Bacopa monnieri is a creeping perennial with white or blue flowers that grows throughout much of Southern Asia.

It has been used traditionally to treat epilepsy, depression, insomnia, and schizophrenia. In the traditional medicine of India,Ayurveda, B. monnieri is considered to fall in the “brahmi” category of herbs, a group of substances said to assist the mind and enhance awareness. From this comes B. monnieri’s common name of brahmi, despite the fact that many other herbs fall into the brahmi category, as well.

B. monnieri is widely marketed today as a “brain tonic” for enhancing memory and mental function. However, as discussed in the next section, the evidence that it works remains weak at best.

Even weaker evidence, far too preliminary to rely upon at all, hints that B. monnieri might have potential value for allergies,1asthma,2narcotic addiction,3hypothyroidism,4depression,5 and ulcers.6 However, far more research is necessary before anyone could responsibly promote B. monnieri for these conditions.