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How To Grow Brahmi, The Memory Herb

Learn how to grow Brahmi from seeds, cuttings, in water and in pots. Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) benefits for health include brain health and for hair. Brahmi, the memory herb, is native to the wetlands of southern and Eastern India, Asia, Australia, Europe, Africa, and North and South America. It is known by the common names Brahmi, Indian pennywort, water hyssop, thyme-leafed gratiola and herb of grace.

Brahmi Plant, acopa monnieri
Brahmi Plant

Brahmi herb is a perennial, creeping herb, which grows near river banks, ponds or lakes.. It is a popular aquarium plant, and one of the easiest plants to grow. It can also grow in water only. Some calls Brahmi as Gotu Kola, but actually both are different herbs.

Brahmi vs. Gotu Kola Herbs


Brahmi vs Gotu Kola
Brahmi vs. Gotu Kola
Brahmi has smaller, succulent looking leaves.
Gotu Kola has broad, leaves.

Bacopa monniera is referred to as Brahmi in Northern India whereas Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica) or Asiatic pennywort is known as Brahmi in Southern India [1].

Many times Brahmi herb (Bacopa monniera) and Gotu Kolaherb  (Centella asiatica) are referred to as the same herbs or plants. Both are medicinal plants, but actually both are different plants (see the picture above).

Both are ground-cover type plants. The brahmi has smaller, thicker succulent looking leaves, whereas Gotu kola has broad, green leaves.

Both are creeping perennial plants, but brahmi grows small whitish blue five-petaled flowers. Both herbs have cooling effect, Brahmi has a bitter sweet taste. Both the herbs have benefits for the nervous system, support memory and healthy mental function.

How to Propagate Brahmi Plant

Brahmi and Gotu Kola can be propagated by seeds, cuttings and by root division. Root division is the easiest method to propagate Brahmi, simply divide roots and replant.

The Brahmi plant needs constantly moist soil to thrive, so you can use heavy clay type of soil to grow this plant. It likes humus and nutrient-rich soil, though it can grow in sand, mud and even rocky soil. The plant can grow in water only with proper care.

Brahmi plant needs considerably warm temperatures to survive. The plants grow to a height of about 15 cm having small, thick, fleshy leaves. Brahmi produces bloom whiish, blue flowers all year, emitting a pleasant fragrance.

Growing Brahmi From Seeds

  1. Sow Brahmi seeds in Spring to Summer.
  2. Fill a seed raising tray or small pot with free-draining loose soil.
  3. Spread seeds on the surface of the soil, lightly press them. Do not cover seeds with soil as the Brahmi seeds needs light to germinate.
  4. Spray water on soil and cover the pot with a clear polythene sheet to maintain humidity.
  5. Place the pot at a warm place, away from direct sun light.
  6. The seeds germinate at temperature is 25-28 °C. You can place the pot indoors if outside temperature is too low or too high. You can use a heat mat to maintain temperature.
  7. Keep the soil constantly moist but not soggy. The seeds will germinate in 2-3 weeks.
  8. When the seedlings grow 2-3 sets of leaves, transplant them in pots filled with nutrition rich free-draining soil.
  9. Keep young plants warm and moist.

Growing Brahmi from Cuttings

Brahmi cuttings are easy to root. Take cuttings in spring to summer and plant in free-draining potting mix. Keep the soil damp until new growth emerges.

Growing Brahmi in Water

Brahmi plant can easily be gown from cuttings in water. It can even grow in an aquarium, submersed in water to a depth of 20 cm where it will act as an oxygenator in the pond, forming its foliage as floating mats.

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Brahmi Growing in Water
Brahmi Growing in Water


Brahmi Plant Care

Brahmi is an easy to grow and care plant in ponds, water containers and pots. The plant care is quite easy. Follow the tips given below to take care of ypur Bacopa monnieri plant.

Brahmi Growing Conditions

Temperature/ Sun

The Brahmi plant grows well in part or full sun and high humidity. It is a hardy plant that can tolerate a wide range of temperatures from 15 to 27°C (60 to 80°F). It does not tolerate tempertures above 30 °C unless kept moist, US zones 8 to 12.

Watering

The plant prefers consistently moist to wet soil. Water the plant regularly to maintain humid environment, you may need to water the plant daily. Always, remove drained water from the saucer after watering. The plant may die due to dry soil for just a few days.

Fertilizer

The Brahmi plant does not require any fertilizer in the first year, as you have planted it in a nutrient-rich soil. From the second year, fertilize with a nitrogen-rich fertiliser regularly during the growing period, every year. You can use a well-balanced liquide fertiliser. However, brahmi is not a heavy feeder.

If you’re growing brahmi in water, no need to use anyt fertilizer in water, the fertilizer may encourage growth of algae.

Pruning

No pruning is needed. However, some pruning in early spring may encourage more branches and make plant bushy. Remove any dead shoots.

Health Benefits of Brahmi, Brahmi Benefits

Brahmi and Gotu Kola both have been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine to improve memory, sharpen brain and promote overall brain health. 

The Brahmi has numerous health benefits including its effect on our cognitive abilities. It is considered as the best medicine for memory, focus and concentration. It is said to improve memory, improve focus, and helpful in depression, anxiety, stress, high blood pressure, mild insomnia, brain power and skin problems. Brahmi is also used for hair problems.

Research has shown that Brahmi protects the brain from damage caused by oxidative stress and inflammation. Brahmi powder benetits for brain and hair are  well know.



Side Effects of Brahmi

Some people may experience some brahmi side effects such as stomach upset, nausea, or headache. You should consult your doctor before starting Brahmi supplementation.

How to Use Bacopa monnieri

Brahmi is a medicnal plant. Its leaves are harvested all year round, except in winter. The leaves can be added in small quantity in raw to salads, or use them to make tea. Do not eat too much, it may have harmful side effects, such as the breakdown of red blood cells. You should always consult your Doctor, specially if you are pregnant or suffer from thyroid or lung disease.

Brahmi is available in various forms as powder, capsules and liquid extracts. if you have a Brahmi plant, then use its fresh leaves for making Brahmi tea. Simply add fresh Brahmi leaves to hot water to brew a tea.