This herb has been so revered over the years that the Hindus named this herb “Brahmi”, named after their creator god Brahma.
Other names include Water Hyssop, Moneywort, or Herb of Grace. It has been used in the Ayurvedic tradition for several thousand years as a rasayana, to make new again, reversing age-related decline in both the physical and mental realms as well as increasing a sense of wholesomeness.
Bacopa monnieri Helps Concentration and Memory, Increases Neuroprotection and Cerebral Blood Flow, Balances Neurotransmitters Plus Much More
Bacopa Rejuvenates the Mind and Brain
The capabilities of Bacopa for promoting memory recall and other mental functions has been the primary use of the herb for a very long time indeed. Research, though limited, has begun to shed light on how it does this.
One method is through its constituents Bacoside A, jujubogenin and pseudojujubogenin which break down in the body to ebelin lactone and bacogenin A1. These two have been shown to have high blood brain barrier penetration and directly bind to receptor sites that act to increase cognitive and memory prowess.
Bacopa has also been shown to help manage the neurotransmitter balance in the cerebral cortex (specifically of acetylcholine, 5-hydroxytryptamine, and dopamine) and through this process known to moderate epilepsy, among other things.
Another study found very favorable results for the treatment of ADHD in young children of 7 years old. It effectively decreased restlessness and increased concentration and self-control in the previously diagnosed group after 6 months of a daily 225 mg extract.
Current evidence suggests Bacopa increases cerebral blood flow and also reduces β-amyloid plaques (which contribute to Alzheimer’s and dementia). It’s also being looked at for helping in Parkinson’s disease with its dopamine-regulating effects.
Adaptogen and Rasayana
Bacopa could be considered an adaptogen of the highest order. Its anti-stress effects come primarily through its ability to fortify the mind to withstand prolonged mental stress (whatever that may be) and a sound mind translates into less stress throughout the body.
Many physical effects of Bacopa are therefore a rebalancing in reaction to less cortisol in the body. One action is through prevention of neuronal dysfunction through oxidative processes.
This helps the brain recover quicker during sleep which translates to optimal brain performance the following day. A tired mind is a weakened mind. Neurons have been shown to get tired with length of stress and lack of sleep. Bacopa helps prevent tired neurons and their much weaker response to daily stressors, restoring work capacity and thus improving all mental functions.
In addition to helping the mind adapt to stress, Bacopa has been shown to have neuroprotective effects against toxins.
This is important in today’s man-made chemically-saturated world and can help prevent aging of the brain through unseen toxin exposure. In Ayurveda certain Ramayana's target specific organs and so there came to be categories that Ramayana's would be grouped into. A medhya rasayana is a rasayana that targets the mind specifically.
Traditionally, Bacopa has been used for IBS, ulcers as well as other digestive troubles. When combined with other herbs in a paste it would be an important addition to get herbs through to someone dealing with such issues.
Luteolin, a compound in Bacopa has been shown to possess strong anti-microbial effects against the much-feared bacteria Staphylococcus aureus. It was proved to work better than antibiotics at binding to the receptor sites of the cell.
Additionally, certain fungi found in Bacopa were found to possess a powerful cytotoxic (anti-tumor) and an anti-microbe of which are passed along to the rest of the body.
How to Take Bacopa
This powdered extract comes in a 30-gram bag (approximately one ounce).
The recommended dose is 250mg twice a day, morning and night. Each dose is about 1/4th of a teaspoon. At this dose, each bag will last you two months!
For best results you’ll need to take bacopa every day for a couple of months. As an adaptogen, it works better the longer you take it.
That being said this is one that I tend to feel right away and you might too. There’s an immediate amount of focus as the “mental cobwebs” disappear.
It is best to take with food, as bacopa side effects sometimes include upset stomach. Historically, it was typically prepared with ghee, as a fat source can provide better absorption and utilization. Another highly recommended ways to take Bacopa would be in your smoothies.
You can use it as a pick me up anytime you need better concentration and to get work done. Bacopa is great for meditating too!
If you would like a reliable source of good quality
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