Brahmi is an herbal remedy made from the Bacopa monnieri plant, also called water hyssop. You might use brahmi to improve your mental function or treat allergies, depression or anxiety. In Ayurvedic medicine, Brahmi is classified as a medhyarasayana, which is the name given to drugs used to improve memory and intellect. In keeping with this, the name Brahmi is derived from the name “Brahma”, who is the Hindu god of creation. The safety of taking brahmi during pregnancy is unknown, so you must consult your doctor before taking the remedy while pregnant to discuss the potential risks and correct dosage.
Furthermore, Brahmi contains saponins called bacosides, which appear to affect certain neurotransmitters in the brain. Brahmi seems to increase the effects of serotonin, gamma amino butyric acid or “GABA” and acetylcholine, says the University of Michigan Health System.
Brahmi’s affects on these neurotransmitters, along with its antioxidant and neuro protective actions in the brain, likely account for the herb’s medicinal benefits. They include enhancing mental function and easing anxiety and depression. Brahmi might also have relaxant effects on certain muscles.
You might take brahmi to help to treat allergies, asthma, ulcers and hypothyroidism, but the herb is best known for its uses in treating mental conditions, says the university of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Brahmi may help to improve mental function and memory in people with forms of dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease and age-related cognitive decline or ARCD.
Brahmi could also help if you have depression, anxiety, drug addiction or epilepsy. No conclusive scientific evidence supports the use of brahmi for treating any medical condition, however. Brahmi is a marsh-grown plant that grows natively in parts of India and is used as a water plant in many areas in the world, says the University of Michigan Health System.
For thousands of years, brahmi has been used in Ayurvedic medicine in India to treat asthma, water retention and a variety of mental-health, heart and nervous-system problems. In traditional Indian medicine, brahmi was used as a treatment for depression, insomnia, epilepsy and other similar ailments, notes the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
Brahmi has been used in traditional Indian medicine for over 3000 years. It has been used to treat conditions such as: bronchitis, coughs, asthma, hoarseness, arthritis, allergies, rheumatism, inflammatory conditions, fluid retention, backache, chronic skin conditions, high cholesterol levels, constipation, hair loss, boils, ulcers, fevers, digestive problems, epileptic fits, hysteria, nervous breakdown, insanity and to improve circulation, strengthen capillaries and stimulate hair, skin and nail growth.
In a nutshell, Brahmi as herbal supplements and tablets have been marketed for super learning, for memory and as a brain tonic. In 1963 research on the brahmi plant identified 2 active molecules: Bacoside A that assists in the release of nitric oxide allowing relaxation of the aorta and veins and blood to flow more smoothly through the body and aids circulation; and Bacoside B, a protein valued for nourishing nerve cells in the brain.