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Family Scrophulariaceae
Bacopa monnieri (Linn.) Wettst.


Scientific names Common names
Bacopa monnieria (Linn.) Wettst. Ulasimang-aso (Tag.)
Bacopa monnieri (L.) Pennell Baby tears (Engl.)
Bacopa monniera Brain plant (Engl.)
Calyptriplex ovata Blanco Herb of Grace(Engl.)
Gratiola monnieria Linn. Moneywort Engl.)
Herpestis monniera HBK. Monnier's bacopa (Engl.)
Thunbergia stolonifera Blanco Water hyssop (Engl.)
  White hyssop (Engl.)
  Pa-chi-t'ien (Chin.)
Ulasimang-aso is a common name phonetically shared by (1) Ulasimang-aso, Bacopa monniera, Brahmi, and (2) Ulasiman aso, malaulasiman, Oldenlandia corymbosa.

Other vernacular names
ARABIC: Farfakh.
BENGALI: Aaghabini, Birmishak, Brādramī śāka, Brahmi, Brahmisaka, Barmi shak, Ughrabirmi.
CHINESE: Jia ma chi xian.
FRENCH: Bacopa de Monnier, Bacopa des herbalistes, Bacopa médicinale, Petite bacopa.
GERMAN: Bacopa, Kleine Fettblatt, Kleines Fettblatt, Wasserysop.
GUJARATI: Baam, Bamanevari, Jalanevari, Jalbrahmi, Jalnevri,Kadavi luni, Neerbrahmi.
HINDI: Adha birni, Baam, Barami, Brahmi, Brambhiv, Jalbuti, Nirbrahmi, Mandukaparni, Safed chamni.
KANNADA: Brahmi, Jala brahmi, Jalabrahmi, Nirbrahmi , Nirubrahmi, Niru brahmi, Neer brahmi
MALAYALAM: Barna, Brahmi, Nirbrahmi.
MARATHI : Brahmi, Ghola, Jalabrahmi, Jalnam, Nir brahmi.
NEPALESE: Medha giree.
ORIYA: Brahmi, Prusni parnnī.
POLISH: Bakopa drobnolistna, Bakopa moniera.
PUNJABI: Brahmibuti.
SANSKRIT: Adha-birni, Aindri, Brahami, Gundala, Indravalli, Jalasaya, Jala brahmi, Nira-brahmi, Tiktalonika
SINHALESE: Lunuvila, Lunu wila [Siv], Nigandu
TAMIL: Ahaznda poozndu, Carumam, Neer brahmi, Neer pirami, Pirami, Piramiyam, Piramiya vazhukkai.
TELUGU: Neeri sambraani mokka, Sambrani aku, Sambrani chettu.
THAI: Phak mi, Phrommi.
URDU: Brahmisak, Jal brahmi.
VIETNAMESE : Rau đắng biển.

Ulasimang-aso is a creeping, smooth, somewhat fleshy plant, with branches 5 to 20 centimeters long. Leaves are stalkless, entire, oblong-ovate to spatulate, 8 to 15 millimeters long, up to 4 millimeters wide, widest near the blunt tip, and tapering toward the base. Flowers are borne singly in the axils of the leaves, on stalks which are usually as long as the leaves or longer. Calyx is about 5 millimeters long, the outer sepal being oval and the others ovate-lanceolate or lanceolate. Corolla is 8 to 10 millimeters long; the tube, which is nearly as long as the calyx or quite as long, has white or pale violet lobes. Capsules are ovoid and shorter than the calyx. Seeds are numerous and pale.

- In open wet places at low altitudes, especially within the influence of salt and brackish water.
- In Cagayan, Ilocos Norte, Rizal and Laguna Provinces in Luzon.
- Pantropic.

- Phytochemical study yielded saponins, tannins, flavonoids, and triterpenoids.
- Plant yields the presence of a trace of oil matter, two resins, organic acid, tannin and an alkaloid principle.

