USES OF BRAHMI, THE WONDER PLANT OF AYURVEDA
The treatment for some of our chronic illnesses could often be right in our backyard. One such is the wonder plant, Brahmi. The medicinal herb has been used for its various therapeutic benefits for centuries in India, but it was only recently that the world came to recognise it.
Brahmi or Bacopa Monniera, also known as Water Hyssop is a tropical plant that grows in wet marshy lands. It can be grown in soil as well as water, and the entire plant is used for preparing herbal remedies. With its succulent leaves and white flowers, a Brahmi patch can be a pretty addition as well to your garden.
The uses of the plant are multifarious; here are a few:
As A Memory Tonic
It might sound incredulous but the plant actually has the power to improve memory, concentration power and alertness, which is why students and growing children are religiously fed Brahmi. The reason for this is attributed to the alkaloids and triterpene saponins in Brahmi leaves which are said to stimulate brain chemicals. For the same reason, it is said to prevent conditions like Alzheimer’s and other diseases associated with cognitive impairment, studies have proved.
Combats Stress and Anxiety
Optimum levels of stress can make you productive but an overdose of it can only lead to less productivity, memory loss and poor immunity levels. Research says that Brahmi lowers the levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and thus improves your mood and induces a sense of well-being. Brahmi also lessens the effects of anxiety on the body and promotes restful sleep.
As An Immunity Booster
The antioxidants present in the plant can protect the body from cell damage and thus slow down ageing. The oxidative stress caused by cell damage is said to lead to diseases like arthritis, stroke and even cancer. Brahmi can prevent all these and also boost one’s immunity. The anti-inflammatory properties of Brahmi and the viral nutrients present in it can ward off infections and respiratory ailments like bronchitis, and also cold and sinusitis.
As A Hair Mask
Massaging the scalp with Brahmi oil or using crushed Brahmi leaves as a hair pack can add volume and strength to your hair. Combine the Brahmi leaves with henna, shikaki and amla and leave on wet hair for a few minutes. Wash off. Brahmi can also nourish the roots and form a protective layer around the hair shaft, making it thicker. It’s also said to delay premature greying of hair and help hair growth.
How to Consume Brahmi
If you have Brahmi plants in your garden, chew a handful of the bittersweet tasting leaves on a daily basis. Alternately, drink tea infused with the leaves. The tablets and churnas available in the market can also be consumed regularly for best results. You can also add Brahmi to everyday dishes like soups, salads, spinach etc. Consult an expert before deciding on how much should be taken as any excesses could cause nausea.