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BACOPA MONNIERA

Brain Health and Nervous System Restorer

The bacopa monniera herb, also known as brahmi, has been used as a traditional Ayurvedic treatment for mental issues, epilepsy, and asthma. A classic brain and nerve tonic, bacopa is a medicinal herb that has been used effectively for several thousand years as a brain and nervous system restorer. In fact, its documented medicinal uses can be traced back to 6th century A.D. 

The herb is known to increase mental clarity and promote improved memory and intelligence. It also assists in heightening mental acuity and supports the physiological processes involved in relaxation. In other words, it can keep you feeling relaxed while also boosting mental clarity, your focus and mood. In fact, bacopa is thought to help nourish neurons as it restores depleted synaptic activity. Studies have indicated that bacopa and bacopa extract can help:

  • Improve memory
  • Enhance episodic memory
  • Increase learning speed and learning capacity
  • Relieve stress and anxiety
  • Support healthy cerebral function
  • Promote awareness and perception
  • Improve concentration and attention span
  • Diminish attention-deficit problems
  • Balance emotional states
  • Nourish and rejuvenate the mind
  • Lower mental fatigue
  • Aid natural weight loss
  • Protect the brain from free-radical damage
  • Help in the handling of increasingly difficult tasks
  • Promote vigilance
  • Inhibit age-related cognitive decline

For example, a 2006 double-blind, randomized study published in the Indian Journal of Psychiatryshowed that the control group taking 125 mg of bacopa extract for 12 weeks had improved memory compared to the placebo group. They concluded that bacopa extract yielded significant improvement in mental control, logical memory, and paired associated learning. What this means is that the subjects could better remember people’s names following introduction, find misplaced objects, and remember telephone numbers. Who doesn’t need more of that?

Another similar study published in 2008 in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicinefound that elderly test subjects who took bacopa extract not only improved memory but decreased depression and anxiety. Overall, the researchers found that the extract is safe and effective for memory and overall well-being. 

Perhaps the most interesting of the many effects of bacopa monniera is its ability to help increase novelty-seeking behavior, an attribute of intelligence associated with increased mental pleasure and increased lifespan.

Speaking of the brain, bacopa monniera has also been studied for its effects on reducing the risk of age-related mental deterioration, including diseases such as Alzheimer's. In one animal study, long-term supplementation with bacosides, an active compound found in bacopa monnieri, showed therapeutic value against the mental degeneration associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

MORE HEALTH BENEFITS

Like most medicinal herbs, Bacopa does more than just help with mental functions. To start, bacopa has antioxidant properties which help provide protection against damage from free radicals. Bacopa may be helpful in preventing and healing stomach ulcers. The herb protects stomach cells and helps stimulate the production of mucus in the gastrointestinal tract, as well as relaxes the muscles that control the intestinal blood vessels. Some studies have also shown that it may help encourage liver function following toxin damage.

And finally, in Ayurvedic medicine, bacopa has been used to help treat and relieve symptoms of allergies and asthma. The herb helps relax bronchioles and the blood vessel muscles around the respiratory airway passages.

 

Resources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22143822
http://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/hn-4019005
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21966114
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3614196

Category: 
Herbs

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