BRAHMI

Also Known As
Andri [1]
Bacopa
Herb of Grace
Herpestis Herb [1]
Herpestis monniera [1]
Hysope d’Eau [1]
Indian Pennywort [1,5]
Jalanimba [1]
Jal-Brahmi [1]
Jalnaveri [1]
Nira-Brahmi [1]
Moniera cuneifolia [1]
Sambrani Chettu [1]
Thyme-Leave Gratiola [1,5]
Water Hyssop [1]
HAWAII:
ʻAeʻae [5]
CHINA, SIMPLIFIED:
假马齿苋 ("Jiǎ mǎ chǐ xiàn") [5]
GERMAN:
Kleines Fettblatt [5]
INDIA, HINDI:
Brahmi is its name in Ayurvedia medicine. [5]
INDIA, KANNADA:
Timare [1]
INDIA, MALAYALAM, KERALA:
ബ്രഹ്മി [5]
INDIA, TAMIL:
நீர் பிரம்மி(Neerbrahmi) [5]
ISRAEL, HEBREW:
פְּשֵטָה שרועה ("psheta sru'a") [5]
SRI LANKA, SINHALESE:
Lunuwila [5]
THAILAND:
Phak Mi [5] 
Phrommi [พรมมิ] [5]
VIETNAM
Rau Đắng [5] 


Order:   Lamiales
Family:   Plantaginaceae
Genus:    Bacopa
Species: monnieri

Florida n c s

Edible Parts
Flower Leaf Caution
Animal Interaction
Butterfly
Other Uses
Mug Medicinal
This low-growing native herb is found in wet areas across Florida. It is rather common in most counties, yet is rare to non-present in the very far north-central part of the state, near the Georgia border. I know a number of Vietnamese gardeners here in Florida who cultivate it in wet parts of their gardens as a very bitter salad ingredient. It is a well known herbal medicine, especially in Indian Ayurvedic medicine, having been used for thousands of years to treat asthma, ulcers, tumors, epilepsy, etc. In modern times it is often prescribed as a nootropic for helping with memory loss, dementia, learning and cognition issues, and even Alzheimer's Disease. Those suffering from epilepsy and depression would be wise to look into this plant. Refer to webmd.com for a list of side effects before ingesting, which includes avoiding if you are pregnant. I sure would like to see a Florida herbalist make some soap with Brahmi as a major ingredient as it contains saponins and has been made into soap traditionally. It is very easily confused with Tropical Water Hyssop, Bacopa innominata, which also grows, less commonly, in scattered counties across Florida. In fact, I must look into the differences with the aid of Prof. Wunderlin's keys, as some of my photos may prove to be innominata. Yet another native, the Swamp Twinflower, Dyschoriste humistrata, is also similar looking, having more of an upright habits an more elongated leaves. Please note that Gotu Kola is also known as Brahmi at times, so do not confuse the two. Lastly, the White Peacock butterfly lays its eggs on this species. 



CAUTION: Although it is cultivated as a raw salad topping, especially by Vietnamese gardeners in Florida, know that it is quite bitter, and you should try just very small amounts mixed into a salad at first. Gotu Kola is also known as Brahmi at times, so do not confuse the two. CAUTION: Refer to webmd.com for a list of side effects before ingesting, which includes avoiding if you are pregnant. It contains saponins, which should always be ingested with caution. If planted in wet places in the garden it can become aggressive. It "can cause upset stomach of taken without food." 
EDIBLE LEAVES: The edible leaves are very bitter. I have Vietnamese friends here in Florida who love to grow it and add the entire aboveground flowering parts sparingly as a bitter green to salads.
MEDICINAL USES

A possible "alternative treatment to psychotropic drugs. [2] It mAY be a better alternative to taking the amphetamine Adderall IN TREATING CERTAIN SYMPTOMS. [27] 

