In Ayurvedic medicine, Bacopa monnieri or Brahmi has been used for centuries by practitioners to treat a range of ailments, including memory loss, anxiety, and epilepsy.
Among other benefits, research has shown that it may enhance brain function and decrease anxiety and stress.
In case you do not know what Brahmi is or its benefits, let us talk about them in more detail.
What Is Brahmi?
Brahmi is a plant that grows underwater in wet, tropical environments. It belongs to the herb family of grace and is used to treat conditions like anxiety, stress, epilepsy, etc., in Ayurveda.
It's scientific name is Bacopa monnieri. Since it grows underwater, it is often used in aquariums.
Other Common Names of Brahmi
Some of the other common names of Brahmi include :
- Herpestis Monniera
- Herb of Grace
- Thyme-Leave Gratiola
- Bacopa monniera
- Indian Pennywort
Here are some Brahmi leaves benefits in Ayurveda:
1) Reduces oxidative stress:
Certain proteins in Brahmi act as antioxidative agents. They fight free radicals causing harm to cells and protect our bodies from oxidative stress. Thus, Brahmi prevents cell damage that could lead to conditions like arthritis, respiratory problems, cardiovascular diseases, inflammatory issues, immune deficiency, etc.
2) Beneficial for asthma patients:
Laxative property of Brahmi causes bronchitis dilation. As a result, asthma patients can breathe properly.
3) Maintains blood pressure:
A person can get high blood pressure due to excess stress or anxiety. Brahmi helps manage stressful brain responses and thus helps in controlling blood pressure.
4) Controls body temperature:
Brahmi has analgesic and antipyretic properties that help bring down body temperature and reduce pain in fever.
5) Heals wound:
Brahmi constitutes a compound called bacosides that accelerates the injury or wound healing process.
6) Helpful for reducing inflammation:
Brahmi inhibits inflammation-inducing enzymes like lipoxygenases, cyclooxygenases, and caspases. It also counterfeits molecules stimulating an inflammatory immune response (known as cytokinesis).
7) May help in treating cancer:
Antioxidants and Bacosides in Brahmi have the ability to attack cancer tumour cells, as demonstrated by a study conducted on "Bacoside A Induces Tumor Cell Death in Human Glioblastoma Cell Lines through Catastrophic Macropinocytosis." However, research is still going on and until more evidence is available, this plant is not recommended for the treatment of cancer.
Brahmi Benefits For Hair
The benefits of Brahmi leaves for hair are as follows:
1) Reduces Hair Fall:
Biochemical compounds in Brahmi reduce hair fall and prevent temporary baldness by providing nourishment to the scalp.
2) Cleans And Soothes Scalp:
Brahmi has antioxidants that reduce oxidative stress and cleanse the scalp.
3) Prevents Split Ends:
Brahmi forms a protective layer around hair and prevents dryness, flakiness and itchiness. This helps in preventing split ends.
4) Treats Dandruff:
Moisturising property of Brahmi helps in treating dry scalp issues like dandruff.
5) Promotes Healthy Hair:
Since this herb manages anxiety and reduces stress, it promotes the growth of healthier and shinier hair.
Brahmi Benefits For Brain
The many Brahmi uses help in maintaining normal brain functioning in the following ways:
1) Reduces mental strain:
Brahmi syrup is considered a nerve tonic in Ayurveda. It reduces anxiety, fear and stress, which can cause harm to the physical as well as mental health.
2) Assists insomnia:
As Brahmi helps in reducing stress, anxiety and other conditions affecting the mental well-being of a person, it helps in the management of insomnia as well. Its consumption at bedtime induces sleep and relaxes the mind.
3) Boosts memory and intelligence:
Brahmi is known for enhancing long-term and short-term memory. Hence it is used for managing cognitive conditions like Alzheimer’s that impact brain functioning.
4) Manages epilepsy:
Bramhi's neuroprotective properties help in improving mental concentration, memory and brain performance. Thus it is used for treating epileptic patients who suffer from cognitive, learning and memory disorders.
5) Reduces symptoms of ADHD:
A neurodevelopmental disorder known as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD causes symptoms like impulse action, lack of focus or attentiveness and hyperactive behaviour. Brahmi aids in reducing such symptoms due to its cognitive ability improving property.
How to Eat Brahmi Leaves
Brahmi leaves are available in powder, capsules and tablet form at medical stores.
You can eat 2-3 grams of Brahmi powder daily along with a meal for boosting memory and the immune system. Adults can intake 25-50 ml of its decoction made in boiled water daily.
For children, you can make Brahmi ghrita by mixing honey, ghee and water with its powder. Give this to infants and kids in small doses only.
Above mentioned dosage is for regular consumption meant to enhance mental and physical health. However, consult a doctor if you are planning to use Brahmi for treating some medical conditions.
Brahmi Side Effects
Although Brahmi powder benefits us in many ways, its unregulated consumption can cause side effects in some people, like:
- Stomach cramps
- Dry mouth
It is also considered unsafe for pregnant women due to the lack of proper research in this area. Also, talk to a doctor before including Brahmi in daily meals if you take other medicines as it may be counter interactive with a few drugs.
Summing Up on Brahmi Benefits
Brahmi is an ancient Ayurvedic herb that treats a wide range of ailments.
Research shows it may help boost brain function, relieve ADHD symptoms, and reduce stress.
However, pregnant women should seek a doctor's advice before including Brahmi in daily meals if you are taking any other medications as it may affect other drugs.
How Long Does Brahmi Take to Work?
Research shows that It takes about 12 weeks to show the effects of Brahmi.
How to Identify Brahmi Plant?
The best way to identify brahmi plant is to look at its leaves. It’s leaves are without stock and its shape is usually spatulate. They are also fleshy which means that its veins are not much visible.
Can We Consume Brahmi Daily?
According to certified Ayurvedic doctors, Brahmi powder can be consumed in small amounts of 2-4 grams per day with meals. An adult can consume 25 - 50 ml of decoction of Brahmi powder in boiled water per day.
Can I Mix Ashwagandha and Brahmi?
Yes, you can take Brahmi and Ashwagandha together because both help to maintain a healthy function of the brain when your digestive system is in good shape. Otherwise, these may increase your digestive problems.