Brahmi is one of the famous gifts of Ayurveda to the world. There is no herb that can improve intelligence naturally, better than this. Though it is more commonly known for its benefit in improving intelligence and memory, it is also an excellent anti aging, anti diabetic and anti oxidant herb.
Botanical Name – Bacopa Monnieri (Linn) Pennell (Bacopa monnieria(L) Kunth; Gratiola monniera L)
Hindi name – Barmi/ Jalanima
Telugu name – Sambarenu;
Bengali name – Birami
Tamil name -Neera Brahmi
Kannada name – Jala Brahmi
English name – Thyme leaved gratiola, Thyme leafed gratiola, water hyssop, Indian Pennywort, Herb of grace
Sanskrit Synonyms –
Brahmi – the word is derived from the word Brahman, the Diety responsible for creation of universe.
Saraswata / Saraswati – named after Goddess Saraswati – Deity for learning. This is because the herb is useful in improving learning skills and intelligence.
Aindri or Endri – grows in moist places, improves strength
Kapotavega, Matsyakshi, Somavalli
Charaka Sahmita –
Prajasthapana – group of herbs useful in stabilizing the pregnancy.
Balya – strength and immunity improving group of herbs.
Often the term Brahmi is also used in relation to Gotu Kola. This is because both have similar qualities. But with the term Brahmi, Bacopa monneiri is the more suitable herb to use. Gotu kola is more commonly called as Manduka Parni.
Common in moist places throughout India.
Bacopa monneiri chemical constituents
Ascorbic acid, nicotinic acid, Brahmine, Herpestine, Alanine, hentri- acontane, Octacosane, Monnierin (saponin), Hersaponin, bacosid A&B, bacogenins A1-A4 (Sapogenins) B- Sitosterol etc.(Reference: Illustrated Dravyaguna Vijnana, Vol. II, by Dr JLN Shastry)
Brahmi – medicinal properties
Rasa (taste) – Tikta – Bitter, Kashaya (astringent)
Guna (qualities)—Laghu (light to digest)
Vipaka – taste conversion after digestion- Madhura – sweet
Veerya – Sheeta – cold in potency
Effect on Tridosha – Balances Kapha and Vata.
Prabhava – Medhya (improves intelligence)
Part used- whole plant
Fresh juice of Brahmi – 10-20 ml,
Brahmi powder – 2 – 3 grams in divided dose per day, is the adult dose.
Bacopa monneiri extract capsules in 25 mg – 500 mg size is also available. The dose of such capsules vary from 250 mg to 1 g per day.
Brahmi dose as per age:
From infants up to 5 years of age, rather than giving Brahmi in powder or capsule form, for children up to 5 years of age, it makes sense to give them Brahmi ghrita – an herbal ghee made with Brahmi and other ingredients. Read more about Brahmi Ghritham.
For this reason, Brahmi Ghrit is used as part of children immunity and brain improvement program called Swarna Bindu Prashana.
For children from 5 – 12 years of age, Brahmi ghritham can be administered or
Brahmi powder / capsule can be administered in a dose of 250 mg per day.
Brahmi powder – 1 gram per day, after food at night. along with honey or ghee and water.
For 12 – 18 years of age –
Brahmi extract capsule – 250 mg, once or twice a day, after food, along with ghee or honey.
Powder – up to 2 grams per day.
For adults, 2500 – 500 mg, once or twice a day of Bacopa extract.
2 – 3 grams, once or twice a day after food.
Brahmi and Gotu kola – Both have been told to have similar benefits. When it comes to improving memory and intelligence, Brahmi is better, but Gotu kola does not cause Pitta increase, as much as Brahmi.
Brahmi Benefits as per Ayurveda –
Shophahara – good anti inflammatory herb
Panduhara – useful in anemia
Jvarahara – useful in fever
Deepani – improves digestion power
Kushtahara – useful in skin diseases.
Kandughna – relieves itching, useful in pruritis
Pleeha – useful in spleen disorders
Vayasa sthapani, Ayushya – improves life quality, anti aging
Unmada vinashini – useful in psychiatric disorders
Medha – improves intelligence
Vak – improves speech, helps in speech related development problems in children.
Svarya, Svarada – improves quality of voice
Hrudya – good for heart, acts as cardiac tonic
Shvasahara – useful in asthma, chronic bronchial disorders
Meha – useful in urinary tract disorders and diabetes
Diabetes – Brahmi is very useful in reducing blood sugar levels. Due to its anti oxidant property, it is also useful in improving the cell and tissue health in diabetic patients.
Kasajit – useful in cough, cold
Visha hara – natural detoxification herb, useful in poisoning.
Its paste is put on a hot pan, heated to a little higher temperature and applied over chest of children to relieve chronic cough and asthma.
In case of fever due to Vata and Kapha imbalance, it is heated along with onion, tied in a pocket and heat is applied over chest.
Bacopa monneiri is extensively used in treating Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disoreder (ADHD) in children.
It is also used in Irritable bowel syndrome, allergic skin and respiratory conditions, and as an anti stress tonic.
Brahmi is safely used for a period of 3 – 4 months.
Children, Pregnancy and lactation:
It is safe to take during pregnancy for a very short period of 2 – 4 weeks. It is safe to take during lactation and in children above one year of age, in lower doses.
Brahmi side effects:
It is best avoided in low heart rate conditions (bradycardia).
Because it acts as Deepana – digestive, it may not be tolerated well with people with sensitive stomach or ulcers. For them, it is best to take it along with ghee.
Research on Brahmi –
12 week study on Effect on working memory, and attention span
Cognitive enhancing effect – randomized clinical trial
Anti oxidant effect
anti oxidant, anti microbial and anti inflammatory properties
Ayurvedic medicines with Brahmi as ingredient:
Brahmi Vati, Brahmi Ghrita, Saraswata Churna, Smriti Sagar Ras – are used in improving learning skills, memory, concentration and to treat depression.
Balark Ras – used in cough, fever, intestinal worm infestation in children
Krimi Kuthar Ras – used in intestinal worm infestation and anorexia
Saraswatarishta – useful as an all purpose anti aging tonic for all ages.
Q: How to make brahmi juice for infants?
First up, for any medicine or home remedies, especially for infants, please consult an Ayurveda doctor directly. Following online advice is potentially dangerous.
Brahmi fresh leaves – is crushed and juice is extracted. This can be used in a dose of 3 drops in the morning after the baby is at least 9 months old.
If you are not sure about the quality of brahmi juice (if it is infested, it can cause fever and other complications in child), then prepare a decoction – 1 teaspoon of crushed leaves of brahmi + 1 cup of water. Boil and reduce to half a cup. Give this – 10 drops in the morning.
Any of the above 2 can be continued for 2 – 3 months time, based on your doctor’s advice.