Brahmi – Bacopa monnieri

The Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) plant, which derives its name from Lord Brahma, has been in use for almost 3,000 years. Ayurveda practitioners claim that Brahmi has dozens of medicinal properties ranging from fighting bronchitis to asthma, and from boosting the intelligence to maintaining the cholesterol levels. The curative list of Brahmi is far more than this. This implies that it is indeed a divine herb with unparalleled medicinal properties.

Brahmi is perhaps the most important nervine herb used in Ayurvedic medicine. It revitalizes the brain cells, removes toxins and blockages within the nervous system, and at the same time has a nurturing effect upon the mind. It improves memory and aids in concentration. A small amount of the fresh leaves is eaten daily for its rejuvenating effect upon the mind. It helps awaken the crown chakra and balance the right and left hemispheres of the brain. It calms the heart and guards against heart attack.

Of late, It has been commercialized with several drug and cosmetic companies launching a number of products. Brahmi hair oil and chyavanprash have become quite popular with women and students.

The entire plant goes into Ayurveda and Unani formulations. The plant is dried in shade and then powdered for use in herbal formulations. Extracts are also obtained from the fresh plant. The leaves are bitter to taste.

Though recent research studies have shown that it is absolutely safe as a medicinal herb, doctors often caution against its over consumption. An overdose of Brahmi formulation or its fresh extract creates health complications. Fatigue and headache are the common symptoms of Brahmi over intake of Brahmi.

Otherwise, besides being a major brain tonic, Brahmi has been found to be good in treating health problems like epilepsy, heart diseases, hair loss, ulcers and diarrhea.

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