Perhaps it was dated thirty-five years ago that I went on a journey with V. Subrahmanya Iyer. We travelled for about ten days through jungles and mountain villages in the depths of Mysore state. On our trip, a yogi who was unknown to us joined the party and stayed with us for a day or two. Later in the first day, the yogi darted to the ground where some creepers were growing in a shady, damp place. He pulled up part of a plant and showed it to me and praised its medicinal merits. Iyer told me it was used by old people to become more youthful and to lengthen life; the yogi told me he used it to treat patients suffering from leprosy, to strengthen the heart and thus prevent attacks, and to purify the blood. He added that it was even useful in the kitchen where, mixed with curry and grated coconut, it improved the taste of food. I could not at the time identify the plant with anything I had seen in the West. In Sanskrit it is Soma Valli, in Tamil it is Vallarai, in Hindi it is Brahmi. Preparations from it are made by the ayurvedic native herbalists and medical practitioners.
-- Notebooks Category 5: The Body > Chapter 3: Diet > # 169