Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) is a popular Ayurvedic Rasayana with adaptogenic properties and potent bioactive compounds. Bacopa has many other names like Indian Pennywort, Waterhyssop, or the ‘Herb of Grace.’ Brahmi is a perennial creeper with oblong leaves and small white flowers that grow in damp, marshy, and humid regions. It is a non-aromatic herb that grows in many areas of the world. It has been famous for its medical purposes on the Indian sub-continent for millennia.
Brahmi or Bacopa Monnieri is a bittersweet herb that has a cooling impact on the digestive system. Ayurveda uses it as a brain booster, aphrodisiac, and all-purpose tonic. Traditionally, it was the ‘herb of yogis.’ They consumed it to improve focus and concentration to achieve higher states of meditation. There are several noteworthy mentions in the primary texts of Ayurveda. One verse states that Brahmi Rasayana balances the left and right sides of the brain. In the Vedic times, Bacopa helped spiritual practitioners to awaken their crown chakra among
Modern research indicates that Bacopa is rich in bioactive compounds, or bacosides. These potent compounds have varying health benefits, and they can improve concentration, reduce anxiety, and regulate blood pressure levels. Further, some studies suggest it can help people with ADHD and epilepsy.
According to Ayurveda, Bacopa powder extract promotes healthy brain functioning, improves memory retention, reduces stress/anxiety, and supports the nervous system. Significantly, it is tridoshic which means it positively affects all doshas if consumed correctly.
Other Benefits of Brahmi
Brain Function: In Sanskrit, Brahmi is also called Saraswata–named after Saraswati–the Goddess of learning and knowledge in Hinduism. Brahmi Ghee improves concentration and memory and improves learning skills. If you look closely at a Brahmi leaf, you may notice it resembles the cerebellum – the part of the human brain that handles focus and memory. Scientific literature shows that Brahmi powder can significantly improve memory, concentration, and the brain’s speed of processing sensory information.
For hair and skin: It is a common ingredient in nourishing skin oils and polyherbal hair oils. This is because it has a cooling effect on the skin and can soothe skin irritation, rash, and pitta-related abscesses. Brahmi oil can also reduce scars and pigmentation and achieve radiant skin. In hair oils, Brahmi oil is a nourishing agent that strengthens and rejuvenates the scalp to promote healthy growth. Additionally, Brahmi can help reduce dandruff, hair fall, and split ends.
High Blood Pressure: Brahmi powder has anti-hypertensive properties. As a result, it reduces the strain on your heart and decreases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Studies have shown that it promotes nitric oxide in the blood. Nitric oxide widens the blood vessels to improve blood circulation, thus lowering blood pressure.
Brahmi Powder for Stress & Anxiety: In Ayurveda, all Rasayanas are adaptogenic. In other words, they help the body adapt to stress. Brahmi powder reduces the levels of a stress hormone called cortisol in the body and consequently improves your mood. Studies show that it significantly reduces restlessness and inattention while boosting cognition and impulse control. Since it reduces the negative activity of the mind, it is also helpful in insomnia and similar sleep disorders.
Ayurvedic Uses of Brahmi
Brahmi Ghee: This medicated Ayurvedic ghee (clarified butter) improves cognition function and relieves stress.
Juice: Brahmi leaves extract can make Brahmi juice, which can help boost memory and work as a tonic that supports brain function.
Tea: Fresh Bacopa leaves boiled with water make herbal brahmi tea. This tea can improve respiratory health and help with congestion, sinus, and bronchitis. Quantity may vary on the advice of an experienced Ayurvedic practitioner. Often, Bacopa powder is also used to make the tea.
Brahmi Oil: It is a natural remedy for hair that can help improve many other health problems, including Alopecia Areata and anxiety. Further, Ayurveda uses Brahmi oil to stimulate hair growth while promoting healthy skin cells through its anti-inflammatory properties.
Other known health benefits of Bacopa monnieri include:
- Improves energy, mood, and emotional stability
- Helps improve circulation and blood cell health
- Regulates blood sugar levels and reduces symptoms of hypoglycemia
- It has mild sedative effects that can treat sleep disorders
- It strengthens the immune system and helps the body fight pathogens
- Provides relief in joint inflammation and arthritis
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Brahmi/Bacopa Powder– A 300 mg/day dose in warm water can enhance logical memory. Ayurveda recommends it be consumed with breakfast.