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May 26, 2019
Brahmi has been used for thousands of years for its incredible medicinal properties. While its use is common in Eastern culture, it is now gaining popularity in the West as well. Brahmi has often been considered one of the most important Ayurvedic herbs, with its presence being found in original Ayurvedic texts.¹
Brahmi goes by several names. Brahmi-buti is the traditional Hindi name for the plant, while its more widely known name is Gotu Kola. Its scientific name is Centella Asiatica. It is typically grown in the wetlands of Asia, but can be grown in other temperate climates as well.
All parts of the herb are used for medicinal purposes and in some cultures, it is also used as an ingredient for culinary dishes. Throughout the years, Brahmi has been used to treat bacterial and viral infections such as a urinary tract infection or the common cold, fatigue, headaches, ADHD, stomach pain, wound healing, to reduce the appearance of stretch marks, and many others.²
It’s mainly made up of saponins (also referred to as triterpenoids). These triterpenoids have been found to be very useful in wound healing due to their effect on collagen production.³ In addition, saponins have been proven to exhibit antimicrobial properties that protect the body from bacteria and viruses as well as acting as antioxidants to reduce oxidative stress.⁸
In addition to its many medical uses, Brahmi has also been used to aid in hair growth. Now, scientific studies are emerging to support the claims that traditional Ayurvedic herbalists have made about the plant for years.
The Effects on the Dermal Papilla
Androgenic alopecia is the most common form of alopecia. Alopecia itself is baldness, and androgenic relates to the overabundance of specific androgens (testosterone-based hormones) within the body. These hormones inhibit the hair growth cycle which results in baldness.
Hair follicles are the production centers of hair growth, and they consist of several different “parts.” The dermal papilla, the base region of the hair bulb, is one of the most pivotal in creating growth. Scientific studies showed that those who suffered from alopecia often had very small dermal papilla, and the use of a concentrated dose of Brahmi increased the size of these papillae, thus resulting in the improved chances for hair regrowth.⁴
In a 2011 study published by the International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, scientists utilized several Ayurvedic herbs in an ointment to test their effects on hair regrowth. In it, the extract from the fruits of Amalaki, or Emblica Officinalis, Brahmi leaf, or Centella Asiatica, Aloe Vera leaf extract, Tulasi, or Ocimum sanctum leaf, and Eclipta Alba were used individually as well as combined in a polyherbal blend. The experiment was not only to determine the potential for hair regrowth but also whether or not any of the ingredients could potentially cause skin irritation.
The different serums and the polyblend serum were applied to shaved albino rodents, and the scientists tested skin irritation, hair length, hair density, and also hair protein levels. After a 72-hour period observing the applied serum on the skin, no irritation was documented. Overall, the best results in all these categories were from the herbal polyblend, but in the single serums, the tests revealed that Brahmi showed the greatest increase in hair length and density.
Brahmi has also been documented in scientific studies to increase the body’s production of type-1 collagen which is used to form hair and skin cells. This increase in collagen production also plays a vital role in its ability to aid in wound healing, and may also be the reason Brahmi has been proven to reduce the scaly scalp effect from psoriasis..²
In order for cells to regenerate, adequate blood flow is needed. Blood transports oxygen and other essential nutrients to the multiple production centers in the human body, including the hair follicles. Scientific studies have displayed Brahmi’s ability to decrease venous insufficiency, which has an overall increased effect on the health of the body. Hair cells are the fastest generating cells the body, and thus need adequate nutrients through increased blood flow in order to grow and maintain healthy hair.²
The use of Brahmi has been well-documented throughout the years and always toted as one of the greatest herbs in Ayurvedic medicine, and scientific studies are rapidly proving the centuries-long beliefs of Ayurvedic practitioners.
Science has proven an increase in collagen production, an increase in the size of the dermal papillae, a decrease in venous insufficiency, as well as an increase in the length and density of hair when used as a singular serum. Utilizing this tool in a daily beauty regiment by use of homemade masks or rinses or by buying an all-organic shampoo like Ayur Luxe will do wonders to help on the way to a healthy head of hair.
“Gotu Kola For Hair Loss | 4 [Medically Proven] Hair Benefits.” Hairlossrevoultion, www.harilossrevoltion.com/gotu-kola/¹
“Gotu Kola: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, and Warning.” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-753/gotu-kola.²
Gohil, Kashmira J, et al. “Pharmacological Review on Centella Asiatica: A Potential Herbal Cure-All.” Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Medknow Publications, 2010, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3116297/.³
“Titrated Extract of Centella Asiatica Increases Hair Inductive Property through Inhibition of STAT Signaling Pathway in Three-Dimensional Spheroid Cultured Human Dermal Papilla Cells.” Taylor & Francis, www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09168451.2017.1385383.⁴
Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, M. (2016, July 23). Can stress make you lose your hair? Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/expert-answers/stress-and-hair-loss/faq-20057820⁵
“Figure 2f from: Irimia R, Gottschling M (2016) Taxonomic Revision of Rochefortia Sw. (Ehretiaceae, Boraginales). Biodiversity Data Journal 4: e7720. Https://Doi.org/10.3897/BDJ.4.e7720.” doi:10.3897/bdj.4.e7720.figure2f.⁶
Centella asiatica. (2019, February 22). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centella_asiatica⁷
Picincu, Andra. “What Are the Health Benefits of Saponins?” Healthy Eating | SF Gate, 6 Dec. 2018, healthyeating.sfgate.com/health-benefits-saponins-9131.html.⁸
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