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Analysis of antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and skin-whitening effect of Centella asiatica (L.) Urban
J Plant Biotechnol 2018;45:117-124
Published online June 30, 2018
© 2018 The Korean Society for Plant Biotechnology.

Young-Min Goo1†*, Young Sook Kil1, Seung Mi Sin1, Dong Yeol Lee1, Won Min Jeong1, Keunhee Ko1, Ki jeung Yang1, Yun-Hee Kim2, Shin-Woo Lee3†*

1Gyeongnam Oriental Medicinal Herb Institute, Sancheong, 52215, Korea
2Department of Biology Education, College of Education, IALS, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju,52828, Korea
3Department of Agronomy & Medicinal Plant Resources, Gyeongnam National University of Science & Technology, JinJu, 52725,Korea
Correspondence to: Y.-M. Goo (✉) e-mail:
S.-W. Lee (✉) e-mail:
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Received May 21, 2018; Revised June 20, 2018; Accepted June 22, 2018.
cc This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
The imports of Centella asiatica L. Urban are increasing year-by-year due to the fact that its extract is a raw material used for skin wounds and in cosmetics. However, studies on the cultivation and identification of native C. asiatica species in Korea have been extremely rare. Therefore, this study was conducted in order to investigate the physiological and functional activity of Korean native C. asiatica plant cultivated in Hapcheon, Gyeongsangnam-do, Korea. As a result, the highest antibacterial and anti-inflammatory activities were examined with methanol extract while skin-whitening and wrinkle improvement were examined with water extract. Seven bacterium and one fungus were treated with 50% methanol extracts of C. asiatica and most of the bacterium showed similar or low levels of antibacterial activity compared to the control group of Omiza (Schisandra chinensis) extract, except for Streptococcus pyogenes, which showed higher antimicrobial activity than that of Omiza extract. However, neither C. asiatica and Omiza extracts showed antimicrobial activity against the fungus, C. albicans. The results of anti-inflammatory effect analyses with Raw 264.7 cells confirmed that the treatment of methanol extract reduced the level of NO by 50% or more compared to the control group. In addition, the water extract showed the highest reduction of melanin content of up to 20% more than the control group when examined with B16F10 cell line, indicating a significant skin-whitening effect. Furthermore, we were able to show the significant skin wrinkle improvement caused by C. asiatica extract with NHDF cell as an indicator, but strong cytotoxicity was also observed, suggesting that further studies are necessary.
Keywords : C. asiatica, antimicrobial activity, anti-inflammatory activity, skin whitening effect, skin wrinkle improvement

June 2018, 45 (2)
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