Health Secrets of Ayurveda: #2 Brahmi

·3-min read

Brahmi (scientific name Bacopa monnieri) is a staple plant in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. Also known as water hyssop, thyme-leaved gratiola and herb of grace.The plant is mostly found near water sources and grows naturally in wet soil, shallow water and marshes.

Brahmi is a small succulent herb with numerous branches, rooting at the nodes and with small flowers that are light purple or white in colour. The whole plant can be used for medicinal purposes.

Leaves of brahmi herb, Bacopa monnieri, a medical plant from India
Leaves of brahmi herb, Bacopa monnieri, a medical plant from India

The name brahmi is derived from the word Brahma or intellectual. Therefore it has more action on increasing the intellectual aspect of intelligence.

Brahmi has many synonyms like Toyavalli which means the one that abundantly grows around marshy water sources. Matsyakshi is an another synonym as its shape is similar to the eyes of a fish. Its also known as Somvalli as it is filled with soma or rejuvenators. A class of powerful compounds called bacosides in Bacopa monnieri is believed to be responsible for these benefits.

Brahmi is a therapeutic herb commonly used as a memory enhancer, aphrodisiac and a health tonic. According to Dr Rahul Marwah, MD, Ayurveda and senior consultant at Avothikaryaa Wellness Center & Beauty Salon says, “Brahmi is one of the most commonly used herbs in Ayurveda, but little do people know that it’s also one of the most botanically controversial herbs with much similarity to Mandukaparni (Gotu Kola) which is grown mostly in the southern part of India. To fuel the controversy, Ayurveda texts have mentioned both of them with their properties.”

He adds that Brahmi is bitter in taste and sheeta (coldness) in its veerya or the final outcome of digestion. “Though Brahmi is known for its properties of memory enhancing and increasing the intelligence, it has many other uses like unilateral swelling (shooth), malnutrition of the tissue (pandu), in fever (jwar), grahani (somewhat like Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS), it acts as swarya (one that enhances the voice), useful in itching (kandu nashan) and asra vikruti nasahak (useful in overcoming vitiated blood disorder),” informs Dr Marwah.

Brahmi is known for its properties of memory enhancing and increasing the intelligence
Brahmi is known for its properties of memory enhancing and increasing the intelligence

Here are the numerous benefits of Brahmi

  • Works as a great memory enhancer - on the hippocampus part of the brain that is responsible for intelligence, concentration and memory. Medical News Today

  • Reduces stress and anxiety as it decreases the levels of cortisol, which is known as the stress

  • Helps ease the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease - the bacosides in Brahmi help in re-building brain tissues.

  • It is full of Antioxidants that help in removing free radicals that can further mutate into cancer cells.

  • Strengthens your immune system.

  • Provides relief from arthritis, gastro inflammatory conditions and treating IBS. Mayo Clinic

  • Helps regulate blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes and may help improve symptoms of hypoglycemia.

  • Beauty benefits of Brahmi - Brahmi oil is great for treating a dry scalp and preventing hair fall and promoting regeneration of healthy hair. Brahmi is also good for treating hair problems like dandruff, itchiness and formation of split ends. It can also be used as a soothing massage oil for the scalp. Bajaj Brahmi Amla Hair Oil is a popular hair oil to reduce hair fall and strengthen hair.

Brahmi extracts in the form of powder/capsules/oils by many leading companies like Himalaya, Baidyanath, Kerala Ayurveda, Organic India are available on

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