- Indian study yielded alkaloids, Brahmine and hespestine, saponins d-mannitol and hersaponin, monnierin.
- Yields betulic acid, stigmasterol, beta-sitosterol, bacosides and bacosaponins.

- Considered aperient, adaptogenic, anti-anxiety, anti-epileptic, antipyretic, analgesic, anti-ulcer, anti-asthmatic, antidepressant, antispasmodic, antioxidant, diuretic, immuno-modulating, memory enhancing, neurotonic.

Parts used
Entire plant.


- In the Philippines, decoction of entire plant utilized as diuretic.
- Hindu physicians use it as nervine tonic; used for insanity, epilepsy and hoarseness.
- Teaspoon of leaf juice used for vomiting and purging.
- In India, used as diuretic, aperient, and nervine tonic.
- In prehistoric times, used as nerve tonic for rejuvenating mental health and memory enhancement.
- Used to enhance memory, learning and concentration.
- In India and Pakistan, used as cardiac tonic, digestive aid, and to relieve bronchoconstriction.
- In Ayurveda, used for anxiety, mental retardation, depression, psychosis and epilepsy.

Cognitive Enhancing Effects:
Study results suggest only chronic administration of extract is associated with cognitive-enhancing effects. (1)
Antianxiety: Study on rat model with extract with 25% bacoside A showed an anxiolytic effect comparable to benzodiazepene anxiolytic drug, lorazepam. (1)
Epilepsy / Effect in High Doses: Study in mice showed hersaponin provided protection against seizures. Study in mice using high doses of Bacopa extract demonstrated anticonvulsant effect, an effect not observed with lower doses. (1)
Asthma: Study showed Bacopa extract to have a relaxant effect on chemically-induced bronchoconstriction. (1)
Spasmolytic: In vitro studies demonstrated direct spasmolytic activity on intestinal smooth muscle through inhibition of calcium influx across cell membrane channels. (1)
Gastroprotective: Animal and in vitro studies suggest a protective and curative effect on gastric ulcers. (1)
Memory: A double-blind randomized, placebo-control study on 76 adults aged 40 to 65 showed a significant effect of Brahmi on a test for retention of new information, with decrease in rate of forgetting of newly acquired information. (4)
Antioxidant: Study of B. monniera extract on rat brain showed dose-related increases in SOD, CAT and GPX activities, suggesting a significant antioxidant effect after subchronic administration. The increase in oxidative free radical scavenging activity by BM may explain, in part, the cognitive-facilitating action noted in Ayurveda practice. (6)
Antifertility: Study in mice showed antifertility effects with reversible suppression of spermatogenesis and fertility without any apparent toxic effects. (3)
ADHD / Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A double-blind, placebo controlled, randomized trial of 36 children with ADHD
showed a significant benefit at 12 weeks, with improvement in sentence repetition, logical memory and paired associate learning tasks.
Antistress: A study in adult male Sprague Dawley rats on the antistress effect of bacosides of Brahmi showed B, monnieri has the potential to modulate the activities of Hsp70, P450 and SOD, to prepare the brain to act under adverse conditions such as stress. (5)
Antistress: Study showed the standardized extract of B. monniera possesses a potent adaptogenic effect. (7)
Anti-Inflammatory: Study showed Bacopa monniera possesses anti-inflammatory activity through inhibition of COX and LOX and down-regulation of TNF-alpha. (8)
Pollutant Detector: Study showed the plant to be considerably tolerant to heavy metals, even accumulating trace quantities of these metals during growth. Analytical study showed considerable amounts of Al, As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, Pb, etc. in different parts of the plant. Its use as ingredient in many Ayurvedic medicines and food supplements on one hand and bioaccumulation potential and phytoremediation efficacy are paradoxical. (9)
Serotonin Receptor Activity / Antidepressant: Study concluded Bacopa extract decreased cAMP production in cells with 5HT1a receptors, suggesting an agonistic effect. The effect was similar to results of a previous study where Bacopa displayed antidepressant effects comparable to imipramine. (10)
Antioxidant Response Modulation: Study evaluated the protective effect of B. monnieri on tissue antioxidant defense system and lipid peroxidative status in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Results showed Bm extract modulates antioxidant activity, and enhances the defense against ROS generated damage in diabetic rats. (11)
