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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


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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.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 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: acid, neutral and basic (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


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.


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.

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 ].


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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


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 ].


Temperature Converter

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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.

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.


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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.

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