Native to India, Brahmi (Bacopa monniera) is a medicinal herb that has been used widely in Ayurvedic medicine for the treatment of many diseases. It finds use as a brain tonic for improved memory and cognitive performance. Brahmi is a natural stress reliever and relaxant that has been effectively used in the treatment of stress, anxiety, depression, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. This ayurvedic plant contains active chemicals like gamma-aminobutyric acid, Bacosides A and Bacosides B that play an important role in the rejuvenation of nerves and cells. Apart from India, brahmi is also found in marshy areas of Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Vietnam, China and the southern states of the United States of America.
Chemical constituents in Brahmi
The active chemical constituents of brahmi include sterols, saponins, alkaloids, stigmasterol, betulic acid, bacoside, betasitosterol and bacopasaponins. The important chemicals that contribute to the nerve and brain regenerative effects of brahmi include fatty acids, volatile oils, pectic acid, bhramic acid, ascorbic acid, thancunic acid, betulic acid, isobramic acid, hydocotylin, asiaticoside, valentine, tannin, thancunisidea, glycosides, bhrmaosidebhrominoside, and stigmasterol.
Health benefits of Brahmi
An important ingredient in Indian Ayurvedic medicine, Brahmi, is a common remedy used for a wide variety of diseases and medical conditions that may affect the nervous, digestive, respiratory, and circulatory systems. Some of the many health benefits offered by brahmi include the following:
Brahmi nourishes your hair
Brahmi powder is considered to be an effective remedy that helps in nourishing your hair and making it thicker. The powder is prepared by drying the leaves of Brahmi and then grinding it into a fine powder. Hair packs made by combining brahmi powder with other ingredients like tulsi and neem are beneficial in strengthening your hair and in eliminating scalp problems. The regular use of brahmi can help in preventing split ends. It moisturizes and nourishes the scalp and prevents conditions like dandruff and itchy scalp. It also promotes hair growth and reduces hair loss. Brahmi and yogurt is a powerful combination that conditions your hair and makes it healthy and lustrous. The regular application of brahmi oil is also helpful in preventing split ends, strengthening your hair and eliminating dandruff and itchy flakes.
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Brahmi for skin disorders
Brahmi is found to be useful in treating a large number of skin disorders like eczema and psoriasis. It is antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory in nature, which makes it a great remedy for the treatment of many skin disorders. Because of these effects brahmi is used as an ingredient in the production of several herbal skin care products and medicines.
Brahmi for reducing stress
Brahmi is well known as a stress buster. It neutralizes the effects caused by stress by controlling the hormones that are associated with stress response. According to studies, brahmi supplementation helps in decreasing the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol and also in enhancing mood.
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Brahmi offers protection against toxic substances
Acrylamide is a toxic substance that develops when starches are fried or cooked at a temperature above 248 degrees. This substance can cause damages to the tissues of the brain and can also act as a carcinogen. Animal studies suggest that a supplementation of brahmi is capable of protecting the brain cells from oxidative stress and toxic effects caused by acrylamide.
Brahmi as a brain tonic
According to studies, brahmi has been found to contain nitric oxide that has a positive effect on the various activities of the brain. The bacosides in this herb release nitric oxide that helps in relaxing the blood vessel and promoting proper blood circulation that in turn nourishes the nerve cells. This also helps in promoting mental clarity and concentration and in improving cognitive capability.
Brahmi improves cognitive abilities
Although brahmi is popular for many health benefits, what makes it more attractive is its ability to enhance memory and cognitive functions. Tests conducted on the efficacy of this herb proved that it helps in significantly increasing the speed at which early information is processed. Brahmi also improved memory consolidation and the rate of verbal learning.
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Brahmi for problems associated with circulatory system
Brahmi is known to purify and detoxify the blood. Ayurvedic medicine considers this herb to be useful in the treatment of many circulatory issues, including those caused by inflammation.
Reduce anxiety with Brahmi
Studies reveal that brahmi has anti-anxiety (anxiolytic) effect, which is extremely beneficial for people suffering from high levels of anxiety. This effect may be due to this herb’s ability to modulate the levels of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is considered to play a key role in mood regulation. Brahmi is also found to regulate the levels of another neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the brain, which is associated with memory and other cognitive functions.