Cu and Cd Pollution Mitigation / Phytoremediation: Study showed a capability to accumulate both copper and cadmium in single and mixed metal treatments. Copper accumulation was stimulated by the presence of Cd whereas uptake of Cd was inhibited by Cu. Results suggest the potential of using the plant for mitigating Cu and Cd pollution in the aquatic environment. (12)
Beneficial Effects on Attention, Cognition, and Working Memory: In a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled designed study of 60 healthy elderly subjects, study showed B. monnieri can improved attention, cognitive processing, and working memory partly via the suppression of AChE activity. (13)
Cognitive Enhancing Effect / Free Memory Recall: A review concludes there is some evidence to suggest Bacopa improves memory free recall with evidence for enhancement in other cognitive abilities. (14)
Anti-Motility Effect: Study evaluated a hydroalcoholic extract of BM for antimotility and toxicological studies. Results showed an anti GIT motility effect which may be due to the presence of saponins, tannins, flavonoids and triterpenoids and may involve the interaction of the constituents with alpha 2 and GABA receptors. (15)
Anti-Inflammatory, Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Properties / Toxicity Study: In a study of the whole plant using various extracts, methanol extracts were found to have potent antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Active crude methanol extracts assayed for cellular toxicity to fresh sheep erythrocytes showed no cellular toxicity. (16)
Protective Effect on Liver and Kidney Toxicity in Chronic Opioid Use: Study evaluated the protective effect of B. monnieri against morphine-induced liver and kidney toxicity in rats. Study of Bacopa monniera in rats showed a significant protective effect against morphine induced liver and kidney toxicity. (17)
Anticholinesterase Efficacy / Novel Approach for Alzheimer's Disease / Leaves and Stems: Study in male albino rats of an ethanol extract of leaves and stems showed anticholinesterase Inhibitory properties. Results showed competitive inhibition in AChE in all brain regions studied. Results suggest a potential natural source of bioactive compounds that may be beneficial to the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. (18)
Antimicrobial / Aerial Parts: Study evaluated the antimicrobial activity of an ethanolic extract of aerial parts of B. monnieri, with Ciprofloxacin and Cotrimazole as reference controls. Results showed concentration dependent antimicrobial activity against test microorganisms. (19)
Chemopreventive / Aerial Parts: Study evaluated B. monnieri for cancer chemopreventive property on DBMA-induced skin pappilomagenesis in Swiss albino mice. Results showed chemopreventive activity with a significant reduction in tumor incidence, number of tumors and papillomas. (20)
Bacoside A and B / Effects on Cognitive and Emotional Deficits in an Animal Model of Dementia: Study evaluated an alcoholic extract of BM on induced cognitive effects in olfactory bulbectomized mice. Results showed amelioration cognitive functions via a mechanism implicated in the enhancement of synaptic plasticity-related neuronal signaling. (22)
Cardioprotective in a Diabetic Model: B. monnieri exhibited significant myocardial salvaging effects in a model of chemically induced rats using streptozotocin (STZ). In addition, treatment was safe to vital organs with preservation of histopathological structures of hepatic, renal, and pancreatic tissues. (23)
Anti-Epileptic / Bacoside A / Decreased GABA Receptors: Bacopa monnieri and Bacoside-A treatment reversed epilepsy associated changes to near control suggesting decreased GABA receptors in the cerebral cortex have an important role in epileptic occurrence. (24)
Inhibition of Human Cytochrome P450 Enzymes / Potential for Herb-Drug Interactions: Study showed Bacoba monnieri extract could contribute to herb-drug interactions when orally co-administered with drugs metabolized by CYP1A2, CYP3A4, CYP2C9 and CYP2C19. (25)
Anti-Amnesic Effect / Diazepam Induced Amnesia: Study showed B.monnieri has an anti-amnesic effect, significantly reducing SOD activity. Its anti-amnesic effect that may vary depending on the amnesic agent used. However, the antioxidant mechanism may be central to evoking the memory enhancing effects of B. monniera against diazepam induced amnesia. (26)

Capsules, teas and extracts in the cybermarket.

