Sanskrit name: Brahmi
Botanical name: Bacopa Monnieri
Habitat: Bacopa is an aquarium plant due to its ability to grow in water and that is why it is majorly grown on the wetlands of Southern India, Australia, Europe, Africa and the Southern Region of North America.
- Rasa (taste): Bitter, Sweet
- Virya (action): Cooling
- Vipaka (post-digestive effect): sweet
- Doshas (constitutions): Balances Pitta and Kapha
Essential constituents found in Bacopa are Alkaloids, amino acid precursors like brahmine and herpestine, Saponins such as d-mannitol, herpsaponin, acid A and monnierin, water-soluble flavanoids (luteolin and apigenin), Bacosides A, Beta-sitosterol. Each of the above constituents are of vital importance and found helpful in treating some diseases.
Ancient Indian Vedic text Atharvaved Samhita nearly 3000 years old talks about Bramhi being used as a herb to enhance the memory power and in the treatment of neurological disorders. Bacopa’s stem and leaves are used as medicine and for the extraction of essential constituents.
Bacopa is best known for its medicinal application while treating many neurological disorders. Saponins and Bacoside A and B found in Bacopa have been proved helpful in nerve impulse transmission by increasing Kinase activity and eventually stimulating neuronal synthesis. Bacosides is helpful in increasing the antioxidant activity in Hippocampus, thus increasing the cholinergic activity in Hippocampus. Alzhiemer patients suffers a major loss of Cholinergic Activity and intake of Bacopa may help in recovering those losses. Few enzymes from the Bacopa extract generates the free radicals in the brain empowering the cognitive properties of brain and improving memory, stability and concentration. Bacosides also help in Hypothyroid by directly stimulating the thyroid gland.
Being a natural antioxidant, Bacopa helps in preventing the oxidization of fats which further restricts them to bind and create a long chain that clog arteries and blood vessels.
Beta-sitosterol a waxy substance found in Bacopa resembles cholesterol, helps to maintain healthy cholesterol levels in the bloodstream.
Bacopa monniera has been administered to infants in the form of brahmi tea for centuries in the belief that the tea will increase the children’s cognitive powers. Clinical testing comparing normal children who took bacopa against normal children who took placebos showed that the children given bacopa improved their performance maze-solving more so than the control group after the 3 month trial.
Bacopa Monnieri extract has shown effective results while treating Bronchial Asthma and also in managing the stress.
Clinical trials on human volunteers that began in 1993 in India have not found any adverse effects. The herb is safe for use by healthy people of all ages. In India, Brahmi tea is given to infants starting in their first month of the life to encourage optimal mental development. Brahmi, like Gingko, is also used by adults who seek better mental functioning.
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- Noroozi M, et al. Effects of flavonoids and vitamin C on oxidative DNA damage to human lymphocytes. Am J Clin Nutr 1998;67:1210-8.
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- Tripathi YB, et al. Bacopa monniera Linn. as an antioxidant: Mechanism of action.
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