What is Brahmi?
Brahmi also known as Bacop monnieri, is a plant which is used in Ayurveda for its numerous medicinal properties. It has been used since ages to boost mental health. Brahmi is a natural Ayurvedic herb which has been in usage long before modern science created drugs for mental health. A creeper and a perennial herb, Brahmi has been in used for generations and is widely beneficial in treating various health conditions.
Brahmi leaves are considered to be a powerhouse of valuable alkaloids and triterpene saponins that can stimulate brain chemicals for shaper thinking, memory and learning. Brahmi is excellent for improving your brain functions and strengthening your memory. It enhances the three aspects of memory which include long term memory, short term memory and the retaining capacity.
Botany of Brahmi
Brahmi has soft stems which bear bright green oval leaves and small white flowers. It grows in damp areas and marshy lands. Brahmi is a small succulent herb with numerous branches, rooting at the nodes, found at elevations from sea level to altitudes of 4400 feet. It grows naturally in wet soil, shallow water and marshes. It has small flowers that are light purple or white in color with not more than four or five petals. The whole plant including the flowers can be used for medicinal purposes. It has a bitter and sweet taste and is known to impart a cooling energy. Brahmi is a therapeutic herb commonly used as a memory enhancer, aphrodisiac and a health tonic.
Some of the several health benefits of Brahmi are as follows-
- Memory Booster- Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disease associated with loss of memory. Brahmi was found to be neuro-protective and effective in Alzheimer’s disease and other diseases with cognitive impairment. Brahmi improves our brain functioning and enhances both short-term and long-term memory. Brahmi is a memory-enhancing herb, and can have a healing effect on the brain. Consuming brahmi can also help prevent conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, which in the later years of your life, can affect your memory.
- It is a powerful antioxidant- Less oxidants mean lower immunity. That’s because antioxidants majorly help to protect the body against cell damage, caused due to free radicals.
- Reduces Anxiety- In Ayurveda psychology, there are three different qualities of the mind: One is inertia, another is agitation and the third quality is balance, clarity and calmness. Brahmi is believed in Ayurveda to bring about the third quality of calmness in your mind.
- Acts as a Stressbuster- Brahmi reduces stress and anxiety as it decreases the levels of cortisol, which is known as the stress hormone. Brahmi counteracts the effects of stress by regulating hormones involved with the stress response.Brahmi is also found to significantly reduce stress levels. By increasing the level of serotonin, it acts as a stressbuster.
- Promotes Hair Health- brahmi helps to stimulate circulation in the scalp, which in turn helps to regrow hair. Known for its cooling properties and sweet taste, Brahmi is very beneficial for reducing hair loss and early graying. According to Ayurveda, these issues are due to excess heat in your body and mind (known as pitta dosha, or the bioforce of transformation and metabolism). Brahmi is a usual constituent of hair oil as it nourishes the hair roots, strengthens the hair and prevents dandruff. . Brahmi fuels up the hair follicles and helps to reverse hair loss.
- Helps in Sleeping- Because brahmi helps lower stress and anxiety levels, it is one of the common herbs Ayurveda practitioners like myself recommend to help sleep at night. Stress, worry, anxiety and fear tend to keep us up at night, so by helping to calm down the mind, this herb can help your body to follow natural circadian rhythms.