Bacopa Monnieri’s nootropic and medicinal benefits were first revealed in ancient Ayurvedic (Indian medicine) texts. Bacopa was traditionally consumed by students to help memorize long passages of text and enhance cognition. Bacopa is also called ‘Brahmi’, named after the Hindu god ‘Brahma’ who is known in Hindu mythology as the ‘Creator of the universe’.
Bacopa - The Ayurvedic brain tonic
Bacopa’s two active components are bacosides A and B. They improve the interconnectivity of the impulses between neurons in your brain. Bacosides also help repair damaged neurons. Bacopa increases levels of neurotransmitters acetylcholine and serotonin which leads to improvement in mood, memory, and cognition.
The thinking person’s herb – Let’s look at the evidence!
Reduced anxiety: Research at IIT-BHU in India showed Bacopa is as effective as the benzodiazepine drug lorazepam. One of the side effects of lorazepam is memory loss. Bacopa Monnieri on the other hand, reduced anxiety, improved memory while boosting cognition. Bacopa modulates serotonin levels in the brain that leads to an anxiolytic effect.
Improved cognition: At Swinburne University in Australia, a double-blind placebo-controlled investigation was done where 107 healthy participants were given 300 mg of Bacopa Monnieri extract for 90 days. After 90 days, the people who took B. Monnieri extract showed significant improvement in spatial memory, memory accuracy and their ability to process visual information.
Stress reducer: At Swinburne University of Technology in Australia, a double-blind, placebo-controlled cross-over study was conducted where 17 healthy participants were given Bacopa extract. The study reported significant mood improvement, and decreased levels of cortisol.
Brain longevity: Research shows that Bacopa Monnieri can protect you from toxins that are harmful to your brain. It prevents the buildup of toxins between and inside neurons and prevents damage to the hippocampus which is the part of your brain critical for learning, memory, and cognitive power.
Bacopa is an incredible addition to your daily coffee ritual that can take your cognitive abilities to the next level.References
- Stough C., Downey L.A., Lloyd J., Silber B., Redman S., Hutchison C., Wesnes K., Nathan P.J. “Examining the nootropic effects of a special extract of Bacopa monniera on human cognitive functioning: 90 day double-blind placebo-controlled randomized trial.” Phytotherapy Research2008 Dec;22(12):1629-34
- Benson S., Downey L.A., Stough C., Wetherell M., Zangara A., Scholey A. “An acute, double-blind, placebo-controlled cross-over study of 320 mg and 640 mg doses of Bacopa monnieri (CDRI 08) on multitasking stress reactivity and mood.” Phytotherapy Research2014 Apr;28(4):551-9.
- Jansson E.T. “Aluminum exposure and Alzheimer’s disease.”Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease2001 Dec;3(6):541-549.
- Calabrese N.D., Gregory W.L., Leo M., Kraemer D., Bone K., Oken B. “Effects of a Standardized Bacopa monnieri Extract on Cognitive Performance, Anxiety, and Depression in the Elderly: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial” Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine2008 Jul; 14(6): 707–713.
- Bhattacharya S.K., Ghosal S. “Anxiolytic activity of a standardized extract of Bacopa monniera: an experimental study.” Phytomedicine. 1998 Apr;5(2):77-82