Brahmi Oil

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Brahmi oil is a herb infusion of the Brahmi herb in any base oil. Actually, there are two herbs which are known as Brahmi. Generally both of them are used to make this herbal oil. Brahmi oil has been used since ancient times to boost hair growth. It is also a nervous tonic for the brain and the nervous system when massaged onto the scalp. Brahmi oil offers many powerful health benefits.

Source

This herbal oil is prepared from one or both the Brahmi herbs.These are :

Brahmi Oil
Brahmi Oil (Image:Shutterstock)
  • Bacopa Monnieri – This herb improves memory and cognitive function. It also has neuroprotective effects.
  • Centella Asiatica –  This herb is commonly known as Gotu Kola. It may have health benefits in preventing cancer and life extension, but they haven’t been proved.

The herb leaves are collected and boiled in a base oil. Due to slow heating, the oil soluble nutrients pass into the oil. It is filtered after some time to create Brahmi Oil. These are the commonly used base oils.

  • Butter Oil – Ghee is traditionally used to extract Brahmi oil.
  • Sesame Oil – This oil is revered in Ayurveda and is commonly used to make Brahmi oil.
  • Coconut oil – This oil is also used for producing Brahmi Oil.

The herb Amla is also used in some products to make Amla – Brahmi oil. Amla, or Indian gooseberry is a common Indian fruit renowned for preventing the hair from hair fall and premature greying.

Brahmi Essential oil
This is an essential oil obtained from steam distillation of Bacopa monnieri leaves. It is a much stronger oil, and can be used as a few drops in base oils, like olive, sesame and coconut oils.

Bacopa monnieri (Indian pennywort, brahmi, Dwarf bacopa)
Bacopa monnieri (Indian pennywort, brahmi, Dwarf bacopa) (Image:Shutterstock)

Properties

Brahmi oil possesses the therapeutic properties of the base oil and the healing properties of Brahmi herbs. This makes it quite powerful.

  • Anti-pyretic – alleviates a fever. [1]
  • Anti-inflammatory – lowers inflammation.
  • Sedative – creates a soothing effect that sedates a person.
  • Antiepileptic– reduces epileptic seizures.[2]
  • Anxiolytic – reduces anxiety.[3]
  • Nootropic – improves the memory retention capacity of the brain. [4]
  • Antioxidant – herb infused oil has high antioxidant capacity.
  • Astringent – causes shrinking and tightening of skin.
  • Analgesic – alleviates pain.
  • Anti-asthma – relieves asthma symptoms. [5]
  • Carminative – promotes expulsion of gas from the body.
  • Neuroprotective – the herb Bacopa Monnieri and its herbal oil lowers neural degeneration. [6]
  • Anti-Ulcer – It soothes an ulcer.
  • Antimicrobial – Brahmi herb exerts antimicrobial effects against some species of bacteria and viruses.

Color and Aroma

Brahmi oil is a deep greenish blue colored oil. The herbal infused oil has a weak murky smell. The essential oil has a much stronger aroma.

Health Benefits

Because of its healing properties, Brahmi oil can be used in a number of health conditions.

As a Hair Oil

Brahmi oil is one of the best natural remedies for slow hair growth and other hair conditions[7]. It can be applied directly on the hair as a leave in conditioner, or as a hot oil scalp massage. When this oil is applied, it cools the scalp and provides relief from itching and irritation. It soothes the scalp and improves the condition of hair in a few weeks.

  • It prevents hair fall. Regular application of Brahmi oil can boost hair growth. This is helpful for people who want to accelerate their hair growth.
  • It prevents premature greying of hair, especially in combination with Amla.
  • It strengthens hair roots by providing them nutrition and antioxidant protection from free radicals.
  • Reduces dandruff and flakiness on scalp.

As a Natural Sleep Remedy

People who are unable to sleep or suffer from insomnia can get relief by using this oil. There are two ways to use Brahmi oil to induce sleep.

  • Add few drops of Brahmi essential oil to bath water and take a warm water bath.
  • Massage the scalp with warm Brahmi oil. Continue the scalp massage for about 10 minutes to experience a sleepy, relaxed state of the body.

Calms Anxiety

Brahmi essential oil can be used to calm anxiety. It can be diffused in the air inside using a vaporizer or an oil burner. Alternatively, one can deeply inhale brahmi essential oil to relieve anxious feelings.

Treat an Ulcer

The herb Bacopa monnieri has the ability to relieve a mouth ulcer. If an ulcer breaks out, apply a small amount of brahmi oil on it. This oil protects it from the sting caused by food and also promotes healing of the ulcer.

Scalp Massage Health Benefits

A scalp massage using Brahmi oil has many more health benefits than just for the hair.

