Brahmi (Bacopa Monnieri)
Brahmi is a small creeping perennial with numerous branches and small, oblong, relatively thick leaves which are arranged opposite to each other on the stem. Flowers are small and light purple or white with four to five petals. It grows naturally in wetland, shallow water, damp and muddy shores. Its ability to grow in water makes it a popular aquarium plant; it can also grow in slightly brackish conditions. What makes Brahmi a unique plant is that even though it is an aquatic plant, it can easily be cultivated in pots, in a garden under a shade or even under full sunlight when provided ample water.
Brahmi is an ayurvedic medicinal herb which has been used for centuries. Certain neurological disorders have limited therapeutic options in Western medicine and hence practitioners and patients across the globe are increasingly looking into alternative approaches that are safe and effective. Brahmi is a well-known nootropic herb and its uses in neurological and psychiatric disorders are well recognized. Brahmi is one of the most ‘sattvic’ (clean) herbs known in Ayurvedic pharmacopeia since Vedic times.
The ancient Ayurvedic sages, who were also great physicians, revealed Brahmi’s role in promoting Medhya (intellect), Ayushya (longevity), Rasayana (rejuvenation), Prajnasaktivardhana (intellectual power), Hrdaya (Heart), Majjadhaty Rasayana (nervous system rejuvenation), Balya (strength, especially mind), Jivaniya (life energy), Nidrajanana (sleep), Dhana (wealth), Svara (voice), Varna (complexion) and Anuloma (redirecting the flow of vata downwards). Over the centuries, the role of Brahmi in the treatment of Kustha (leprosy/skin disorder), Pandu (anemia), Meha (diabetes), Asra Vikara (blood disorders), Kasa (cough), Visa (poison), Sopha (edema), Jwara (fever), Vatahara (vata), Unmadahara (mental illness), Unmada (insanity), Alaksmi (inauspiciousness), Apasmara (epilepsy), Papa (evil deeds), Krtya (black magic), Ruk (pain) and Manasavikara (mental disorders) has been well described.
Brahmi restores the aged and debilitated body to its pristine youth and vigor, re-establishes the full potential of the senses and imparts good health. It prolongs as well as improves the quality of life. It restores the natural balance of all three doshas, brings the function of sapta dhatus (seven elements) to a normal condition and cures many incurable disease. No wonder it is called HERB OF GRACE!!
References: 1) USDA, plants profile: ‘Bacopa Monnieri (L.) Pennell, http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=BAMO 2) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bacopa_monnieri 3)https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/pharmacology-toxicology-and-pharmaceutical-science/bacopa-monnieri