What Is Brahmi Good For

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The Benefits of Brahmi

“Brahmi” has been used to describe two distinct Ayurvedic herbs—Centella asiatica and Bacopa monnieri—and brahmi is a fitting name for both of them. Brahmi is a Sanskrit word that refers to the feminine essence of universal consciousness as well as the creative potential that emerges from pure awareness. Both of the herbs that bear the name brahmi are thought to promote subtle awareness and sattva (the pure essence of consciousness). They are also both highly revered for their mind-enhancing properties and their support of the nervous system as a whole.1 This article will focus on highlighting the primary applications of each of these herbs, as well as some useful distinctions between them.

To some extent, the dual use of the name brahmi can be understood by simple geography; in southern India, “brahmi” refers to Bacopa monnieri, and in Northern India, it is Centella asiatica that is commonly known as “brahmi. In the west, Centella asiatica is also widely known by its Singhalese name, “gotu kola.To make matters even more complicated, each of these herbs has two Latin binomial names; Centella asiatica is synonymous with Hydrocortisone asiatica and Bacopa monnieri is synonymous with Herpestes monniera. The fact that these two herbs have very similar actions only adds to the confusion that exists around them. Hopefully, the information that follows will offer some clarity. In the interest of simplicity, we will refer here to Centella asiatica as “gotu kola” and Bacopa monnieri as “bacopa.” Honoring the fact that both of these herbs have legendary effects on the mind and consciousness, we will use “brahmi,” to refer to both them—in reference to the actions and benefits that they share. Banyan Botanicals carries both gotu kola and bacopa in bulk and they are each important ingredients in a number of Banyan products. While it’s true that the names of these two herbs vary between teachers and geographic regions, the founders of Banyan Botanicals were educated in a tradition that reserves the name “brahmi” for gotu kola (Centella asiatica), and therefore offers this herb as “Brahmi/Gotu Kola.” Banyan offers Bacopa monnieri as “Bacopa/Herpestis.”

Benefits of Brahmi (both herbs)

Both gotu kola and bacopa pacify vata, pitta, and kapha. In excess, either one may increase vata.Both herbs have a strong affinity for the lymph, blood, nervous tissue, and urinary tract, as well as the circulatory, digestive, and nervous systems. In addition, gotu kola works on the muscle, adipose, and bone tissues whereas bacopa resonates with all of the tissues in the body as well as the channels of elimination And while some describe bacopa as cooling,others insist that it is in fact, heating—though still calming to pitta.Relative to gotu kola, let’s just say that bacopa is less cooling and may therefore be preferred in certain types of vata and kapha imbalances. Gotu kola will generally be the better choice where there are strong indications of pitta imbalance. This is, of course, a subtle distinction because both herbs are considered to be tridoshic (balancing to vata, pitta, and kapha) and for specific conditions one may be preferred over the other. Bacopa is likely more suited for overall strengthening, and energy promotion. Gotu kola is purifying and rejuvenating—especially for pitta. Both are said to support longevity. Gotu kola is an appetizer while bacopa suppresses the appetite; bacopa is therefore often taken with digestives such as ginger or cardamom.In addition to the benefits described below, both herbs known as brahmi are very supportive of the joints—clearing toxins while promoting comfort and freedom of movement.

7 Emerging Benefits of Bacopa monnieri (Brahmi)

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Bacopa monnieri, also called brahmi, water hyssop, thyme-leaved gratiola, and herb of grace, is a staple plant in traditional Ayurvedic medicine.

It grows in wet, tropical environments, and its ability to thrive underwater makes it popular for aquarium use

Bacopa monnieri has been used by Ayurvedic medical practitioners for centuries for a variety of purposes, including improving memory, reducing anxiety, and treating epilepsy

In fact, research shows that it may boost brain function and alleviate anxiety and stress, among other benefits.

A class of powerful compounds called bacosides in Bacopa monnieri is believed to be responsible for these benefits.

1. Contains powerful antioxidants

Antioxidants are substances that help protect against cell damage caused by potentially harmful molecules called free radicals.

