Benefits of Brahmi!

I know the effects of this herb because I have used it myself, but I understand many people still have their doubts. Besides the fact that many cultures have used it for thousands of years there have been a number of recent studies to document the benefits, and I only included a handful.

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Gotu Kola, Centella asiatica, also know as Brahmi “the greatest of great”

This ancient, traditional herb contains the triterpenoids: asiaticoside, centelloside, and madecassoside. These powerful components make this medicinal herb useful in a range of complications and prevention of further damage.

  • promote cell apoptosis; cytotoxic towards many different cancer cells
  • increases the tone of connective tissue
  • accelerate healing process of burns, keloids, and wounds (enhance collagen production and reduces scar tissue)
  • lowers blood pressure and reduce leg edema (keep blood vessels strong, maintains resistance of the veins, and enhances blood flow)
  • mild adaptogen (enhances the body’s ability to resist a stressor)
  • fatigue, depression, anxiety (assist in producing neurotransmitters)
  • protects against neurodegeneration
  • mild diuretic
  • anti-inflammatory
  • heightens mental function; improves memory and learning capabilities (useful for ADD/ADHD)
  • restore some of the memory loss of Alzheimer’s disease
  • nourish, support, and rejuvenate the liver and kidneys
  • Himalayan yogis used Brahmi to aid in meditation and yoga by calming and awakening the mind for a clear, steady practice.
In 2006, the Biomaterials Science and Engineering Laboratory at Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that Asiatic acid (found in Gotu Kola) caused cell death in common glioblastoma cells. They also documented the inhibition of nitric oxide synthesis, leading to reduced inflammation and increased healing of gastric ulcers.In 2009, the Department of Infection Biology documented that Asiatic acid inhibits cancer cell proliferation and apoptosis of human colon cancer cells; leading to irreversible tumor cell death.The National Drug Screening Center did a study of rats which showed that Gotu Kola reduced blood glucose levels and increased serum insulin. The most interesting aspect of the study is that this herb also showed beta cell preservation in the pancreatic islets; the cells that produce insulin.

A study published in a French medical journal from 1966 concluded that women treated with Gotu Kola after an episiotomy healed more rapidly than those given standard treatment.

And in case these studies weren’t convincing, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended this herb as one of the most important medicinal plant species to be conserved and cultivated.

Gotu Kola’s underlying mechanism is modulation of dopamine and norepinephrine in the prefrontal cortex, acetylcholine and serotonin in the hippocampus, and increasing the dendritic length and branches of the neurons in the amygdala. This has a great effect on learning and memory, attention, and mood regulation.

This herb comes in the form of: tincture, ointment, dried herb/tea, and capsule. Recommended dose is 60 mg of extract three times a day and 600 mg dried leaf three times a day.

Now, anything this powerful must be taken in moderation. The correct dose is regarded as safe but it is important to begin taking slowly to avoid allergies and individual sensitivities. No research has been done on safety for young children or pregnant/lactating women; this herb has been shown to reduce fertility in women trying to conceive. Some sensitive individuals can get contact dermatitis from topical use. Excess levels over the recommended dose can increase blood sugar, raise cholesterol, and non-fatal hepatitis. You should avoid this herb if you have liver disease, diabetes, or high cholesterol. Also, do not take with other CNS depressants or hepatotoxic drugs.

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