Brahmi for Brain

Brahmi, with latin name Bacopa monnieri, belongs to family of Scrophulariaceae. It is commonly known as Brahmi, bacopa, Babies. The plant is used as whole plant, Brahmi is an annual creeping plant found throughout India including the north eastern region. Introduction: Bacopa monnieri is bitter (Tikta) in taste; has been used in the Ayurvedic system of medicine for centuries. Brahmi occurs naturally in India and has a long history of use in the Ayurvedic medicine tradition in the treatment of a number of disorders, particularly those involving anxiety, intellect and poor memory. Traditionally, it was used as a brain tonic to enhance memory development, learning, and concentration. Bacopa benefits: Brahmi is also used for the treatment of insomnia (Anidra). Two chemicals in Bacopa, bacosides A and B, improve the transmission of impulses between nerve cells in brain. The neurobiological effects of these isolated molecules were found to increase protein kinase activity and new protein synthesis, specifically in cells in region of the brain associated with long-term memory. Bacopa also increases level of serotonin, a brain chemical known to promote relaxation. The herb's ability to boost brain function while reducing anxiety may explain why it helps treat ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).  


Bacopa monnieri is a herb that helps in increasing mental capacity and decreasing mental stress. Aside from increasing intellectual and cognitive function, Brahmi induces a sense of calm and peace in its users. It is unique in its ability to invigorate mental processes whilst reducing the effects of stress and nervous anxiety. This makes Brahmi extremely applicable in highly stressful work or study environments where clarity of thought is as important as being able to work under pressure. Many people have the intelligence to perform to strict standards, but lack the composure and self-confidence to reach them. Additionally, Brahmi helps soothe the restlessness and distraction that nervousness causes. Brahmi is ideal for students and workers faced with this problem. Herb nourishes the neurons that in turn improve retention ability and to get rid of unwanted anxieties. The herb has soothing effects on brain and therefore is used in treatments of depression. Brahmi can also increase the concentrating power, stamina and provides headache relief. It can overcome mental fatigue as the herb is boasted as a complete natural remedy for the human brain.
It brings down the elevated hormonal levels in the body and thus can make you free from insomnia and worries. Other properties of Bacopa are: it helps to clarify the confused and cloudy state of the brain and give sooner relief from anxieties, stressful situation, hysterias, nervous breakdown, and insanity.
A sound sleep after a hectic day, makes the mind cool and body relaxed, help the individual to be fit, to resume his work, the next day. Sleep disorders and Insomnia are highly disturbing phenomenon, that lead to many serious complications in one's mental and physical health.
The basic reason for sleeplessness is the modern day life style and consequent anxiety and behavioural related problems. While insomnia and sleep disorders are both of temporary and permanent in nature, and the reasons for the same are multifarious.
Ayurveda, the ancient wisdom of health and longevity, identifies the problem with two of its major divisions of Dosha, viz. Vata and Pitta and the medicines are determined based on the Dosha the individual is subject to. Considering the major reason for sleep disorders as anxiety, high blood pressure, and hectic life style of the modern society, the Pitta quality would be more on focus here. Brahmi is the best herb that induce sleep and also that acts as a tranquilliser without producing any side effects, while toning up the brain's functions. For those, who are not allergic of applying oil on the scalp, a good Luke warm water bath with Brahmi coconut oil applied on the scalp before an hour of the sleep, would definitely induce a sound sleep. A single Dose of Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) between 3 to 4 gm. with milk or water before one goes to bed helps to get good sleep.
Traditional Ayurveda system suggests moderate duration of sleep between 7 to 8 hours with exceptions for children. Consumption of beverages that contain caffeine disturbs the sleep. One is advised to keep the mind calm and peaceful and the body clean before one goes to sleep. Violent Scenes and Action Movies and music's that rock the mind need to be avoided. Music and videos that sooth the mind need only to be played prior to sleep. The bed room need to be designed at a place, free from distractions and disturbing noises. Vastu Shastra (Traditional Indian Civil Engineering principles) and Fang Shui offer very useful suggestions in this regard. Disciplined life, refraining from any excesses, punctuality in the time of sleep and regularity in the hours of sleep, nutritious food, and balanced life ensures good sleep and sound health. People with High blood pressure and those with high emotional disturbances, are well advised to wear Rudraksha beads on their body, which will control the B.P.and ensure steady and cool mind. Wearing of a two faced Rudraksha ensures healthy mind and sound sleep protecting the wearer from emotional disturbances.
Brahmi act as a nerve reliever because of its Laghu (light) Guna (property). It helps in relieving nervous congestion and strain from them, as it possesses Ushna virya potency; thereby it reduces vata dosha, which is main culprit in causing such problems. Due to presence of Tikta rasa, it easily penetrates into the tissues thus giving soothing feel.
Brahmi finds its major application in brain related problems. It has been used from very ancient times to improve intelligence level and for making mind alert. It helps in maintaining mental calmness and has an appetite for stress. It helps in improving mental performance and increasing learning capacity, only for this reason it has been promoted as a brain tonic by ancient gurus in India, to make their disciples (students) learn and retain all the knowledge given to them by heart. It helps in making mind sharp and increases learning skills. It is helpful in increasing mental concentration level. A great success has been found in patients who suffer from epilepsy and convulsions disorders due to its Ushna virya property. Regular use of Brahmi has given a tremendous result in such patients. Amount of fits initially gets reduced and then ultimately fades away thus curing the patient of their ailment.
Brahmi also finds its application as an herb, which stimulates heart for its normal functioning, and also as hypotensive agent due to its Ushna Virya property. It is very useful in maintaining normal body temperature thus relieving body from hyperthermia and fevers. Due to presence of Tikta rasa it removes all the toxins present in blood stream. It also act as diuretic agent therefore helps in relieving stress accumulated in body and releasing spasms. Brahmi is also very effective in treating menstrual disorders and painful menses. It detoxifies body as it has the tendency to increase sweating from the body thereby purifying sweat pores and maintain the proper functioning of sweat glands. It also finds its application in cough and cold related problem. Due to Ushna Virya, Asthmatic patients have also been seen getting great relief from regular use of Brahmi.
Dr. Niharika Sharma & Dr. Vinay Bhardwaj
1. P.G.Scholar, P.G. Department of Kriya- Sharir, N.I.A. Jaipur
2. Asst. Professor, Department of Kriya- Sharir, MJF Ayurvedic Mahavidyalaya, Chomu (Jaipur), Rajasthan.