Bacopa monniera

Jalnaveri, Jalanimba, Sambrani Chettu, Thyme-leaved Gratiola

Traditional Use

Brahmi is named after the Hindu God Brahma, who is associated with great intellect and responsible for all “creative forces” in the world. Bacopa monniera is the authentic Brahmi, it is often confused with Hydrocotyle asiatica or Gota Kola which is also known as Brahmi in North India and Thailand.


India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, China, Taiwan

Parts used

Aerial parts, leaves and stalks


Two saponins, designated as bacopaside I and II, are found in Bacopa monniera. Additional phytochemicals betulinic acid, wogonin and oroxindin have been isolated from the aerial parts of Bacopa monniera. Bacopa also has the flavonoids apigenin and luteolin.


No side effects have been observed from Brahmi, it has been taken by people in India for centuries and is given to infants safely.
It is always advised to consult your healthcare professional if you are taking any medications, before starting a herbal regimen.


Brain Function
This water loving herb has a reputation for improving memory and mental function whilst also working to relieve anxiety and depression.
Having an antioxidant and neuroprotective action, Brahmi contains saporins and bacosides that interact with the neurotransmitters in the brain raising levels of serotonin, gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), and acetylcholine. This process affects and regulates the balance of the mind to be more beneficial to our overall mood, memory and cognitive process.
The antioxidant compounds found in Brahmi also seem to work by protecting against the neural oxidative stress associated with Alzheimer’s disease. It’s also believed to stimulate the brain’s own chemicals that protect neural cells.
Brahmi is well known for reducing the stress hormone cortisol and for counteracting the effects of stress by regulating the hormones involved with the stress response. It can also decrease anxiety by improving the production of serotonin – the hormone that calms the mind.
This is an important ayurvedic herb that has been used for centuries as a “nervine” – a herb that calms the nervous system.
Brahmi is a potent antioxidant that has a powerfully protective effect on cells, with significant super-oxide radical scavenging activity. This herb has also been shown to enhance antioxidant activity in organs such as the kidneys.
There is one particularly dangerous toxin that Brahmi is highly effective against – acrylamide – which is connected to various neurodegenerative diseases.
The antioxidant compounds found in Brahmi can help to strengthen the immune system by speeding up its response time to pathogens, viruses or bacterial infections.


Brahmi means “that which gives supreme knowledge” and has a long and enduring history in Ayurvedic medicine, where it has been used for many centuries to sharpen intellect and attenuate mental deficits. The Ayurvedic sages revealed Brahmi’s role in promoting intellect, longevity, nervous system rejuvenation, strength (especially of the mind) and life energy.

Initially described in texts around the 6th century AD, Brahmi makes an appearance in the Charaka Samhita, Atharva-Veda and Susrut-Samhita. The herb was reputedly used by Vedic scholars to memorise lengthy sacred hymns and scriptures. 

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