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Bacopa monnieri

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Title: Bacopa monnieri  
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Subject: List of hyperaccumulators, Bacopa, Plantaginaceae, Nootropic, Moneywort
Collection: Brackish Water Plants, Flora of Africa, Flora of Alabama, Flora of Asia, Flora of China, Flora of Florida, Flora of Hawaii, Flora of Indo-China, Flora of Malesia, Flora of New South Wales, Flora of North America, Flora of Oceania, Flora of Queensland, Flora of South America, Flora of Temperate Asia, Flora of the Caribbean, Flora of the Indian Subcontinent, Flora of the Southeastern United States, Freshwater Plants, Medicinal Plants of Asia, Medicinal Plants of North America, Medicinal Plants of Oceania, Medicinal Plants of South America, Plantaginaceae, Plants Used in Ayurveda
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Bacopa monnieri

Bacopa monnieri
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Plantaginaceae
Genus: Bacopa
Species: B. monnieri
Binomial name
Bacopa monnieri
(L.) Pennell[1]

Bacopa monniera
Indian Pennywort (L.) Pennell
Bramia monnieri (L.) Pennell
Gratiola monnieria L.
Herpestes monnieria (L.) Kunth
Herpestis fauriei H.Lev.
Herpestis monniera
Herpestris monnieria
Lysimachia monnieri L.
Moniera cuneifolia Michx.

Bacopa monnieri (waterhyssop, brahmi,[2] thyme-leafed gratiola, water hyssop, herb of grace,[2] Indian pennywort[2]) is a perennial, creeping herb native to the wetlands of southern India, Australia, Europe, Africa, Asia, and North and South America.[2] Bacopa is a medicinal herb used in Ayurveda, where it is also known as "Brahmi," after Brahmā, the creator God of the Hindu pantheon.


  • Description 1
  • Ecology 2
  • Traditional uses 3
    • Nomenclature 3.1
  • Chemical constituents 4
  • Research 5
  • Toxicology 6
  • International naming 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • Further reading 10
  • External links 11


Bacopa monnieri in Hyderabad, India

The leaves of this plant are succulent, oblong and 4–6 mm (0.16–0.24 in) thick. Leaves are oblanceolate and are arranged oppositely on the stem. The flowers are small and white, with four or 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.[3]


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.[4] This plant can be grown hydroponically.

Traditional uses

Bacopa has been used in traditional Ayurvedic treatment for epilepsy and asthma.[5] It is also used in Ayurveda for ulcers, tumors, ascites, enlarged spleen, inflammations, leprosy, anemia, and gastroenteritis.[3]


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,[6][7] although that may be a case of mistaken identification that was introduced during the 16th century.[8]

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.[9] Bacosides comprise a family of 12 known analogs.[10] Other saponins called bacopasides I–XII have been identified more recently.[11] The alkaloids brahmine, nicotine, and herpestine have been catalogued, along with D-mannitol, apigenin, hersaponin, monnierasides I–III, cucurbitacin and plantainoside B.[12][13][14]

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.[15] 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%).[16]


Bacopa monnieri displays in vitro antioxidant and cell-protective effects.[17] In animals, it also inhibits acetylcholinesterase, activates choline acetyltransferase, and increases cerebral blood flow.[18]

Several studies have suggested that Bacopa monnieri extracts may have protective effects in animal models of neurodegeneration.[19] Small clinical trials in humans have found limited evidence supporting improved free memory recall, with no evidence supporting other cognition-enhancing effects.[20][21]


Aqueous extracts of Bacopa monnieri may have reversible adverse effects on spermatogenesis, sperm count, and fertility in male mice.[22]

The most commonly reported adverse side effects of Bacopa monnieri in humans are nausea, increased intestinal motility, and gastrointestinal upset.[23][24]

International naming

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

  • ബ്രഹ്മി in Malayalam (Kerala)
  • ब्राह्मी ("Brahmi") Hindi (India)
  • நீர்ப்பிரமி (Niirpirami)/ Valaarai in Tamil
  • ತಿಮರೆ (Timare) in Kannada
  • ผักมิ (Phak mi), พรมมิ (Phrommi) in Thai
  • ලුනු විලLunuwila 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


