Brahmi

Brahmi

Bacopa monnieri

Brahmi is fervently used as a medicine in different cultures due to its antioxidant anti-inflammatory, cardiotonic, broncho dilating, and anticonvulsant properties.

  • Plant type: Perennial
  • Other names: Bacopa, Water Hyssop, Indian Pennywort, Thyme-Leaved Gratiola, Herb of Grace
  • Medicinal: Yes
  • Culinary: No
  • Ceremonial: No
  • Parts Used: Aboveground Parts
  • Side Effects: None
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About Brahmi

Brahmi is a succulent perennial that is held as Madhya Rasayana (nootropic agent) in Ayurveda. Naturally, it is native to India but it can also be seen flourishing in various parts of Southeast Asia, tropical Asia, tropical Africa, Australia, and the subtropical United States.  It can grow up to a height of 3 feet with oblong succulent leaves and actinomorphic flowers that range from white to purple.

Brahmi is fervently used as a medicine in different cultures due to its antioxidant anti-inflammatory, cardiotonic, bronchodilating, and anticonvulsant properties. Due to its biosafety profile, it is used to scavenge free radicals, reduce DNA damage in Alzheimer’s disease, and protect the cells of the hippocampus, prefrontal cortex, and striatum. Its neuroprotective action enhances memory performance and shows activity comparable to donepezil, galantamine, and other anti-dementia drugs.

Growing

Brahmi likes to grow in marshy and water-logged regions, where there is poorly drained soil. It is quite easy and forgiving to grow when it receives full sun exposure, a high temperature of 93 - 104 degrees Fahrenheit, and 65 to 85% humidity. 

Brahmi should be started as a summer-rainy season crop. It is usually established using cuttings and can be transplanted anywhere between March and June. This way, they receive optimum temperature and humidity from the hot, humid months of the monsoon. 

Brahmi can be started indoors too. Collect the saplings from the waterlogged fields and plant around 2 to 3 stems in a pot containing potting mix (composed of sand, soil, cow dung/compost, and neem cake). Irrigate the plant in a way so that the upper surface of the soil always feels moist to touch. 

After transplanting, Brahmi starts to flourish within no time and shows luxurious development during the rainy season. It is a perennial plant that blooms from December till May. The flowers attract the bees, insects, and other pollinating agents to propagate their pollens and kickstart the fertilization to begin the process of fruit formation. It produces a small, oval-shaped fruit, bearing dark brown seeds that can propagate the life cycle of the plant in the wild. 

 

Harvesting

Brahmi can be harvested 5 to 6 months after its transplantation, which usually falls between October and November if you had transplanted the plant in March or June.

The upper portion of the stem is harvested, i.e. approximately 1-2 inches. You can harvest 2 to 3 times in the same year.

You can preserve Brahmi leaves by freezing them overnight or drying them for 8 to 10 days to maintain their taste and biomass.

 

Usage

Brahmi is incorporated in various medicinal preparations to benefit mankind.

  • Tincture- Dried Brahmi leaves are macerated in alcohol for around 4 to 6 weeks after which the plant material is strained away to obtain brahmi tincture.
  • Tea- Fresh or dried Brahmi leaves are steeped in boiled water for 10 minutes to enjoy Brahmi tea.
  • Decoction- One teaspoon of Brahmi is boiled in two glasses of water until its volume reduces to one glass to form Brahmi decoction.
  • Syrup- Fresh Brahmi leaves are blended into a fine paste and stirred in sugar syrup to form a Brahmi syrup.
  • Infused oil- Dried Brahmi leaves are infused in olive oil, coconut oil, sunflower oil, or sesame oil to form Brahmi-infused oil.