Bacopa monnieri

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Bacopa monnieri
Starr 010818-0007 Bacopa monnieri.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Plantaginaceae
Genus: Bacopa
B. monnieri
Binomial name
Bacopa monnieri

Bacopa monniera Hayata & Matsum.
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,[1] thyme-leafed gratiola, water hyssop, herb of grace,[1] Indian pennywort[1]) is a perennial, creeping herb native to the wetlands of southern and Eastern India, Australia, Europe, Africa, Asia, and North and South America.[1] B. monnieri is an 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

Bacopa monnieri is a non-aromatic herb. 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 (opposite deccusate) on the stem. The flowers are small, actinomorphic 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.[2]


Bacopa monnieri 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.[3] This plant can be grown hydroponically.

Traditional uses[edit]

Bacopa monnieri has been used in traditional Ayurveda for epilepsy, asthma, ulcers, tumors, ascites, enlarged spleen, inflammations, leprosy, anemia, gastroenteritis, and hair loss.[4][2][5]


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 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[edit]

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]


Aqueous extracts of Bacopa monnieri may have reversible adverse effects on spermatogenesis, sperm count, and fertility in male mice.[20]

The most commonly reported adverse side effects of Bacopa monnieri in humans are nausea, increased intestinal motility, and gastrointestinal upset.[21][22][non-primary source needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Bacopa monnieri". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 2008-03-13.
  2. ^ a b Oudhia, Pankaj (2004). "Bramhi (Bacopa monnieri)". Society for Parthenium Management (SOPAM). Retrieved July 30, 2017.
  3. ^ IUCN. "Bacopa monnieri". Retrieved 19 July 2012.
  4. ^ Rajani, M.; et al. (2004). Ramawat, K. G., ed. Biotechnology of Medicinal Plants: Vitalizer and Therapeutic. Enfield, NH: Science Publishers.
  5. ^ "Benefits Of Brahmi And Its Side Effects". Lybrate.
  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. ISBN 978-81-250-0301-4.
  7. ^ Daniel, M. (2005). Medicinal Plants: Chemistry and Properties. Science Publishers. p. 225. ISBN 978-1-57808-395-4.
  8. ^ Khare, C. P. (2003). Indian Herbal Remedies: Rational Western Therapy, Ayurvedic, and Other Traditional Usage, Botany. Springer. p. 89. ISBN 978-3-540-01026-5.
  9. ^ Sivaramakrishna, C; Rao, CV; Trimurtulu, G; Vanisree, M; Subbaraju, GV (2005). "Triterpenoid glycosides from Bacopa monnieri". Phytochemistry. 66: 2719–2728. doi:10.1016/j.phytochem.2005.09.016.
  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. doi:10.1248/cpb.51.215. PMID 12576661.
  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. doi:10.1002/pca.805.
  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. doi:10.1007/s11064-011-0681-1.
  17. ^ Russo A, Borrelli F (April 2005). "Bacopa monniera, a reputed nootropic plant: an overview". Phytomedicine (Review). 12 (4): 305–17. doi:10.1016/j.phymed.2003.12.008. PMID 15898709.
  18. ^ Aguiar S, Borowski T (August 2013). "Neuropharmacological review of the nootropic herb Bacopa monnieri". Rejuvenation Res (Review). 16 (4): 313–26. doi:10.1089/rej.2013.1431. PMC 3746283. PMID 23772955.
  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. doi:10.1002/ptr.2195. PMID 17604373.
  20. ^ Singh A, Singh SK (January 2009). "Evaluation of antifertility potential of Brahmi in male mouse". Contraception. 79 (1): 71–9. doi:10.1016/j.contraception.2008.07.023. PMID 19041444.
  21. ^ Singh, HK; Dhawan, BN (1997). "Neuropsychopharmacological effects of the Ayurvedic nootropic Bacopa monniera Linn. (Brahmi)". Indian J Pharmacol. 29: 359–365.
  22. ^ 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. doi:10.1016/j.phymed.2007.03.010. PMID 17442556.

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