Green gems of nature let me remember you as you remember me.
Everything about you says miracle and then I forget.
I forget I can call on you when I lose my mind,
lose my peace, lose my memory.
And then there you are.
Brahmi, you are Than Kuni –
Divine Creative Energy. Shakti of Cosmic Consciousness.
There are two distinct herbs primarily used in Ayurveda to restore and rejuvenate the health of the brain. These delicate yet powerful gems of nature have been used for centuries and are backed by science for boosting memory, focus, and cognitive function, improving mood, reducing stress, strengthening the adrenals, healing wounds and chronic skin conditions. Also used for promoting a healthy scalp and shining hair, and known as the most important herbs for revitalizing the nerves and brain cells.
A lot has been clarified for me as I delve into the world of Brahmi to share with you.
If you’ve heard of Brahmi, you may also have heard of it being interchangeably called Gotu kola. Many have experienced confusion around this seeming mystery whether Gotu kola is actually the same plant as Brahmi.
Allow me to demystify this and confirm that these are two distinct herbs both worth knowing about. In certain parts of India Gotu kola is referred to as Brahmi. To alay confusion when describing the herbs, Brahmi is called by it’s botanical name Bacopa (Bacopa monnieri) and Gotu kola (Mandukaparni in Sanskrit) is referred to as Centella (Centella Asiatica).
Renowned as the herb/s of longevity with healing and balancing properties known to rejuvenate the entire system these two brain tonics have many benefits in common with a few subtle differences.
Both Gotu kola and Brahmi have a bitter and sweet taste (Rasa), cooling energy (Virya) and sweet post-digestive effect (Vipaka). Brahmi is slightly more warming and as a long-term herb is more balancing to Vata dosha. Gotu kola is more pacifying for Pitta dosha. Both herbs are generally Tridoshic and can be used as a restorative tonic to bring harmony to the physical, mental and emotional bodies.
LOOKS LIKE A BRAIN!
Gotu Kola is interestingly cerebellum shaped. If we understand and observe how we reflect nature with it’s intelligent blueprint we will see how certain plants mirror the shapes and have an affinity to the different organs or tissues in our body. These plant medicines are designed to heal, support and restore us to our most vital self. Gotu kola of course is designed to heal and sustain our brain function.
TEA BREAK. BRAIN BREAK.
I have been drinking Organic India’s Gotu kola tea with holy basil (tulsi) every day and I notice almost immediately how grounded I feel. I’m also noticing it reduces my sugar cravings and stabilizes my emotions. I feel more alert. I sip on a 16oz flask-full during the day and I find it also helps with my focus and clarity while I am writing. This along with the tulsi is a brain tonic in my experience for sure.
Brahmi is known as the best Ayurvedic rejuvenative herb for brain cells, nerves and heightened intelligence. It is also known as the most sattvic herb in the pharmacopeia of spiritual Ayuvedic herbs. Than Kuni – meaning Divine Creative Energy
This spiritually attuned herb has been used since ancient times as a calming plant-medicine in preparation for meditation. This makes it a sacred plant and is revered as such. Brahmi is known for its efficacy in supporting Prajnasaktivardhana – intellectual power. As such, this is a supremely potent herb for assisting us in overcoming our prajnaparadha (crimes against wisdom). It helps to alleviate compulsive addictive behaviours and brings harmony to the mind/body/spirit complex. Brahmi is known as one of the most sattvic herbs in the Ayurvedic pharmacopeia.
Sattva is light, purity, clarity, calm, awakened intelligence, illumination, joy – the pure essence of consciousness. It is the search for higher truths and when our minds are sattvic we are connected to the Divine, we are aligned with our truth, we are filled with creative inspiration and delight. Brahmi has the ability to infuse our mind, our whole being with sattvic qualities.
WHERE BRAHMI FITS INTO YOUR AROMADOSHA BLUEPRINT™
In previous blogs I introduced the AromaDosha Blueprint™ for Tridosha. BRAHMI is listed as one of the primary medicinal herbs for illuminating the MIND. As it is a the ultimate sattvic (pure) herb, purifying the mind, awakening knowledge and developing intuition.
Begin to build your intentional daily health-care routine by adding one herb, spice, essential oil, and food at a time, mindfully incorporating them into your personal daily practice as works best for you. Brahmi (and Gotu kola) are rejuvenating plant medicines that can enhance your self-care practice.
HOW TO USE BRAHMI/GOTU KOLA
Take Brahmi in small daily doses as a nervine/brain tonic and for gentle detoxification. 1/4-1/2 tsp in warm water twice a day.
Brahmi oil can be used as a soothing balm on the body for skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, inflammation, ulcers, sores.
The powder can be made into a cooling paste. Apply to wounds or burns.
Add water to the powder until it is a thick spreadable consistency and use with a compress/bandage.
Remember the answer to everything in Ayurveda is ‘it depends.’ It is recommended to take a break when using herbs as a daily tonic. After 3 months of regular use take a 3-4 week break. This will allow you to asses the effects of the herbs and allow the body to integrate the healing and come to it’s own natural balance.
Please feel free to share this blog with those you think will benefit. We would love to hear your thoughts and questions!
May your mind be illuminated and at peace!
With Fragrant Blessings,
Glynn and Mel