- Allergic conditions [1]
- Alzheimer's disease [1,27]
- Anxiety [1,7,27]
- Asthma [6,29]
- Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) [1,27] 
- Backache [1,27]
- Blood pressure regulator [27]
- Brain health and function [7]
- Clarity of thought [7]
- Cognitive enhancement [4,7]
- Depression [27]
- Dopamine, balances levels of [27]
- Epilepsy  [1,6,27,29]
- Hoarseness [1]
- Inflammation [29]
- Irritable bowel syndrome [1]
- Joint pain [1,27]
- Learning  [1, 7]
- Leprosy [29]
- Longevity [4]
- Memory , in adults [1,7]
- Memory, in children [1]
- Memory formation [7]
- Memory loss [27]
- Mental illness [1]
- Mood [7]
- Nootropic [29]
- Pain, chronic [27]
- Sexual performance problems [in both men and women] [1,27]
- Speed of recall [7]
- Stress [1,7,27]
- Thinking [1]
- Tonic, general [1,27]
- Tumors [29]
- Ulcers [29]
MEDICINAL HISTORY: It has "been written about for over 7,000 years" in India. [29] "
In traditional Ayurvedic treatments bacopa has been the go-to treatment for epilepsy, asthma, ulcers, tumors, inflammation, and even leprosy." [29] According to Medicinal Plants: Chemistry and Properties, it "was initially described around the 6th century A.D. in texts such as the Charaka Samhita, Atharva-Veda, and Susrut Samhita as a medhya rasayana–class herb taken to sharpen intellect and attenuate mental deficits. The herb was allegedly used by ancient Vedic scholars to memorize lengthy sacred hymns and scriptures." [9]
MEDICINAL LEAVES/FLOWERING PLANT:
- IN AYURVEDA: A very well known Ayurvedic medicinal herb in India, known often there as Brahmi. "Bacopa has been used in traditional Ayurvedic treatment for epilepsy and asthma." [6, via 5]
WebMD writes, "Brahmi is used for Alzheimer's disease, improving memory, anxiety, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), allergic conditions, irritable bowel syndrome, and as a general tonic to fight stress. People also take brahmi to treat backache, hoarseness, mental illness, epilepsy, joint pain, and sexual performance problems in both men and women." [1] Green Deane tells us that it "increases the nitrous oxide to the brain." [2] Taken as a tea, syrup, powder, etc. [2] "The powder has a very bitter taste." [27]
CHEMICAL CONSTITUENTS: "The best characterized compounds in Bacopa monnieri are dammarane-type triterpenoid saponins known as bacosides, with jujubogenin or pseudo-jujubogenin moieties as aglycone units." [11] "Bacosides comprise a family of 12 known analogs." [12] 
- NOTE: Gotu Kola is also known as Brahmi at times, so do not confuse the two. According to Indian Medicinal Plants: A Compendium of 500 Species, Ayurvedic healers in India may use the two species interchangeably and call both Brahmi. [8]
- MORE: It "is used to improve memory formation and speed of recall, make learning faster and easier, enhance clarity of thought, and augment overall brain function." [7] It has "been shown to help regulate dopamine production up and down as needed." [28]
- DETAILED ARTICLE: Simple Smart Science has a very detailed, well written article explaining Brahmi's medicinal uses at https://www.simplesmartscience.com/bacopa-monnieri-leaf-and-herbal-extract/
USES AND EFFECTIVENESS: "Improving memory. Some research shows that taking specific Bacopa extracts (KeenMind; BacoMind) improves some measure of memory in otherwise healthy older adults. Also, taking Bacopa extract seems to improve some measures of memory and hand-eye coordination in children aged 6-8 years."  [1] Used traditionally for "longevity and cognitive enhancement." [4]
SIDE EFFECTS: Refer to webmd.com for a list of side effects. [1] It "can cause upset stomach of taken without food."
MODE OF ACTION: "Brahmi might increase certain brain chemicals that are involved in thinking, learning, and memory. Some research suggests that it might also protect brain cells from chemicals involved in Alzheimer's disease." [1]
SOAP: It contains saponins and is made into soap. [2]
IN THE GARDEN: "Also as a groundcover in water gardens and along pond and lake edges." [3]
HARVEST TIME: All year.
BUTTERFLY HOST: "Larval host plant for white peacock (Anartia jatrophae)." [3]
AQUARIUM PLANT: It is a popular aquarium plant. 

