Bacopa shares its Ayurvedic name, Brahmi, with the better-known Gotu Kola. Like Gotu Kola, Bacopa is a tonic to the brain, mind, and thought. In Ayurveda, Bacopa is considered a Rasayana, or long-term protective/rejuvenative, for the brain and nerve tissue and mental function.
Bacopa is also used to improve the sharpness of the sense organs, increase learning speed and retention in children and adults, and to treat learning disorders and epilepsy. It strengthens the nervous system in a calming and centering way, and can be helpful for stress-induced anxiety, nervous tension, and insomnia.
Research at a medical institute in India indicated that Bacopa heals the brain tissue by augmenting the protein the body uses to build new neurons to replace damaged ones. This action was also found to increase the efficiency of the transmission of nerve impulses in the brain. In other modern studies, Bacopa was found to increase protective antioxidants in the brain and nervous tissue, acting in a way comparable to Vitamin E.