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Schwabe News Volume 2 | Issue 2 | April 2011

Bacopa monnieri

It has been recently introduced in homoeopathy and is used empirically.  It is an Indian herb with long tradition of use as nervine and cardiac tonic. It is an old Indian medicine known as ‘Brahmi’.  It attracted the scientific attention as back as 1931 when Journal of Indian Medical Association reported that it has an alkaloid Brahmine, which has therapeutic similarity with strychnine, but is less toxic.  Thereafter, the drug has been under continuous research.  It is found throughout in India in wet damp marshy regions.  It is a small plant and the whole plant is used in preparation of homoeopathic medicine.  It is an Indian drug.  It is covered by the Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia of India (Govt. of India). Homoeopathic literature covers impaired memory and indicates its usefulness as a tonic for absent mindedness1,2,3

Recent research reveals that it has significant influence on learning abilities, reduction of levels of anxiety, improved capacity of adjustments, improved mental function like better acquisition of knowledge, improved retention and delayed extinction.  All these make it ideal of improving memory. About a dozen of phytochemicals have been isolated including different bacosides and certain sterols.  They have positive effect on the central nervous system.  In another paper published on the retention and extinction of newly learned skills on rats, the effect of Bacopa monerri for enhancing the learning abilities has been proved beyond doubt.  Surprisingly the enhancement of learning skill persists even under tension like punishment and emotional changes.  Very recently the alcoholic extract has been found to be having effects like sharpening of dull memory in the patients of anxiety neurosis.  It is also used as tranquilizer, muscle relaxant and as anti-cancer drug (preventive and curative role like in animal experiments). 4,5,6,7,8,9

Based on the reports indicated it may be used alone or as complementary medicine for the following conditions:

  • As nervine tonic to lower tension due to mental over-work.
  • Improve learning potential.
  • Improve memory.
  • Lower tension and induce good sleep.

 

Recommended dose: 30 drops in water twice daily for extended period.  Dose and duration are to be monitored by the physician with reference to the improvements taking place.

 

Reference:
  1. Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia of India.
  2. Banerjea S. K., Fifty Homoeopathic Indian Drugs.
  3. P. N. Varma, Indu Vaid, Encyclopaedia of Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia, Volume II, Updated edition 2007, B. Jain Publishers, New Delhi.
  4. Andrew Chevallier, The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants, 1st ed. 1996
  5. Dey, C.D. Bose,S. and Mitra,S 1976.Effect of some centrally active Phyto products on maze-learning of albino rat, Indian J Physio.l Allied Sci, 1976, 30, 88
  6. Singh HK, Dhawan BN. Effect of Bacopa monniera Linn. (brahmi) extract on avoidance responses in rat. J Ethnopharmacol 1982;5:205–1
  7. Roodenrys S, et al., Chronic effects of Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) on human memory, Neuropsychopharmacology, 2002 Aug;27(2):279-81
  8. Asolkar L. V., Kakkar K. K., Chakre O. J., Second supplement to glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants with Active Principles, Part-I, Publications & Information Directorate (CSIR), New Delhi, 1992
  9. Deepak Rai, Gitika Bhatia, Gautam Palit, et al., Adaptogenic effect of Bacopa monniera (Brahmi), Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, Volume 75, Issue 4, July 2003, Pages 823-830