Like the Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurvedic medicine is one of the world’s oldest healing systems. It is an ancient Indian medical system which was developed more than 3,300 years ago in India and it has remained as one of its traditional health care systems ever since. In Ayurveda, practitioners and supporters believe that good health and overall wellness are all about balance. They believe that there should be balance between the mind, body, and spirit since everything is connected.
Herbs are extremely important in Ayurvedic medicine. Since this healing system is all about balance and being holistic to its approach to heal, these medicinal plants are being used alongside other treatments such and healing methods such as aromatherapy, yoga, and massage.
Bacopa Monnieri is a very potent herb that is a staple plant in traditional Ayurveda. It has gained the respect of many Ayurvedic practitioners since time immemorial that they call it Brahmi, a name which is derived from Brahma, the creator god in Hinduism. It is mentioned in Ayurvedic literature as a treatment for different mental conditions such as anxiety, lack of concentration, and poor cognitive abilities.
Characteristics of the Plant
Aside from being known as brahmi, Bacopa Monnieri is also called water hyssop, thyme-leaved gratiola, and herb of grace. This perennial creeping plant that grows in wet tropical environments has the ability to thrive underwater. Thus, it is also popular for aquarium use. It has succulent oblong fleshy leaves that are 4–6 mm (0.16–0.24 in) thick and small actinomorphic white flowers with four to five petals.
Modern Medicinal Value
Like the rest of our herbal teas, Bacopa Monnieri is full of antioxidants that protect cells, strengthen the immune system, provide protection from certain diseases, help prevent cancer, and help keep the body in top condition. Below are the other benefits that one can get from Bacopa Monnieri:
- It may lower blood pressure and help prevent heart disease
Stress, unhealthy diet, unhealthy lifestyle, old age, and genetics can all cause high blood pressure or hypertension. If left untreated, it may lead to stroke, blindness, kidney disease, heart attack, or even death. Combating hypertension is not always easy, especially, in a modern world where life has become stressful and people have become accustomed to a fast-food culture where the food they eat no longer nourishes their body. However, healthy food choices can do great wonder to one’s health. Bacopa Monnieri is an example of a super food that may help lower treat the said disease. A study conducted on rats showed how it reduced the animals’ blood pressure. Another research suggested how it may improve heart health since it was shown in the results that this medicinal herb protected rat hearts against injury caused by reperfusion and ischemia.
- It may prevent anxiety and stress
The use of Bacopa in Ayurvedic medicine to treat Anxiety has a scientific basis. It can elevate the mood, relax the mind, reduce anxiety and regulate levels of cortisol, the body’s primary stress hormone. It can also decrease perceptions of stress during demanding tasks. Studies in rats have confirmed that there are anti-stress properties in Bacopa Monnieri.
- It may help prevent degenerative brain diseases like Alzheimer’s
Cell damage and inflammation can cause degenerative brain diseases like Alzheimer’s, which is the most common cause of dementia among people entering their golden years. This dreadful disease is irreversible and progressive. It slowly destroys the memory and thinking skills of a patient. Bacopa is full of antioxidants which help protect cells from damage. Its neuroprotective, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects can help delay the signs of aging, as well as reduce the likelihood of developing neurodegenerative diseases which are currently affecting many older adults.
- It can help improve memory , boost brain health, and help reduce ADHD symptoms
Bacopa Monnieri is super food for the brain because of what it can do to improve brain function and health. According to numerous studies, it is a nootropic that has the following benefits:
- Enhance the activity of mood-boosting chemicals in the brain
- Improve blood flow which leads to lower stress, faster uptake of oxygen by the brain, and better absorption of nutrients by the brain
- Reduce inflammation
- Enhance memory, learning, and improve multitasking stress reactivity
- Improve spatial working memory and strategy
It can also help people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD which is a neurodevelopmental disorder that causes inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. There are studies which suggest that Bacopa can help improve cognition, attention, and impulse control.