Brahmi – Bacopa monnieri
Known as brahmi, thyme-leafed gratiola, water hyssop, herb of grace, Indian pennywort is a perennial, creeping herb native to the wetlands of southern and Eastern India, Australia, Europe, Africa, Asia, and North and South America. Bacopa is a medicinal herb used in Ayurveda, where it is also known as “Brahmi”, after Brahmā, the creator God of the Hindu pantheon. 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.
Bacopa has been used in traditional Ayurvedic treatment for epilepsy and asthma. It is also used in Ayurveda for ulcers, tumors, ascites, enlarged spleen, inflammations, leprosy, anemia, and gastroenteritis. Bacopa monnieri displays in vitro antioxidant and cell-protective effects. In animals, it also inhibits acetylcholinesterase, activates choline acetyltransferase, and increases cerebral blood flow.
Several studies have suggested that Bacopa monnieri extracts may have protective effects in animal models of neurodegeneration. Small clinical trials in humans have found limited evidence supporting improved free memory recall, with no evidence supporting other cognition-enhancing effects.