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Bacopa monnieri is a perennial, creeping herb whose habitat includes wetlands and muddy shores. Common names include Water Hyssop and brahmi (note: brahmi is also the Ayurvedic name given to Centella asiatica and other herbs).
The leaves of this plant are succulent and relatively thick. Leaves are oblanceolate and are arranged oppositely on the stem. The flowers are small and white, with four or 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.
It commonly grows in marshy areas throughout India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, China, Taiwan, and is also found in Florida and other southern states of the USA where it can be grown in damp conditions by the pond or bog garden.
It has been used for centuries to help benefit epilepsy, memory capacity, increase concentration, and reduce stress-induced anxiety. It is listed as a nootropic, a drug that enhances cognitive ability.
In India, this plant has also been used traditionally to consecrate new born babies in the belief that it will open the gateway of intelligence. Recent studies suggest bacopa may improve intellectual activity .
This plant is also known as Thyme-leafed gratiola and Moneywort. Synonyms include Herpestris monnieria, Moniera euneifolia, Lysimachia monnieri, and Bacopa Monniera.
- C. Stough, J. Lloyd, J. Clarke, L. Downey, C. Hutchison, T. Rodgers, P. Nathan (2001). "The chronic effects of an extract of Bacopa monniera (Brahmi) on cognitive function in healthy human subjects". Psychopharmacology (Berl).
- S. Roodenrys, D. Booth, S. Bulzomi, A. Phipps, C. Micallef, J. Smoker (2002). "Chronic effects of Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) on human memory". Neuropsychopharmacology (Wollongong).
- Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) By Pankaj Oudhia
- Bacopa by Pharmasave. Includes a number of medical references.