Herbs recognized by the identify “brahmi” have an affinity for the nervous system and have a tendency to help reminiscence. There are a couple of totally different herbs that go by this identify, probably the most generally recognized are Bacopa monniera and Centella asiatica. On condition that the identify “brahmi” is utilized to a couple of herb, one could also be left to marvel, “which is the true brahmi?” Is Bacopa monniera the true brahmi? Or is it gotu kola (Centella asiatica)? This put up will evaluate two of the extra extensively used herbs which will go by the alias brahmi: bacopa (Bacopa monniera) and gotu kola (Centella asiatica). After studying this put up, you can be left with a extra clear understanding of bacopa vs gotu kola—the place these two plant allies crossover, the place they diverge, and why brahmi is an apt identify for each.

What’s In a Title? Bacopa vs Gotu Kola 

As talked about above, “brahmi” is the identify given to some totally different herbs and refers back to the female facet of cosmic consciousness. It might even be translated as what provides data of supreme actuality (Dass, 2013; Frawley & Lad, 2001). As well as, brahmi is one other identify for Saraswati, the goddess of arts and letters (Dass, 2013), and can be associated to common, divine consciousness (Banyan Botanicals, 2021).

Although gotu kola could also be known as brahmi (and it definitely has the mind-supportive qualities to help that nickname), my remark is that Bacopa monniera is extra extensively generally known as brahmi in most fashionable ayurvedic texts. Nonetheless, it could not be incorrect to confer with gotu kola as “brahmi.” Some consultants say that Bacopa monniera is extra available in India and different elements of Asia than within the West. For that reason, gotu kola has typically been substituted for Bacopa monniera—and thereby assumed the frequent identify “brahmi” within the West. Nonetheless, different credible sources report that Bacopa monniera is known as “brahmi” in Northern India whereas gotu kola (Centella asiatica) is named “brahmi” in Southern India (Banyan Botanicals, 2021).

Thankfully, each of those herbs are extremely useful and have very comparable properties. Bacopa and gotu kola could also be used for comparable causes, however by understanding the nuances of those two herbs, you may make an optimum, extra focused alternative as to which herb you choose given a specific circumstance.

gotu kola growing in a container

Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica): The Fundamentals

Earlier than we dive into the purposes and subtleties of gotu kola, let’s check out some fundamental data for this plant. As you examine the qualities, visualize a low-growing plant with small spherical leaves. The dimensions, texture, and behavior of gotu kola are a bit just like the widespread floor cowl, floor ivy (Glechoma hederachea) of temperate climates.  

Rasa (style): bitter, candy, astringent
Virya (energetics): cool
Vipak (post-digestive impact): candy (nourishing)

Physique programs: Gotu kola nourishes all of the tissues aside from the shukra dhatu (sexual organs and fluids) (Dass, 2013). 

The place does it develop? Gotu kola is a creeping perennial with broad, inexperienced leaves. It prefers heat climates and damp soil.

Components used: leaf
Dosage: 1-30 grams as infusion. Tincture: 3-15 mL (1:Three in 25% tincture) (Pole, 2013).

gotu kola growing in a pot

Usages for Gotu Kola

Gotu kola has comparable properties and major makes use of to Bacopa monniera (which is what we delve into subsequent), although has stronger diuretic actions and milder nervine actions (Frawley & Lad, 2001). Its vitality is cooling and it is likely one of the finest all-around herbs for pitta imbalances. Specifically, gotu kola balances sadhaka pitta—the facet of pitta that governs the thoughts and mind. Sadhaka pitta additionally governs the processing of ideas and emotions (Dass, 2013).

For pitta-types who expertise mental burnout and fatigue, gotu kola is a good alternative as a rejuvenative. Actually, in Ayurveda it’s thought-about a pitta rasayana, or deeply nourishing, rejuvenative herb that’s ultimate for pitta dosha.

This cool, nutritive herb additionally has an affinity for the pores and skin and connective tissue. Herbalist Maria Noel Groves (2016) affirms its skill to restore collagen, strengthen capillaries, and promote circulation. As well as, gotu kola is indicated for rashes and zits (Dass, 2013).

Moreover, early hair graying and hair loss are related to pitta dosha, and gotu kola is commonly used to help wholesome hair and scalp. For this goal, it may be taken internally in addition to utilized externally as a topical hair oil (Dass, 2013). Take into account gently massaging gotu kola oil (typically formulated in a base of coconut oil) into the scalp and soles of the ft at bedtime to help a relaxed, cool thoughts and wholesome hair and scalp.

close up of a bacopa flower

Bacopa (Bacopa Monniera): The Fundamentals

Bacopa can be a ground-cover sort plant, much like gotu kola, however with smaller, thicker leaves that even look a bit succulent, As well as, bacopa boasts small white five-petaled flowers when it blooms.   

