Herbal Supplement: Brahmi
The term “brahmi”, which refers to the popularl ayurvedic plant, is a Sanskrit word derived from “Lord Brahma”, the Hindu name of the divine force responsible for all the creative forces in the world. The word translates to “the energy of Brahma”, and is used for a variety of problems ranging from poor cognitive coordination to fever and inflammation. Bacopa monnieri (among other names), as it is also known, is famous in the wellness world for its versatility and efficacy, and is often deemed a “brain tonic”.
Brahmi is a creeping plant found in plethora in India’s wet, marshy climate, and has been used for millennia as a therapeutic remedy. What makes this aquatic plant unique apart from its obvious medicinal benefits is its ability to grow in cultivated plots under many different weather conditions. This ability makes it easy to plant and harvest in abundance. The list of brahmi’s medicinal properties in almost inexhaustible, and here are a few of the disorders it is used for; Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, ADHD, Asperger’s syndrome, autism, insomnia and depression.
Lots of research has been conducted with regard to Brahmi’s properties, as it continues to become popular. This research has shown that Brahmi aids in recovery from alcoholism or drug abuse, and also helps on lose the sugar habit. When combined with other herbs, Brahmi’s benefits are further extended. Taken with basil and a little black pepper, Brahmi is good for all fevers. When combined with neem, manjishtha and turmeric, it helps reverse skin conditions. A recent 2013 study even suggested bramhi’s wound-healing properties.
Brahmi is one of the safest medicinal plants. Used in excess, it may lead to nausea and dry mouth, but otherwise there are hardly any side-effects. All in all, brahmi helps achieve the primary goal of Ayurveda, which is to prevent and treat illnesses and enhance lifespan by maintaining proper balance between the body, mind and the soul.
I’ve gathered a few recipes for you to try at home. Leave a comment and let me know if they were effective for you, or leave your own recipe for others to try!
Thambli is a traditional almost-raw dish which is perfect for hot weather. It combines yoghurt with fresh herbs and coconut.
- 1 packed cup of fresh Brahmi leaves.
- 1 tsp ghee/coconut oil
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- ½ cup freshly grated coconut
- 1 tsp black pepper
- ½ -3/4 cup fresh yogurt
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- 1 dry red chili
- salt to taste
Heat ½ tsp ghee or coconut oil in a small pan. Add the cumin seeds and fry for a minute. Now add the Brahmi leaves, which has been washed and dried well.
Toss everything together and turn off the heat. Brahmi leaves will wilt within seconds.
Grind the wilted Brahmi leaves, fresh coconut, black pepper with a little bit of water into a fine paste. Pour this mixture into a bowl. Add the yogurt and salt and mix everything well. Thin down with water if it looks too thick.
Heat the remaining ghee in a small pan. Add the mustard seeds. When it starts to sputter, add the dry red chili and turn off the heat. Pour this tempering over the Thambli and serve immediately.
Remedy for Acne (to be taken twice daily)
- Combine brahmi powder (available here) and turmeric in equal parts.
- Add 1 tablespoon of warm cow milk.
- Add 1/2 tablespoon of ghee.
Brahmi Health Shake
- 1 cup brahmi leaves with roots, thoroughly washed and chopped
- 1/2 cup grated fresh coconut
- 1/2 cup of yogurt
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp jaggery
- 1 1/2 cup water
- Sea salt to taste
- Some ice cubes – optional
Put cumin seeds, brahmi leaves, and coconut in a blender and grind into smooth paste. Add 1/2 cup of water this paste and pass it through a fine sieve into a large bowl.
Put the gist in the sieve back to the blender, add yogurt and rest of the water. Pulse them couple more times, until yogurt becomes really smooth and blends with the other ingredients in the blender.
Pass this mix through the sieve again to the same bowl used earlier. Add jaggery and salt, stir until well combined. Add the ice cubes if using.
Serves two, best served fresh and chilled.
You can increase the jaggery quantity, if you like your smoothies to be sweet.
You can also increase or decrease the water quantity depending on the your smoothies thickness preference.
You may use coconut milk as a replacement to fresh grated coconut. Use half the quantity of the grated coconut.