Brahmi is a herbal supplement that is especially useful for meditators, as it helps to calm the mind and open us up to the more subtle realities. Want to improve your meditation practice? Enhance your memory and ability to learn new things? Or simply bring more peace and calm to your body and mind? Take the time to get more familiar with this amazing little plant.
The health benefits of Brahmi (Bacopa Monnieri) have long been understood within Ayurveda, where it is one of the main herbs to promote a healthy brain. Ayurvedic medicine is an ancient Indian system of medicine that uses the essential power of herbs to help cure diseases in a natural and healthy way. Ayurveda believes in balancing the doshas, the different types of natural energies found in the body, for a healthy immune system.
Brahmi is a small water plant that grows in the wetlands of India. It is known as ‘that which gives supreme knowledge’, and has been used for centuries to improve cognitive health. Studies have shown that Brahmi positively affects brain chemicals needed for thinking, learning, and memory. While primarily used for its brain-boosting capacities, which are also supported by allopathic medicine, Brahmi has traditionally been used for a wide variety of health benefits, too numerous to mention here. The most widely researched and commonly accepted uses are:
- Increases the clarity of the mind
- Improves memory and learning
- Works as an anti-anxiety tonic
- Helps to balance the emotions
- Improves sleep
- Aids those recovering from drug and alcohol abuse
- Promotes healthy hair growth
- Helps the skin to heal after a cut, and minimizes scarring
- Reduces seizures in case of epilepsy
As mentioned above, we really recommend Brahmi as a supplement for those interested in meditation, as it has qualities that calm down the nervous system. Even if you don’t have a regular meditation practice, it can help in your daily life by bringing a sense of peace and presence in body and mind.
How to use Brahmi
Paste – If you can get your hands on either fresh leaves or a good amount of powdered Brahmi, you can make a paste for wounds to ensure minimal scarring. Simply grind the leaves and add water until it has the consistency of sour cream and can be applied to the area. Leave it on for a few hours or if possible, overnight for full effect.
Tea – Dried or fresh leaves can be used to make a tea that helps to instantly relax tension in the nervous system. Warm Brahmi leaves can also be put on the chest to relieve the symptoms of asthma.
Tablet or Powder Supplement – As a regular dietary supplement, Brahmi has a marked effect in protecting against Alzheimer’s and various other neurodegenerative diseases. It can also act as a booster for students of any age, to support learning and retention of knowledge. As a general guideline, you should see results in calming anxiety and improving memory retention by taking 300 mg daily for a minimum of 12 weeks, but as supplement strength varies, please consult the directions of the manufacturer for daily dosage. While Brahmi is one of the safest medicinal plants, please note that when used in excess, it may lead to nausea and dry mouth.
Oil – Brahmi oil can be applied to the scalp to support hair growth, and used on the skin to improve healing and texture.
In food – Brahmi can be added to many different Indian dishes, such as dhal, chutneys or curries. This can be a great way to ensure that your family gets a regular dose of Brahmi!
Growing Brahmi at home
While Brahmi does well as a water plant, it can also be grown in pots at home so you can reap the goodness of Brahmi from your own balcony and enjoy its small blue-white flower. As it is a creeper, the best thing is to find another source of Brahmi and propagate by the stem. Simply cut some stems of about 3 inches long from an existing plant, strip the bottom leaves, and transplant into good potting soil. You can easily put three stems in a single pot.
Brahmi likes to keep its feet a little wet – make sure the soil is always moist at the top. When the plant begins to flourish, you can safely cut back some stems to take the leaves for processing.
It is always recommended to get Brahmi from a trusted organic brand, such as Aurospirul, as trace pesticides can remain after processing. Are you already using Brahmi as a health supplement? Please leave a comment below and let us know what Brahmi is doing for you!