An overview of the Ayurvedic Herb: Brahmi
The Ayurvedic herb and the history of its use
Brahmi is a medicinal Ayurvedic herb being used for centuries in Indian culture. Since the Vedic times, Brahmi is known as one of the most sattvic herbs in Ayurveda. Brahmi is a Sanskrit word derived from “Brahman” or “Lord Brahma”, literally meaning energy, or “Shakti”. Ancient Ayurvedic sages were great physicians and held an amazing deal of knowledge when it came to these herbs and their benefits. They revealed that Brahmi helps promote intellect, longevity, rejuvenation, heart health, nervous system rejuvenation, strength, life energy, better sleep, and redirecting the flow of Vata downwards. Brahmi is a great herb for rejuvenating Pitta along with reducing Kapha.
The Ayurvedic herb and its relevance today
Brahmi is considered a nootropic herb and its uses in neurological and psychiatric disorders are well supported by research. Brahmi is used in multiple cases like Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety disorders, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), improving memory, allergic conditions, irritable bowel syndrome, and to fight stress. It is also consumed by people to treat backache, epilepsy, joint pain, & fertility issues, or sexual performance issues in both men & women. Brahmi has been found to increase certain brain chemicals involved in thinking, learning & memory. It is usually consumed as a tea, mixed with ghee added to warm water, or as a supplement.
It is a great purifying herb that cleanses the system by eliminating all sorts of toxins. It acts as a blood purifier and strengthens the immune system.
Brahmi also aids in recovery from alcoholism or drug abuse.
Clinical studies on Brahmi
- In a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial conducted in Lucknow in India, 35 subjects aged above 55 years were subjected to Wechsler Memory Scale for comparison between placebo and EBM treatment groups. Subjects were tested on various sub-tests like general information, orientation, mental control, logical memory, digit forward, digit backward, visual reproduction, and paired associate learning. Scores were given to each sub-test and the total memory score was calculated by adding the score of all subtests. The test results showed that there was a significant improvement in the total memory score of EBM-treated patients vs. placebo-treated patients. At 8 and 12 weeks after initiation of the trial, the maximum increment was seen after the 8th week with maximum improvement seen in logical memory and paired associate learning sub-tests.
Reference- Raghav S, Singh H, Dalal PK, Srivastava JS, Asthana OP. Randomized controlled trial of standardized Bacopa monniera extract in age-associated memory impairment. Indian J Psychiatry. 2006;48:238–242.
- In another study double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study efficacy of Brahmi as a memory enhancer on chronic dosing in 76 adults who were given Brahmi 300 mg/day and placebo. Subjects were tested for tasks of attention, memory, and psychological state at baseline. The results observed at 6 and 12 weeks after the trial demonstrated an increase in information-retaining capacity over time. This was due to decreased forgetfulness as opposed to increased procurement because Brahmi did not show any beneficial effect on learning trials.
Reference- Stough C, Lloyd J, Clarke J, Downey LA, Hutchison CW, Rodgers T, et al. The chronic effects of an extract of Bacopa monniera (Brahmi) on cognitive function in healthy human subjects. Psychopharmacology (Berl) 2001;156:481–484.
Benefits of Brahmi
- Helps provide powerful antioxidant benefits- Brahmi leaves are made of highly antioxidant proteins.
Brahmi has been found to alter the activity of some enzymes involved in the stress response. It also elevates mood and reduces cortisol levels ( stress hormone). Along with increasing the level of serotonin in the body, which makes it a stressbuster.
Brahmi helps by inhibiting enzymes like cyclogenesis, caspases, & lipoxygenases that play a major role in causing pain & inflammation.
- Brahmi is considered to support concentration & focus along with playing a part in enhancing memory and reducing forgetfulness. A 2020 research study found that six weeks of daily consumption of Brahmi, twice a day ( at a dose of 300mg per day) led to results with improvement in cognitive functioning. It has also been found to improve dendritic length and branching which makes it highly efficient for the brain.
- Helps in the process of treating insomnia
Brahmin is known to be highly effective in promoting restful sleep. It also has a calming effect during emotional turbulence along with helping improve concentration and alertness. Brahmi might have sedative properties that help induce sleep.
Brahmi is highly beneficial in reducing blood pressure. It does this by releasing nitric oxide from the endothelium, along with additional actions on vascular smooth muscle Ca (2+) homeostasis.
Brahmi nourishes the hair and strengthens it. It does this by making the follicles and roots stronger, which helps stronger hair to grow back. It also reduces hair fall. Stress is a leading cause of premature graying of hair. Brahmi is effective in reducing stress, which leads to the prevention of premature hair graying along with the nutrients in Brahmi directly tackling premature graying.
Brahmi is a widely used ayurvedic herb that alleviates nervous function, enhances memory, and reduces inflammation & convulsions.
Different ways to use the Ayurvedic Herb: Brahmi
- Chew on a few Brahmi leaves.
- Steep them into a tea infusion.
- Mix it with ghee and warm water.
- Consume it in the form of a tablet.
- Mix a few teaspoons of Brahmi powder with warm mustard oil, apply & massage the mixture on your scalp, and rinse well after an hour.
- To enhance your skin's complexion naturally, mix 2 spoons of Brahmi oil or fresh Brahmi leaf paste with 1 spoon of Amalaki powder, 1 spoon of Gotu kola, and 1 spoon of moringa powder and mix well for your homemade face mask. Apply on your face and wash off after 1 hour.
Now that you know how extensively Brahmi was used by ancient Ayurvedic practitioners which helped them in various aspects of their health, it is time to bring back those practices as much as you can. Since India is highly resourceful in the Ayurvedic herbs, it only seems fit for us to start benefiting from them till the time they are accessible and available to us. You can choose to consume Brahmi leaves in a form of tea or mixed with ghee in warm water. It can also be applied on the scalp and the skin for better hair and skin health. BBETTER Chyawanprash is enriched with the medicinal herb Brahmi along with 40+ other rich ingredients that you can count on. Making these Ayurvedic herbs a part of our routine can prevent several diseases from taking place in the first place in our body and are always better than allopathic treatments which might treat some symptoms at the moment but could be harmful in the long run.