Brahmi Herbal Brain Tonic To Increase Memory

General Description
The traditionally venerated brahmi of Ayurvedic medicine is popular as water hyssop in the west. Other popular names used in different parts of the world are thyme-leafed gratiola and moneywort. It is an indigenous Indian herb which grows in large numbers near the marshy areas. Brahmi is a small creeping herb with white or pinkish flowers. Apart from India, it also grows in China, Nepal, Sri Lanka and even as far west as in the Florida state of US.
Brahmi is Bacopa monnieri according to its binomial classification. Its medicinal properties are derived from the two main alkaloids present in it - brahmine and herpestine. Apart from these, there are other chemicals in the brahmi, including several acids, saponins and esters, which make it a valuable herb in Ayurvedic medicine. In Ayurvedic parlance, the chemicals present in the herb are also known as brahmi.
Brahmi is known in Ayurvedic medicine for the following curative properties:-
(i) Brahmi is a bitter and cooling herb with an astringent taste.
(ii) Recent studies have shown brahmi improves the intellect. Children in Indian families are consecrated with brahmi since ages to give them an intelligent mind.
(iii) Brahmi is both a nerve tonic as well as a cardio tonic.
(iv) Brahmi helps in solving urinary problems as it is a diuretic.
(v) Brahmi helps in adapting and acclimatizing to a new place. It is an adaptogenic.
(vi) Brahmi is a nootropic, i.e. a drug that increases cognitive ability.
(vii) Brahmi has antioxidant properties, due to which it protects the nutrients from getting oxidized (and hence destroyed) in the body.
(viii) Brahmi is a blood purifying agent.
(ix) An ethanolic extract of the herb has given evidence of anti-carcinogenic activity in humans, but this is yet to be concretely studied.
Brahmi has been used since ages for the treatment of the following diseases.
(i) Dandruff
Brahmi oil replenishes the hair roots. If brahmi oil is applied each night before going to bed, it will cure all dandruff problems and also make hair stronger (see in 'Hair Loss').
(ii) Epilepsy
The entire brahmi plant is useful in the treatment of epilepsy. The juice of the plant is extracted and used in the preparation of the medicine. In the treatment of epilepsy, brahmi is traditionally used in conjunction with vacha.
(iii) Hair Loss
Brahmi is renowned in Ayurvedic medicine for the proper growth of hair. Its antioxidant properties allow the proper nourishment to reach the hair roots and thus promote their growth. Brahmi is an essential component of many herbal oils. Using such oils make the head cool, as well as allow the hair to grow luxuriantly and with luster. The oil also prevents split ends and discoloration of the hair.
(iv) Insomnia
Brahmi is a cooling agent. When applied on the scalp in the form of oil, brahmi relaxes the brain and induces good and restful sleep throughout the night. One Ayurvedic recipe for treating insomnia is as follows: brahmi, vacha and amalaki powders are made in equal proportions. This powdered mixture is to be consumed thrice a day in the dose of one teaspoon. The powder can also be taken dissolved in a cup of water or milk.
(v) Mental Problems
Perhaps the most major use of brahmi is in the treatment of several mental problems in humans. Taken on a regular basis, brahmi helps to increase the concentration of humans and improves their memory and retention capacity. It is believed that consecrating children with brahmi oils gives makes them into intelligent individuals. Regular use of the brahmi oil is effective in treating mental imbalances, emotional disturbances and also in the prevention and cure of geriatric mental problems such as amnesia and Alzheimer's. Brahmi vati, an important Ayurvedic preparation containing brahmi along with jatamansi (muskroot) and serpagandha (rauwolfia) is used as a brain tonic.
(vi) Syphilis
Brahmi has antibacterial properties. A paste of its leaves is applied on syphilitic sores. This helps the sores to heal quickly. Regular application of the paste of brahmi leaves can treat the syphilis completely.
Special Ayurvedic Preparations
The following are some Ayurvedic preparations in which brahmi is the main ingredient:-
(i) Brahmi ghrita
Brahmi is boiled in pure cow's ghee along with some other herbs. This preparation is known as brahmi ghrita. Brahmi ghrita is taken orally in one teaspoon amount twice a day on an empty stomach for people who are suffering from amnesia.
(ii) Brahmi taila
Brahmi oil is used for application on the head. Besides brahmi, this oil can also contain amalaki, camphor, etc.
(iii) Brahmi vati
Brahmi vati is prepared by mixing the powders of brahmi with jatamansi (muskroot) and serpagandha (rauwolfia). This is used as a brain tonic. This is used in improving mental capacity, becoming more active and reducing anxiety and stress.
Brahmi has some drawbacks, for which its use must be restricted. An excess of brahmi prevents the oxidation of fats in the bloodstream. This makes the fats accumulate in the blood, increasing the risk of cardiovascular disorders.
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