5 Areas of Health Positively Affected by Brahmi
Bacopa Monnieri, also known as Brahmi, is an herb used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. This flowering plant is found in the wetlands and marshes of southern India, Australia, Europe, Africa, Asia, and North and South America. It is most commonly known for its beneficial effects on the Brain and Central Nervous System. The most widely recognized components of brahmi are Bacosides and Nitric Oxides. These chemicals impact the functions of nerve endings in the brain, circulatory system, vascular system, and endocrine system. Here are five areas of health with which Brahmi is concerned.
1: Healthy hair, skin, and joints.
Bacopa Monnieri contains many antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti inflammatory properties. These properties reduces redness and irritation associated with eczema and psoriasis, and increases the ease and comfortability of joint movement that may be affected by arthritis and previous injuries. Brahmi also contains naturally occurring Nitric Oxide, which plays a role in inflammation and pain perception. This also improves joint pain associated with arthritis, as well as muscle soreness. Aside from skin and joint health, brahmi oils and powders have been used to strengthen hair and promote healthier, longer, fuller hair with less split ends. It has also been known to reduce dandruff.
2: Treating some symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Alzheimer’s is a mentally and emotionally debilitating disease that affects not only those with the disease, but loved ones as well. The cause of Alzheimer’s disease is still unknown, but the general functionality of the disease as it progresses has been studied very closely, and continues to lead to new treatments of the symptoms and progression of the disease. In short, toxic changes occur within the brain as abnormal deposits of proteins form amyloid plaques and tangles throughout the brain matter. These plaques cause neurons within the brain to malfunction and die. The disease initially attacks the hippocampus; or the part of the brain that develops and stores memories. Bacosides, particularly bacosides a and b, are found in high concentrations in Bacopa Monnieri. Bacosides affect the neurotransmitters of the brain, and improve cognitive function, and the function of the Central Nervous System. Studies show that patients between 50-65 years of age who had Alzheimer’s and were given brahmi supplements showed improved short term memory, as well as decreased instances of anxiety and agitation.
3: Treating some symptoms of Epilepsy.
Epilepsy is another disease affecting the brain that comes with debilitating consequences. Epilepsy is a chronic disease in which a person experiences seizures due to erratic activity within the brain. It is not yet known what causes the nerve endings within the brain of an otherwise healthy person to malfunction. During an epileptic episode, or seizure, one section of the brain malfunctions and sends erratic, sustained electrical pulses to other areas of the brain. Bacosides found within Bacopa Monnieri again become helpful. Bacosides cause the mid-brain to release acetylcholine, which triggers Gamma- Aminobutyric Acid production, also known as GABA. GABA plays a key role in balancing the chemicals within the brain that control seizure activity. Brahmi improves GABA activity, as well as reduces cognitive problems associated with seizure activity.
4: Treating symptoms of Depression and Anxiety.
Brahmi’s key role in the treatment of Depression and Anxiety lies within its positive effects on the neurotransmitters within the brain, particularly Serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter made by cells via biochemical conversion. Neurotransmitters help to relay messages from one area of the brain to another. Serotonin is believed to play a key role in depression, stress, and anxiety; that is, when serotonin levels become imbalanced, glitches within the brain occur and cause depression. Serotonin also affects the cardiovascular and endocrine systems. Brahmi can increase and help balance serotonin levels. Some studies suggest that the effects of Brahmi supplements are comparable to that of Lorazepam, minus the amnesia like side effects.
5: Cardiovascular and Circulatory Health
As previously discussed, brahmi contains naturally occurring Nitric Oxide. Nitric Oxide plays a prominent role in the cardiovascular system. It dilates arteries, relaxes blood vessels, and increases oxygen and blood flow, making it a go to supplement for high blood pressure, heart disease, asthma, bronchitis, and many other cardiovascular diseases.
Bacopa Monnieri is among a list of herbs that are being studied closely as a natural treatment of many diseases. As this particular herb has been used for many years within Ayurvedic medicine, the positive results show encouraging possibilities for those affected by many ailments.
Feature Photo Courtesy of: By Forest & Kim Starr, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6109556