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Refining the Mind Brahmi: An Herb Review By Nicholas Sullivan

Introduction

Described by Swami Sivananda as “… a brain tonic par excellence.” and “… possessed of peerless therapeutic values,” brahmi has been used for centuries to strengthen the mind, purify the body and even enhance communion with the divine. 1,2 Given the Latin name of Bacopa monnieri, the herb’s Sanskrit title only further indicates its greatness, originating from the Sanskrit term Brahman. Brahman translates to “the totality of life” but the word also denotes a knowledge of that totality. Wendy Weissner describes it well when she states, “The reference to Brahma… suggests that this herb represents the creative energy of this universe, with the ability to facilitate divine consciousness.” 3 Other translations of brahmi include “What gives knowledge of Brahman or Supreme Reality” and “That which expands consciousness.” 4 Other names have been given to the esteemed plant as well, such as Suresta (liked by the gods), Divy (divine) and Saraswati (the goddess of learning). 5 While the ancient receivers of Ayurvedic knowledge understood the importance of this humble succulent, the Western scientific community is only beginning to scratch the surface with promising studies on its effectiveness in treatment of neurological disorders. 6,7 

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About the Student Research Papers

The papers published on our website have been written by students of the California College of Ayurveda as a part of their required work toward graduation. After reviewing each paper, Dr. Halpern selects those papers that he feels are appropriate to publish. The information in each paper should not be construed as the final word on any subject nor should it be assumed that errors do not exist.