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Bacopa monnieri, the Baby's tears



Bacopa monnieri, a.k.a. Bakopa a creeping herb commonly known as Baby's tears [1] and Centella asiatica that grows in wetlands and muddy shores, has been popularly used in aquariums [2]. In spite this herb grows mainly in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, China, Taiwan and Vietnam, it has also been found in Florida, Hawai and other southern states of the USA [2].

In spite some of the active constituents found in this herb are known to be powerful anti-cancer compounds, as apigenin, Bacopa monnieri has traditionally been known to be able to enhance cognitive performance and be effective against cognitive impairment [5], some of them providing evidence suggesting that Bacopa monnieri improves memory free recall with evidence for enhancement in other cognitive abilities [3].

Some studies even suggest that it may be a potential source of active constituents for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease [5]. Image: Bacopa monnieri by Robert Lafond under Creative Commons license (CC BY-SA 2.0). 


Family: Plantaginaceae

Genus: Bacopa

Common name: Baby's tears, Centella asiatica, Waterhyssop, Brahmi, Thyme-leafed gratiola, Water hyssop



Some of the active constituents found in this herb include:


  • 1. Alkaloids (brahmine and herpestine),
  • 2. Saponins (d-mannitol and hersaponin, acid A, and monnierin) and
  • 3. Flavonoids (luteolin and apigenin) [2].

Pure apigenin
is a flavonoid used primarily in research as a protein kinase inhibitor that may suppress tumour promotion and that has anti-proliferating effects. Scientific evidence was found about the benefits of apigenin on the suppression of cancer cells.

In a study carried out by the UC Riverside biochemists published in the on-line edition of the National Academy of Sciences [2], Xuan Liu, professor of biochemistry, and Xin Cai, a post-doctoral researcher, found that apigenin is able to find the protein p53, a well-known tumour suppressor that acts as an anti-cancerous agent by stopping cancer cells growth and killing them. Image right: Bacopa monnieri by Alex Popovkin under Creative Commons license (CC BY 2.0).

Disclaimer: The information presented on this website is not intended to prescribe or give in any way or form medical advice, recommend or diagnose. Please read the disclaimer at the bottom of this page for more info.



[1] Porcher Michel H. et al. 1995 - 2020, Sorting Bacopa Names. Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database - A Work in Progress. Institute of Land & Food Resources. The University of Melbourne. Australia. <http://www.plantnames.unimelb.edu.au/Sorting/Bacopa.html > (2012).
[2] Wikipedia article on Bacopa monnieri
[3] The Cognitive-Enhancing Effects of Bacopa monnieri: A Systematic Review of Randomized, Controlled Human Clinical Trials. Pase MP, Kean J, Sarris J, Neale C, Scholey AB, Stough C. 1 Centre for Human Psychopharmacology, Faculty of Life and Social Sciences, Swinburne University of Technology , Hawthorn, Australia.
[4] Use of the cryptogein gene to stimulate the accumulation of bacopa saponins in transgenic Bacopa monnieri plants. Majumdar S, Garai S, Jha S. Department of Botany, Centre of Advanced Study, University of Calcutta, 35 Ballygunge Circular Road, Kolkata, 700019, India.
[5] Neuroprotective Effects of Bacopa monnieri in Experimental Model of Dementia. Saini N, Singh D, Sandhir R. Department of Biochemistry, Panjab University, Chandigarh, 160014, India.