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Brahmi Grita: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects, and more!

By Dr Rajeev Singh +2 more

Introduction: 

Brahmi Ghrita is an ayurvedic preparation made from multiple herbs used for managing various mental disorders. Brahmi is obtained from the plant Bacopa monnieri. A majority of drugs used for mental illnesses are in the form of ghrita (clarified butter) as this form contains lipophilic (affinity for fats) properties. This enables them to cross the blood-brain barrier and act on the brain. Bacoside is one of the active ingredients of brahmi ghrita which may have some effects on   conditions related to the brain.1,2

Did you know?

brahmi ghrita

  • Brahmi Grita can improve attention and concentration in individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). source: ncbi
  • Brahmi Grita can enhance the production of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin and acetylcholine. source: ncbi
  • In the United States, Brahmi Grita is commonly used as a dietary supplement for cognitive enhancement. source: nccih

Ingredients in brahmi ghrita: 

Brahmi ghrita contains the following herbal ingredients:1

  • Brahmi swarasa (Bacopa monnieri)
  • Ghrita (clarified butter or cow ghee)
  • Kushtha (Saussurea lappa)
  • Haritaki (Terminalia chebula)
  • Amalaki (Emblica officinalis)
  • Maricha (Piper nigrum)
  • Trivrit (Operculina turpethum)
  • Vacha (Acorus calamus)
  • Vidanga (Embelia ribes)
  • Shankhapushpi (Convolvulus prostratus)
  • Sunthi (Zingiber officinale)
  • Haridra (Curcuma longa)
  • Danti (Bailospermum montanum)
  • Aragvadha (Cassia fistula)
  • Saptala (Ophiorrhiza mungos)
  • Mundi (Sphaeranthus indicus)
  • Malati (Aganosma heynei)
  • Saindhava
  • Sarkara

In my experience, Brahmi ghrita, a herbal formulation, might have significant Central Nervous System depressant actions. This means that it may cause a reduction in alertness, movement, and sensitivity to touch and noise. It is important to be aware of these effects when taking Brahmi ghrita, as it may affect your responsiveness and ability to perform daily activities.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, MD

Properties of Brahmi ghrita:

Brahma ghrita may show  helpful properties like: 2

  • It may show produces calming effect
  • It may show memory-enhancing potential
  • It may be a potential sedative (slowing down brain activity making you sleepy)
  • It may show antioxidant activities (prevents or delays cell damage)
  • It may show hepatoprotective properties (liver-protecting)
  • It may show carminative properties (relieving gas accumulation)
  • It may show antiulcer properties
  • It may show immunostimulant properties (stimulating the immune system)
  • It may show anticonvulsant properties (prevents or stops an episode of seizures)
  • It may show antispasmodic property (relieving spasm of an involuntary muscle)
  • It may show hypotensive property (blood pressure-lowering3

Did you know that Brahmi Ghrita, an Ayurvedic preparation, typically contains Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) as one of its major ingredients? While there may be variations in the exact preparation methods mentioned in different Ayurvedic texts, Brahmi is consistently recognized as an important component in Brahmi Ghrita across various literature sources.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Potential Uses of brahmi ghrita

Due to the presence of a range of herbal ingredients, brahmighrita may show potential uses against many health conditions.

Potential Uses of brahmi ghrita on the central nervous system:

Bramhi ghrita may have some potential uses on the central nervous system.

Potential Uses of brahmi ghrita on learning and memory:

Brahmi ghrita when studied on rats was found to enhance memory and learning in studies. When used for a long time it may have effect on an increase in levels of cerebral glutamic acid and a transient increase in gamma aminobutaric acid (an amino acid which stops the transmission of nerve impulses in the central nervous system), which might improve the process of learning. Brahmi ghrita may be a promising formulation in the management of Alzheimer’s disease once larger human studies are conducted. 1, Larger human studies are needed to establish this effect till then, you need to consult your doctor or healthcare provider if you experience any learning or memory impairments.

