Centella asiatica (L.) Urb. has been used as an herbal brain tonic for mental disorders and enhancing memory, but no review of the overall evidence of C. asiatica and cognitive function has been conducted. This study aims to determine the effects of C. asiatica on cognitive function and its related properties. The current systematic review includes five randomized controlled trials (RCTs) conducted to determine the effect of C. asiatica alone and six RCTs conducted to determine the effect of C. asiatica-containing products. Meta-analysis indicated that there are no significant differences in all cognitive function domains of C. asiatica when compared to placebo. However, it could improve mood by increasing alert scores [SMD: 0.71 (95% CI; 0.01 to 1.41); I2 = 30.5%] and decreasing anger scores at 1 hour after treatment [SMD: -0.81 (95%CI; -1.51 to -0.09); I2 = 36.6%]. None of the studies reported adverse effects of C. asiatica. In conclusion, there is not strong evidence to support the use of C. asiatica for cognitive function improvement in each cognitive domain. C. asiatica could improve alertness and relieve anger. However, some limitations should be aware including dose regimen, plant preparation, standardization, and product variation. Future well-designed clinical trials using suitable doses of standardized C. asiatica are still needed.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.