Bacopa Monnieri: India's Wonder Herb

History of Bacopa Monnieri

Bacopa Monnieri, also known as Brahmi or simply Bacopa, is a herb native to northeastern and southern regions of India. It is a perennial herb that has existed for many years. 

Bacopa Monnieri has been used in traditional Ayurveda for centuries. Ayurveda is one of the world's oldest holistic medicine systems. Developed more than 3,000 years ago, it has been widely used in the Indian region. Ayurveda is founded upon the belief that health and wellness depend upon the balance between the mind, body, and spirit. In Ayurvedic use, Bacopa Monnieri was a medicine for combating stress and improving memory.

Bacopa - Taj Mahal

Benefits of Bacopa Monnieri

Bacopa Monnieri is said to enhance cognitive performance and learning abilities. A 2008 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, found that healthy elderly participants who were given 300 mg of Bacopa Monnieri for 12 weeks showed improvements in their cognitive performance. Notably, the study showed participant improvement in word recall and reduced anxiety.

While the majority of research conducted thus far depicts Bacopa Monnieri’s benefits on long-term memory, it may also be beneficial for short-term memory, focus, concentration and motivation. Studies have found Bacopa Monnieri to be effective in alleviating the symptoms of ADHD. This type of information is valuable for those that may not want to go down the Ritalin, Adderall, and other prescription drug route, rather choosing to attain similar benefits from a natural source.

Bacopa Monnieri interacts with neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, but its primary mechanism is to promote neuron communication. Bacopa does this by enhancing the communication rate of the nervous system, by increasing the growth of nerve endings. 

Bacopa Monnieri is also an antioxidant. Bacopa provides protection against oxidative damage, which is a type of cellular damage that’s caused by free radicals. Oxidative stress can be known to play a significant role in the onset of depression. It is believed the high antioxidant content of Bacopa Monnieri may contribute to its antidepressant effect. 

Indian Wetlands - Bacopa

Summary

The fact that this creeping herb has been used for centuries in civilisation tends to show us that it serves a purpose in society. Along with this, science has caught up with the history of Bacopa Monnieri, to illustrate that there are immense benefits in supplementing with this herb. This is the reason we’ve made Bacopa Monnieri one of the main active ingredients in our multi-nootropic supplement VitaMIND.

 

References:

  1. Calabrese, C., Gregory, W. L., Leo, M., Kraemer, D., Bone, K., & Oken, B. (2008). Effects of a Standardized Bacopa monnieriExtract on Cognitive Performance, Anxiety, and Depression in the Elderly: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine,14(6), 707-713. doi:10.1089/acm.2008.0018

  2. Dave, U. P., Dingankar, S. R., Saxena, V. S., Joseph, J. A., Bethapudi, B., Agarwal, A., & Kudiganti, V. (2014). An open-label study to elucidate the effects of standardized Bacopa monnieri extract in the management of symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in children. Retrieved August 20, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24682000

  3. Kean, J., Kaufman, J., Lomas, J., Goh, A., White, D., Simpson, D., . . . Stough, C. (2015). A Randomized Controlled Trial Investigating the Effects of a Special Extract of Bacopa monnieri (CDRI 08) on Hyperactivity and Inattention in Male Children and Adolescents: BACHI Study Protocol (ANZCTRN12612000827831). Nutrients,7(12), 9931-9945. doi:10.3390/nu7125507

  4. Mannan, A., Abir, A. B., & Rahman, R. (2015). Antidepressant-like effects of methanolic extract of Bacopa monniera in mice. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine,15(1). doi:10.1186/s12906-015-0866-2

  5. Shinomol, G. K., & M. (2011). Bacopa monnieri modulates endogenous cytoplasmic and mitochondrial oxidative markers in prepubertal mice brain. Phytomedicine,18(4), 317-326. doi:10.1016/j.phymed.2010.08.005

Cover Photo Credit: Forest & Kim Starr

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