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Brahmi

Bacopa monniera


Brahmi is a staple plant with recorded use in traditional Ayurvedic medicines. It is available in several forms, including capsules and powders. The powdered form can be added to hot water to make a soothing tea. It can also be mixed with ghee, a form of clarified butter and added to warm water to make an herbal drink.



Brahmi is named after the Hindu God of intelligence and creativity. Initially described in texts around the 6th century AD, the herb was reputedly used by Vedic scholars to memorise lengthy sacred hymns and scriptures [i] .


It is worth noting that Gotu Kola can also go under the name of Brahmi, however Gotu Kola is a different species called Centella asiatica.


The Bacopa monniera plant typically grows in wet and tropical climates and also thrives underwater. It is native to the wetlands of southern and Eastern India and currently grows on most continents.


Common benefits associated with Brahmi:


  • Improved memory, intellect and mental acuity
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Soothing the nervous system
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Cell-protective benefits [ii]

Main benefits:


Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action:


Potent antioxidant cellular protection can be obtained from Brahmi [iii]. Antioxidants enhance our protection against free radical damage which can cause inflammation and cancerous changes in our bodies if not controlled.


This antioxidant function is also said to strengthen the immune system by increasing the speed of the reaction to disease causing pathogens [iv] .


In animal studies, Bacopa monnieri had anti-inflammatory effects comparable to those of diclofenac and indomethacin, two nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs commonly used to treat inflammation [v].


Brain function and Reduced anxiety:


Memory, mental function and anxiety and depression may be improved via mechanisms such as antioxidant protection, to protect the nerves [vi] .


Brahmi contains saporins and bacosides which interact with neurotransmitters in the brain. Neurotransmitters increased by Brahmi include GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid), which promotes tranquility and stabilises mood. Acetylcholine is increased by Brahmi, which plays a role in motivation, arousal, attention, learning, and memory. Levels of serotonin are also increased which promotes happiness and calmness [vii] .


Brahmi is commonly used as a nervine, a term used in herbal medicine to describe a herb that calms the nervous system. Brahmi regulates cortisol, which is involved in the stress response [viii] . A reduction of cortisol in an overstressed person may also help to balance other hormonal responses such as that of the reproductive system and help to balance blood sugar.


The antioxidant activity of Brahmi is said to be particularly potent in the kidneys. The herb is also said to be beneficial in increasing action of the detoxification organs, particularly effective against acrylamide, a toxin associated with disorders of the nervous system [ix] .


ADHD and Epilepsy:


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, inattention, and impulsivity in 85% of the children [x] .


Benefits have also been found for reducing epilepsy seizures [xi] .


Reduced blood pressure:


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


In one animal study, Bacopa monnieri reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels, the two readings commonly given on a blood pressure reading. This action was achieved via the releasing of nitric oxide, which helps dilate blood vessels, resulting in improved blood flow and lower blood pressure [xii].


Suggested Dosage:


Brahmi tincture may be taken in doses up 2-6ml per day, and this dose is recommended in 3 divided intervals.


Safety:


Side effects:


While Bacopa monnieri is considered safe, it may cause side effects in some people. For example, it may cause digestive symptoms, including nausea, stomach cramps, and diarrhoea.


The herb is not recommended to women who are pregnant or breastfeeding [xiii] .


Interactions:


Taking Bacopa along with medications for Alzheimer's disease might increase effects and side effects of the medications. Various medications used for glaucoma and other conditions (Cholinergic drugs) have been known to interact with Brahmi. Please consult with the prescribing doctor prior to use.





Recommended For

Brain Health , Brain Fog , Anxiety , Stress , Hypertension , Inflammation

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