Bacopa Monnieri

Background

Bacopa monnieri, also known as water hyssop and in Ayurveda  in India “Brahmi”, after Brahmā, the creator God of the Hindu pantheon, is a nootropic herb that has been used in traditional medicine for longevity and cognitive enhancement for thousands of years. Bacopa supplementation can reduce anxiety and improve memory formation. Since Bacopa monnieri is also an adaptogen, after taking, a person may feel relaxed and free from anxiety.[1]  Of all the herbal brain supplements available in the market, Bacopa monnieri is considered to be the closest thing to natural Piracetam and is much stronger than equivalent products.

Benefits

Bacopa Monnieri is one of the most commonly used natural nootropics with proven effects for boosting memory, cognitive ability and brain health. For its having wonderful brain health properties, this plant-derived natural medicine has been widely prescribed to both children and adults to enhance brain power for centuries in India. Bacopa has been used to relieve people of a broad range of mind-related health disorders. The health benefits of Bacopa Monnieri include –

  • Improves cognitive performance [4]
  • Helps people who have Alzheimer’s disease, and epilepsy [5]
  • Reduces anxiety and depression [6]
  • Reduces stress [7]
  • Helps people who have attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms [8]
  • Improves learning and memory [9]
  • Increases creativity [10]
  • Enhances focus [11]
  • Protects brain, kidneys and heart [12]
  • Reduces high blood pressure [13]

Bacopa monnieri is so acceptable that besides being used for the elderly in general, it appears to affect young people as well, making it a useful nootropic. People also take bacopa to relieve them of backache, joint pain, and sexual performance problems in both men and women.[2]

How it works

Bacopa monnieri demonstrates anti-oxidant, hepatoprotective, and neuroprotective activity. It also shows great clinical potential in attenuating dementia via several mechanisms, most notably dose-dependent acetylcholine potentiation and free radical scavenging.
Though bacopa monnieri interacts with the dopamine and serotonergic systems, its main mechanism concerns promoting neuron communication which is caused by enhancing the rate at which the nervous system can communicate by increasing the growth of nerve endings, also called dendrites. It stimulates serotonin and regulates the loss of dopamine.  Together with many other nootropic supplements, these two important hormones regulate mental energy, feelings of joy, calm, and euphoria, and also are responsible for mood enhancement, reducing many symptoms of anxiety.
Bacopa contains an herbal compound called Bacoside A in large amounts, which is important to fast and efficient synaptic communication. Through raising kinase activity in the hippocampus, Bacoside A electrifies the activity of nerve cell receptors, making communication in the brain flow rapidly and form easy connections. Its long-term memory benefits actually come up from this action, in a similar way that Piracetam functions.[3]

Considerations

Like other nootropics, bacopa monnieri may not have any severe side effects. But taking on an empty stomach may cause nausea, cramping, bloating, and diarrhea. Having a slight sedative effect, it is wise not to take bacopa with other known sedatives.

Recommendations

For improving memory and thinking, you are recommended to take Bacopa monnieri in a standard dosage of 300mg, 1-3 times a day, assuming that the total bacoside content (the active compound) is 55% of the extract, by weight. Over dosage might cause problems like deficiencies or withdrawals. Consult your doctor if you want to increase your daily dosage.

Sources