Botanical name: Bacopa monnieri Family: Scrophulariaceae (Dog flower 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.
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