Research suggests that damage caused by free radicals is linked to many chronic conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers

Bacopa monnieri contains powerful compounds that may have antioxidant effects

For example, bacosides, the main active compounds in Bacopa monnieri, have been shown to neutralize free radicals and prevent fat molecules from reacting with free radicals

When fat molecules react with free radicals, they undergo a process called lipid per oxidation. Lipid per oxidation is linked to several conditions, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other neurodegenerative disorders

Bacopa monnieri may help prevent damage caused by this process.

For example, a study showed that treating rats with dementia with Bacopa monnieri reduced free radical damage and reversed signs of memory impairment

2. May reduce inflammation

Inflammation is your body’s natural response to help heal and fight disease.

However, chronic, low-level inflammation has been linked to many chronic conditions, including cancer, diabetes, and heart and kidney disease

In test-tube studies, Bacopa monnieri appeared to suppress the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which are molecules that stimulate an inflammatory immune response

Also, in test-tube and animal studies, it inhibited enzymes, such as encyclopedias, carcasses, and lipoxygenases — all of which play key roles in inflammation and pain

What’s more, in animal studies, Bacopa monnieri had anti-inflammatory effects comparable to those of diclofenac and indomethacin — two non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs commonly used to treat inflammation

Nevertheless, more research is needed to determine whether Bacopa monnieri reduces inflammation in humans.

3. May boost brain function

Research suggests that Bacopa monnieri may help enhance brain function.

For example, one study in mice showed that supplementing with Bacopa monnieri improved their spatial learning and ability to retain information

The same study also found that it increased dentifrice length and branching. Dendrites are parts of nerve cells in the brain that are closely linked to learning and memory

Additionally, a 12-week study in 46 healthy adults observed that taking 300 mg of Bacopa monnieri daily significantly improved the speed of processing visual information, learning rate, and memory, compared with the placebo treatment

Another 12-week study in 60 older adults found that taking either 300 mg or 600 mg of Bacopa monnieri extract daily improved memory, attention, and the ability to process information, compared with the placebo treatment

4. May help reduce ADHD symptoms

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is characterized by symptoms like hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattentiveness

Interestingly, research has shown that Bacopa monnieri may help reduce ADHD symptoms.

One study in 31 children aged 6–12 years found that taking 225 mg of Bacopa monnieri extract daily for 6 months significantly reduced ADHD symptoms, such as restlessness, poor self-control, inattention, and impulsivity in 85% of the children

Another study in 120 children with ADHD observed that taking an herbal blend that contained 125 mg of Bacopa monnieri improved attention, cognition, and impulse control, compared with the placebo group

Although these findings are promising, more large-scale studies examining the effects of Bacopa monnieri on ADHD are needed before it can be recommended as a treatment.

5. May prevent anxiety and stress

Bacopa monnieri may help prevent anxiety and stress. It’s considered an adaptogenic herb, meaning that it increases your body’s resistance to stress

Research suggests that Bacopa monnieri helps reduce stress and anxiety by elevating your mood and reducing levels of cortisol, a hormone that is closely linked to stress levels

One rodent study showed that Bacopa monnieri had anti-anxiety effects comparable to those of lorazepam (benzodiazepine), a prescription medication used to treat anxiety

However, human studies on Bacopa monnieri and anxiety show mixed results.

For example, two 12-week human studies found that taking 300 mg of Bacopa monnieri daily significantly reduced anxiety and depression scores in adults, compared with the placebo treatment

Yet, another human study found that treatment with Bacopa monnieri had no effect on anxiety

More large-scale human studies are needed to confirm its effects on stress and anxiety.

6. May help lower blood pressure levels

High blood pressure is a serious health concern, as it places strain on your heart and blood vessels. This can weaken your heart and increase your risk of heart disease

Research suggests that Bacopa monnieri may help keep blood pressure within a healthy range.

In one animal study, Bacopa monnieri reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels. It did this by releasing nitric oxide, which helps dilate blood vessels, resulting in improved blood flow and lower blood pressure

Another study showed that Bacopa monnieri significantly lowered blood pressure levels in rats that had elevated levels, but it had no effect in rats that had normal blood pressure levels

However, one 12-week study in 54 healthy older adults found that taking 300 mg of Bacopa monnieri daily had no effect on blood pressure levels

Based on current findings, Bacopa monnieri may lower blood pressure in animals with high blood pressure levels. Nevertheless, more human research is required to confirm these effects.

7. May have anticancer properties

Test-tube and animal studies have found that Bacopa monnieri may have anticancer properties.

