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Side Effects of Centella asiatica (Tiger Grass)

Side Effects of Centella asiatica (Tiger Grass)

Centella asiatica is an herbaceous plant with many beneficial properties for the skin. Its biochemical composition, rich in antioxidant compounds, prevents and reduces the signs of aging, brightens the complexion and soothes skin irritation. Nevertheless, are there any dangers and side effects associated with its use?

Centella asiatica – An Overview

Centella asiatica is a climbing herbaceous plant in the umbellifer family (Apiaceae) native to Asia and Oceania. Also known as tiger grass, gotu kola or hydrocotyl, the plant has been known for over 2,000 years for its medicinal properties and its ability to accelerate wound healing processes. For example, it was used by Asians in the form of poultices to treat wounds and especially the skin manifestations of leprosy. Tiger grass extract is a source rich in natural bioactive substances: saponins, triterpenoids, flavonoids, phenolic acids, triterpensteroids, amino acids, sugar....

In cosmetics, this plant has been used since the early 1970s in the form of powder or vegetable oil. Today, this herbal ingredient can be found in certain skin care products for sallow skin or for the prevention of skin aging, such as serums and creams. Tiger grass is also an ingredient in skin care products for wound healing and repair, to soften the appearance of skin marks and/or stretch marks. It is also found in eye creams to soften the appearance of dark circles and puffiness, as well as in hair care products.

Centella asiatica Used on the Skin: Side Effects and Contraindications.

This ingredient contained in skin and hair care products under the name I.N.C.I. "Centella Asiatica Extract" is allowed in organic products, but its content is not regulated by the European regulation on cosmetic products.

This herbal ingredient is generally well tolerated by all skin types. Only very rare cases of allergy in the form of contact dermatitis have been reported with topical application. These allergic reactions can lead to increased sensitization of the epidermis to sun rays, up to and including solar urticaria, which manifests itself in the form of red pimples. To avoid this, the product should be applied to the crook of the elbow beforehand. If redness occurs, you should stop using the product.

There are no side effects associated with the cosmetic use of Centella asiatica. Regardless of whether this ingredient is in the form of powder or vegetable oil.

Sources :

  • BRZEZINSKA M. & al. Centella asiatica in cosmetology. Postepy Dermatologii I Alergologii (2013).

  • LIU T. & al. Therapeutic Potential of Centella asiatica and its triterpenes: a review. Frontiers in Pharmacology (2020).


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