Bacopa monnieri

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Water Hyssop
File:Bacopa monnieri - Aeae.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Lamiales
Family: Scrophulariaceae
Genus: Bacopa
Species: B. monnieri
Binomial name
Bacopa monnieri
L. Pennell

Bacopa monnieri is a perennial, creeping herb whose habitat includes wetlands and muddy shores. Common names include Water Hyssop and brahmi (note: brahmi is also the Ayurvedic name given to Centella asiatica and other herbs).

The leaves of this plant are succulent and relatively 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.

It commonly grows in marshy areas throughout India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, China, Taiwan, and is also found in Florida and other southern states of the USA where it can be grown in damp conditions by the pond or bog garden.

Famed in Ayurvedic medicine, brahmi has antioxidant properties. It has been reported to reduce oxidation of fats in the bloodstream, which is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.

It has been used for centuries to help benefit epilepsy, memory capacity, increase concentration, and reduce stress-induced anxiety. It is listed as a nootropic, a drug that enhances cognitive ability.

In India, this plant has also been used traditionally to consecrate new born babies in the belief that it will open the gateway of intelligence. Recent studies suggest bacopa may improve intellectual activity[1] [2].

This plant is also known as Thyme-leafed gratiola and Moneywort. Synonyms include Herpestris monnieria, Moniera euneifolia, Lysimachia monnieri, and Bacopa Monniera.

See also


  1. C. Stough, J. Lloyd, J. Clarke, L. Downey, C. Hutchison, T. Rodgers, P. Nathan (2001). "The chronic effects of an extract of Bacopa monniera (Brahmi) on cognitive function in healthy human subjects". Psychopharmacology (Berl). 
  2. S. Roodenrys, D. Booth, S. Bulzomi, A. Phipps, C. Micallef, J. Smoker (2002). "Chronic effects of Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) on human memory". Neuropsychopharmacology (Wollongong). 

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