Feb 12, 2014
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BACOPA MONNIERI

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(Linn.) Penn.

Synonym ► Herpestis monnieria (Linn.) H. B. & K. Moniera cuneifolia Michx.

Family ► Scrophulariaceae.

Habitat ► Throughout the plains of India in damp marshy areas.

English ► Thyme-leaved Gratiola.

Ayurvedic ► Braahmi, Aindri, Nir- braahmi, Kapotavankaa, Bhaarati, Darduradalaa, Matsyaakshaka, Shaaluraparni, Mandukaparni (also equated with Centella asiatica Linn., synonym Hydrocotyle asiatica Linn. Umbelliferae, Apiaceae).

Unani ► Brahmi.

Siddha/Tamil ► Piramivazhukkai, Neerbrami.

Folk ► Jalaneem, Safed-Chammi.

Action ► Adaptogenic, astringent, diuretic, sedative, potent nervine tonic, anti-anxiety agent (improves mental functions, used in insanity, epilepsy), antispasmodic (used in bronchitis, asthma and diarrhoea).

Key application ► In psychic disorders and as a brain tonic. (The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India; Indian Herbal Pharmacopoeia.)

B. monnieri has been shown to cause prolonged elevated level of cerebral glutamic acid and a transient increase in GABA level. It is assumed that endogenous increase in brain glutamine maybe helpful in the process oflearn- ing.

The herb contains the alkaloids brahmine, herpestine, and a mixture of three bases. Brahmine is highly toxic; in therapeutic doses it resembles strychnine. The herb also contains the saponins, monnierin, hersaponin, bacosides A and B. Bacosides A and B possess haemolytic activity. Her- saponin is reported to possess car- diotonic and sedative properties. It was found, as in case of reserpene, to deplete nor-adrenaline and 5-HT content of the rat brain.

An alcoholic extract of the plant in a dose of 50 mg/kg produced tranquil- izing effect on albino rats and dogs, but the action was weaker than that produced by chlorpromazine.

Dosage ► Whole plant—1-3 g powder. (API Vol. II.)

Article Categories:
Indian Medicinal Plants

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