Bacopa Monnieri Linn

Botanical Name: Bacopa Monnieri Linn

Sanskrit Name: Brahmi

Family Name: Scropularaceae

Description

Vernacular names :

  1. Hindi – Barmi
  2. Engish – Indian Pennywort
  3. Malayalam – Brahmi
  4. Tamil – Neera Brahmi 

Synonyms – Kapotavega, Matsyaksi, Soamvalli, Indri 

Ganas in classical texts:

Charaka   : Prajasthapana

Introduction

Atharva parisista and other texts quote Bacopa Monnieri Linn as medhya. This drugs has been used in the ayurvedic system for centuries. Bacopa Monnieri Linn which occurs naturally in India and has a long history of use in the ayurvedic medicine tradition in the treatment of number of diseases particularly those involving anxiety, intellect, and poor memory. Traditionally it was used as a brain tonic to enhance memory development, learning and concentration.

Controversy

The controversy on Bacopa Monnieri Linn and Mandukaparni is never ending . charaka enumerated Indri and Brahmi together in the Prajasthapana group which may be Centella asiatica and B. monnieri respectively. The nighantu writers did try to remove the controversy by identifying Brahmi and Manduki separately. Sodhala considered that the former is a superior variety than the later. Bhavamisra quoted that Mandukaparni has properties similar to those of Brahmi.

At least now there should be no controversy in their identity since botha are in abundant use in Medhya Rasayana. 

Varieties :

Sodhala mentioned Brahmi and Manduka Brahmi separately.

Botanical details

Glaborous , punctuate. Leaves are sessile, obovate and entire. Axillary flowers are present with white colors. Fruits are ovoid, acute, acute capsules included in the persistent colyx.

Distribution

Common in moist places throughout India.

Chemical contituents

ascorbic acid, nicotinic acid, brahmine, herpestine, alanine, hentri- acontane, octacosane, hersaponin, bacoside A & B , beta – sitosterol.

Properties

Rasa – Tikta, Kasaya

Guna – Laghu

Virya – Seeta

Vipaka – Madhura

Karma – Kapha Pitta hara, Prameha, kustha, pandu, sotha, jwara, kasa 

Indications

Apasmara, Prameha, Kustha, Pandu, Prameha, Sotha, Jwara, Kasa 

Part used – whole plant 

Therapeutic uses

Masurika –  juice of Brahmi is given with honey.

Unmada –  Brahmi juice mixed with kustha and honey will be useful

Apasmara- oil, lasuna, satavari (with milk ) , juice of Brahmi, kustha and vaca are taken with honey.

Dosage – fresh juice 10-20ml 

Preparations

Brahmi Rasayana , Brahmi Ghrita 

Research works

  1. The crude alcoholic extract had a sedative effect on frogs and dogs. The extract also posses cardiotonic, vaso constrictor and nuero- muscular blocking actions in frogs. (Malhotra & Das 1959 )
  2. Hersaponin showed sedative effect in mice. It did not protect rats against electro shock and mice against metrazol seizures ( Mlahotra et al.,1960&1961)
  3. A dose of 10mg/kg i.p. of alcoholic extract improved the process of motor learning in rats (Prakash & Sirsi, 1962)
  4. The tranqulising property of the extract was found to be weaker than that of chlorpromazine (Ganguly & Malhotra 1967& 1969)
  5. Brahmi treated rats showed better acquisition, improved retention and delayed extinction (J. Ethnophamacol. 1982,5,205)
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