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Bacopa monnieri

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Bacopa monnieri (waterhyssop, brahmi,<ref name=GRIN>Template:Cite web</ref> thyme-leafed gratiola, water hyssop, herb of grace,<ref name=GRIN/> Indian pennywort<ref name=GRIN/>) is a perennial, creeping herb native to the wetlands of southern India, Australia, Europe, Africa, Asia, and North and South America.<ref name=GRIN/> Bacopa is a medicinal herb used in Ayurveda, where it is also known as "Brahmi," after Brahmā, the creator God of the Hindu pantheon.



Bacopa monnieri in Hyderabad, India

The leaves of this plant are succulent, oblong and Template:Convert thick. Leaves are oblanceolate and are arranged oppositely on the stem. The flowers are small and white, with four to five petals. Its ability to grow in water makes it a popular aquarium plant. It can even grow in slightly brackish conditions. Propagation is often achieved through cuttings.<ref name="Purdue">Template:Cite web</ref>


It commonly grows in marshy areas throughout India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, China, Pakistan, Taiwan, and Vietnam. It is also found in Florida, Hawaii and other southern states of the United States where it can be grown in damp conditions by a pond or bog garden.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> This plant can be grown hydroponically.

Traditional uses

Bacopa has been used in traditional Ayurvedic treatment for epilepsy and asthma.<ref name=rajani>Template:Cite book</ref> It is also used in Ayurveda for ulcers, tumors, ascites, enlarged spleen, inflammations, leprosy, anemia, and gastroenteritis.<ref name="Purdue"/>


Brahmi is also the name given to Centella asiatica, particularly in North India, and Kerala where it is also identified in Malayalam as muttil (മുത്തിള്‍) or kodakan. This identification of brāhmī as C. asiatica has been in use for long in northern India, as Hēmādri's Commentary on Aṣṭāṅgahṛdayaṃ (Āyuṛvēdarasāyanaṃ) treats maṇḍūkapaṛṇī (C. asiatica) as a synonym of brahmi,<ref name="Warrier et al">Template:Cite book</ref><ref>Template:Cite book</ref> although that may be a case of mistaken identification that was introduced during the 16th century.<ref>Template:Cite book</ref>

Bacopa monnieri was initially described around the 6th century A.D. in texts such as the Charaka Samhita, Atharva-Veda, and Susrut Samhita as a medhya rasayana–class herb taken to sharpen intellect and attenuate mental deficits. The herb was allegedly used by ancient Vedic scholars to memorize lengthy sacred hymns and scriptures.

Chemical constituents

The best characterized compounds in Bacopa monnieri are dammarane-type triterpenoid saponins known as bacosides, with jujubogenin or pseudo-jujubogenin moieties as aglycone units.<ref>Template:Cite journal</ref> Bacosides comprise a family of 12 known analogs.<ref>Template:Cite journal</ref> Other saponins called bacopasides I–XII have been identified more recently.<ref>Template:Cite journal</ref> The alkaloids brahmine, nicotine, and herpestine have been catalogued, along with D-mannitol, apigenin, hersaponin, monnierasides I–III, cucurbitacin and plantainoside B.<ref>Template:Cite journal</ref><ref>Template:Cite journal</ref><ref>Bhandari P, Kumar N, Singh B, Kaul VK. Cucurbitacins from Bacopa monnieri. Phytochemistry 2007.</ref>

The constituent most studied has been bacoside A, which was found to be a blend of bacoside A3, bacopacide II, bacopasaponin C, and a jujubogenin isomer of bacosaponin C.<ref>Template:Cite journal</ref> These assays have been conducted using whole plant extract, and bacoside concentrations may vary depending upon the part from which they are extracted. In one Bacopa monnieri sample, Rastogi et al. found this bacoside profile—bacopaside I (5.37%), bacoside A3 (5.59%), bacopaside II (6.9%), bacopasaponin C isomer (7.08%), and bacopasaponin C (4.18%).<ref>Template:Cite journal</ref>


Bacopa monnieri displays in vitro antioxidant and cell-protective effects.<ref>Template:Cite journal</ref> In animals, it also inhibits acetylcholinesterase, activates choline acetyltransferase, and increases cerebral blood flow.<ref>Template:Cite journal</ref>

Several studies have suggested that Bacopa monnieri extracts may have protective effects in animal models of neurodegeneration.<ref name=dhanasekaran>Template:Cite journal</ref> Small clinical trials in humans have found limited evidence supporting improved free memory recall, with no evidence supporting other cognition-enhancing effects.<ref name="Pase 2013">Template:Cite journal</ref><ref>Template:Cite journal</ref>


Aqueous extracts of Bacopa monnieri may have reversible adverse effects on spermatogenesis, sperm count, and fertility in male mice.<ref name="Singh2009">Template:Cite journal</ref>

The most commonly reported adverse side effects of Bacopa monnieri in humans are nausea, increased intestinal motility, and gastrointestinal upset.<ref>Template:Cite journal</ref><ref>Template:Cite journal</ref>Template:Primary source-inline

International naming

The plant is known by many names in many international languages, including:

  • ബ്രഹ്മി in Malayalam (Kerala)
  • ("Brahmi") Hindi (India)
  • (Niirpirami)/ Valaarai in Tamil
  • (Timare) in Kannada
  • (Phak mi), พรมมิ (Phrommi) in Thai
  • Lunuwila in Sinhalese (Sri Lanka)
  • ʻaeʻae in Hawaiian (Hawaii)
  • Rau Đắng in Vietnamese
  • פְּשֵטָה שרועה ("psheta sru'a") in Hebrew
  • Kleines Fettblatt in German
  • 假马齿苋 ("Jiǎ mǎ chǐ xiàn") in Simplified Chinese

See also



Further reading

External links

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  • This page was last modified on 18 February 2016, at 08:11.
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