Bacopa Monnieri Leaf & Herbal Extract – The Most Powerful Brain Health Supplement?

Bacopa Monnieri Herbal Supplement and Extract Effects on Memory, Anxiety and Brain Health

When searching for the single most powerful natural supplement for brain health, better thinking, sharper focus, and improved memory retention a darn good place to begin that search would be the one plant named after the Hindu god of creation.

Brahmā, the Hindu god of creation,  has been worshiped and written about for over 7,000 years.  According to Hindu religion Brahmā is responsible for all creation.  So having been named after the Hindu god of creation, Bacopa Monnieri or Brahmi as it is also known as comes with some great expectations.

Let’s see if it lives up to those expectations…

In traditional Ayurvedic treatments bacopa has been the go-to treatment for epilepsy, asthma, ulcers, tumors, inflammation, and even leprosy. The reason you see it used for such a wide variety of treatments is that it tends to show positive effects for a wide assortment of ailments.

Specifically, in the last 50 years, Bacopa monnieri has been the focus of a great deal of scientific research on brain health, memory improvement, cognitive enhancement, and anxiety reduction.  This recent science is pointing to bacopa monnieri as one of the most powerful and natural nootropic substances you can find. We would speculate this is why you see it used in such a wide variety of traditional treatments.

When you heal the brain, all your other body systems tend to work better. So, because bacopa has such beneficial effects on the brain you also see lots of subsequent health improvements.

Some of the recent science behind bacopa has been testing to see the beneficial effects (if any) on dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, memory improvement, anxiety reduction, and help with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The results we will discuss below look very promising.

What is Bacop Monnieri

Be careful not to confuse brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) with gotu kola and other natural medicines that are also sometimes called brahmi.  They are not the same plant, nor have the same amazing benefits.

Bacopa monnieri thrives in soggy, bog-like conditions and is a creeping, perennial herb found growing in wetlands around the globe. The plant’s extensive use over the last 7,000+ years has seen it be referred to as waterhyssop, brahmi, thyme-leafed gratiola, water hyssop, herb of grace, and Indian pennywort.

You will find bacopa used extensively in the world’s two oldest health practices; Ayurvedic medicine and Traditional Chinese medicine. It is very easy to conclude some basic assumptions about the effectiveness and safety of the herb from these two ancient medical practices. Both are thousands of years old and continue to be leaders in health and medical practices.

So What Makes Bacopa Monnieri Such A Powerful Nootropic?

First and foremost, bacopa is a natural growing herb. We tend to prefer nature’s solutions over our man-made counterparts.

Bacopa has two powerful pathways towards better brain health and increased brain functioning.

The first is that bacopa is considered an adaptogen. You can think of adaptogen as any ingredient or chemical which helps your body overcome the effects of stress.

The second pathway is the ability of the bacosides (the active chemical compounds found in bacopa) to help improve the ability of your brain’s neurons to communicate. Bacosides also help promote better kinase functioning in your brain (the enzyme process of breaking down substances to be used by your brain cells). Think of protein kinases as the hallway monitor for your brain. They are the key regulators of cellular functioning.

With improved protein kinases you get help in repairing damaged brain cells and a boost in the creation of new brain cells which ultimately pays off with increased nerve impulse transmission (all hands on deck and working hard).

The combination of these two massive benefits unique to this prolific, but unknown plant make it one of the leading natural treatments for improved cognitive functioning.

 Bacopa Monnieri Reviews From Around The Web:

“My initial experience with Bacopa was pleasantly relaxing. I felt a little buzzed, tired, and my inhibitions generally low anyways, completely disappeared. When I would hang out with friends I would feel as though I was little drunk, and I often felt a subtle body high or euphoria. My dreams were incredibly vivid. I would fall asleep instantly, and wake up with what felt like lifetimes of incredibly vivid and exciting dreams every morning.”

“Bacopa did the opposite for me. I used to have fatigue and now it’s gone.”

“I’ve been taking bacopa everyday for a while now. It has helped my anxiety quite a bit. My memory has increased a fair bit. Both short term and long term memory.”

“Holy sh*t. I’ve been taking bacopa for about a week and the “emotional side” of me has come out of me so much that it’s almost weird. Definitely no placebo.”

“It worked great and gave me a clear mind + less stress + more energy.”

“I am pretty impressed by this nootropic. It has been far more effective than any previous nootropic I have tried (piracetam, aniracetam, dmae-the epileptic hypomania trigger, ALCAR).”

“Not like it is turning me into a real (or imagined…) genius but rather it´s giving me a stable good mood, more goal oriented thoughts, a relaxed way of reasoning, more friendly, social and positive in general.”

