What is Brahmi?
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 also called bacopa monnieri, water hyssop, thyme-leaved gratiola, and herb of grace, is a staple plant in traditional Ayurvedic medicine.
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 (Bacopa monnieri) is a therapeutic herb commonly used as a memory enhancer, reducing anxiety, and treating epilepsy. 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.
Health Benefits of Brahmi
Here are some wonderful benefits of Brahmi and how it can help you achieve good health.
1. Brahmi Full of Antioxidants
Antioxidants are substances that help protect against cell damage caused by potentially harmful molecules called free radicals. Brahmi leaves contain proteins which are good antioxidants.
Antioxidants protect against cell damage caused by free radicals, known as oxidative stress. Oxidative stress has been linked to diseases of heart, cancer, arthritis, stroke, respiratory diseases, immune deficiency, other inflammatory conditions etc. Thus, brahmi protects us from a variety of diseases of different organ systems.
2. Reduces Anxiety and Stress
Anxiety, fear and stress for a prolonged time can drastically affect our physical and mental health. It can lead to several anxiety disorders like panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder etc.
Brahmi is used as a nerve tonic by Ayurvedic practitioners since long. Consumption of Brahmi syrup was found to be effective in reducing the level of anxiety and associated symptoms. Brahmi is also found to significantly reduce stress levels.
3. Help Ease the Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease
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.
4. Helps in Boosting Memory
Brahmi helps in boosting 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. Brahmi improves our brain functioning and enhances both short-term and long-term memory.
5. Helps in Treatment of Insomnia
Sleep is extremely essential for physical and mental relaxation and rejuvenates us. The fast-paced life, stress, unhealthy eating and sleeping habits disturb our sleep pattern, leading to insomnia and other sleep disorders.
Brahmi reduces stress and calms you down enough to help you fall into a comfortable sleep pattern. It even helps, if your child is a hyperactive one, then the massaging of Brahmi oil proves beneficial.
6. Helps in Treatment of Epilepsy
While brahmi is used to treat neurological problems, as well as for the enhancement of cognitive functions, its usefulness can be extended in helping to treat other neurological problems such as epilepsy when consumed along with vacha. The healing properties of bacosides include healing of damaged neurons and slowing down of neuro-degeneration as well as boosting neuro-transmission within brain cells.
7. Helps Reduce ADHD Symptoms
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a mental health disorder that can cause normal levels of hyperactive and impulsive behaviors. People with ADHD may also have trouble focusing their attention on a single task. Both adults and children can have ADHD. Interestingly, research has shown that Brahmi may help reduce ADHD symptoms.
In a study in 31 children aged 6–12 years found that taking 225 mg of Brahmi 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 Brahmi improved attention, cognition, and impulse control, compared with the placebo group.
Although these findings are promising, more large-scale studies examining the effects of Brahmi on ADHD are needed before it can be recommended as a treatment.
8. Help Reduces Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a serious health concern, as it places strain on your heart and blood vessels. This can weaken your heart and increases your risk of heart disease, strok, congestive heart failure etc. Brahmi is found to reduce blood pressure. Research suggests that brahmi may help keep blood pressure within a healthy range.
9. Helps in Strengthening Immune System
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.
Best Ways to Incorporate Brahmi
Brahmi is mostly available in serveral forms, including tablets/capsule, churna and liquid. You can either get is as tablet, capsule, churna form.
Typical dosages for Brahmi extract in human studies range from 300-450 mg per day. The churna form can be added to hot water to make a soothing tea. It can also be mixed with ghee.
Recommended dosage of brahmi is as follow:
- Brahmi Churna – ¼-½ teaspoon twice a day.
- Brahmi Capsule – 1-2 capsules twice a day.
- Brahmi Tablet – 1-2 tablets twice a day.
- Brahmi Liquid – 1-2 teaspoons once or twice a day.
However, dosage recommendations can vary widely depending on the product you purchase. If you have questions regarding dosage, speak with a qualified health professional to ensure your safety.
Brahmi side effects
While Brahmi is considered safe, it may cause side effects in some people.
For example, it may cause digestive symptoms, including nausea, stomach cramps, and diarrhea.
Furthermore, brahmi is not recommended for pregnant women, as no studies have assessed the safety of its use during pregnancy.
If you are taking any medications, speak with your healthcare provider before taking Brahmi.
Brahmi is an ancient Ayurvedic herbal remedy for many ailments. Human studies show it may help boost brain function, treat ADHD symptoms, and reduce stress and anxiety. Furthermore, it may possess antioxidant and reduce inflammation and blood pressure.
Although these potential health benefits are promising, more research on Brahmi is needed to understand its full effects in humans.
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