Potential uses of brahmi ghrita for epilepsy:

Epilepsy is a chronic neurological problem marked by recurring seizures due to an imbalance in the electrical activity of the brain which is usually linked to loss of consciousness or memory. Brahmi ghrita may be an effective nootropic i.e., it may boost the performance of the brain. It has been studied for its seizure-relieving properties in rats with the help of convulsive models.1 More studies are required to consolidate the use of brahmi ghrita for epilepsy in humans. Therefore, you should not use brahmi ghrita or other herbal remedies for epilepsy without consulting a healthcare provider

Potential uses of brahmi ghrita for cognition:

In a study, brahmi ghrita was found to enhance neuropsychological factors like attention and working memory in children with a learning disability.2 Brahmi ghrita when taken with another herbal formulation, jyotishmayi taila nasya might show improvement in cognitive deficit,

curiosity, and response to learning as indicated by a trial.1 However, if you experience any problems with the cognitive abilities, contact your healthcare provider and get a proper diagnosis.

Potential uses of brahmi ghrita for depression:

According to Ayurveda, depression is caused due to an increase in kapha dosha. Consuming brahmi ghrita exhibited an improvement in a depressed mood during the trial. Following treatment, there was improvement seen in suicidal ideation. Brahmi ghrita may also help reduce agitation, anxiety, and insomnia.2 But more studies are required to support the use of brahmi ghrita in these conditions. You need to talk to your healthcare provider and get a proper diagnosis before you use any herb for your symptoms.

Also Read: Ashwagandha: Uses, Benefits & Side Effects

Potential uses of brahmi ghrita for the liver:

There was a significant reduction in the serum level of aminotransferase, bilirubin, and alkaline phosphatase when brahmi ghrita was consumed. These signs indicate improved liver function. Brahmi ghrita may also function as a liver-protecting agent.[1] However, more studies are required to support its use in case of liver problems. If you are suffering from any liver conditions, make sure to talk to your healthcare provider before using brahmi ghrita.   

Though there are studies that show the benefits of brahmi ghrita in various conditions, but these are insufficient and there is a need for further studies to establish the true extent of the benefits of herb on human health. 

Also Read: Foods to Avoid When Taking Lamotrigine: A Detailed Guide for Safe Consumption

How to use brahmi ghrita:  

Brahmi can be taken in different forms like:1

  • Brahmi juice
  • Kalka (paste)
  • Quatha (decoction)
  • Ghrita (cow’s ghee)

You must consult a qualified doctor before taking any herbal supplements. Do not discontinue or replace an ongoing treatment of modern medicine with an ayurvedic/herbal preparation without consulting a qualified doctor.  

Side effects of brahmi ghrita: 

When experimental studies were performed in rats, brahma ghrita did not produce any serious damage to vital organs.

It did not also produce any clinical, hematological, or neurological complications. There was a significant reduction in fertility, although, libido (sex drive) was not affected. No genotoxicity or teratogenesis was observed when brahmi ghrita was used.

Brahmi ghrita is known to produce mild nausea and gastrointestinal upset when consumed by humans. More studies are however required to verify the safety and effectiveness of brahmi ghrita. 4

Before using brahmi ghrita for any disease condition, make sure you have consulted your healthcare provider about the possible side effects associated with its use.   

Precautions to take with brahmi ghrita:

Here are some general precautions you need to take when using brahmi ghrita.

  • Brahmi is not recommended in pregnant ladies as there are no studies regarding its safety during pregnancy. 4
  • Children and elderly should be given this medicine only after consulting a qualified Ayurvedic physician. The physician will best decide the dosage and repetition needed.

Also, consulting a physician can help you understand the possible precautions of brahmi ghrita. This will help you avoid unwanted side effects.

Interactions with Other Drugs:

No data is available Regarding interactions between brahmi ghrita and other drugs. However, if you are taking medicines for any health conditions, you need to consult your healthcare provider regarding the possible interactions of the medicines with other herbs and drugs.

Frequently asked questions: 

What is brahmi ghrita?

Brahmi grita is an Ayurvedic formulation in which cow ghee is processed with the herb brahmi. It may be used for different neurological and psychological disorders.9 However, it is an ayurvedic medicine that should be used under the guidance of an ayurvedic physician.

Where is brahmi commonly cultivated?

This herb is cultivated in many regions like Punjab, Bihar, Bengal, Tamilnadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, and in the foothills of Himachal Pradesh.1

Can brahmi ghrita be used for the treatment of Huntington’s disease?