“Bacopa give me a more stable goal oriented mood, which in the end helps me get more done and am happier about doing it.”

“…in fact, like many people have stated, it’s one of the few supplements where i can be certain of the effects it’s having – increased clarity, focus, inner peace etc. only problem is i feel almost *too* calm, almost to the point of complete self-sufficiency.”

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Can Bacopa Monnieri Help Improve Memory?

Bacopa’s primary role in helping improve your memory is by enhancing the way your brain communicates. Primarily, the bacosides delivered from bacopa help with the growth and repair of your brain’s nerve endings called dendrites. With more and better performing dendrites your brain’s ability to retain and recall memories should improve.

Bacopa also has a great effect on reducing anxiety and the incredibly harmful effects of chronic stress on your brain. We believe this is one of the most dangerous symptoms facing the world’s population today.

Further in the scientific literature review you can read about the results of several studies specifically researching bacopa monnieri and improved memory functioning.

Other Benefits of Bacopa

Having been a cornerstone treatment in Ayurvedic medicine for more than 70 centuries, bacopa could quite possibly been used to treat just about every ailment out there. Our theory is that the herb primarily helps improve brain health which in turn helps improve every other system in your body.

Specifically though, bacopa has been studied to help with:

Bacopa and Liver Health

Bacopa and Neonatal Hypoglycemia

Bacopa Helps with Opioid Dependence

Bacopa Encourages Normal Blood Pressure

Bacopa as a Strong Antioxidant

Epilepsy and Bacopa

Bacopa as a Treatement for Bronchitis and Asthma

Side Effects and Adverse Reactions To Bacopa Monnieri

We have seen that bacopa is a very powerful plant used for thousands and thousands of years. Because of the diverse use of this plant across ages, races, and health situations there is a good body of knowledge around side effects and adverse reactions to bacopa.

As with any herbal and medical treatment, we strongly encourage you to consult with your physician before taking any supplements! Every human is different and has a unique biology which will react differently to any ingestion of chemicals (both naturally occurring and man-made).

That being said, the worst side effects reported from taking bacopa seem to be around upsetting your intestinal tract. Increased bowel movements, a bit of nausea, cramping, or bloating may occur. And the simplest way to avoid these side-effects would be to ingest the herb with food (always a good idea with most supplements).

We have also seen reports that the beneficial effects of reducing anxiety can also be exaggerated and be overly sedative.

If you experience any of these side effects they tend to go away almost immediately with discontinued use of bacopa.

There is one study we could find on adult male mice which looked at the effects of Brahmi on fertility. The study found that the treatment on mice resulted in a reversible suppression of spermatogenesis without any apparent toxic effects.

The only other negative we could find about bacopa monnieri is that studies indicate that it is not immediately effective. Studies set expectations for the herb at least 4-6 weeks  with even better results seen after 8-12 weeks. If you are looking for a stimulant type effect, bacopa is not the supplement you are looking for.

Scientific Studies and Reviews of Bacopa Monnieri

The following are just a few of the scientific research and literature you can find on bacopa. We have extracted the conclusions from the papers for you.

Chronic effects of Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) on human memory.
Conclusion: “The results show a significant effect of the Brahmi on a test for the retention of new information. Follow-up tests showed that the rate of learning was unaffected, suggesting that Brahmi decreases the rate of forgetting of newly acquired information.”

Neurophychopharmacology

Neurophychopharmacology

An Acute, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Cross-over Study of 320 mg and 640 mg Doses of Bacopa monnieri (CDRI 08) on Multitasking Stress Reactivity and Mood
Conclusion: “Change from baseline scores indicated positive cognitive effects, notably at both 1 h post and 2 h post BM consumption on the Letter Search and Stroop tasks, suggesting an earlier nootropic effect of BM than previously investigated. There were also some positive mood effects and reduction in cortisol levels, pointing to a physiological mechanism for stress reduction associated with BM consumption. It was concluded that acute BM supplementation produced some adaptogenic and nootropic effects that need to be replicated in a larger sample and in isolation from stressful cognitive tests in order to quantify the magnitude of these effects.”

Phytotherapy Research - Doses of Bacopa monnieri (CDRI 08) on Multitasking Stress Reactivity and Mood

Phytotherapy Research – Doses of Bacopa monnieri (CDRI 08) on Multitasking Stress Reactivity and Mood

Meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials on cognitive effects of Bacopa monnieri extract
Conclusion:”This meta-analysis suggests that Bacopa monnieri has the potential to improve cognition, particularly speed of attention but only a large well designed ‘head-to-head’ trial against an existing medication will provide definitive data on its efficacy on healthy or dementia patients using a standardized preparation.”

