BACOPA MONNIERA (L.) Pennel.

Herpestis monniera H.B.&.K.
Family: Scrophulariaceae

Bengali/vernacular name: Brahmishak, Adhabirani, Dhupkamini.
English name: Indian Pennywort, Thyme-leaved Gratiola.

Description of the plant:
BACOPA MONNIERA (L.) Pennel. is a small, much branched, creeping herb, rooting at the nodes; branches 10-25 cm long. Leaves 15-18 cm long, sessile decussate, obovate-oblong or spathulate rather fleshy. Flowers axilary, solitary, pale blue, corolla twice as long as the calyx, peduncles longer than the leaves. Capsules c. 5 mm ovoid.

Using information:
The plant is bitter, diuretic, laxative, emetic, aphrodisiac and brain tonic; useful in ascites, indigestion, diarrhoea, enlargement of spleen and for the promotion of memory and as a cure for epilepsy, insanity and scabies. It is also used in catarrhal complaints, asthma and hoarseness of voice. It promotes sleep and acts as a cardiac tonic; gives relief to patients from anxiety neurosis. Decoction of leaves used in cough and rheumatism.


Baccopa Monnieria
BACOPA MONNIERA (L.) Pennel.


Alcoholic extract of the plant is tranquillizer in rats and dogs; smooth muscle relaxant and antispasmodic. EtOH(50%) extract of plant has got effect on cerebral amino acid level in mice; also possesses anticancer properties (Asolkar et al., 1992).

Chemical constituents:
Various part of the plant contain steroidal saponins, bacogenins, hersaponin, monnierin and bacoside A & B, betulic, betulinic acids, d-mannitol, stigmasterol, ß-sitosterol and stigmastanol; alkaloids, brahmine and herpestine. The plant also contains nicotine, luteolin and its glucoside (Gani, 2003; Asolkar et al., 1992).

Distribution:
Chittagong, Cox's Bazar, St. Martin's islands and other coastal areas of Bangladesh in fallow lands and peddy fields.