Last Update March 2014

IMAGE SOURCE: Photo / File:Starr 010818-0007 Bacopa monnieri.jpg / Forest & Kim Starr / 18 Aug 2001 / Creative Commons Attribution / Wikipedia
IMAGE SOURCE: Public Domain / Line Drawing / Bacopa monnieri (L.) / An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States and Canada- 2nd Edition (1913) / Britton & Brown Illustrated Flora

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Bacopa monniera / Monograph / Alternative Medicine Review, Volume 9, Number 1, 2004
Chronic Effects of Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) on Human Memory / Steven Roodenrys, Ph.D., Dianne Booth, M.Sc., Sonia Bulzomi et al / NEUROPSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY, Vol 27, No 2, 2002
Evaluation of antifertility potential of Brahmi in male mouse / Singh A, Singh SK / Contraception. 2009 Jan;79(1):71-9. Epub 2008 Sep 18.
Effects of a Standardized Bacopa monnieri Extract on Cognitive Performance, Anxiety, and Depression in the Elderly: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial / Carlo Calabrese, William L. Gregory, Michael Leo, Dale Kraemer, Kerry Bone, Barry Oken / The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. July 2008, 14(6): 707-713. doi:10.1089/acm.2008.0018.
Antistress effects of bacosides of Bacopa monnieri: modulation of Hsp70 expression, superoxide dismutase and cytochrome P450 activity in rat brain / D Kar Chowdhuri, D Parmar, P Kakkar et al / Phytotherapy Research, Volume 16, Issue 7, pages 639–645, November 2002
Antioxidant activity of Bacopa monniera in rat frontal cortex, striatum and hippocampus / Bhattacharya SK, Bhattacharya A, Kumar A, Ghosal S /
Phytother Res. 2000 May;14(3):174-9.
Adaptogenic effect of Bacopa monniera (Brahmi). / Rai D, Bhatia G, Palit G, Pal R, Singh S, Singh HK / Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2003 Jul;75(4):823-30.
Inhibition of lipoxygenases and cyclooxygenase-2 enzymes by extracts isolated from Bacopa monniera (L.) Wettst. / Viji V, Helen A / J Ethnopharmacol. 2008 Jul 23;118(2):305-11. Epub 2008 Apr 24
Bacopa monnieri – A pollutant detector of mineral water and soft drinks / Hussain-koorimannil, A. K. Abdussalam, Nabeesa Salim / International Journal of Ecology and Development, Summer 2011, Volume 19, Number S11
Bacopa Extract Displays Strong Serotonin Receptor Activity / Nutraceuticals World
Bacopa monnieri modulates antioxidant responses in brain and kidney of diabetic rats. / Radhika Kapoor, Saurabh Srivastava, Poonam Kakkar / Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology (2009), Volume: 27, Issue: 1, Pages: 62-69
Removal of Cu and Cd from water by Bacopa monnieri L. / Sarita Sinha and Prakash Chandra / WATER, AIR, & SOIL POLLUTION, Volume 51, Numbers 3-4 (1990), 271-276, DOI: 10.1007/BF00158224
Effects of 12-Week Bacopa monnieri Consumption on Attention, Cognitive Processing, Working Memory, and Functions of Both Cholinergic and Monoaminergic Systems in Healthy Elderly Volunteers / Tatimah Peth-Nui, Jintanaporn Wattanathorn, Supaporn Muchimapura, Terdthai Tong-Un, Nawanant Piyavhatkul, Poonsri Rangseekajee, Kornkanok Ingkaninan, and Sakchai Vittaya-areekul / Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Volume 2012 (2012) / http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/606424
The Cognitive-Enhancing Effects of Bacopa monnieri: A Systematic Review of Randomized, Controlled Human Clinical Trials / Matthew P. Pase, BSc, BA(Hons), James Kean, BSc(Hons), Jerome Sarris, MHSc, PhD, Chris Neale, BSc, MSc, Andrew B. Scholey, PhD, and Con Stough, PhD / THE JOURNAL OF ALTERNATIVE AND COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE Volume 18, Number 7, 2012, pp. 1–6 / DOI: 10.1089/acm.2011.0367
Anti Git Motility, Toxicological and Phytochemical Studies on Bacopa Monnieri
/ Fazal Subhan, Muzaffar Abbas, Khalid Rauf, Abdul Baseer / Pharmacologyonline 01/2010
Pharmacological investigation of Bacopa monnieri on the basis of antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties / Abhishek Mathur*, Satish K. Verma, Reena Purohit, Santosh K. Singh, Deepika Mathur, GBKS Prasad and V.K. Dua / J. Chem. Pharm. Res., 2010, 2(6):191-198
Effect of Bacopa monniera on liver and kidney toxicity in chronic use of opioids / T. Sumathi, * S. Niranjali Devaraj / doi:10.1016/j.phymed.2009.03.005 / thefreelibrary.com
Anticholinesterase Efficacy of Bacopa monnieri against the Brain Regions of Rat - A novel approach to therapy for Alzheimer's disease / Ahirwar S.1, Tembhre M.2, Gour S.3, Namdeo A. / Asian J. Exp. Sci., Vol. 26, No. 1, 2012; 65-70
A Study on Antimicrobial Activity of Bacopa monnieri Linn. Aerial Parts / T. Ghosh, T. K. Maity, A. Bose, G. K. Dash, M. Das / Journal of Natural Remedies, Volume 6, Issue 2, June 2006
Chemopreventive Action of Bacopa monnieri (Brahmi) Hydromethanolic Extract on DMBA- Induced Skin Carcinogenesis in Swiss Albino Mice / Shiki Vishnoi* & R. C. Agarwal / Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry, Journal No: 8192, Volume 2 Issue 2
Sorting Bacopa names / /Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1995 - 2020 The University of Melbourne.

