Ayurveda has always been thought of as a highly effective treatment method for all kinds of medical problems regardless of advancements in the medical field. There seems to be some kind of herb to enhance every function of the body.
The brain is a vital organ of our body and is responsible for all functions of our body, and we, as human beings, have always sought ways to enhance our abilities. It isn’t common to see suffering from problems relating to memory, learning, reasoning, and other cognitive impairments.
Bacopa is one of oldest used nootropic supplements for benefits like stress relief, anxiety relief, memory retention and cognitive enhancement. Bacopa has also been known to aid in other areas of general health such as indigestion, ulcers, and asthma.
Used since the days of traditional ayurvedic medicine, Bacopa is also good for overall brain health, aids with anti-aging, digestive health and mood management. It’s known to enhance clarity of thought and has potential benefits in the treatment of dementia.
What Is Bacopa?
Bacopa is a natural growing medicinal herb native to the wetland areas of southern India, Africa, Asia, Europe, and North and South America. It was first written about in the 6th century in Indian medical works like the Charaka Samhita and the ancient Sanskrit text on medicine and surgery, the Susrut Samhita.
Over the many centuries, since it first appeared in those books, Bacopa has been used for a variety of benefits. More specifically, over the last 50 years, bacopa monnieri has been the focus of much scientific research for its positive effects on memory, brain health and reducing anxiety.
Bacopa is an adaptogen herb that can help with the stabilization of some physiological processes that will ultimately help you to improve your memory retention, sharpen your cognitive focus and relieve varying levels of stress and anxiety.
How Does Bacopa Work?
Bacopa has many nootropic and antioxidant effects that aid in its ability to promote enhances neural communication. Its ability to regulate the release of certain neurotransmitters is what makes it able to clear any “brain fog” and help sharpened your focus.
As you take bacopa, it works to increase memory retention and cognitive learning abilities by improving the synaptic communication’ which is the process passes electrical or chemical signals from one neuron to another.
For anxiety and stress relief, bacopa works well due to its ability to modulate the activity of neurotransmitter receptors, which include ones associated with anxiety and mood management.
Studies have shown that one of the primary active ingredients in bacopa, Bacoside-A, can prevent dopamine receptor dysfunction. Dopamine is a powerful neurotransmitter that works through the body and is responsible for the “pleasure and reward system” of the brain.
What Are the Side Effects of Taking Bacopa?
The most commonly associated side effects of taking bacopa include dry mouth, indigestion, and increased bowel movements. People have reported feeling slightly fatigued when first taking bacopa, but the feeling passes once the body is used to the supplement.
The Benefits of Bacopa
Among the many benefits of bacopa, it has been revered over the years for its age reversing properties in both the mental and physical aspects of one’s life. It was used in the Ayurvedic tradition for thousands of years that helped increase a sense of wholesomeness.
Taking bacopa as a supplement can help increase sharper focus and memory retention, as well as improved overall brain health.
1. Improved Memory Retention
Brahmi has always been considered to be a superb substance for memory. Users of Brahmi have been known to experience long-term effects on memory, improving their power to recall information significantly. The only side effects reported with regular intake have been mild cases of nausea and intestinal distress.
Adding a bacopa supplement can help increase memory function, especially in older adults. In a double-blind study performed, bacopa was the most popular supplement for memory recognition, showing an improvement within weeks of taking.
It significantly increased memory recall in older adults, especially those living with some form of dementia. Currently, studies are being done on the significance bacopa can have as potential treatment options for those with memory-impairing disorders like Alzheimer’s.
Bacopa can also aid memory retention as it aids in increasing blood flow to the brain.
Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine conducted a study in 2008, where one group of elderly patients was given 300 mg of brahmi every day, while the other group was given a placebo. The results were clear. The herb was found to be much more effective, significantly improving the users’ ability to learn auditory verbal information.
This led the researchers to conclude that Bacopa significantly assists the cognitive function of the brain that deals with learning. One of the keys to learning better is also to be able to possess information in the memory, where brahmi seems to be highly effective.
Bacopa possesses active chemical compounds that promote increased communication between the neurons of the brain, resulting in better kinase function; the breaking down of substances used by the brain. With a better kinase function, the brain can repair damaged cells and increase the number of new brain cells created.
Studies show that bacopa can be beneficial for learning faster, even while under stress. Through a study at India’s Central Drug Institute, people that have taken the natural supplement reported having an easier time understanding and recalling new material they’ve learned.
There is evidence that has linked bacopa to the reduction of symptoms in serious illnesses such as Parkinson’s Disease, dementia, and epilepsy. Current studies suggest that bacopa acts via a few of the following mechanisms:
- Anti-oxidant neuroprotection
- Acetylcholinesterase inhibition
- And/or choline acetyltransferase activation
3. Mood Elevation
Among the major benefits of Bacopa monnieri on the brain are its effects on energy, focus and mood concerns. Research has indicated that supplementation of brahmi affects various neurotransmitters in the brain including acetylcholine and serotonin.
These neurotransmitters are responsible for the mood concerns of a person, so the effects help to stabilize the individual’s mood. Also, there have been positive findings when Bacopa monnieri’s effectiveness was tested in supporting spatial memory.
