Brahmi is a wonder herb that can boost memory, improve your response to stress and revitalise skin and hair.
What is Brahmi?
Brahmi, also known as Bacopa Monnieri, is a perennial herb used in traditional Ayurvedic, Unani, Siddha, and other forms of alternative medicines across the world. It is also another word for Centella Asiatica or gotu kola, superstar ingredients trending in skincare. Brahmi leaves contain valuable alkaloids and triterpenoid saponins (compounds that act against pathogens) that trigger brain chemicals for improved memory, better learning and sharper thinking.
Benefits of Brahmi
Boosts brain function
Brahmi has been considered as a memory booster by Ayurveda practitioners for centuries. According to a journal titled Bacopa published in ScienceDirect, researchers reported a significant improvement in verbal learning, memory consolidation, and faster information processing in healthy volunteers (age 18–60 years) after they were administered Bacopa for 12 weeks at a dose of 300 mg daily.
Alleviate anxiety and stress
Brahmi is an adaptogenic herb that helps improve your body’s response to stress. “Many research studies also suggest that brahmi reduces stress by lowering the stress hormone, cortisol. Bhrami may help induce sleep because of its calming, anti-anxiety and anti-stress properties,” says Dr Lakshmi Kilaru, Head Nutritionist, URLife.
Brahmi contains powerful compounds that have antioxidant effects. They help hinder the reaction that occurs between free radicals and fat molecules which result in serious diseases such as heart diseases and cancers. A study published in the US National Library of Medicine states that Bacopa obstructs the release of inflammatory cytokines (a type of protein) and inhibits enzymes that cause inflammation in the brain.
Promotes thick luscious hair and clear complexion
In Ayurveda, brahmi oil is known to strengthen hair roots, prevent hair fall and premature greying. Brahmi is extremely nourishing for your hair and skin. It is known to improve hair regeneration and treat temporary balding. Brahmi prevents acne by detoxifying our blood and digestive system. It promotes healthy cell regeneration that improves complexion and ensures faster wound healing.
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How to Use Brahmi
1. Brahmi juice: Crush the stems and leaves of the plant in a mortar and add some water to form a paste. Separate the juice using a muslin cloth. You can take about 10 ml per day.
2. Brahmi and spinach: Add the fresh leaves or 1/4 tsp of brahmi powder to ghee, along with 1/4 tsp of cumin seeds, 1/4 tsp of turmeric powder and salt to taste. Then add spinach. Serve with rotis or rice.
3. Brahmi capsules or churna: Mix ¼ tsp of Brahmi churna with honey and consume before or after lunch.
Related story: Seven Adaptogen-Rich Foods You Should Add to Your Diet
Who Should Not Use Brahmi
1. Pregnancy and breastfeeding: There isn’t enough information on the after-effects of brahmi in pregnant or breastfeeding women. It is better to avoid usage during these phases.
2. Gastrointestinal tract issues: Brahmi may slow down digestion. Therefore, it is best for people already dealing with intestinal problems to avoid brahmi. Additionally, it increases secretions in the stomach and intestines, which may worsen existing ulcers.
3. Bradycardia: People with bradycardia (slow heart rate) should avoid consuming brahmi as it is known to slow down heart rate.
4. Thyroid: Avoid consuming brahmi if you have a thyroid condition or take thyroid hormone medications.
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