Study on the effects of Bacopa monnieri (L.) Wettst extract, a traditional Vietnamese herb and its potential compounds, bacoside A and – B, on cognitive and emotional deficits in an animal model of dementia, and molecular mechanism underlying their actions / Do Thi Phuong / Grant-in-Aid for the 2010 and 2012 Cooperative Re- search Project II from the Institute of Natural Medicine, University of Toyama
Cardioprotective Efficacy of Bacopa Monniera in Experimental Diabetes Mellitus: Biochemical and Histopathological Assessment / Apeksha J Ghatage, Ipseeta Ray Mohanty, Ujjwala Maheswari, Rajesh Kumar Suman AD Urhekar, Yeshwant Deshmukh / MGM Journal of Medical Sciences, October-December 2013;1(1):1-6
Decreased GABA receptor in the cerebral cortex of epileptic rats: effect of Bacopa monnieri and Bacoside-A / Jobin Mathew, Savitha Balakrishnan, Sherin Antony, Pretty Mary Abraham and CS Paulose* / Journal of Biomedical Science 2012, 19:25 doi:10.1186/1423-0127-19-25
Inhibition of Human Cytochrome P450 Enzymes by Bacopa monnieri Standardized Extract and Constituents /
Seetha Ramasamy, Lik Voon Kiew and Lip Yong Chung* / Molecules 2014, 19, 2588-2601 / doi:10.3390/molecules19022588
Bacopa monniera selectively attenuates suppressed Superoxide dismutase activity in Diazepam induced amnesic mice / Sudesh Prabhakar, Manish Kumar Saraf, Avijit Banik, Akshay Anand / Annals of Neurosciences, Volume 18, Issue 1 (January), 2011

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