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Bacopa monnieri or water hyssop is a perenial creeping herb that is native to the Wetlands of Southern and Eastern India, Australia, Europe, Africa, Asia and North and South America. They are known for some exemplary health benefits and have been used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine for ages.
Water hyssop is most commonly referred to as 'brahmi' in traditional Ayurvedic medicine and these plants do not need any special environment to flourish and can grow in damp ponds and underwater as well.
This slightly bitter-tasting herb is also used in salads and soups and is is quite beneficial to skin, hair as well as overall health. It is considered to be a magical herb for its medicinal properties.
Scroll down the article to find out some amazing health benefits of brahmi.
Health Benefits Of Brahmi
Here are few ways in which brahmi can help alleviate some of your health conditions.
1. Heals wounds
Brahmi extract can be a magical cure for your sudden cuts or burns. Brahmi oil is applied on open wounds to prevent it form getting infected and to speed up the healing process.
2. Aids in treating chronic health conditions
This herb is rich is antioxidants  . They protect skin cells from damage caused by potentially harmful molecules called free radicals. Research suggests that free radicals are responsible for chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes and certain kind of cancers. It also contains an active compound called bacosides, which has been shown to have antioxidant effects  .
3. Reduces Inflammation
Animal studies have shown that brahmi has anti-inflammatory properties that can subside the release of pro-inflammatory enzymes  . It may help decrease inflammation in humans as well. In fact, it provides relief from arthritis, gout, and other inflammatory conditions. It is also believed to alleviate gastric ulcers and effects of irritable bowel syndrome. However, more researches are needed to be performed on this topic.
4. Improves memory and brain function
Brahmi possesses saponins and bacosides that are believed to interact with the neurotransmitters in the brain  . This process help raise levels of serotonin, alternatively known as the 'happy chemical', as it contributes to well being and happiness. This process balances the mind to uplift overall mood, memory, concentration and cognitive process.
5. Uplifts mood and soothes anxiety
It is well-known for reducing stress hormone cortisol. This fights with the effects of stress and elevates the mood by increasing the production of serotonin. In ayurveda, this has been used as a "nervine" - a medicine that calms the nervous system  .
6. Decreases blood pressure level
According to numerous research studies, consuming brahmi helps in reducing both systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels in animals. It has also reduced blood pressure level in animals with high blood pressure. However, more human research is required to confirm the same result in case of humans  .
7. Strengthens immune system
Plethora of antioxidants present in Brahmi increase the response time of our immune system and helps the body to fight against various diseases and ailments.
8. Blocks the growth of cancer cells
Compounds like bacosides and high levels of antioxidants in brahmi may have anticancer properties. They also aid in removing free radicals that can further evolve into cancer cells  .
9. Keeps blood sugar level under control
Brahmi is used as a great home remedy to decrease blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes and may help improve symptoms of hyperglycemia  .
10. Treats Alzeimer's disease
This herb has been a well-known cure for Alzheimer's disease, due to the presence of a biochemical called bacosides. It helps re-build brain tissues by influencing the brain cells  .
Side Effects Of Brahmi
It is considerably safe for most people when taken for short-term, for about 12 weeks. However, few side effects like nausea, digestive issues, stomach cramps, diarrhoea have been reported.
You should avoid consuming Brahmi if you are undergoing the following conditions:
- If you are pregnant or lactating, refrain from taking it.
- It might slow down the heart rate, so it is recommended to avoid taking brahmi if you already have a slow heart rate.
- Brahmi might ameliorate secretions in the stomach and intestines, that can be risky for patients with ulcers.
- It can also cause 'congestion' in the intestines, worsening the conditions for the ones who have blockage in their intestines.
- It might increase fluid secretion in the lung. That can contribute to worsened lung conditions for the patients of asthma or emphysema.
- This herb can also increase levels of thyroid hormone. If you are taking medication for the same, it is recommended not to consume brahmi without consulting your physician.
- Brahmi might alleviate urinary tract obstruction as well.
How To Use Brahmi
- It is generally consumed in three forms.
- Organic brahmi powder (usually mixed with milk or juice)
- Brahmi tincture
- Tablets or capsules made from dried extracts
Dosage of brahmi depends on factors such as user's age, health and several other conditions. It is always recommended to seek advise of your physician before starting to consume it.
Brahmi Leaves Salad Recipe
- A bunch of brahmi Leaves
- 3 pearl Onions
- 1 carrot
- ¼ cup of grated coconut
- Lemon juice to taste
- Rock salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ teaspoon of chilli powder
- A pinch of turmeric powder
- Wash the brahmi leaves and soak them for 10-15 minutes in water mixed with turmeric powder, rock salt and lemon juice.
- Remove the leaves and rinse them with clean water.
- Chop the leaves finely.
- Chop the onions and grate the carrot finely.
- Toss the chopped brahmi leaves, onion, carrot, grated coconut in a mixing bowl.
- Add salt, pepper, chilli powder, lemon juice and mix well.
- Serve it as a healthy snack  .
-  Kapoor, R., Srivastava, S., & Kakkar, P. (2009). Bacopa monnieri modulates antioxidant responses in brain and kidney of diabetic rats.Environmental toxicology and pharmacology,27(1), 62-69.
-  Tanveer, A., Khan, M., & Shah, F. (2010). In Vitro micropropagation of Brahmi-Bacopa monnieri (L.) Pennel-A step for conservation.Nanobiotechnica Universale,1(2), 139-150.
-  Mathur, A., Verma, S. K., Purohit, R., Singh, S. K., Mathur, D., Prasad, G. B. K. S., & Dua, V. K. (2010). Pharmacological investigation of Bacopa monnieri on the basis of antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.J Chem Pharm Res,2(6), 191-8.
-  Hosamani, R. (2009). Neuroprotective efficacy of Bacopa monnieri against rotenone induced oxidative stress and neurotoxicity in Drosophila melanogaster.Neurotoxicology,30(6), 977-985.
-  Kamkaew, N., Norman Scholfield, C., Ingkaninan, K., Taepavarapruk, N., & Chootip, K. (2013). Bacopa monnieri increases cerebral blood flow in rat independent of blood pressure.Phytotherapy Research,27(1), 135-138.
-  Elangovan, V., Govindasamy, S., Ramamoorthy, N., & Balasubramanian, K. (1995). In vitro studies on the anticancer activity of Bacopa monnieri.Fitoterapia,66(3), 211-215.
-  Ghosh, T., Maity, T. K., & Singh, J. (2011). Antihyperglycemic activity of bacosine, a triterpene from Bacopa monnieri, in alloxan-induced diabetic rats.Planta medica,77(08), 804-808.
-  Uabundit, N., Wattanathorn, J., Mucimapura, S., & Ingkaninan, K. (2010). Cognitive enhancement and neuroprotective effects of Bacopa monnieri in Alzheimer's disease model.Journal of Ethnopharmacology,127(1), 26-31.
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