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P Native Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Brahmi, herb of grace, Indian pennywort, moneywort, Monnier's bacopa, thyme-leaved gratiola, water hyssop • Assamese: ব্ৰাহ্মী brahmi • Bengali: ব্রাহ্মিশাক brahmisaka • Gujarati: બામ baam, બ્રાહ્મી brahmi, જલનેવરી jalanevari, કડવી લૂણી kadavi luni • Hindi: बाम baam, ब्राह्यी brahmi, जलबूटी jalbuti, जलनीम jalnim, नीरब्राह्मी nirbrahmi, सफेद चमनी safed chamani • Kannada: ಬ್ರಾಹ್ಮಿ Brahmi, ಜಲ ಬ್ರಾಹ್ಮಿ Jala brahmi, ನೀರು ಬ್ರಾಹ್ಮಿ Niru brahmi • Konkani: ब्राह्मी brahmi • Malayalam: ബ്രഹ്മി brahmi • Manipuri: ꯕ꯭ꯔꯥꯍꯃꯤ ꯁꯥꯛ Brahmi-sak • Marathi: ब्राह्मी brahmi, जलब्राह्मी jalabrahmi, नीर ब्राह्मी nir brahmi • Nepali: ब्राह्मी Braahmee, मेधा गिरी Medhaa Giree • Oriya: ବ୍ରାହ୍ମୀ brahmi, ପୃଶ୍ନି ପର୍ଣ୍ଣୀ prusni parnni • Sanskrit: ब्राह्मी brahmi, तिक्तलोणिका tiktalonika • Tamil: நீர்ப்பிரமி nir-p-pirami, பிரமி piramiyam, தராய் taray • Telugu: సాంబ్రాణి ఆకు sambrani aku
Botanical name: Bacopa monnieri    Family: Plantaginaceae (Plantain family)
Synonyms: Bacopa micromonnieria, Bramia indica, Bramia monnieri

Brahmi is a perennial, creeping herb whose habitat includes wetlands and muddy shores. The leaves of this plant are succulent and relatively thick. Leaves are oblanceolate and are arranged oppositely on the stem. Small flowers are borne in leaf axils. Flower stalk is 0.5-3.5 cm long. Bracteoles are 2, linear, below calyx. Sepals are 5, about 5 mm. Lower and upper sepals are ovate-lanceolate, lateral 2 sepals are lanceshaped to linear. Flowers are blue, purple, or white, 8-10 mm, obscurely 2-lipped. Capsule are narrowly ovoid, enveloped in persistent sepal-cup, tip pointed. Seeds are yellow-brown, ellipsoid, truncate at one end, longitudinally channeled. Flowering: May-October.
Medicinal uses: Famed in Ayurvedic medicine, brahmi has antioxidant properties. It has been reported to reduce oxidation of fats in the blood stream, which is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. It has been used for centuries to help benefit epilepsy, memory capacity, increase concentration, and reduce stress-induced anxiety. It is listed as a nootropic, a drug that enhances cognitive ability. According to Ayurveda, it is bitter, pungent, heating, emetic, laxative and useful in bad ulcers, tumours, ascites, enlargement of spleen, indigestion, inflammations, leprosy, anaemia, biliousness etc. According to Unani system of medicine, it is bitter, aphrodisiac, good in scabies, leucoderma, syphilis etc. It is a promising blood purifier and useful in diarrhea and fevers.

Identification credit: Navendu Pāgé Photographed in Delhi and Maharashtra.

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