Brahmi/Bacopa Monnieri belongs to the family of Nootropic herbs, known to promote cognitive abilities. It has several chemicals that promote the protein synthesis process in the nerve and the brain cells, developing the mental capacity of the brain. Its more common names is water hyssop as it is creeping herb with numerous branches and grows naturally in wet soil. Unlike other herbs, entire plant of Brahmi is used for nutritional and medicinal purposes. Its name comes from the Sanskrit term, brahman, which translates to “the totality of life.”
Human nervous system deteriorates with age due to oxidation process, which sometimes can be aggravated by eating habits and environmental factors. Oxidative damage to brain cells can be slowed down and sometimes reversed with the essential nutrients as antioxidants, vitamins, choline, and Omega fatty acid. Brahmi has been widely researched for its chemical constituents such as alkaloids, saponins, sterols, and antioxidants that can enhance nerve impulse transmission.
In Ayurveda, Brahmi is regarded as the brain tonic and supports the three cognitive pillars – power of learning, power of retention, and power of recall. Not only it promotes each of these functionalities independently but also enhances the synergistic interaction amongst them. Furthermore, Brahmi is capable of strengthening the mind to withstand and manage the input of the senses, resulting in a balanced and blissful heart.
Health Benefits of Brahmi
- One of the best herbs for balancing and rejuvenating Pitta Dosha, while at the same time strongly reducing Kapha Dosha. It enhances the quality of Sadhaka pitta which directly influences the nature of consciousness.
- Aids in the recovery from exhaustion, stress, debility and aggravation of Vata Dosha.
- An excellent purifier to cleanse the system of all sorts of toxins and hence useful in skin related ailments such as leprosy, eczema, cutaneous affections, and psoriasis
- Strengthens the immune system, allays excess sexual desire, and is beneficial in venereal diseases, including AIDS.
- Posseses antimicrobial activity against skin pathogens, enhanced wound breaking strength, and rate of contraction.
- Supports skin collagen tissue formation and decreases free radical generated tissue damage.
- Cleanses the kidneys, while calming and soothing the liver.
- Calms the heart and helps guard against heart attacks.
- Beneficial in relieving tension throughout the system and helps to ease constipation caused due to stress, relaxes muscles, alleviates menstrual pain and disorders.
- It has a cooling effect on urinary system through Pitta elimination. Relieves from the heat of cystitis and pain of dysuria.
In India and many parts of South East Asia, Brahmi is widely used for culinary and nutritional purposes in salads, soups, or as pickled.
In Ayurvedic formulations, Brahmi is used to prepare medicated oils, concoctions and herbal powder mixes with other herbs such as Ashwagandha, Manjishtha, Shankhpushpi, Neem, and Turmeric.
Long term and high dosage use of Brahmi should be taken under the direction of a specialist as Brahmi in therapeutic dosage has significant impact on respiratory, nervous, cardiovascular, and urinary systems.