Medical practitioners, who are involved in traditional Indian medicine (or ‘Ayurveda’), have being using the Brahmi plant, (Bacopa monnieri) for a very long time. This medication can be used to improve memory and can be used as a tonic for general use as well (for fighting stress). It can also help treat conditions such as: Alzheimer’s disease/ anxiety/ allergic conditions/ attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)/ irritable bowel syndrome.
How it works
Brahmi is known by the following names as well: Herb of Grace/ Bacopa monniera/ Hysope d’Eau/ Andri/ Jalanimba/ Jalnaveri/ Indian Pennywort/ Moniera cuneifolia/ Jal-Brahmi/ Thyme-Leave Gratiola/ Sambrani Chettu/ Water Hyssop. Make sure not confuse this medication with ‘Gotu Kola’ or any other natural medicines that sometimes might be called by the same name. Brahmi is said to work by increasing certain chemicals in the brain, that aid in functions like thinking, memory and learning. According to some researches, it is also known to provide protection to brain cells from chemicals that have a connection with Alzheimer’s disease.
Sometimes this medicine is used as a “water pill” and is also known to be used for treating mental illness, joint pain, hoarseness, backache, epilepsy or sexual performance issues in men/women.
According to certain scientific research studies, taking a 300 milligram dosage of Brahmi extract via mouth for 12 weeks daily is said to improve one’s memory and thinking ability. Bacopa extracts like ‘KeenMind’ and ‘BacoMind’ seem to work well when increasing the memory of adults. These are known to help Children (aged 6-8 years), to excel some measure of memory and even hand-eye coordination.
Bacopa seems to be possibly ineffective when treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) symptoms return (after remission), and only shows to be effective as a ‘sugar pill’. Even though it was shown in research that consuming Bacopa syrup (30ml) daily for 4 weeks treats anxiety and its symptoms like sleeping troubles, headaches or tiredness, this is not a fully proven observation.
Also the evidence is not enough to suggest that this medicine can successfully treat conditions like, seizures in some people with epilepsy, joint pain (rheumatism), backache or asthma.
Brahmi is known to be a safe medication to be used by adults and is not known to cause any serious side effects. But in order to avoid the occurrence of unwanted side effects, make sure to use it according to the prescribed amounts, on a short term basis. Even though severe side effects are not common, the following less serious effects may still occur.
Increased bowel movements
If these effects last, get the required medical attention from your doctor or pharmacist.
Bacopa might increase the risk of gastrointestinal tract blockage which can be caused by ‘congestion’ inside the intestines. People who have issues with slow heart rate might face problems while taking this medicine as it is known to cause ‘Bradycardia’ (or slow heart rate). It might also worsen the conditions of any ulcers that you might have by increasing the secretions inside the stomach/intestines.
Brhami may increase certain lung conditions like asthma or emphysema as it is said to increase the secretions of fluids within the lung too. It is best to avoid this medication if you have a thyroid condition, as it might increase your thyroid hormone levels as well.
Reliable proof is not available when it comes to the saety of consuming Bacopa, when you are breast-feeding or pregnant. So it is best to avoid its use in these conditions.