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Bacopa Monnieri

Bacopa Moniera

Sanskrit: Brahmi, Sarasvati
English: Thyme leaved gratiola
Hindi: Barami, Jalnim
Marathi: Neerbrami
Botanical name: Bacopa Moniera
Family : Scrophulariaceae
Syn: Herpestis monniera Linn Monniera cuneifolia Michx
Plant Part Used: Whole plant
Botanical Description:

The plant is prostrate or creeping, juicy, succulent, glabrous annual herb, rooting at the nodes with numerous ascending branches. Leaves are simple, opposite, decussate, sessile, obviate-oblong or spatulate, entire, fleshy, obscurely veined, punctuate. Flowers are pale blue to whitish, axillary, solitary, on long slender pedicles; fruits ovoid, acute, 2-celled, 2- valved capsules, tipped with style base; seeds minute, numerous

Ayurvedic Properties

* Rasa:: Tikta, Kasaya, Madhura
* Guna:: Laghu, Sara
* Virya:: Sita
* Vipaka:: Madhura
* Karma:: Vatahara, Kaphahara, Rasayana, Ayusya, Medhya, Matiprada, Swarya, Prajasthapana, Visahara, Mohahar


The herb contains the alkaloids brahmine, herpestatine,(C 34H46N206, m p 116-170), and a mixture of three bases. Brahmine is highly toxic; when administered at a dose of 0.5 mg/kg body wt of cat as it produces a fall in the blood pressure. In therapeutic doses it resembles strychnine. The herb also contains saponins, monnierin (C5,H82021-3H20, m p 630); hersaponin [m p 232-340' (decomp.)], bacoside -A [C4,H6.013.4H20, m p 2500 (decomp.)] and bacoside -B; [C4,H680,3.5H20, m p 2030. Monnierin, on hydrolysis, gave glucose, arabinose and aglycone (C30H4804, m p 235-370) whereas, bacosides A and B gave glucose, arabinose and bacogenines A, A2, A3 and A4; bacogenines A1and A 2.are epimers, and A4 is an ebelin lactone. Smith-de Mayo degradation of bacoside A gave jujubogenin and pseudojujubogenin. Bacosides A and B possess haemolytic activity.
Other constituents present plant are D-mannitol, betulic acid, b -sitosterol. stigma-sterol and its esters, heptacosine, octacosane nonacosane, triacontane, hentriacontane, dotriacontane, nicotine, 3-formyl-4-hydroxy-2H-pyran (C6H603), luteolin and its 7-glucoside. The presence of a -alanine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid and serine is also reported.
Isolation of apigenin-7-glucuronide and luteolin-7-glucuronide from leaves; a new minor saponin- bacoside A 1- isolated and characterised as 3-o-a -L-arabinofuranosyl (1-3)-a -L-arabinosyl-jujubogenin; isolation of another saponin – bacoside A3 – and its structure elucidated as 3-0-b -D-glucosyl( 1-3)-[o-(a -L-arabinofuranosyl(1–2) -0-b -D-glucosyI-jujubogenin;revision of structure ofcis -isomer of ebeline lactone, obtained during acid hydrolysis as another artifact of jujubogenin.
Analysis of the leaves and stalks gave: moisture, 88.4; protein,2.1: fat, 0.6; carbohydrates,5.9; crude fiber,1.05; and ash, 1.9 g / 100g. calcium,202.0; phosphorus, 16.0; iron, 7.8; ascorbic acid, 63.0;nicotinic acid 0.3 mg /100 g; and energy, 38 cal / 100 g. The leaves contain a sterol C 26 H 46 O .H2O , m p 76 0 )

Chemical Compostion

The drug is characteristically designated on the basis of its total bacosides content which are tetra cyclic triterpenoid saponins. These are Bacoside A & Bacoside B;

Pharmacology and Action

Support Central Nervous system, Anxiolytic, Anticonvulsive, Memory enhancer, antioxidant, analgesic and anti-inflammatory, Cardio tonic

Clinical reports show that this drug ( plant extract) is an anti-anxiety agent having adaptogenic effect. It exhibits barbiturate hypnosis potentiation effect in albino rats.
Hersaponin is reported to possess cardiotonic, sedative and spasmodic properties. An ethanolic extract (50%) of the plant exhibits anti-cancer activity against Walker carcinosarcoma 256 in rats. Administration of aqueous suspension of an alcoholic extract (40 mg/kg, p.o.) for three or more days is reported to improve the performance of rats in various learning situations.
The herb contains saponins called bacosides which have very potent medicinal properties. Bacopa also contains D-mannitol, betulic acid, beta sitosterol, stigmasterol, octacosane, nicotine, and amino acids like alpha alanine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, and serine.
In one experimental study, animals were individually trained in a simple T- maze until they reached a predetermined level of performance. Following optimum training they were divided into different groups. Group one was a control group in which no medication was given. Group 2 was treated with diazapalm (Valium). Groups 3, 4, & 5 were treated with water soluble extract and whole extract of bacopa. The experiment was continued for ten days. On the tenth day the activity of the animals in the experiment was evaluated by repeating the T- maze trial in which they were trained before starting the experiment. Animals given Bacopa Plus showed remarkable learning and memory enhancement as compared to control and other groups. Also, the biochemical studies showed that the neurochemical content of the brain tissue collected from the animals given Bacopa Plus showed an increase in the level of serotonin content in the group as compared to the control and other group. This has remarkable clinical applications.
In another study 169 patients with irritable bowel syndrome were given a bacopa preparation in a placebo controled study. The patients given bacopa experienced considerable improvement (65% as compared to 33% in the placebo control group).


Two generation of teratogenic studies in rat & rabbits did not any toxicity or teratogenic effects.

Traditional Formulation (Ayurveda View)

Brahmi acts as a powerful brain food, and is known for its ability to enhance mind power (Medhya effect). It supports and improves all aspects of mental functioning, including comprehension (Dhi), memory (Dhriti) and recollection (Smriti). It is important because it also enhances the crucial coordination of these three aspects of mental functioning.
Because it increases the ability to solve problems effectively, Brahmi is often used in formulas to help relieve and prevent stress.
Brahmi can be processed in different ways, or with different herbs, to balance any of the three laws of the physiology (Vata, Pitta, Kapha).
It is a very good overall tonic (Rasayana, or longevity-enhancer).
Brahmi is used to prepare a number of important Ayurvedic preparations (Brahmighritam, Brahmirasayanam) which are given to those suffering from anxiety and emotional stress and is important ingredient,Sarasvatarisht and Brahmivati