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

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).

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