Brahmi has been used for more than 3000 years in traditional Ayurvedic medicine, employed against a wide variety of ailments including rheumatism, bronchitis, fevers, irregular menstruation, inflammatory conditions, depression and stress, to name but a few. It is recognised the world over as a brain tonic, to promote intellect and comprehension, rejuvenate the brain and boost the memory. The Happy Herb Company’s founder, Ray Thorpe, describes it as a ‘miracle herb’: “I started using brahmi when I started my first Happy High Herb shop in Nimbin in 1996, and it allowed me not only take over the store successfully, but to learn all the accounting aspects of the business and to help several other stores with the running of their businesses. Brahmi helps compartmentalise information in the brain and provides clarity – and once you feel organised and on top of things, the stress just falls away as a wonderful side benefit.” Modern research has identified a protein in the herb, Bacoside B, which nourishes brain nerve cells, as well as nitric oxide, which has very positive effects on learning, memory, blood circulation, and liver, kidney and lung function.
Brahmi is also extremely effective on blood circulation and for cleansing the blood – hence having positive effects on the function of the liver, lungs and kidneys. It has also been used to treat many other conditions, from bronchitis to arthritis, hair loss to threadworms, fevers to impotence. Its immune and vitality boosting properties are attributed to high levels of anti-oxidants.
The plant itself is a hardy ground covering plant with oval-shaped leaves and white, five-petalled leaves that show a faint tinge of blue on the edges. The flowers can bloom for many months, and the plant grows floating in tropical marshes in wetlands of India, Central America and Florida in the US.
No major side effects have been noted. Avoid in pregnancy and breastfeeding.