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Brahmi 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. Its ability to grow in water makes it a popular aquarium plant. It can even grow in slightly brackish conditions. Propagation is often achieved through cuttings. It commonly grows in marshy areas throughout India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, China, Taiwan, and Vietnam, and is also found in Florida, Hawaii and other southern states of the USA where it can be grown in damp conditions by the pond or bog garden.
Brahmi is known botanicaly as Bacopa monnieri. Brahmi is a nervine tonic that enhances learning, academic performance and improves mental ability. It acts as an anti anxiety agent and is used in several mental disorders. It also calms restlessness in children. Brahmi significantly improves the cognitive ability including an accelerated rate of learning and enhanced memory. These effects are optimized after a 12 week period. Bacopa monnieri extract was found to reduce beta amyloid deposits in mice with Alzheimer's disease. Taken regularly, Brahmi might reduce the chances of developing AD.
Brahmi is an Ayurvedic herb that has been used for several thousand years as a brain tonic, to enhance intellect, treat psychiatric illness, epilepsy, insomnia and as an anti stress adaptogenic herb. Evidence of cognitive activator activity from animal models of learning is positive and clinical studies have produced excellent and encouraging results. Brahmi has potent antioxidant activity, which appears to be a result of both direct free radical scavenging activity and increasing endogenous antioxidant systems in the brain and liver. Brahmi has a long history of use as a brain tonic. Results from scientific studies suggest that it may enhance memory and cognitive function and reduce anxiety with long-term use.