Brahmi can prevent atherosclerosis
Researchers have found that brahmi has strong antioxidant properties that help in inhibiting the process of lipid peroxidation (oxidation reaction of fatty substances including cholesterol and triglycerides, caused by free radicals). This process is extremely dangerous and damaging to your health, as it may lead to buildup of atherosclerotic plaque in the arteries. This can further increase your risks of heart attacks and strokes. The antioxidant properties of brahmi fight off the free radicals and slow down the development of atherosclerosis by inhibiting lipid peroxidation.
Brahmi for respiratory problems
Brahmi tea or tincture has been found to be useful in the treatment of asthma and many other respiratory ailments such as bronchitis. Brahmi also helps in loosening phlegm and hence can be used for treating cough and other symptoms associated with the common cold and flu.
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Brahmi helps in eliminating digestive disorders
Another important use of brahmi in treating problems related to the intestinal tract such as irritable bowel syndrome and constipation. This herb has also been used as a remedy for chronic diarrhea and upset stomach.
Brahmi cures insomnia
Some of the main factors that may cause insomnia or lack of sleep are stress, anxiety, nervousness and tension. Brahmi, being a natural mood enhancer and relaxant is helpful in alleviating these conditions. It also functions as a natural tranquilizing and sedative agent. Massaging the scalp with brahmi oil regularly can help you sleep better. Drinking a glass of warm milk along with brahmi powder every night is one of the best remedies for insomnia.
Brahmi for treating epilepsy
Bacoside A is one of the active chemical compunds in Brahmi that has been found to relieve the symptoms associated with epilepsy. It also helps in modulating the serotonin levels and in supporting brain functions.
Brahmi has anti-ulcer properties
Studies suggest that brahmi extract has anti-ulcer properties that help in preventing and healing ulcers. This herb helps in restricting the growth of helicobacter pylori, thus promoting faster healing and offering protection against gastric ulceration.
Brahmi relieves joint pain
The anti-inflammatory properties of brahmi make it effective in reducing inflammation and relieving pain in the joints. As such it is useful in the treatment of arthritis and other inflammatory diseases.
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Brahmi supports liver health
Although brahmi is better known as an herb that benefits the brain, it offers health benefits to other organs as well including the liver. The liver is responsible for detoxifying your body and research suggests that brahmi may help in supporting and improving the various functions of the liver.
Brahmi has strong antioxidant effects
Brahmi has many active compounds that possess powerful antioxidant properties. They help in neutralizing the oxidative stress caused by free radicals, thus helping to slow down the aging process as well as in preventing many diseases like cancer and heart diseases.
Brahmi helps in controlling blood pressure
Brahmi helps in encouraging better utilization of nitric oxide by your body and in improving vascular muscle function. These two benefits help in maintaining the normal blood pressure levels.
Brahmi offers protection against neonatal hypoglycemia
Low blood sugar or hypoglycemia in newborn babies can often lead to serious brain damage, which in turn can cause impairment of the motor and cognitive functions. Studies reveal that the bacosides in brahmi possess neuron-protecting effects in infants suffering from low blood sugar. This study indicates that brahmi extracts may have the potential of offering protection to the brain of newborns against brain damage induced by hypoglycemia.
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Brahmi and opioid dependence
Opioids like oxycodone and morphine are often prescribed by doctors for relieving and managing pain. Although they are highly effective in reducing pain, the patients can sometimes become addicted to the effects of these drugs. According to researchers, the bacosides in brahmi may be beneficial for improving the effects of opioids, while at the same time reducing the risk for dependence. Studies also indicate that these chemical compounds offer protection to the other organs that are commonly affected by the toxic effects of these drugs.
Brahmi is a super herb that not only helps in enhancing your brain function but also in improving your overall health. The medicinal benefits of this plant have become popular and are the subject of research in many parts of the world. It is packed with several active biochemical compounds and antioxidants that boost the functions of various neurotransmitters in the brain. So if you are searching for natural ways to improve your concentration and memory, then brahmi is the best herbal remedy. It is available in various forms including syrups, capsules, and tablets.