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Brahmi

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Bacopa monnieri is a small herbaceous annual plant of the family Mackinlayaceae. It is native to India, Sri Lanka, northern Australia, Indonesia, Iran, and other parts of Asia. It is used as a medicinal herb in Ayurvedic medicine and traditional Chinese medicine. Botanical synonyms include Hydrocotyle asiatica and Trisanthus cochinchinensis. It is distributed throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of India.
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Botanical Names
Bacopa monnieri
Indian Names
English : Brahmi - sak Bengali : Jalanimba Hindi : Brahmi Malayalam : Neerbrahmi Marathi : Neerbrahmi Kannada : Nirubrahmi Tamil : Neerbrahmi Telugu : Sambrani ehettu
Chemical Constituents
Major constituents include triterpenoid saponins viz., madecassoside and asiaticoside and their aglycones viz., Asiatic acid and madecassic acid. Madecassoside 0.7-5.0%; Asiaticoside 0.1-0.6%; Asiatic acid 0.1-0.5%; Madecassic acid 0.5-0.8%. Saponins like asiaticoside B, brahminoside, brahmoside centelloside, indcentelloside, thankunside and isothankuniside triterpenoid acids viz., brahmic acid, isobrahmic acid, betulic acid, centic acid and centoic acid; flavonoid glycoside viz., 3-glucosylquercetin and 3-glucosylkaempferol; and an alkaloid hydrocotyline are also present
Pesticide Limits
A limit for pesticide is one of the major issues in standardization of medicinal plants and products in view of the worldwide widespread use of pesticides in cultivated plants. The presence of pesticides in extracts increase the health risk by many folds. The pesticides can be extremely irritant on skin as well as in the internal organs, it is essential to monitor its concentration as a part of GMP. Various analytical methods for the quantitative determination of pesticides by gas chromatography coupled with mass-spectrophotometer are in use. Konark Research Foundation (KRF), a NABL certified lab is well equipped with the latest technology and instruments and monitors the pesticide limit as part of its GMP.
Chromatographic Profile
From the pharmacopoeial perspective, a better quality control of raw material can be achieved by specifying a quantitative test procedure for the determination of the range or a minimum content by specifying a quantitative test procedure for the determination of the range or a minimum content of the marker substances or the ‘active’ ingredient. A chromatographic finger profile represents qualitative/ quantitative determination of various components present in a complex plant extract irrespective whether or not their exact identity is known. Thin layer chromatographic technique is the simplest and least expensive method that provides plenty of information on the composition of raw herbs and its preparation. For quantitative analysis of active ingredients or marker substances with simultaneous separation and detection High Pressure liquid chromatography is the best technique. We use the latest model of HPLC for all its analysis.
Limits of Impurities
A test requirement for foreign organic matter would ensure the extent of contamination of extraneous matters such as filth and other parts of botanicals not covered by the definition of the herbal drug.Since sand and soil are predictable contaminants of botanicals, test requirements for ‘total ash’, water soluble ash’, ‘acid soluble ash’, residue on ignition and sulphated ash would be expected to limit such contaminants.Test requirement for heavy metals in botanical raw material are probably more relevant for parts of plants growing under ground than for the aerial parts of the plant. The presence of high levels of minerals interacts with the final product there by affecting its keeping quality.
Microbial Limits
If the raw herb is to be used directly without boiling in water prior to consumption, restrictive limits on microbial contaminants are required for pathogens such as Salmonella sp. Enterobacter and E.coli which are causative agent for various gastro-intestinal diseases. A lower level of yeasts and molds and a limit on total aerobes are considered appropriate in plant material for topical use. The presence of aflatoxins detected by chemical means is generally independent of the number of viable molds that are detected using microbiological methods. Aflatoxins in microgram quantity are capable of giving serious hypersentivity reactions which can be extremely harmful to human health.
Pharmacology
Bacopa monnieri is a mild adaptogen, is mildly antibacterial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcerogenic, anxiolytic, a cerebral tonic, a circulatory stimulant, a diuretic. Several scientific reports have documented Bacopa monnieri's ability to aid wound healing which is responsible for its traditional use in leprosy. The isolated steroids from the plant have been used to treat leprosy. In addition, preliminary evidence suggests that it may have nootropic effects. Bacopa monnieri is used to re-vitalize the brain and nervous system, increase attention span and concentration, and combat aging. Bacopa monnieri also has anti-oxidant properties. It works for venous insufficiency. The role of Bacopa monnieri extract in the treatment of memory enhancement and other neurodegenerative disorders is also well documented. The antiumor property of Bacopa monnieri extract was proved by its growth inhibitory effects on the development of solid and ascites tumor and that lead to increased life span of the tumor bearing mice. The authors also suggested that the extract directly impeded the DNA synthesis. In a scientific study, Bacopa monnieri extract showed an obvious dose dependent inhibition of cell proliferation in breast cancer cells.
Health Benefits
Alcohol extract of the Bacopa monnieri plant shows transquilizing, sedative and antianxiety effects in experimental animals. The herb produces significant intellectual improvement in mentally retarded children. Triterpenoid fraction of the plant improves the conditions in patients with venous hypertension, and post phlebitic syndrome. Bacopa monnieri and its constituents are beneficial in the treatment of wounds and ulcerous skin abnormalities. It is mainly used to treat mental and neurological disturbances. Apart from its role as a brain tonic, its efficacy in treating tuberculosis, syphilis, amoebic dysentery and common cold is well documented in the literature. Also used in skin disease, leprosy, wound healing, anti-ulcer activity and as mild diuretics.
Research References
• www.pubmed.gov Pubmed, a wellknown site has listed important studies going on around the world in various universities. These include….. 1. Upregulation of phytosterol and triterpene biosynthesis in Centella asiatica hairy roots overexpressed ginseng farnesyl diphosphate synthase.(Kim OT, Kim SH, Ohyama K, Muranaka T, Choi YE, Lee HY, Kim MY, Hwang B.Plant Cell Rep. 2010 Apr; 29(4):403-11. Epub 2010 Feb 27.PMID: 20195611). 2. Evaluation of the anticonvulsant effect of Centella asiatica (gotu kola) in pentylenetetrazol-induced seizures with respect to cholinergic neurotransmission.(Visweswari G, Prasad KS, Chetan PS, Lokanatha V, Rajendra W.Epilepsy Behav. 2010 Mar;17(3):332-5. Epub 2010 Feb 9.PMID: 20144879). 3. Neuroprotective effect of Centella asiatica extract (CAE) on experimentally induced Parkinsonism in aged Sprague-Dawley rats.(Haleagrahara N, Ponnusamy K.J Toxicol Sci. 2010; 35(1):41-7.PMID: 20118623). 4. Prophylaxis with Centella asiatica confers protection to prepubertal mice against 3-nitropropionic-acid-induced oxidative stress in brain.(Shinomol GK, Ravikumar H; Muralidhara.Phytother Res. 2010 Jun; 24(6):885-92.PMID: 19943239). 1. Indian Herbal Pharmacopoeia (Revised New Edition 2002). 2. Standardization of Botanicals, Volume 2- By Dr. V. Rajpal. 3. www.pubmed.gov
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