Ayurveda cures innumerable ailments through herbal treatments. One such unique herb that has been used by Ayurveda for ages now, is ‘Brahmi’. Often regarded as a brain booster, Brahmi is a succulent herb with several branches, rooting at the nodes. It grows in wet soil, shallow water and marshes. With a bitter, sweet taste, it imparts a cooling energy. The plant is a native of Southeast Asian countries, including Vietnam, Sri Lanka and India.
The herb is popular as a stress reliever and is used as a calming therapy. Ayurveda specifically uses this herb as a remedy for inflammation, indigestion, sleep disorders, excess anger, and for overall emotional well-being. As all these factors are associated with ‘pitta dosha’, which is generally thought as being ‘hot’ in nature, Brahmi is believed to offer relief from such issues. Let us take a deeper look at the immense benefits of this wonder herb for the body and mind.
1. For brain health
Brahmi is a therapeutic herb that is used as a memory enhancer. It enhances three aspects of memory, the long-term memory, short-term memory and the retaining capacity of the brain. This is because it has a positive effect on the hippocampus part of the brain which is responsible for concentration, intelligence and memory. The organic compounds present in this herb stimulate the cognitive pathways in the brain and boosts cognitive ability.
It also keeps the mind calm, free of anxiety, as it helps in decreasing the levels of stress hormone, cortisol.
It helps ease the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, as the bio-chemical known as ‘bacosides’ present in Brahmi helps in re-building brain tissues by influencing the brain cells.
Brahmi helps in combating insomnia by inducing sound sleep. However, it is not addictive unlike other drugs used today.
2. Rich in antioxidants
Brahmi is loaded with antioxidants that are vital for a healthy living. They help in removing free radicals which may otherwise mutate into cancer cells, or other serious illness. The antioxidants work by removing free radicals, helping us to have a healthy metabolism, and thereby a healthy life. In fact, many researchers are beginning to take the help of Brahmi’s components in preventing or slowing the spread of cancer.
3. Boosts immunity
With long-term use, Brahmi has shown to strengthen immunity. The rich presence of nutrients and antioxidants help in increasing the response time of our immune system, thereby protecting against various diseases and ailments. Brahmi can be consumed in any form, whether in the form of leaves, tea or as a supplement to boost immunity.
4. Treats arthritis
Brahmi can be a great remedy as it provides relief from arthritis, gout and such other inflammatory conditions. Being a good anti-inflammatory, it can also provide relief from conditions such as ulcers.
5. Treats Epilepsy
The Brahmi leaves have been used in treatment for epilepsy for thousands of years. This is because Brahmi is considered as an effective nerve tonic. It acts on neural pathways and prevents epileptic fits and other conditions like neuralgia.
6. Regulates blood sugar
Brahmi has shown to improve symptoms of hypoglycaemia, due to its property of regulating blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes. In research studies, Brahmi has been linked to increase blood sugar levels. Therefore, depending on your symptoms of diabetes, your condition of hypoglycaemia can be improved with Brahmi.
7. For Respiratory health
When Brahmi is brewed in a tea or chewed as normal leaves, it can boost respiratory health. Ayurveda makes use of Brahmi for treatment of Bronchitis, Chest Colds, Congestion and Blocked Sinuses. It can clear excess phlegm and mucus too and relieve inflammation in the throat and respiratory tracts to provide you rapid relief.
8. Protects the Heart
Brahmi helps in relaxing the heart muscles, aorta, pulmonary arteries, bronchial smooth muscles, and improves blood flow by improving nitrate oxide levels without increasing blood pressure. A smooth blood flow can help in prevent cardiac diseases.
9. For Skin care
Brahmi is effective in healing of wounds in the skin, and acts as a disinfectant too. Just spread the juice of Brahmi, or use Brahmi oil topically on the affected area. Apart from reducing the appearance of scarring, it can leave you with a smooth, healthy skin. The antioxidants present in this herb remove the toxins accumulated in the body and improves complexion by stimulating cell generation.
10. For Haircare
Brahmi oil is great for treating a dry scalp and preventing hair fall. The antioxidant components in this oil, not only help in rejuvenating your scalp, but also promote hair growth. Brahmi is great for treating hair problems like itchiness, dandruff, and split ends. Massaging of the scalp with brahmi oil can be very soothing for such conditions.
Note: Brahmi is available as a pill or in powdered form. But, use it as a supplement only on consultation with a doctor. Long-term use of the herb (for more than 12 weeks) should be avoided, or it should be used only to alleviate a certain health condition, on consultation with a doctor. People suffering from cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, asthma, urinary tract infections etc., should specifically discuss the usage and dosage of the herb with the doctor.