  • It reduces stress and mental exhaustion.
  • It promotes sleep.
  • It improves concentration and memory power. The person is able to remember much more information. It can help adults deal with memory related conditions like dementia.
  • It alleviates epilepsy. Regular massage with this oil tones the nerves and the brain. Frequency of epileptic seizures are reduced.

Joint Pain Relief

Brahmi oil is strongly anti-inflammatory. One can apply it to alleviate pain and inflammation in a joint, or in other parts of the body. One can massage it to alleviate common pains like joint pain, back pain, headache and the like. It also has an analgesic effect which provides temporary relief from pain.

Alzheimer’s disease

Brahmi herb has shown promise in Alzheimer’s disease as it boosts cognitive function. However, it is not certain whether the simple technique of scalp massage can provide this health benefit.

Be Alert when needed

Brahmi herb boosts blood flow to the brain. This is a long term process in which the brain regularly gets more blood supply when Brahmi oil is massaged. Although the oil induces a calming sensation during the scalp massage, it improves the alertness of the person during the day, or when needed.

Abdominal Massage

Applying brahmi oil on the abdomen can help a person pass intestinal gas. This alleviates gas pain, indigestion and upset stomach.

Side Effects, Safe Dosage and Toxicity Issues

This oil is only for topical application and not meant for oral consumption. Brahmi oil can mild side effects, like nausea and vomiting if ingested. However, the oil may be fatal in large doses. The herb Bacopa monnieri has an LD 50 of 2400 mg/kg which is the lethal dose.

Brahmi oil should not be pregnant women, nursing women and children. There is no data about the interactions of medication with brahmi, or its oil. So, one should consult the doctor before using this herbal oil during a treatment period.

Nutritional and Medicinal Information

Brahmi oil contains the nutrients from both the herbs, Gotu Kola and Bacopa if it is prepared from both of them. It also provides nutrition from the carrier oil, like sesame oil. The fatty acids and nutrients in carrier oil can boost the absorption and delivery of certain nutrients from the herb. This way they work in synergy.

The nutrition provided by Brahmi oil comes from the nutrients in the herb. In this regard, most of the health benefits are due to the herb Bacopa monnieri. These are the prominent compounds found in this herb which may be present in the herb infused oil.

  • Bacosides – a series of saponins. These are the class of compounds which are responsible for the effects of Brahmi oil on the brain and nervous system.
  • Alkaloids – This includes brahmine, the common nicotine and herpestine.
  • Flavones like apigenin.
  • D-mannitol, a very useful compound. Used to reduce intercranial pressure.
  • Cucurbitacin – bitter compound commonly seen in pumpkin family.
  • Hersaponin – exerts many pharmacological effects on the nervous system.

Buying and Storage

There are many varieties of Brahmi oil, depending on the base oil and the herb from which it is extracted. It is best to go for organic Brahmi oil, one which is produced without the use of harmful chemicals. One should take note of cheap filler oils used as base oils. Brahmi oil should be kept away from the sunlight. Then it would have a long shelf life.

References

1. TRADITIONAL INDIAN HERBAL MEDICINE USED AS ANTIPYRETIC, ANTIULCER, ANTI-DIABETIC AND ANTICANCER: A REVIEW Maurya Umashanker1, and Srivastava Shruti. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF RESEARCH IN PHARMACY AND CHEMISTRY
2. Brahmi: an Ayurvedic comparison of Bacopa/Herpestris monniera and Centella/Hydrocotyle asiatica. Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism Volume 16 Issue 1 (2004). Irani, F
3. Clinical efficacy of Manasamitra Vataka (an Ayurveda medication) on generalized anxiety disorder with comorbid generalized social phobia: a randomized controlled study.Tubaki BR, Chandrashekar CR, Sudhakar D, Prabha TN, Lavekar GS, Kutty BM.J Altern Complement Med. 2012 Jun;18(6):612-21. doi: 10.1089/acm.2010.0778.
4. A REVIEW ON NATURAL MEMORY ENHANCERS. (NOOTROPICS) . Joshi Pranav C
5. Biotechnology of Medicinal Plants: Vitalizer and Therapeutic. Enfield, NH: Science Publishers. Rajani, M. et al. (2004), Ramawat, K. G., ed.
6. Neuroprotective mechanisms of ayurvedic antidementia botanical Bacopa monniera. Phytotherapy Research. Dhanasekaran, M.; Tharakan, B.; Holcomb, L. A.; Hitt, A. R.; Young, K. A.; Manyam, B. V.
7. Preparation, evaluation and hair growth stimulating activity of herbal hair oil. Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research, 2009. Pooja S. Banerjee, Megha Sharma, Rajesh Kumar Nema

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