Bacopa monnieri

Bacopa monnieri
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Plantaginaceae (or Scrophulariaceae)
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 and Eastern 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.


Bacopa monnieri in Hyderabad, India

It 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.[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:

See also


  1. "Bacopa monnieri information from NPGS/GRIN". Retrieved 2008-03-13.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "USDA GRIN Taxonomy". Retrieved 20 arch 2014. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  3. 1 2 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. 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 3746283Freely accessible. 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. 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. doi:10.1089/acm.2011.0367. PMID 22747190.
  21. Russo and Borrelli (2005). "Bacopa monniera, a reputed nootropic plant: an overview". Phytomedicine. 12 (4): 305–317. doi:10.1016/j.phymed.2003.12.008. PMID 15898709.
  22. 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.
  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. doi:10.1016/j.phymed.2007.03.010. PMID 17442556.

Further reading

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bacopa monnieri.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/30/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.