We have recently published ‘Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions’: i.e. tropical and sub-tropical regions. We rely on regular donations to keep our free database going and help fund development of this and another book we are planning on food forest plants for Mediterranean climates. Please give what you can to keep PFAF properly funded. More >>>

Follow Us:


Bacopa monnieri - (L.) Wettst.

Common Name Herb of Grace, Brahmi, Smooth Water Hyssop
Family Plantaginaceae
USDA hardiness 8-11
Known Hazards The most commonly reported adverse side effects of Bacopa monnieri in humans are nausea, increased intestinal motility, and gastrointestinal upset.
Habitats Mud flats in estuarine habitats[ 200 ]. Moist and wet places, such as the borders of water channels, wells, irrigated fields etc[ 304 ].
Range Found through most of the tropics.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (1 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (4 of 5)
Care (info)
Half Hardy Moist Soil Wet Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Bacopa monnieri Herb of Grace, Brahmi, Smooth Water Hyssop

Bacopa monnieri Herb of Grace, Brahmi, Smooth Water Hyssop


Translate this page:


Brahmi, Bacopa monnieri, is a tropical, perennial, non-aromatic herb used in Ayurveda medicine. It grows in rice fields and damp areas. Its leaves are succulent, oblong, thick, and arranged alternately. The flowers are small and white, with four to five petals. The leaves are edible - it can be eaten raw in mixed salads or cooked as a vegetable. Brahmi is considered to be of a high value herb due to its beneficial effects upon the nervous system. It is used as treatment for epilepsy, asthma, ulcers, tumors, gastroenteritis, ascites, enlarged spleen, anemia, inflammations, and leprosy. It is grown by stem cuttings.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Bacopa monnieri is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in) at a fast rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 9 and is frost tender. The flowers are pollinated by Bees, Insects.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid, very alkaline and saline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist or wet soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Anisocalyx limnanthiflorus (L.) Hance Bacopa micromonnieria (Griseb.) B.L.Rob. Bacopa micromonnieria

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers  Leaves
Edible Uses:

Edible portion: Leaves, Flowers, Vegetable. The leaves can be eaten raw in mixed salads, or cooked as a vegetable, added to soups or pickled[ 301 ]. The flowers are eaten in times of food shortage.

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Antiasthmatic  Antitussive  Aperient  Cancer  Cardiac  Diuretic  Epilepsy  Hypotensive  
Infertility  Nervine  Sedative  Skin  Tonic  Vasoconstrictor

Brahmi is a very important Ayurvedic herb, being particularly valued for its beneficial effect upon the nervous system. Its main active substances are steroidal saponins, including bacosides[ 254 ]. The whole plant is used - roots, stems and leaves[ 304 ]. It is cardiac, nervine tonic, sedative and vasoconstrictor[ 304 ]. The leaves and stalks are aperient and diuretic[ 304 ]. An alcohol extract of the whole plant has been shown to have anticancer activity against Walker carcinoma[ 304 ]. An alcohol extract of plant is a muscle relaxant and cardiovascular relaxant[ 348 ]. Research in India suggests that brahmi improves mental function, memory and concentration, and also reduces learning time[ 254 ]. The plant contains the alkaloid brahmine, which has been shown to raise blood pressure when administered in therapeutic dosage, but to be hypotensive when given in very strong dosage[ 348 ]. A tranquilizing saponin that resembles reserpine is also present[ 348 ]. The plant is used principally in the treatment of a range of nervous system disorders including neuralgia, hysteria, epilepsy, insanity, neurasthenia, aphonia and hoarseness[ 254 , 304 ]. The plant is also taken internally in a number of other conditions including indigestion, ulcers, wind, constipation, asthma, bronchitis and infertility[ 254 ]. A poultice made of the boiled plant is applied to the chests of children in the treatment of acute bronchitis and other coughs[ 304 ]. A juice made from the plant is applied as a wash on burns[ 272 ].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

The Bookshop: Edible Plant Books

Our Latest books on Perennial Plants For Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens in paperback or digital formats.

Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions: 250+ Plants For Tropical Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.
Edible Tropical Plants

Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions: 250+ Plants For Tropical Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.

Plants for Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.
Edible Temperate Plants

Plants for Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.

PFAF have eight books available in paperback and digital media.
More Books

PFAF have eight books available in paperback and digital formats. Browse the shop for more information.

Shop Now

Other Uses

Other uses rating: Low (1/5). Its ability to grow in water makes it a popular aquarium plant. Attractive to bees, butterflies and birds.

Special Uses

Attracts Wildlife  Food Forest

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Plants can be grown in warmer temperate climates through to tropical zones[ 254 ]. Requires a wet soil to shallow water[ 200 ]. Tolerant of saline conditions[ 200 ].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

Type a value in the Celsius field to convert the value to Fahrenheit:



The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees,Edible Shrubs, Woodland Gardening, and Temperate Food Forest Plants. Our new book is Food Forest Plants For Hotter Conditions (Tropical and Sub-Tropical).

Shop Now

Plant Propagation

Seed - Division Softwood cuttings

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Other Names: ae_ae, Brahmi, Brahmisak, Brithmi-sak, Herpestis, Kleines Fettblatt, Lunuwila, Neerbrahmi, Nira-brahmi, Niirpirami, Nirbrahmi, Nirubrahmi, Phak mi, Rau dang, Smau snao, Thyme leaved Gratiola, Timare.

Native Plant Search

Search over 900 plants ideal for food forests and permaculture gardens. Filter to search native plants to your area. The plants selected are the plants in our book 'Plants For Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens, as well as plants chosen for our forthcoming related books for Tropical/Hot Wet Climates and Mediterranean/Hot Dry Climates. Native Plant Search

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Found In: Africa, Asia, Australia, Bahamas, Cambodia, Central America, Cuba, Dominican Republic, East Africa, Guiana, Haiti, Hawaii, India, Indochina, Indonesia, Jamaica, Laos, Madagascar, Mexico, North America, Northeastern India, Pacific, SE Asia, South America*, USA, Vietnam, Virgin Islands.

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Possibly invasive in India, Uttar Pradesh, Iraq, Yemenv, Mexico, Florida, Cayman Islands, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Martinique, Saint Lucia, Peru, Portugal.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : Least Concern

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


Expert comment


(L.) Wettst.

Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

Readers comment

Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at [email protected]. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Bacopa monnieri  
© 2010, Plants For A Future. Plants For A Future is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Charity No. 1057719, Company No. 3204567.