More Details

NATIVE TO: Regional Conservation writes, "Southeastern United States south to the Monroe County Keys; West Indies, Mexico, Central America and northern South America. Rare in the Monroe County Keys." [3] Wikipedia adds, "southern and Eastern India, Australia, Europe, Africa, Asia, and North and South America." [5]
HABITAT: Wet spots, swales, ditches, near ponds. "A wide variety of freshwater wetlands. Freshwater and brackish marshes and wet disturbed sites." [3]
DESCRIPTION: A low growing, non-aromatic, small wildflower.
- RATE OF GROWTH: Moderate to fast. [3]
- HEIGHT: 2-4 inches tall. [3]
- SPREAD: It spreads "and forms large patches." [3]
- FLOWERS: White, often with a very light purple color. 4-5 petals. [5] Actinomorphic. [5]
- LEAVES: Paddle-like, opposite, oblanceolate, succulent, "oblong, 4–6 mm (0.16–0.24 in) thick." [5] "Opposite deccusate." [5]
CULTURE:
- LIGHT: Full sun. [3]
- WATER: It likes damp spots. "It can be grown hydroponically." [5]
- DROUGHT TOLERANCE: Low. [3]
- SALT TOLERANCE: Moderate. [3] It "grows near salt water, but is protected from direct salt spray by other vegetation." [3]
- PROPAGATION: It "can be grown from cuttings [3,5], division and seed." [3]
ETYMOLOGY: Brahmi = "after Brahmā, the creator God of the Hindu pantheon." [5]
LOOK ALKIES
- It is very easily confused with Tropical Water Hyssop, Bacopa innominata, which also grows, less commonly, in scattered counties across Florida. In fact, I must look into the differences, as some of my photos may prove to be innominate. 
- It is also similar to the Swamp Twinflower, aka Lake Twinflower, Dyschoriste humistrata, which is more upright, and the flowers have a slightly more elongated tubular shape. It grows from Sarasota and DeSoto counties northward in Florida to Liberty county. Native. 
- Purslane has similar leaves, but has yellow flowers. 

Flower Color
White

Habitat
Aquatic Wet Ditches
Native?
Native


Plant Form
Herbaceous Evergreen Perennial Groundcover
Height
4 inches
Rate of Growth
Moderate


Hardiness Zone
9a to 11b


When to Harvest
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D


Sources for acquiring

Some native plant nurseries in Florida sell it. 


References

[1] webmd.com 
[2] eattheweeds.com [including the YouTube video] 
[3] Regional Conservation 
[4] examine.com 
[5] Wikipedia 
[6] Biotechnology of Medicinal Plants: Vitalizer and Therapeutic, Rajani, M, 2004. [via 5] 
[7] braintropic.com 
[8, via 5] Indian Medicinal Plants: A Compendium of 500 Species, by Warrier, Nambiar, Ramankutty, etc., 1996 
[9, via 5] Medicinal Plants: Chemistry and Properties, by Daniel, 2005 
[10] The Cognitive-Enhancing Effects of Bacopa monnieri: A Systematic Review of Randomized, Controlled Human Clinical Trials, 2012, a report from two Australian University authors, published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 
[11] "Triterpenoid glycosides from Bacopa monnieri," 2005, by Sivaramakrishna, Rao, Trimurtulu, Vanisree, Subbaraju, published in Phytochemistry 
[12] "Dammarane triterpenoid saponins from Bacopa monnieri," 2009, by Garai, Mahato, Ohtani, and Yamasaki, Can J Chem 
----- 
[27] draxe.com 
[28] "Ethanolic Extracts of Alstonia Scholaris and Bacopa Monniera Possess Neuroleptic Activity due to Anti-dopaminergic Effect," by Jash and Chowdary, published in Pharmacognacy Research, 2014 
[29] simplesmartscience.com 
Last Updated: October 28, 2017

Related Plants in Database

Same Genus:
Bacopa caroliniana

Also in Plantaginaceae
Mecardonia procumbens