Brahmi Herbal


Bacopa monnieri


PROPERTIES: adaptogen, anti-oxidant, mild nervine, mild analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, antipyretic (reduces fevers), immunostimulant, diuretic, expectorant, demulcent

SYSTEMS AFFECTED: Respiratory, Immune System, Nervous System, Brain, Liver, Circulatory System, Urinary Tract

POSSIBLE USES: improving memory, heightening brain function and learning abilities, ADHD, improving dementia symptoms, lessening anxiety, colds, chest congestion, bronchitis, concentration, stress management, sleep patterns, high blood pressure, as a sleep aid, reducing fevers

Please note the Latin name above. The common name, Brahmi, is sometimes used to refer to a very different medicinal plant which has somewhat similar medicinal properties known as Gotu Kola. This Brahmi, Bacopa monnieri, is sometimes called ‘Herb of Grace’. What a delightful name; a name that is descriptive of this plant's emotional calming and healing attributes. While fairly new to Western herbal medicine it has a long history of use in India where it grows naturally.

Brahmi has a calming effect on the brain and nervous system and, as such, is considered to be helpful with ADHD, hyperactivity, impulsive behaviors, and general restlessness. A Nervous system adaptogen, Brahmi can aid our body and minds in adjusting to challenging or unfamiliar surroundings or situations. Several articles describe Brahmi’s ability to help the mind to center and focus on things that really matter without becoming distracted by random thoughts or noises in the home or work environment.

Brahmi, as the Latin name Bacopa implies, contains the powerful anti-oxidant (free radical fighter) bacosides. The reaction of free radicals as they react with fats creates a process called lipid peroxidation. This process has been linked in studies to such disorders as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and several other degenerative nervous system and brain function disorders that, too often, accompany the aging process.

One group of researchers found that Brahmi increased brain levels of glutathione, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, zinc, and selenium in rats. The increases were especially significant in rats exposed to cigarette smoke and environmental toxins. Perhaps, like me, you find these kinds of animal studies distressing, but the results are telling in their support of herbal remedies for improved cognitive functions.

As most herbs do, Brahmi has a positive impact on several body systems at the same time. That is the beauty of herbals in their natural state. Anti-oxidants in this herb act on the kidneys and bladder to aid the urinary systems in eliminating bodily toxins more effectively. Brahmi also acts on the respiratory system as shown above in the list of possible uses.

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