Bacosides, the active class of compounds in Bacopa monnieri, have been shown to kill aggressive brain tumor cells and inhibit the growth of breast and colon cancer cells in test-tube studies

Additionally, Bacopa monnieri induced skin and breast cancer cell death in animal and test-tube studies

Research suggests that the high levels of antioxidants and compounds like bacosides in Bacopa monnieri may be responsible for its cancer-fighting properties

Keep in mind that these results are from test-tube and animal studies. Until there are more human studies on Bacopa monnieri and cancer, it cannot be recommended as a treatment.

Learn about Brahmi

Brahmi has been used for more than 3000 years in traditional Ayurvedic medicine, employed against a wide variety of ailments including rheumatism, bronchitis, fevers, irregular menstruation, inflammatory conditions, depression and stress, to name but a few.  It is recognized the world over as a brain tonic, to promote intellect and comprehension, rejuvenate the brain and boost the memory. 

Happy Herb Co founder, Ray Thorpe, describes the benefits of this ‘miracle herb’. “I started using brahmi when I started my first Happy High Herb shop in Nimbin in 1996, and it allowed me to take over the store successfully, including the accounting aspects of the business, and to help several other stores with the running of their businesses. Brahmi helps compartmentalize information in the brain and provides clarity – and once you feel organized and on top of things, the stress just falls away as a wonderful side benefit.”  

Modern research has identified a protein in the herb, Backside B, which nourishes brain nerve cells, as well as nitric oxide, which has very positive effects on learning, memory, blood circulation, and liver, kidney and lung function.

Brahmi is also extremely effective on blood circulation and for cleansing the blood – hence having positive effects on the function of the liver, lungs and kidneys. It has also been used to treat many other conditions, from bronchitis to arthritis, hair loss to thread-worms, fevers to impotence.  Its immune and vitality boosting properties are attributed to high levels of antioxidants.

The plant itself is a hardy ground covering plant with oval-shaped leaves and white, five-petaled leaves that show a faint tinge of blue on the edges. The flowers can bloom for many months, and the plant grows floating in tropical marshes in wetlands of India, Central America and Florida in the US.

8 Impressive Benefits of Brahmi: The Medicinal Ayurvedic Herb

Ayurveda has been known to treat innumerable ailments for centuries and continues to do so by its age old practice of balancing the various systems in our body through herbal treatments. One such unique herb is Brahmi which has often been regarded as a brain booster. 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. According to Dr. Akhilesh Sharma, Ayurvedic Expert, “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. Brahmi has a cooling property which keeps the mind calm and free of anxiety. It also promotes sound sleep.” Here are eight wonderful benefits of Brahmi and how it can help you achieve good health. 

1. 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.

2. Brahmi is known to help ease the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease due to the presence of the amyloid compound in the neuron that is responsible for damaging the brain. The bio-chemical known as bacosides in Brahmi helps in re-building brain tissues by influencing the brain cells.

3. As suggested by Dr. Sharma, Brahmi helps in boosting your memory. It has a positive effect on the hippocampus part of the brain that is responsible for intelligence, concentration and memory. Interestingly, the leaf of the Brahmi herb has a similar shape like that of the cerebellum – part of the brain which helps in controlling concentration and memory.

4. Brahmi is full of antioxidants that are essential for living a healthy life. Antioxidants help in removing free radicals that can further mutate into cancer cells.

5. Regular consumption of Brahmi helps in strengthening your immune system. A lot nutrients along with antioxidant compounds help increase the response time of our immune system against various diseases and ailments.

6. Brahma can be a great remedy that provides relief from arthritis, gout and other inflammatory conditions. It also helps in soothing gastric ulcers and treating an irritable bowel syndrome.

7. Brahmi is known for regulating the blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes and may help improve symptoms of hypoglycemia.

8. Beauty benefits of Brahmi: Brahmi oil is great for treating a dry scalp and preventing hair fall. The antioxidant components not only help in rejuvenating your scalp but also promote regeneration of healthy hair. These antioxidants also help in removing all the toxins from the body and enhance your skin complexion by stimulating cell regeneration. Brahmi is good for treating hair problems like dandruff, itchiness and formation of split ends. Moreover, massaging the scalp with Brahmi oil is known to be very soothing.

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