Journal of Ethnopharmacology - cognitive effects of Bacopa monnieri extract

Journal of Ethnopharmacology – cognitive effects of Bacopa monnieri extract

The Cognitive-Enhancing Effects of Bacopa monnieri: A Systematic Review of Randomized, Controlled Human Clinical Trials
Conclusion:”There is some evidence to suggest that Bacopa improves memory free recall with evidence for enhancement in other cognitive abilities currently lacking perhaps due to inconsistent measures employed by studies across these cognitive domains. Research into the nootropic effects of Bacopa is in its infancy, with research still yet to investigate the effects of Bacopa across all human cognitive abilities. ”

The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine - The Cognitive-Enhancing Effects of Bacopa monnieri

The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine – The Cognitive-Enhancing Effects of Bacopa monnieri

Bacopa monniera, a reputed nootropic plant: an overview
Conclusion: “Therefore, in view of the important activities performed by this plant, investigation must be continued in the recently observed actions described in this paper. Moreover, other clinical studies have to be encouraged, also to evidence any side effects and possible interactions between this herbal medicine and synthetic drugs.”

Phytomedicine - Bacopa monniera, a reputed nootropic plant

Phytomedicine – Bacopa monniera, a reputed nootropic plant

Chronic effects of Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) on human memory.
Conclusion: “The results show a significant effect of the Brahmi on a test for the retention of new information.”

Pubmed - Chronic effects of Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) on human memory

Pubmed – Chronic effects of Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) on human memory

Neuropharmacological Review of the Nootropic Herb Bacopa monnieri
Conclusion: “Adverse side effects of BM are rarely reported in humans. The most commonly reported and statistically significant symptoms are nausea, increased intestinal motility, and gastrointestinal upset. It is critical that long-term hematological studies be conducted with humans. In animal models, however, toxicity has been more precisely described.”

Neuropharmacological Review of the Nootropic Herb Bacopa monnieri

Neuropharmacological Review of the Nootropic Herb Bacopa monnieri

Does Bacopa monnieri improve memory performance in older persons? Results of a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial.
Conclusion: “Bacopa significantly improved memory acquisition and retention in healthy older Australians. This concurs with previous findings and traditional use.”

Does Bacopa monnieri improve memory performance in older persons?

Does Bacopa monnieri improve memory performance in older persons?

Effects of a standardized Bacopa monnieri extract on cognitive performance, anxiety, and depression in the elderly: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.
Conclusion:”This study provides further evidence that B. monnieri has potential for safely enhancing cognitive performance in the aging.”

Effects of a standardized Bacopa monnieri extract on cognitive performance, anxiety, and depression in the elderly

Effects of a standardized Bacopa monnieri extract on cognitive performance, anxiety, and depression in the elderly

Examining the nootropic effects of a special extract of Bacopa monniera on human cognitive functioning: 90 day double-blind placebo-controlled randomized trial.
Conclusion:”The Bacopa monniera product significantly improved performance on the ‘Working Memory’ factor, more specifically spatial working memory accuracy.”

Effects of a standardized Bacopa monnieri extract on cognitive performance, anxiety, and depression in the elderly

Effects of a standardized Bacopa monnieri extract on cognitive performance, anxiety, and depression in the elderly

Randomized controlled trial of standardized Bacopa monniera extract in age-associated memory impairment.
Conclusion: “produced significant improvement on mental control, logical memory and paired associated learning during the 12-week drug therapy.”

Bacopa monniera extract in age-associated memory impairment

Bacopa monniera extract in age-associated memory impairment

The chronic effects of an extract of Bacopa monniera (Brahmi) on cognitive function in healthy human subjects.
Conclusion: “These findings suggest that B. monniera may improve higher order cognitive processes that are critically dependent on the input of information from our environment such as learning and memory.”

Bacopa monniera extract in age-associated memory impairment

Bacopa monniera extract in age-associated memory impairment

And on, and on, and on…

Does Bacopa Monnieri Live Up To The Hype?

I think you can see now why bacopa or Brahmā was named after the Hindu god of creation, right? This potent brain herb has been used for thousands of years to treat any number of ailments. What is most exciting is the research into cognitive improvements when taking the supplement.

For this reason, we have chosen bacopa monnieri as the lead ingredient in our incredible daytime formula MindBoost Day.

Your Experience?

Have you tried bacopa monnieri?

Have questions about the supplement?

Leave your experiences, questions, and comments below and our research team will answer them for you.

 

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