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Named after one of the highest states of consciousness (Brahman or God consciousness), Brahmi Brain (Centella asiatica) is one of the most powerful brain tonics in the Ayurvedic apothecary. Via its cooling and rejuvenating properties, brahmi supports energy and mental clarity while simultaneously encouraging deep, restful sleep. Famous as a tonic for nerve and brain cells, cerebral circulation, memory, intestinal health, and sleep, brahmi is revered as one of the most powerful and spiritual herbs in Ayurveda.
Suggested Use: Take 1 capsule 2 times per day after meals and 1 capsule before bed, or as directed by your health care professional.
Bottle Contains: 90 vegetarian capsules, 500 mg each
Ingredients: Organic Centella asiatica (Gotu Kola Herb) (Go to Ayurvedic Herbal Makeup)
Does not contain: Yeast, gluten, corn, soy, milk, fish, animal products, binders, fillers, preservatives or artificial coloring.
Kosher Certified: No animal derivatives
Note: LifeSpa has chosen to use the traditional Northern Indian reference for Centella asiatica, which is Brahmi (also known as Gotu Kola). However, in Southern India, Bacopa monnieri is referred to as Brahmi. Due to the variance between Northern and Southern India’s nomenclature, there is also some variance within the Ayurvedic community itself as to which herbs are called by the name Brahmi or Bacopa. Our suggestion is to pay close attention as you do your research to be sure you know which herb is really being discussed.
Brahmi is touted as the most rejuvenating herb in Ayurveda. It has been used for thousands of years to revitalize the nerves and brain cells. Fittingly, the leaf of the brahmi plant resembles the cerebellum. According to the Yoga Book of Herbs by David Frawley, brahmi:
- Increases mental clarity (1)
- Supports healthy memory (1)
- Promotes healthy aging (1)
- Boosts immunity (1)
Brahmi also supports restful sleep, calms emotional turbulence, and simultaneously promotes concentration and alertness. In Ayurveda, it is known as a brain tonic and may actually work on the brain through its effect on the gut microbiology.
Adaptogens: Support for Deeper Sleep and Energy
Brahmi is neither a stimulant nor a sedative — it is classified as an adaptogen, a unique type of herb that helps manage the body’s natural response to stress and maintain homeostasis of energy levels. Because of these qualities, it is a deeply rejuvenating herb. The test of a true adaptogen is if it can give you energy during the day while still helping you sleep at night. When taken before bed, brahmi can support the ability to fall asleep more naturally and to sleep deeply. Conversely, if you are slow to rise in the morning, you can take brahmi upon waking to support your body’s natural process of awakening both calmly and with vital energy.
Recent studies suggest that brahmi supports healthy skin, lymph, and circulatory functions. In particular, brahmi seems to balance the inner skin that lines the digestive tract (2), where healthy skin supports the growth and maintenance of healthy microbes; these microbes make neurotransmitters that support healthy and stable mood and cognitive function. In addition, studies show brahmi supports healthy cerebral microcirculation, natural sleep patterns, and normal memory function. (3)
The Root Cause of Emotional Stress
As children, we cope with adversity by enduring emotional stress in the digestive system, most commonly manifesting as a “tummy ache.” Studies have now mapped this process by locating 90-95% of the body’s serotonin, a neurotransmitter that stabilizes mood, in a surprising place: the intestinal wall. (4) Amazingly, only 5-10% of the body’s serotonin is produced in the brain itself.
As adults, we often struggle emotionally and, in response, try therapies aimed at balancing brain chemistry, which overlook the important role that digestion plays in mental health. New research has found that brahmi helps support stress tolerance, cognitive function, immunity, and natural sleep cycles. As if that weren’t enough, it supports the maintenance of the skin on the inside and outside of the body, including a healthy lining of the stomach and intestines, while also boosting lymph drainage around the gut. (2, 5, 6, 7)
Is Your Digestion Sabotaging Your Mental Health?
Stress, hard-to-digest foods, and a toxic world slowly compromise digestive strength. Stress produces stress-fighting neurotransmitters in the gut, which can overwhelm and imbalance the intestinal mucosa (the skin lining the gut). Once the intestinal skin is imbalanced, the ability to assimilate the nutrition needed for optimal mental health and the ability to detoxify the body are both compromised.
This leads to overeating as the mind over-stimulates hunger centers in the brain that aren’t satiated through the proper digestion of food. Typical American portions have gotten larger and larger over the last 40 years in an attempt to satisfy these mental receptors. The resulting nutritional strain stresses the nervous system and decreases one’s overall tolerance to stress.
Since we process stress through the gut wall, this symptom of “intolerance to stress” can further compromise the intestinal wall, affecting digestive efficiency and mental health. Unfortunately, Western medicine often overlooks these digestive imbalances, when they can actually be underlying factors to stress intolerance.
The Stress-Skin Connection
We have skin all over the inside of our bodies called epithelium. It wraps our body and lines our arteries, veins, heart, respiratory tract, and the entire digestive system — and the waste processed through this inner skin is all drained by the body’s lymph. If the skin on the outside of your body is sagging, it is likely that the inside skin is also sagging. As we age, our body’s circulatory system pushes less blood to the skin and distal tissues inside and out. Stress also compromises blood supply to the skin and the drainage of the lymph. In addition, when we become tense, this tension cuts off optimal blood supply to the skin all over the body.
Without optimal blood supply and lymph drainage, the body begins to naturally lay down fibrous tissue or scar tissue which can thicken the skin, leading to a lack of adequate blood supply, paradoxically resulting in thinner and more fragile skin over time. Prior to this thinning of the skin, however, we often experience tough, wrinkled, or weathered skin.
Scar tissue is tough, non-elastic, and thick tissue that doesn’t require much blood and is, therefore, a good Band-Aid™ created by the body for areas without adequate blood supply. In numerous studies, brahmi has shown to be effective support for the body as it remodels collagen production and supports the body’s natural breakdown of scar tissue production and thickened skin. (5, 6, 7)
In studies published in Alternative Medicine Review, brahmi was found to boost microcirculation and lymph flow, which naturally promotes the health of all of the body’s precious skin. (2) As a lymph and skin agent, brahmi has shown to be effective in supporting healthy oral hygiene and gum health for these same reasons. Finally, brahmi is a lymph-mover for the body, helping in such concerns as cold hands and feet, swelling, and associated skin reactions. (2, 8)
Digestive Tract Scar Tissue
As we age, the intestinal skin endures emotional stress, toxic food, chemicals, pollutants, and preservatives, and reacts by producing scar tissue. This scar tissue can leave the gut with a diminished ability to digest, assimilate, and detoxify. Brahmi was found in one study to support the intestinal health of 64 elderly patients with digestive issues. (9) This study suggests that the brahmi may play an important role in the stomach’s and intestines’ ability to heal itself by maintaining optimal function of the skin that lines the intestinal tract. (2)
Brahmi Supports Healthy Arteries
In two, 12-month clinical trials, brahmi supported the function of the carotid (10) and femoral arteries (11) already within a healthy range. In one of these trials, brahmi was shown to support healthy collagen (elasticity) production in the cerebral arteries. At the end of one study, patients taking brahmi had cerebral imbalances only in 7% of the cases, where the control group had cerebral imbalances in 17% of the cases. (10) This supports brahmi’s traditional Ayurvedic affinity as a brain tonic.
Ayurvedic Herbal Makeup
1. Yoga Book of Herbs, Frawley, Lad. Lotus Press. 1986. p-173
9. Rhee J, Choi KW. Korean J Gastroenterol 1981; 13(1): 35-40.
keywords: brami, bramhi, brahami