Brahmi is Sanskrit for Bacopa Monnieri. Since ancient times, the plant has been used to enhance memory and concentration. It is said to have helped the seers or Rishis gain knowledge through meditation. These revelations were recorded as The Vedas (meaning knowledge). The Vedas are among the oldest written texts, which is quite fitting because Brahmi means “that which gives supreme knowledge.”
Imagine the seers and saints sitting along the Ganges river, munching on the succulent leaves of Brahmi while meditating the world into existence – with each succulent leaf like a stepping stone up the ladder of consciousness toward enlightenment. Bacopa is still well known for its ability to stimulate brain function, memory, and mental focus.
Brahmi or Bacopa is also known as water hyssop, thyme-leafed gratiola, herb of grace, and Indian pennywort. It is a ground covering plant that grows near wetlands and marshes. It flourishes in warm, sunny climate in well-drained soil. It is quite fertile and hardy – capable of surviving in running or stagnant water as well as on dry land. The foliage is thick, fleshy, and rounded with star-like flowering white or pale blue petals. It can be potted or placed in open soil, but does require some preparation and care to ensure it blooms to its fullest.
Importance In Ayurveda
Brahmi is revered in Ayurvedic medicine for its antianxiety, antifatigue, and memory enhancing effects. It is a brain tonic and aids sleep. With proper rest and mental alertness during the day, you become more aware and are in tune with the natural rhythm and sensations of your body as a whole. As Bacopa helps manage stress and anxiety, a state of calmness allows you to be more focused, as needed, to learn and acquire new skills.
Clinical Uses Of Bacopa
- Enhances memory, helping one acquire more knowledge
- Used to treat epilepsy
- Used to treat insomnia
- Used as a mild sedative
- Improves short- and long-term memory and overall general cognition with the aid of the bacosides present in the plant that enhance nerve impulse transmission
- Reduces nervous overactivity
- Improves mental performance
- Bacopa extract said to significantly improve both short- and long-term memory in children with mental disabilities1
Medicinal Uses (As Dried Herb And Whole Plant)
- Used as a mild analgesic
- Used as a mild sedative
- Used as a nerve tonic
- Useful for treating nervous and digestive disorders – works simultaneously with brain and stomach
- Used as a gentle-acting remedy for nervous exhaustion, anxiety, and stress
- Cools excess heat stored in the body
- Stimulates appetite
Traditional Uses And Scientific Research
- Enhances memory and concentration
- Improves learning ability
Brahmi can be also be used:
- for Alzheimer’s disease
- to improve memory
- for anxiety
- for attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- for allergic conditions
- for irritable bowel syndrome
- as a general tonic for stress
- for backaches
- for hoarseness
- for mental illnesses
- for epilepsy
- for joint pain
- for sexual performance problems in both men and women
- as a “water pill” sometimes
Can cause digestive irritation such as nausea, increased intestinal motility, and gastrointestinal upset (In other words, it gets things moving.)
Forms Of Ingestion
- Dried herb in capsule
- Tablet form
- In conjunction with other herbs
Fresh Brahmi Leaves
- Can be grown in aquariums
- Plump and succulent mature leaves that can be eaten fresh in moderation
- Edible flowers
- Attracts bees, butterflies, and/or birds
- Can grow well indoors
- Needs warm climate
It is often found in wet, damp, or moist places (sometimes inundated with changing water level) and by streams, wadis, and pools.
Building Longevity And Plant Purity
Brahmi is said to increase the levels of certain brain chemicals involved in thinking, learning, and improving memory. Some research suggests that it also protects brain cells from chemicals that are responsible for Alzheimer’s disease. It pairs well with another herb Centella Asiatica, or Gotu Kola.
What’s wonderful about Gotu Kola is its ability to cleanse the blood and unmask bacteria within the body that hides with a wax-like coating. The nutrients in Gotu Kola make it a wonderful brain and skin tonic with antiaging benefits. It also grows in swampy tropical areas. The leaves resemble the cerebellum, and the plant is said to stimulate both right and left brain hemispheres. It can be used in many dishes and is added to green drinks.
These aquatic plants grow in areas that need rehabilitation. They absorb and filter components in the earth and water. You want to be sure of the purity of everything you consume. If you have an organic farm and your source of water is contaminated with uranium, then you can almost be positive that your crop will be contaminated as well. Too much of anything can be detrimental. All things should be taken in moderation, and it is wise to test or check for purity.
|↑1||Lodha, R., and A. Bagga. “Traditional Indian systems of medicine.” Annals of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore 29, no. 1 (2000): 37-41.|