4. Stress Management
One of the most valuable benefits of bacopa is how well it helps to relieve the effects of stress. It produces a feeling of calm and tranquility. Bacopa works well as a general relaxant and can aid in the quality of your sleep, allowing you to feel rested when you wake up.
Bacopa reduces the amount of cortisol and stress in the body, which can lead to that feeling of improved overall health. It also contains powerful pathways that work towards overcoming the effects of stress on the body.
Ability to manage stress is the sign of a healthy brain. Along with the improvement of the cognitive function of the brain, a study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine also showed that users of Bacopa monnieri were found to be in a much happier state of mind.
Their mood was found to be much more stable. One of the reasons for this is decreased heart rates over time, not allowing the body to be over excited. Not only are users of Brahmi less affected by stress, users of this supplement were also better able to cope with stress.
5. Focus and Attention Span
This supplement has been known to function in the same way as piracetam when it comes to increasing focus and concentration. This herb has been known to provide a sense of calmness to the user. Research has shown users to be able to concentrate for longer hours.
One of the reasons the user is able to concentrate better is because brahmi also aids in taking care of anxiety and nervousness. With brahmi, you won’t be overwhelmed by your daily tasks, and thus be able to focus better for longer periods of time.
With age comes a variety of different issues in our cognitive function, memory and more. For centuries, brahmi has been used as a superb herb to help aging adults sustain easier and healthier lives. One report suggested that even adults over 65 years old were able to experience a noticeable boost in their cognitive abilities after regular intake of this herb.
Bacopa is used in holistic medicine today, and for thousands of years before. One of the sought-after benefits it offers are the antioxidants that can protect the brain from all types of stress. By assisting in keeping the brain healthy, it protects against the environmental stressors that are found related to aging, as well as those associated with dementia.
Bacosides, which are constituents responsible for the cognitive effects of bacopa, have been shown to aid in the repair of damaged neurons. The repair occurs through the enhancement of kinase activity, neuronal synthesis, and restoration of synaptic activity.
A study concluded that bacopa monnieri’s neuroprotective effect appeared to be a result of its antioxidant suppression of neuronal oxidative stress and the acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activities.
One of the major causes of schizophrenia is unstable chemicals of the brain. Brahmi is a supplement known to produce excitement in an individual, which leads to stabilization of certain chemicals in the brain. Reports show that stabilization of these chemicals is effective in treating some of the common cognitive impairment issues found in people with schizophrenia. A study showed that daily intake of 500 mg brahmi for a month is enough to produce notable chances.
8. Alzheimer’s Disease
Bacopa monnieri is one of the many herbs that are considered to be effective as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. Bacopa is considered to be effective in boosting cognitive function. The herb’s antioxidant compounds also work on the brain to protect neurons against various issues, including neural oxidative stress associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
This herb also helps to stimulate brain’s own chemicals that prove vital in the protection of nerve cells. Even though there hasn’t been concrete evidence to support this claim, in theory, because this herb helps to tackle problems related to memory and cognitive function, this herb is thought to be effective in the treatment of Alzheimer’s.
Other supplements that can improve brain function while limiting the effects of Alzheimer’s disease is CogniShield, which is a blend of noopept, l-theanine, phenlypiractam, and choline. This would be a great supplement to take in combination since the ingredients are backed by numerous scientific studies and there are few side effects.
Bacoside is one of the active compounds in the brain, which is known to be effective in battling chemical changes linked to epilepsy. This compound helps to maintain the balance of the neurotransmitter. Its effects also involve protecting different areas of the brain responsible for serotonin uptake. Bacopa monnieri seems to assist in maintaining cognitive functions of the brain and also affects behavioral deficits in epileptic patients.
10. Parkinson’s Disease
This disease hampers a person’s ability to produce adequate amount of dopamine in the brain. In other words, this disease effects a person’s happiness and general excitement in life since dopamine is the chemical directly associated with happiness. A few researchers have shown that brahmi could encourage dopamine secretion and prevent degeneration of neurons; however, there hasn’t been concrete evidence to yet support this claim.
11. Aids in the Treatment of Anxiety
Clinical trial results show that Bacopa has the therapeutic properties needed for treating a mixed anxiety-depressive disorder. Reviews of those who took a bacopa supplement for anxiety have said that it allowed them to relax their anxiety and be more social.
12. Bacopa is an Antioxidant & Anti-Inflammatory Aide
In addition to its many benefits, Bacopa is also a powerful antioxidant. It has a protective and healing effect on cells. According to some surveys, bacopa is an effective treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis. It inhibits inflammation through the exertion of a pro-inflammatory mediator release.
How to Take Bacopa
Bacopa is a strong supplement, so starting with a low dosage to and gradually increasing when needed is the best way to introduce any new nootropic into your system.
Available in both capsule and powder form, and because it has can affect your digestion, it is recommended to take with food.
Bacopa monnieri is an amazing herb and it’s been one of the reasons for conventional modern medicines and Ayurvedic wisdom to work together. However, you can’t simply rely on this herb to take care of your brain. It’s merely a nutritional support, and there hasn’t been any concrete evidence to show that brahmi can treat/cure anything.