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Nir Brahmi

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Bacopa monnieri is known as Brahmi in India. It belongs to the genus Bacopa and family Scrophulariaceae. It is distributed throughout India in all plain districts ascending to an altitude of 1,320m and also in adjoining countries Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Nepal. Bacopa monnieri 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. The flowers are small and white, with four or five petals.
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Botanical Names
Bacopa monnieri
Indian Names
Sanskrit : Brahmi, Nira- brahmi Bengali : Brihmi-sak, Jalanimba Gujarati : Khandabrahmi Hindi : Brahmi, Bengsaga Malayalam : Nirbrahmi Marathi : Nirbrahmi, Karivanna Kannada : Nirubrahmi Tamil : Nirbrahmi, Vallarikiri Telugu : Sambranichettu, Mandukabrahami
Chemical Constituents
Major constituents include Glycosides- Saponin glycosides- triterpenoid (tetracyclic). Saponins: Bacosides A &B (Crystalline mixture of several saponins). Bacosides A about 2.5- 3.0%. It also consists of other saponins viz., bacosides A1 &A3, hersaponin, betulic acid, monnierin, alkaloids viz., herpestine and brahmine; flavonoids viz., luteolin-7-glucoside, glucoronyl-7-apigenin and gluucoronyl-7-luteolin; common phytosteroids.
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 herbs are 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 monniera, a traditional Ayurvedic medicine used for centuries as a memory enhancing, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antipyretic, sedative and antiepileptic agent. The plant, plant extract and isolated bacosides have been extensively investigated in several laboratories for their neuro pharmacological effects. In addition, researchers have evaluated the anti-inflammatory, cardiotonic and other pharmacological effects of Bacopa monniera extracts. It has been reported that the plant is used in traditional Ayurvedic treatment for epilepsy and asthma. Laboratory studies on animals (rats) demonstrated that extracts of the plant improve memory capacity. The sulfhydryl and polyphenol components of Bacopa monniera extract have also been shown to impact the oxidative stress cascade by scavenging reactive oxygen species. This mechanism of action may explain the effect of Bacopa monniera extract in reducing beta amyloid deposits in mice with Alzheimer's disease. In a randomized clinical trial, Bacopa significantly improved memory acquisition and retention. Brahmi, can also enhance immune function by increasing immunoglobulin production. It may regulate antibody production by augmenting both Th1 and Th2 cytokine production. Alcoholic extract of Brahmi increases the learning performance of rats and the activity is attributed to saponin mixture consisting of bacosides A, B and other saponins. Other pharmacological effects of the extracts include sedative, antiepileptic, cardiotonic, vasoconstrictor, and anti-inflammatory activities.
Health Benefits
Bacopa monnieri, a plant belonging to the family Scrophulariaceae, has been used in the traditional system of Ayurvedic medicine to improve intelligence and memory for a long time. It is well known for its ability of memory acquisition and retention. A clinical study has reported the effects of Brahmi on human memory. Studies in humans have found that bacopa supplements help to reduce stress and anxiety. Bacopa has also possess antifungal properties against Microsporum, Aspergillus flavu, Aspergillus niger, and Trichophyton rubrum. A scientific study found that bacopa can also be helpful to patients with severe diarrhea associated with irritable bowel syndrome.
Research References
1) http://mind-stimulation-research.blogspot.com/ Effects of a standardized Bacopa monnieri extract on cognitive performance, anxiety, and depression in the elderly: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Authors: Calabrese C, Gregory WL, Leo M, Kraemer D, Bone K, Oken B. 2) http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~content=a910047119&db=all Antidepressant effects of methanol extract and fractions of Bacopa monnieri Authors: Yun-Heng Shen a; Yun Zhou a; Chuan Zhang a; Run-Hui Liu a; Juan Su a; Xiao-Hua Liu a;Wei-Dong Zhang 3) http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/123200235/abstract Antitumor activities of dammarane triterpene saponins from Bacopa monniera Ling Peng 1, Yun Zhou 2 *, De Yun Kong 3, Wei Dong Zhang 4 (1)Department of Oncology, Jinling Hospital, Medical School of Nanjing University, No. 305 East Zhongshan Road, Nanjing, Jiangsu Province 210002, PR China , (2) Zhejiang Food and Drug Administration, No. 27 Wenbei Lane, Moganshan Road, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province 310012, PR China. (3) Shanghai Institute of Pharmaceutical Industry, No. 1320 West Beijing Road, Shanghai 200040, PR China. 4) School of Pharmacy, Second Military Medical University, No. 325 Guohe Road, Shanghai 200433, PR China. 4) www.pubmed.gov • Prophylactic treatment with Bacopa monnieri leaf powder mitigates paraquat-induced oxidative perturbations and lethality in Drosophila melanogaster.(Hosamani R, Muralidhara.Indian J Biochem Biophys. 2010 Apr; 47(2):75-82.PMID: 20521619). • Wound healing and protease inhibition activity of Bacoside-A, isolated from Bacopa monnieri wettest.(Sharath R, Harish BG, Krishna V, Sathyanarayana BN, Swamy HM.Phytother Res. 2010 Mar 8. [Epub ahead of print]PMID: 20213670). • Increased excitability and metabolism in pilocarpine induced epileptic rats: Effect of Bacopa monnieri.(Mathew J, Paul J, Nandhu MS, Paulose CS.Fitoterapia. 2010 Feb 1. [Epub ahead of print]PMID: 20117182). • Bacopa monnieri and Bacoside-A for ameliorating epilepsy associated behavioral deficits.(Mathew J, Paul J, Nandhu MS, Paulose CS.Fitoterapia. 2010 Jul;81(5):315-22. Epub 2009 Nov 26.PMID: 19944749). • Cognitive enhancement and neuroprotective effects of Bacopa monnieri in Alzheimer's disease model.(Uabundit N, Wattanathorn J, Mucimapura S, Ingkaninan K.J Ethnopharmacol. 2010 Jan 8;127(1):26-31. Epub 2009 Oct 4.PMID: 19808086). • Neuroprotective efficacy of Bacopa monnieri against rotenone induced oxidative stress and neurotoxicity in Drosophila melanogaster.(Hosamani R, Muralidhara.Neurotoxicology. 2009 Nov;30(6):977-85. Epub 2009 Sep 8.PMID: 19744517). • Down-regulation of cerebellar 5-HT(2C) receptors in pilocarpine-induced epilepsy in rats: therapeutic role of Bacopa monnieri extract.(Krishnakumar A, Abraham PM, Paul J, Paulose CS.J Neurol Sci. 2009 Sep 15;284(1-2):124-8. Epub 2009 May 13.PMID: 19439326). • Evaluation of antifertility potential of Brahmi in male mouse.(Singh A, Singh SK.Contraception. 2009 Jan;79(1):71-9. Epub 2008 Sep 18.PMID: 19041444).