Brahmi – Chemical Constituents and Uses

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Source and Morphology of Brahmi:

Brahmi consists of the fresh leaves and the stems of the plant known as Bacopa moniera or Herpestis moniera belonging to the family Scrophulariaceae. It is also called as Bacopa. Brahmi is a prostrate, succulent herb found throughout India.

Chemical constituents of Brahmi:

English: Bacopa monnieri (syn. Bramia monnieri...

English: Bacopa monnieri (syn. Bramia monnieri, Gratiola monnieria, Herpestes monnieria, Herpestis fauriei, H. monniera, H. monnieria, Lysimachia monnieri, Moniera euneifolia)- Coastal Waterhyssop, Thyme-leafed gratiola, Water hyssop, Water Hyssop, Indian pennywort, Brahmi ब्राह्मी (Hindi), நீர்ப்pராமி Nirbrahmi (Tamil), Jalanevari (Gujarati)- in Hyderabad, India. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Brahmi contains the alkaloids brahmine, herpestine. It contains saponins namely bacosides A and B. It also contains betulic acid, stigmasterol, monnierin and hersaponin. Bacosides A and B on hydrolysis gives triterpenoid aglycone bacogenins A and B respectively.

Uses of Brahmi:

  • Brahmi is used as a Nervine tonic
  • Brahmi is used in the treatment of asthma
  • Brahmi is used in the treatment of epilepsy
  • Brahmi is used in the treatment of insanity
  • Brahmi is used as an Aperient agent
  • Brahmi is used as a Diuretic agent
  • Alcoholic extract of the Brahmi plant is found to have anti-cancer activity
  • Bacosides A and B enhances protein kinase activity and treats dementia by synthesising proteins in the parts of cerebrum which is associated with long term memory and eventually enhances recall levels and learning.
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