Huntington’s disease is a type of degenerative disorder that is caused due to the death of neurons. Brahmi ghrita might be used to strengthen the brain and may be effective in preventing Huntington’s disease.2 However, more studies are required to support the use of brahmi ghrita in preventing Huntington’s disease. You should talk to your healthcare provider before using any herbal remedy for your brain.

Can brahmi ghrita be used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a continuous pattern of inattention that interferes with normal functioning or development in home, school, work,etc. Brahmi ghrita may be used effectively in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The effects of a commonly used medicine for ADHD, methylphenidate, were comparable to that of brahmi ghrita. 1 With more human trials, we will be able to find out more about the effects of brahmi ghrita on ADHD. Till then, you are advised to follow doctor’s advice and treatment.

Also Read: Epilepsy Treatment Adherence: Research-Based Guidelines for Effective Management

References:

  1. Prabhakar Manu, Suhas Kumar Shetty, Savitha H P; Critical review on effect of brahmi ghrita in psychiatric disorders. International journal of research in Ayurveda and Pharmacy. 8(1):16-18 Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/314653258_CRITICAL_REVIEW_ON_EFFECT_OF_BRAHMI_GHRITA_IN_PSYCHIATRIC_DISORDERS 
  1. G.S Achliya, SG Wadodkar, AK Dorle; Evaluation of CNS activity of brahmi ghrita. Indian journal of pharmacology. 2005 37(1):33-36 Available from: https://www.ijp-online.com/article.asp?issn=0253-7613;year=2005;volume=37;issue=1;spage=33;epage=36;aulast=Achliya 
  1. Kapil Deo Yadav, Koduru Ramachandra Reddy; Evaluation of brahmi ghita kalpa in ayurvedic literature. Journal of biological and scientific opinion. 2014 2(5):305-309 Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/284449606_EVALUATION_OF_BRAHMI_GHRITA_KALPA_IN_AYURVEDIC_LITERATURE 
  1. Kausubh S, Chaudhari, Nishant R. Tiwari, Rakesh R. Tiwari, Rohan S. Sharms; Neurocognitive effect of nootropic drug brahmi (bacopa monnieri) in Alzheimer’s disease. Annals of neurosciences. 2017 24(2):111-122 Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5448442/ 
  1. Anil Kumar M.V; Clinical effect of brahmi ghrita in selected neuropsychological paradigms in learning disabled children- Case series. International journal of Ayush case reports. 2019 3(2) Available from: https://www.ijacare.in/index.php/ijacare/article/view/93/86 
  1. Srinibash Sahoo, D Sudhakar, Gurucharan Bhuyan, Rakesh Rana, Richa Singhal, Pradeep K Dua, Shruti Khanduri, Babita Yadav; clinical evaluation of brahmi ghrita and jyotishmati taila in the management of cognitive deficit in children. Journal of research in ayurvedic sciences. 2018 2(2):80-89 Available from: https://www.jaypeedigital.com/doi/JRAS/pdf/10.5005/jp-journals-10064-0043 
  1. Pravin Ashok Mali, Dinesh Mali; To evaluate the efficacy of brahma ghrita in the management of vishada (depression). International journal of research in Indian medicine. 2021 5(3) Available from: http://www.ayurline.in/index.php/ayurline/article/view/555/801 
  1. Kapil Deo Yadav, Konduru Ramachandra Reddy; Hepatoprotective activity of brahmi ghrita. International journal of pharmaceutical and biological archives. 2013 4(4):723-726 Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/277285214_Hepatoprotective_Activity_of_Brahmi_ghrita 
  1. Swati Gadgil and Asmita Wele; Drug potentiation with subsequent extraction of biomarker: A case study of brahmi ghrita. Journal of research and education in Indian medicine. 2018 24(3-4):71-80 Available from: https://www.ejmanager.com/mnstemps/82/82-1528784895.pdf?t=1649854871 
  1. Indian council of agricultural research. Prosperity through MAPs cultivation on degraded lands of India. [Internet] Available from: https://icar.org.in/node/8099#:~:text=The%20entire%20plant%20of%20brahmi,hills%20of%20Himachal%20Pradesh%20%26%20Uttaranchal
  1. Role of brahmi ghrita nasya in the prevention of neurodegenerative disorder: Huntington disease. World journal of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences. 6(3): 1264-1270 Available from: https://storage.googleapis.com/journal-uploads/wjpps/article_issue/1488628729.pdf 

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