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How I use herbs - Brahmi

Brahmi (Bacopa monniera) is important in ayurvedic medicine and generally regarded as a nerve and brain tonic.



How to grow Brahmi
I purchased my brahmi plant as a small plant and it currently lives in a pot.  I have read that it prefers to live in damp conditions, so I keep it in a pot that I can move to suitable locations in the garden depending on the season.  When I have a pond, I think it would be a good one to plant around the edges.  Although it comes from a tropical climate, it seems to survive (but not thrive) in mildly frosty conditions.





eight acres: how to grow and use Brahmi





How I use Brahmi
Brahmi has been used for a huge range of conditions (coughs, arthritis, backache, hair loss, insomnia etc), its main application is for brain and nervous system function.  Research has identified two active compounds, bacoside A and B which have been shown to improve circulation and nourish nerve cells respectively. One theory is that these compounds enhance of the effects of the neurotransmitters acetylcholine and, possibly, serotonin or GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid).  

Brahmi is extremely bitter, so its not something that you want to eat in large quantities.  It can be added to a herbal tea, but another common preparation is in a tincture alcohol or glycerine.  I made a tincture from fresh leaves in vodka and take the recommended 5 mL per day.





eight acres: how to grow and use Brahmi




There is some information on the internet about the interaction between estrogen in birth control and increased gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) causing temporary hearing loss.  This is explained in more detail here, and I think the first link misunderstands the issue.  My interpretation is that GABA and estrogen can interact to cause temporary hearing loss, but both are naturally present in our bodies, regardless of birth control, estrogen replacement therapy or brahmi consumption.  I would suggest that you start with a small doses of tincture and increase gradually to allow the natural balance in your hormonal system to adjust, and obviously if any hearing problems occur, stop using the tincture.  Brahmi is an ancient herb, so I can only assume that if it really did cause hearing problems, it wouldn't be used so frequently in ayurvedic medicine.  **But remember that I'm not a doctor or a herbalist** 





Do you grow and use brahmi?  Any thoughts about brahmi?





See my other posts about herbs:


How I use herbs - Mint, Peppermint and Spearmint

How I use herbs - Aloe Vera

How I use herbs - Basil

How I use herbs - Ginger, galangal and turmeric

How I use herbs - Marigold, calendula and winter taragon

How I use herbs - Soapwort

How I use herbs - Comfrey

How I use herbs - Nasturtium

How I use herbs - Parsley

How I use herbs - Borage

How I use herbs - Herb Robert

How I use herbs - Purslane

How I use herbs - Chickweed

How I use herbs - Neem oil

How I use herbs - Rue, tansy and wormwood





Comments

  1. Liz, I have Brahmi growing and it does grow well here on the Darling Downs. I have some growing in a pot and some in an old wheelbarrow. It is certainly bitter and I keep meaning to put it into some smoothies to disguise the taste as I know how good it is for you. We bought ours from Isabel Shipard's herb farm and I rang there once to ask a question about our plant and Isabel answered the phone. I always think of her when I am watering our Brahmi and feel so sad that she is no longer with us.

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