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Facts About Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri)

Brahmi Bacopa, or Bacopa monnieri is a well known Ayurvedic plant. It has a reputation of being an effective supplement for improving memory.

It is commonly known under the name water hyssop. Some consider it a tonic of the brain.

In essence, Brahmi is an adaptogen, pretty much like Ashwagandha root and Ginseng. All adaptogenic herbs help our body improve immunity and better adapt to stress.

While known for centuries in the traditional Eastern medicine, Bacopa Monnieri is now being studied for its therapeutic properties in a systematic and scientific way. This herb is now been clinically used for its memory enhancing properties, for fighting epilepsy and insomnia, and can be a mild sedative. Brahmi oil, extracted from the leaves of Bacopa monnieri, is also a potent medicine, and will do miracles for your hair.

The exact mechanism of biological action of this herb is not very well known, but it is believed that Brahmi Bacopa extract promotes neural communication, by promoting the growth of nerve endings.

Let’s see in more detail where exactly it can improve our health.

Brain Health

In our attempts to prevent age-related degradation of the brain, Brahmi can help us enormously. Bacosides are the chemicals isolated from this herb that are considered responsible for the positive effect on brain health, and in particular for improving memory. [1] Other studies have concluded that the chemical compounds in Brahmi can have strong therapeutic effects on treating and preventing Alzheimer’s disease.

Liver Health

Brahmi extract can promote the functioning of the liver and act as a hepatoprotective agent [2]. The liver is the pharmacy of our body and the main organ of detoxification. Unfortunately, in today’s society our bodies are constantly struggling to deal with more and more toxins assimilate daily through food, water, air, and from other environmental sources. Brahmi is a natural and relatively safe substance that can help our liver eliminate toxins.

Cardiovascular Health

Brahmi contains Nitric Oxide in its natural form and this is a very good news for people with high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems. Because Nitric Oxide is know to relax the blood vessels and dilates the arteries [3], which helps increase blood flow and tissue oxygenation. This is what makes Brahmi powder a very good supplement in case of heart disease, high blood pressure, and other cardiovascular diseases.

Antioxidant Activity

Antioxidant is the keyword you can hear all around you these days. No wonder, Antioxidants are really important for prevention against the harmful action of free radicals, given the environment we live in and the food we eat. Just like Chaga, Brahmi too is considered a potent antioxidant herb. For example, in experiments, 100 micrograms of Brahmi extract was found to be equivalent to 58 micrograms of vitamin E [4].

Stress

As we said, Bacopa is an adaptogen, which by definition means that it helps you deal with stress if taken beforehand. Most notably, it has shown effects in the hippocampus, restoring the bio-markers of stress to near normal levels. It is thought to be as effective as Panax Ginseng with respect to anxiety and stress.

Bacopa Monnieri Side Effects

Possible side effects of Brahmi could be the following symptoms: thirst, dry mouth, indigestion, nausea, drowsiness, or fatigue. In some people, these adverse effects may occur if Bacopa monnieri is taken on an empty stomach. Bacopa may increase the production of thyroid hormone, and some thyroid drugs contain Brahmi as well [6].

Brahmi as a Supplement

Being a plant, Brahmi is best used in its organic version. If you buy supplements, you should look for supplements created from an organically grown plant or wild grown plant far away from civilization. The reason is simple, Brahmi is highly absorbent. It can assimilate toxins, chemicals, pesticides, heavy metals [5], and other harmful substances more than other herbs.

If you plan on using Bacopa supplementation, first you should consult with your doctor. Second, you should know that Bacopa may take a lot of time for its brain related effects to be visible. Some suggest as long as 8 to 12 weeks before you even notice some signs of improvement.

If you use Brahmi in powder form, you should consume it together with some fat, because Bacopa is a fat soluble nutrient. Traditionally, Ghee (a special form of clarified butter) has been used for these purposes, and you can still take Brahmi together with Ghee. It is a great combination. If you are taking capsules, then you should probably take them during a meal to ensure that there is enough fatty content.

Take Away Points

You would appreciate the destressing effects of this plant. If you stick with it, you should see some improvement in the brain functioning, including cognition and memory.

If you have felt brain-dead for some time, supplementing with Brahmi bacopa may help you jump start your mental functions, like mental alertness, focus, memory, mood…

If you opt in for powder supplements, you probably won’t like the taste. If you absolutely can’t stand the taste, the alternative is to take capsules or caplets.

This is a very good adaptogenic herb with strong effect on the brain, and if you haven’t this is the time to give it a try!

References

[1] Effect of bacosides, alcoholic extract of Bacopa monniera Linn. (brahmi), on experimental amnesia in mice.

[2] Potential Effect of Bacopa monnieri on Nitrobenzene Induced Liver Damage in Rats.

[3] Bacopa monnieri and its constituents is hypotensive in anaesthetized rats and vasodilator in various artery types.

[4] Bacopa monniera Linn. as an antioxidant: mechanism of action.

[5] Bioaccumulation of Heavy metals in Bacopa monnieri (L.) Pennell growing under different habitat.

[6] https://thyroidadvisor.com/bacopa-monnieri-effects-benefits-thyroid-gland/

Photo courtesy by: photgeniccreativity

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