Brahmi is commonly known as the 'herb of grace' and is one of the most popular herbs in Ayurveda. However, because two unique plants are commonly called Brahmi, both Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica) and Bacopa Monnieri there is much confusion in the research surrounding Brahmi. Why the confusion? Well, both plants are known to enhance memory and intelligence, reduce stress and anxiety, and aid in wound healing. However, since Bacopa is a separate plant, we will focus on Brahmi proper or its scientific name Centella Asiatica. Brahmi is a perennial plant native to many tropical parts of the world and best grown in swampy areas. It is a highly invasive plant that matures within three months. Some of Brahmi’s benefits have been noted earlier, so let’s focus on its hair and scalp properties. Some of the external benefits are healing dandruff and related scalp issues, preventing hair loss and split ends, and stimulating hair growth. Let’s examine Brahmi’s regenerative properties that make this herb so healing.
As with most herbs, Brahmi has many nutrients:
· Vitamin C
· Vitamin B1, B2, B3
The most active components in Brahmi are the triterpenoids and alkaloids. One of the important triterpenes is Asiatic acid which influences collagen synthesis, these triterpene saponins are also responsible for wound healing. It helps strengthen weakened veins that supply blood to the hair follicle. In a study focusing on the positive effects of Brahmi on issues of venous insufficiency (a condition where veins are not working effectively), Brahmi strengthened the weakened veins increasing oxygenated blood. This is important for people’s whose hair loss is a result of malnourished hair follicles. Brahmi helps provide strength and nourishment through the scalp, strengthening the blood vessels; thus, oxygen and nutrients stimulate hair growth and prevent hair loss.
The alkaloids in Brahmi bind to the proteins in the hair shaft producing stronger and thicker hair. Even though extensive research regarding Brahmi as a growth aid is limited to animal studies, the research has been enlightening. One study examined eight different types of ointment on rodents to increase hair length and density. The singular herbal extract of Brahmi showed the greatest increase in hair density and length!
How to Use Brahmi
One teaspoon of dried Brahmi (Gotu Kola) leaves
One cup of boiling water
Add the leaves to the boiling water and steep for 5 minutes. Add sweetener if desired. This tea has been known to promote restful sleep.
As always before beginning the consumption of any herbal supplement please speak with your medical provider, especially if you are pregnant, have gastrointestinal issues or liver disease.
Have you used Brahmi in your hair regimen? Leave your recipe below.