Resembling the shape of our brain, these cute little curly leaves provides vital nutrients for our Brain. Do you want to know how?.........keep reading
Before talking more about this Vallarai Keerai (in Tamil), let me first clarify the biggest question surrounding this herb .... "Is this Brahmi?". Becuase, if you search for the word "Brahmi" you can see a different herb popping up in search results.
"Brahmi" has been used to call two different herbs having similar properties.
The first Brahmi is called as Neer Vallarai in Tamil and the botanical name is "Bacopa Monnieri", whereas the second Brahmi/ Vallarai is called as "Centella Asiatica". If you go to a local market and ask for Brahmi, the probability of getting second Brahmi "Centella Asiatica" is more than the first one. The first Brahmi/Neer Vallarai/ "Bacopa Monnieri" is mostly used in Ayurvedic medicines than in culinary in India.
We are now going to discuss the health benefits of Brahmi/Gotu Kola/Vallarai,
1) This excellent brain booster enhances the cognitive memory by eliminating depression and poor memory. Also beneficial in Alzheimer's disease and mental well-being of a child.
2) Vallarai is the best herb to cure poor blood circulation and also reduces the risk of Heart Stroke.
3) Solves most of the skin related problems like Eczema, Acne, Ulcers, etc.
4) A good herb for Diabetes people too.
The other benefits include, can effectively cure cold and flu, nourishment to nerves, removes toxins from your body, beneficial in leg cramps and fatigue, heals wounds, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and much more.
If you are Pregnant women or lactating mother, it is better to consult your physician before consuming this herb. Yes, this herb has a big list of health benefits but it is not recommended for long term use.
Remember those popular Tamil quotes "Alavukku minjinal Amirthamum naju", that means "consuming an excess of anything is not good". The same applies to Vallarai, consuming excess may cause some side effects like Nausea, headache, and dizziness
To start with, in Hindhi it is called as Brahmi booti, in Bengali it is called as Thankuni, Ekpaani in Konkani, Brahmi in Marathi, Vallarai keerai in Tamil, Kudangal in Malayalam, Saraswati aku in Telugu and Ondelaga in Kannada.
What is so special about these tiny leaves?
This not so favorite green, gives immense health benefits and the top most is "it acts as a natural memory booster". Having called as "Indian Penny Wort" in English, this plant is a perennial plant and also a medicinal herb in Ayurveda.
What dishes can be prepared using this Vallarai Leaves?
The leaves of Vallarai are tender and cooks fast. You can prepare many varieties of dishes using these leaves like chutneys, Dosa, koottu, raita, Sambar, stir fries, soup, Rice mix powder, etc.
What are the forms of Vallarai available in the market?
You can see Vallarai as leaves, powders, pills/capsules, tonics, oils and teas available in the market. Our first choice should be the fresh tender leaves, but you are going to put in a lot of struggle to grab one for you. If you are not able to catch the fresh leaves, you can try other forms to achieve its benefits.
Can I grow Vallarai at home?
A wonderful question which I love to reply happily. Yes, you can. These herbs can grow easily in a shallow pot and all it takes is your small amount of time to water them daily.