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Brahmi
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Ayurvedic Herbs A-Z

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Brahmi

Brahmi acts as a powerful brain food, and is known for its ability to enhance mind power (Medhya effect). It supports and improves all aspects of mental functioning, including comprehension (Dhi), memory (Dhriti) and recollection (Smriti). It is important because it also enhances the crucial coordination of these three aspects of mental functioning.

Because it increases the ability to solve problems effectively, Brahmi is often used in formulas to help relieve and prevent stress.

Brahmi can be processed in different ways, or with different herbs, to balance any of the three laws of the physiology (Vata, Pitta, Kapha).

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Latin - Herpestis Monniera, Bacopa Monnieri
Sanskrit
- Brahmi
Hindi -- Brambhi
English - Thyme-leaved Gratiola (rarely used)

Family: Scrophulariaceae

Vernacular names: Sanskrit - Brahmi; Hindi - Brambhi; English - Thyme-leaved Grariola; Bengali - Brahmi-sak; Tamil - Nirbrahmi; Japanese - Otomeazene

NOTE: Two main herbs go by the name of Brahmi in the ancient Ayurvedic texts. Some experts, such as Vaidya R. K. Mishra, feel that Herpestis Monniera is more authentic and is preferable for mental benefits except where urinary flow, purification, and immunomodulation is desired by the physician. The other herb that commonly goes by this name is more popularly known in the U.S. as Gotu-Kola, or Centella asiatica. When the texts specify Gotu-kola without the option of substitution, it is called Mandukaparni. So we always identify Brahmi as Herpestis Monniera in our herbal formulations.

Parts Used:

Whole plant, roots, leaves, stalks. Each part has a different therapeutic value and must be prepared in its own way for maximum benefits.

Traditional Ayurvedic Uses:

Brahmi acts as a powerful brain food, and is known for its ability to enhance mind power (Medhya effect). It supports and improves all aspects of mental functioning, including comprehension (Dhi), memory (Dhriti) and recollection (Smriti). It is important because it also enhances the crucial coordination of these three aspects of mental functioning.

Because it increases the ability to solve problems effectively, Brahmi is often used in formulas to help relieve and prevent stress.

Brahmi can be processed in different ways, or with different herbs, to balance any of the three laws of the physiology (Vata, Pitta, Kapha).

It is a very good overall tonic (Rasayana, or longevity-enhancer).

Brahmi is used to prepare a number of important Ayurvedic preparations (Brahmighritam, Brahmirasayanam) which are given to those suffering from anxiety and emotional stress.

Combinations are Best

The ayurvedic physicians of Ayurveda do not recommend the use of single herbs for self-care due to several important reasons (see the index page of the ayurvedic herb section for details).

One of the specialties of Ayurveda is the science of herb combining that has been perfected over thousands of years of clinical practice. From this ayurvedic perspective, the study of herbs from scientific research which is based on single ingredient formulas is not very practical. This is because an herb can give a number of different effects depending on the other herbs it is combined with as well as a number of other factors such as dosage, how the herb was processed, etc. If one focuses just on the results of a study based on one ingredient, while it may be interesting, it does not give the full insight into the complete range of effects available from that particular herb.

Ayurvedic Energetics:
Rasa: bitter
Veerya: cooling
Vipaka: pungent
Gunas: light, unctuous

Doshas: Vata-, Kapha-, Pitta+

Pharmacological Action: nervine tonic, diuretic, sedative

Clinical Research: Brahmi is reported to have sedative as well as cardiotonic effects due to the presence of hersaponin, one of four saponins isolated from the plant. , In 50 mg/kg doses, alcoholic extracts produced mild tranquilizing effects on albino rats and dogs. The alcoholic extract of the entire plant displayed anticancer activity against Walker carcinosarcoma 256 in rats. Oral administration of the alcoholic extract in aqueous suspension for three or more days was found to improve the learning curve in rats in various learning situations.

Traditional Uses: Brahmi is used in the treatment of asthma, hoarseness, anxiety, epilepsy, and neurasthenia. It is also useful as a diuretic and aperient. A paste made from the leaves is used in rheumatic joint pain; a poultice of the entire boiled plant is applied to the chest in bronchitis and chronic cough. It is used to prepare a number of important Ayurvedic preparations (Brahmighritam, Brahmirasayanam) which are given to those suffering from anxiety and emotional stress.

Indications: emotional stress, mental exhaustion, forgetfulness, anxiety, asthma, bronchitis, cough, hoarseness, water retention, rheumatic joint pain.

Formulations and Dosage:
infusion-two cups/day
alcoholic extract-30 drops by mouth twice a day
powder-two grams twice a day with warm water.

Kapoor, LD, CRC Handbook of Ayurvedic Med Plants, 61, 1990.
Wof I vol 2B, 2, 1988.
Bhakuni, DS; Dhar, ML; et al., Ind J Exp Biol, 7, 250, 1969.
Wof I vol 2B, 3, 1988.

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This information is provided for general medical education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient's medical condition.
In no event will The DrEddyClinic.com be liable for any decision made or action taken in reliance upon the information provided through this web site.

 

 



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