Brahmi (Bacopa Monnieri)
Brahmi is a well-known Ayurvedic herb. It is an Indian aquatic herb. It is a neural tonic and memory enhancer. It is also called as the herb of Grace, water hyssop, Bacopa, etc. The botanical name of Brahmi is Bacopa monnieri. It is an important medicinal plant that is traditionally used to treat a wide range of diseases such as mental illness, epilepsy, irritable bowel syndrome and many more. It is also known to enhance memory, thinking power and learning power.
HOW IT WORKS
Brahmi plays important role in the cure of some diseases such as dementia, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy. Research shows that the reason behind this are various mechanisms such as anti-oxidant neuroprotection, acetylcholinesterase inhibition and/or choline acetyltransferase activation, β-amyloid reduction, increased cerebral blood flow, and neurotransmitter modulation (acetylcholine [ACh], 5-hydroxytryptamine [5-HT], dopamine [DA]). (1)
THINGS TO KNOW
Brahmi is a herbal plant. It is a brain tonic. It contains triterpenoid saponins known as bacosides. It contains all twelve bacosides known bacopasides I-XII. It also contains alkaloids such as brahmine, nicotine, and herpestine. Bacopaside A is the most studied component of Brahmi extract. (2)
INDICATIONS & USES
- Neural tonic
- Hair tonic
- Memory enhancing
Brahmi is a herb that is consumed in the form of juice or powder form. Recommended doses differ with the disease. Daily consumption of 300 mg of Brahmi extract every day for 12 weeks improves memory and thinking power.
BENEFITS & EFFECTIVENESS
Brahmi has neuroprotective activities and nootropic activities. Evidence has shown that the herb has therapeutic implications for patients suffering from memory loss. (3)
Brahmi is a known nervine tonic that acts as a brain enhancer. This herb is useful in enhancing concentration, alertness, and comprehension. It helps in epilepsy (a neuronal disorder). (4)
Research on epileptic rats also suggests that Brahmi and bacoside A can be significantly used in the management of epilepsy. (5)
Brahmi is a traditional herbal medicine that can be used for memory improvement. Research has suggested that Bacopa improves the memory significantly. (6)
It is also beneficial for hyperactive children suffering from ADHD.
Bacosides A and B are the important components of Brahmi that improve the transmission of impulses between the neurons. These bacosides are known to regenerate synapses and repair damaged neurons. (7)
Research shows that use of Brahmi in diet enhances the secretion of IgA and IgG in the serum thereby improving the immunity. (8)
Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease. Rasayana approach in Ayurveda refers to the treatment of Alzheimer’s and other degenerative diseases. Brahmi is a rejuvenator herb that has strong antioxidant property. According to a study, Brahmi reduces the deposition of beta-amyloid in the brain of an animal model suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Brahmi extract causes reduction of divalent metals, scavenges reactive oxygen species, alters lipoxygenase activity and hydrogen peroxide-induced lipid peroxidation. (9)
The compound bacoside A found in Brahmi extract has wound healing capacity. It enhances the tensile strength of the wound incision and also epithelialization of the wound excision. (10)
Brahmi has antirheumatic potential. It can be used to treat Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). The extract of Brahmi inhibits cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase activities that increase in arthritic patients. It also decreases the levels of serum anti-collagen IgM and IgG levels were. (11)
Brahmi extract and oil is used in the production of various hair care products such as hair oil, shampoos, etc. The antioxidant property helps in the growth of hair and reduces hair pigmentation. Massaging Brahmi hair oil also relaxes the mind, stops dandruff growth and itchiness.
Brahmi extract is also used in treating insomnia. Massaging the scalp with Brahmi oil relaxes the mind and helps to overcome a sleep disorder, depression, anxiety, and stress.
Schizophrenia is a brain disorder where there is an imbalance in the coordination of different activities of the brain. In Ayurveda, Brahmi is known to suppress all the disorders of the brain due to its sedative activity. It also improves the psychopathology of the disease through the dopaminergic mechanism and neurotransmission enhancing properties of Brahmi extract. (12)
SAFETY & TOXICOLOGY
Side effects of Brahmi have not been reported in humans. Symptoms like nausea increased intestinal motility, and gastrointestinal upset has been reported. (13)
Overdose Side Effects
Brahmi is considered safe for human consumption. Overconsumption of Brahmi may lead to slow down of heart rate, congestion in the intestine, and ulcer.