Rasa (style): bitter, candy
Virya (vitality): cooling
Vipaka (post-digestive impact): candy (nourishing)
Physique programs: Bacopa acts on all tissue layers. Bacopa is taken into account a rasayana—deeply rejuvenating herb.

The place does it develop? Search for bacopa, a flowering creeping perennial, alongside boggy rivers and streams in heat, moist, tropical climates.

Components used: aerial elements, complete herb
Dosage: 2-6 grams per day. Recent juice: Three teaspoons per day. Tincture: 5-30 mL (1:5 in 25%) (Pole, 2013).

single bacopa flower growing outside

Usages for Bacopa

Bacopa monniera is beneficial for rebuilding from fatigue, normal weak point, and nervous exhaustion brought on by extra vata dosha (Pole, 2013). As well as, like gotu kola, it helps sadhaka pitta (the pitta dosha of the thoughts). Additionally, equally to gotu kola, bacopa is appropriate for all three doshas. But, its vitality is cool (although not as cool as gotu kola), so is finest mixed with warming herbs and spices when utilized for vata imbalances.

One thing else to contemplate within the utility of bacopa is that it’s a delicate urge for food suppressant. Subsequently, it’s possible you’ll wish to mix bacopa with digestives akin to ginger, black pepper, and cardamom. Conversely, gotu kola gently stimulates the urge for food. Additionally, bacopa is beneficial as a relaxant for your entire nervous system. Thus, it could be taken for tense muscle mass, menstrual ache, and constipation (Pole, 2013).

Additionally, talking from private expertise, bacopa is an extremely bitter herb—and this remark comes from somebody who usually enjoys bitter-tasting meals and herbs! Subsequently, in case you are taking bacopa as an infusion, it’s possible you’ll wish to stability its extraordinarily bitter, astringent style with a little bit of milk and honey.

Bacopa is a medhya, which means it helps reminiscence (Dass, 2001), and a nootropic (Banyan Botanicals, 2021). It’s also a nervine, calming adaptogen, and could also be helpful for anxiousness, despair, Alzheimer’s, insomnia, and even mind trauma restoration (Groves, 2016; Frawley & Lad, 2001). Dr. Vasant Lad and Dr. David Frawley (2001), famend ayurvedic practitioners and authors, write this of bacopa, “It improves reminiscence and aids in focus…it is a crucial meals for yogis and improves meditation” (p. 240).

Bacopa can be helpful for cussed pores and skin circumstances, doubtless partly as a result of its skill to cleanse the blood and liver and to help the immune system (Frawley & Lad, 2001). Nonetheless, in comparison with gotu kola, it’s a stronger nervine and has a weaker affinity for the pores and skin, hair, and connective tissue.

In Closing,

In looking for the true brahmi, it could be comforting to know that each of those herbs are splendidly nourishing for the nervous system, help reminiscence and wholesome psychological perform, and maybe each should be known as “brahmi.” Gotu kola is barely extra cooling than bacopa, so it’s ultimate for pitta dosha, however each herbs have an total cooling impact and are appropriate for all three doshas given the suitable formulation. Additionally, although each of those herbs act on the pores and skin, gotu kola is extra extensively used for points that pertain to the pores and skin and hair. And, bacopa is a barely stronger nervine. But, in the long run, in case you are on the lookout for a plant ally that reinforces reminiscence and nourishes the nervous system and thoughts, there isn’t any want to fret about which is the true brahmi—each bacopa and gotu kola are wonderful selections.

In Search of the True Brahmi: Bacopa vs Gotu Kola | Herbal Academy | After reading this post, you will be left with a more clear understanding of bacopa vs gotu kola and why brahmi is an apt name for both.


Banyan Botanicals. (2021). The advantages of bacopa. Retrieved from https://www.banyanbotanicals.com/information/crops/ayurvedic-herbs/bacopa-benefits/

Dass, V. (2013). Ayurvedic herbology East & West: A sensible information to ayurvedic natural medication. Twin Lakes, WI: Lotus Press.

Frawley, D., & Lad, V. (2001). The yoga of herbs: An ayurvedic guide to herbal medicine. Twin Lakes, WI: Lotus Press.

Groves, M. (2016). Body into balance: An herbal guide to holistic self-care. North Adams, MA: Storey Publishing.

Pole, S. (2013). Ayurvedic medicine: The principles of traditional practice. Philadelphia, PA: Singing Dragon.

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