the earlier sages Charak and his contemporaries after a painstaking introspection over their commentaries have utilised this herb as a remedy for various ailments. Except Bengal pennywort is rather known as " Brahmi ' in other parts of India but still controversy remains. But Brahmi that grows in Bengal is also known as pennywort which is found in muddy soil. Its botanical name is Bacopa monniera (Linn) Pennell belonging to the family Scrophulariaceae. Pennywort is actually a creeper plant. A very significant factor that still remains unsolved is regarding the taste of its juice from this plant as mentioned in Charak Susruta is different from what we find today. In Bengal the pennywort we find are of two types one with larger leaves and the other shorter ones. The last one is abundant in Cooch-behar of Bengal. This in particular is very effective during dycentry and other stomach ailments. The botanical name is Centella japonica. and the one with larger leaves is Centella asiatica (Linn) urban. Both belonging to family Umbellifarae. Importance of pennywort and uses:- (1) Five to six drops of the juice slightly warmed and mixed with a cup of milk and a little sugar helps to bring back the lost charisma and galmour. This has to be taken on a regular basis for a considerable period. Sugar should be avoided for those suffering from acidity. (2) Those who are suffering from hairloss due to lack of proper nutrition the juice from the leaves of pennywort taken in the procedure mentioned above is useful to a great extent. (3) The same process of taking the leaf juice stated above is extremely helpful for those who suffer from exccesive sweating. But need to be mentioned that this has to be continued for a long time to get the desired result. (4) Improper movement of bowels due to mucus formation associated with gas and occassional headache; a lightly warmed three to four teaspoon full of pennywort juice mixed with equal quantity of raw milk is a good antidote. (5) The same mixture is used by ayurvedists to treat patients suffering from habitual amnesia but added to one spoonful of honey and half cup of milk. They use the same pennywort as " Brahmi " too. However forgetfulness takes place due to lack of proper nutrition also. (6) For a normal wound where nothing is found at hand pennywort leaf boiled in hot water and washing the affected area with this liquid acts as a good antidote on the other hand clarified butter from the juice of this plant too is a good remedy. Chemical Composition:- Acids viz. pecific acid, centotic acid, centellic acid. Alkaloids viz. hydrocotyline, vellarine. Steroids viz. betasitosterol, gamasitosterol. Glycosides viz. asiaticoside, resinous substances. Fat.