  1. ^ information from NPGS/GRIN"Bacopa monnieri". Retrieved 2008-03-13. 
  2. ^ a b c d "USDA GRIN Taxonomy". Retrieved 20 arch 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Purdue University. "Bacopa monnieri". Retrieved 19 July 2012. 
  4. ^ IUCN. "Bacopa monnieri". Retrieved 19 July 2012. 
  5. ^ Rajani, M.; et al. (2004). Ramawat, K. G., ed. Biotechnology of Medicinal Plants: Vitalizer and Therapeutic. Enfield, NH: Science Publishers. 
  6. ^ Warrier, P. K.; Nambiar, V. P. K.; Ramankutty, C.; Ramankutty, R. Vasudevan Nair (1996). Indian Medicinal Plants: A Compendium of 500 Species. Orient Blackswan. p. 238.  
  7. ^ Daniel, M. (2005). Medicinal Plants: Chemistry and Properties. Science Publishers. p. 225.  
  8. ^ Khare, C. P. (2003). Indian Herbal Remedies: Rational Western Therapy, Ayurvedic, and Other Traditional Usage, Botany. Springer. p. 89.  
  9. ^ Sivaramakrishna, C; Rao, CV; Trimurtulu, G; Vanisree, M; Subbaraju, GV (2005). "Triterpenoid glycosides from Bacopa monnieri". Phytochemistry 66: 2719–2728.  
  10. ^ Garai, S; Mahato, SB; Ohtani, K; Yamasaki, K (2009). "Dammarane triterpenoid saponins from Bacopa monnieri". Can J Chem 87: 1230–1234. 
  11. ^ Chakravarty, A.K; Garai, S.; Masuda, K; Nakane, T; Kawahara, N. (2003). "Bacopasides III–V: Three new triterpenoid glycosides from Bacopa monniera". Chem Pharm Bull 51: 215–217.  
  12. ^ Chatterji, N; Rastogi, RP; Dhar, ML (1965). "Chemical examination of Bacopa monniera Wettst: Part II—Isolation of chemical constituents". Ind J Chem 3: 24–29. 
  13. ^ Chakravarty, AK; Sarkar, T; Nakane, T; Kawahara, N; Masuda, K (2008). "New phenylethanoid glycosides from Bacopa monniera". Chem Pharm Bull 50: 1616–1618. 
  14. ^ Bhandari P, Kumar N, Singh B, Kaul VK. Cucurbitacins from Bacopa monnieri. Phytochemistry 2007.
  15. ^ Deepak, M; Sangli, GK; Arun, PC; Amit, A (2005). "Quantitative determination of the major saponin mixture bacoside A in Bacopa monnieri by HPLC". Phytochem Anal 16: 24–29.  
  16. ^ Rastogi, M; Ojha, R; Prabu, PC; Devi, DP; Agrawal, A; Dubey, GP (2012). "Amelioration of age associated neuroinflammation on long term bacosides treatment". Neurochem Res 37: 869–874.  
  17. ^ Russo A, Borrelli F (April 2005). "Bacopa monniera, a reputed nootropic plant: an overview". Phytomedicine (Review) 12 (4): 305–17.  
  18. ^ Aguiar S, Borowski T (August 2013). "Neuropharmacological review of the nootropic herb Bacopa monnieri". Rejuvenation Res (Review) 16 (4): 313–26.  
  19. ^ Dhanasekaran, M.; Tharakan, B.; Holcomb, L. A.; Hitt, A. R.; Young, K. A.; Manyam, B. V. (2007). "Neuroprotective mechanisms of ayurvedic antidementia botanical Bacopa monniera". Phytotherapy Research 21 (10): 965–969.  
  20. ^ Pase MP, Kean J, Sarris J, Neale C, Scholey AB, Stough C (July 2012). "The cognitive-enhancing effects of Bacopa monnieri: a systematic review of randomized, controlled human clinical trials". J Altern Complement Med (Review) 18 (7): 647–52.  
  21. ^ Russo and Borrelli (2005). "Bacopa monniera, a reputed nootropic plant: an overview". Phytomedicine 12 (4): 305–317. 
  22. ^ Singh A, Singh SK (January 2009). "Evaluation of antifertility potential of Brahmi in male mouse". Contraception 79 (1): 71–9.  
  23. ^ Singh, HK; Dhawan, BN (1997). "Neuropsychopharmacological effects of the Ayurvedic nootropic Bacopa monniera Linn. (Brahmi)". Indian J Pharmacol 29: 359–365. 
  24. ^ Pravina, K.; Ravindra, K. R.; Goudar, K. S.; Vinod, D. R.; Joshua, A. J.; Wasim, P.; Venkateshwarlu, K.; Saxena, V. S.; Amit, A. (2007). "Safety evaluation of BacoMind in healthy volunteers: a phase I study". Phytomedicine 14 (5): 301–308.  

Further reading

  • Caldecott, T. (2006). "Brahmi". Ayurveda: The Divine Science of Life. Elsevier / Mosby.  

External links

  • (herb of grace)Bacopa monnieriUSDA Plants Profile for
  • , list of chemicalsBacopa monnieriDr. Duke's Databases:
  • Bacopa — by Pankaj Oudhia.
  • Pharmasave: Bacopa — includes a number of medical references.
  • ,Bacopa; — by Dr Ajay Padmawar.
  • Bacopa monnieriUC Photos gallery —
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