Ever wondered if a herbal extract could sharpen your cognitive skills, make you smarter and enhance your memory? Sounds ridiculous, however, it’s possible. Brahmi, also known as Bacopa Monnieri is a popular Ayurvedic herb whose stems and leaves are used in medicinal preparations to enhance memory and cognitive skills. Originally native to India, this herb now has spread throughout the tropics due to its wide cultivation and numerous health benefits. Of note, certain other traditional herbs like Ashwagandha and chemical compounds like DMAE (dimethylaminoethanol) also share some common healthy properties, a reason why most memory boosting and cognitive enhancing products contain a blend of these compounds. Read on to learn more about Brahmi as it’s probably the only thing you need to stay focused in the office all day long.
How does it work?
Brahmi contains a mixture of active ingredients that work together to provide the claimed health benefits. It works by three basic mechanisms.
- Stimulate the effect of neurotransmitters
Brahmi contains bacosides, active chemical compounds that act in the brain to stimulate the effect of neurotransmitters. These chemicals seem to enhance the production of acetylcholine and increase the effect of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and serotonin. Ashwagandha also plays a similar role while DMAE can additionally regulate the inhibitory neurotransmitters. Stimulation of these neurotransmitters can enhance memory and cognitive skills.
Its active ingredients prevent oxidative damage by fighting free radicals and other toxic substances. It also enhances the production of natural antioxidants in the body like glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase, striatum, and catalase. These antioxidants are responsible for enhancing cognitive functions.
- Protects the neurons
Neurons are surrounded by a thin membrane that provides support and protection. Certain brain diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and dementia damage this protective layer and cause troublesome symptoms in the patient. Chemicals in the Brahmi have strong neuroprotective abilities that protect this thin membrane and thus can help treat or even prevent these deadly health conditions.
Health benefits of Brahmi
Brahmi and its related compounds (Ashwagandha and DMAE) are used to rejuvenate the optimal function of the brain and promote overall mental health. Their health benefits include;
Enhance concentration – It boosts blood flow towards the brain and stimulates the effects of neurotransmitters. Both these mechanisms can enhance concentration and keep you stay focused. . Ashwagandha also helps increase concentration by stimulating the effect of acetylcholine.
Increase memory – Brahmi is well-known for its stimulatory, antioxidant and neuroprotective properties. Stimulation of neurotransmitters like acetylcholine can help your brain retain information for a longer period. Its antioxidant ingredients can help protect the neurons and thus increase their life span and working efficiency. Brahmi along with DMAE not only help increase short-term memory but also enhance long-term memory and cognition.
Prevent mental diseases – As discussed earlier, the neuroprotective compounds in the Brahmi provide protection and support to the neurons thus help prevent neurodegenerative diseases of the brain.
Treat pain due to nerve problems – Oil extracted from Brahmi leaves can be applied to the painful area to improve the symptoms. It is especially helpful in reducing pain due to sciatica and neuralgia.
Treat skin problems – Besides enhancing memory and preventing mental diseases, traditional herbs like Brahmi have been used for centuries to treat skin problems such as eczema, ulceration, abscess, and psoriasis. Some studies also suggest that it can stimulate skin cell regeneration and collagen production.
Improves the body metabolism – It can help you shed extra pounds by increasing the production of metabolism boosting hormones like the triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4).