Brahma is the divinity responsible for all ‘creative’ forces in the world. Brahmi literally means the ‘energy or shakti of Brahman (ie Sarasvati). With Brahmi deriving its name from these roots it has a lot to live up to. And it does! Its mind enhancing and nervous system soothing effects are legendary.
Botanical Name : Bacopa monnieri
Family : Scrophulariaceae
Synonyms : Sarasvati, Soumya, Surashreshtha, Suvarchala, Vaidhatri, Matsyakshi, Manduki, Surasa, Medhya, Brahmani, Vayastha, Somavalli, Divyateja, Dheera, Shankhadhara, etc.
Parts Used : Leaf
Energetic Principles :
- Rasa (taste)- Bitter, sweet
- Virya (action)- Cooling
- Vipaka (post-digestive effect)- Sweet
- Guna (quality)- Light, flowing (sara/laxative)
- Effect on Dosha - VPK=, V+ in excess
- Prabhava - Anti-psychotic, anti-epileptic
Chemical constituents:-: The major phytoconstituent of Brahmi are Bacosides. Bacosides are saponins in nature, which help to repair damaged neurons by enhancing proteins involved in the regeneration of neural-cell synapses in body. The alkali Brahmine resembles strychnine in action but is less toxic. It contains stigma sterol in free state. The active principle, Hersaponin resembles reserpine and chlorpromazine in action
Ayurvedic Action of Brahmi:
- Vatahara -Calms vata
- Anuloma- Redirects the flow of vata downwards
- Unmadahara- Reduces mental illness
- Pradnya shakti- Increases intellectual power
- Hridya- Heart tonic
- Majjadhatu Rasayana- Rejuvenative, particularly to the nervous system
- Ayushya vardhana- Increases longevity
- Balyam -Gives strength (especially to the mind)
- Jeevaniya -Promotes energy
- Medhya -Nervine
- Nidrajnana- Promotes sleep
- Kushtaghna -Alleviates skin conditions
Today while learning and practicing Ayurveda and alternative medicine ; the knowledge of the Healing Herbs described in Ayurveda is very important.
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Uses of Brahmi in various diseases:
- Nervous system -
Hysteria and Epilepsy - It is useful to nourish the brain as well as majja channel in general and to pacify mind. It stimulates intellect by removing mental weakness in a patients suffering from Hysteria and Epilepsy. It should be used as Pitta pacifying and to nourish majja tissue in loss of memory and confusion caused by derangement of mental functions. Brahmi ghrita or Juice should be used for this purpose. It is not sedative but restores normal functions of mind by eliminating mental turbulance debility. It cures Hysteria when its juice is given with kushtha and honey.However, it should not be used in the presence of low fire and if there is excitation of Kapha dominant doshas. Shankhapushpi, vacha, nirgundi, and kushtha is indicated.
Urinary system -
Brahmi growing in marshy places increases kleda and other secretions in the body and hence, acts as a diuretic. Hence, it should be used in the presence of burning micturition, pain, haematuria, and urocalcinosis. Brahmi medicated milk should be given in urinary infections and calculi.
It increases all tissues due to its sweet post digestive effect.Hence, it acts as rasayana. It pacifies Pitta associated with rasa- rakta- mamsa and majja dhatus due to its bitter, astringent,sweet tastes and cold potency. It nourishes majja tissue and acts as brain tonic. It stimulates intellect due to its light quality and bitter taste. It also nourishes shukra by nourishing majja tissue.
Specific uses of Brahmi:
-  Brahmi juice should be given with honey in Hysteria and epilepsy.
-  Brahmi powder should be given with honey for a long time to stimulate intellect, memory and to increase life span.
-  Saraswata powder should be given with honey to stimulate intellect and memory. It contains brahmi.
-  An oil made from triphala, shati, usheera and brahmi juice calms the mind
Dose - Juice- 5 to 10 ml. Powder - 1 to 4 gm.
Kalpa - Brahmikalpa,Brahmiprasha, Sarasvatarishta, Brahmighrita,Brahmi Rasayana,Brahmisiddhataila.
SAFETY - No drug herb interactions are known but caution is advised with anti-epileptic and anti-depressant medication.
Use of Brahmi in Pregnancy and breast-feeding:
Brahmi is very gentle and safe for pregnancy. It is useful for first trimester natural pitta conditions, and for depressed mood. But not enough resurch has been done about the use of brahmi during pregnancy and breast-feeding. You may stay on the safe side and avoid use.