Bacopa monnieri (buh-COH-puh moh-nee-AIR-ee) is an aquatic creeping perennial plant commonly sold to decorate fish tanks; but it can be used for much more than just underwater interior design. It can have a significant effect on cognitive function.
Native to the lush wetlands of South Asia, East Asia, and Australia, Bacopa monnieri has been an essential herb in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. It joins a family of common medicines, Rasayanas, known for their youthful and rejuvenating enhancements, which is why they’ve primarily been prescribed to the elderly community.
However, Bacopa monnieri is also part of the coveted Medhya Rasayana group along with another notorious nootropic, Ashwagandha. The prefix, “medha”, means “mind.” Thus, Medhya Rasayanas are prescribed to people of all age groups needing a mental boost. The list ranges from those recovering old memories to those recovering from brain injuries. Ayurvedic physicians in India have used Bacopa monnieri in combination with other herbs to treat conditions of the mind, such as anxiety, depression, ADHD, and dementia. The herb has also been used for inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis and ulcers.
Bacopa monnieri goes by many names. If you’re buying it in a shop, you can ask for the classic carpeting varieties: moneywort or water hyssop. If you’re researching its extracts, search for bacosides. If you’re talking to an Ayurvedic physician about it, try asking about Brahmi—a nickname based on the Hindu creator god, Brahma. Or if you’re looking for the form of Bacopa monnieri extract, try changing a single letter: Bacopa monniera.
You won’t have to remember all those names to get through our TIPOFF today. But if you wanted to, you should consider taking a dose of Bacopa monnieri to help.
4 Mental Benefits of Bacopa Monnieri:
1. It improves memory: Bacopa Monnieri is the Herb You Can’t Forget. It’ll take more than just a single dose to feel the full effects, but research has shown that regularly taking Bacopa monnieri for eight to twelve weeks can improve your memory.
2. It helps improve concentration: We can train many parts of our bodies, but Bacopa monnieri can help us focus on a soft spot: our eyeballs. Evidence supports that this herb can improve rapid visual information processing and speed of information processing. Translation? You can concentrate on what you’re seeing and comprehend it more quickly.
3. It helps reduce Anxiety and Stress: From the start, you were hooked with the promise of this plant being able to reduce anxiety. Like your hand in the fish tank, let’s dive right in. In patients with anxiety, Bacopa monnieri had an anxiolytic effect, simply meaning an anti-anxiety effect. Participants in clinical trials experienced reduced heart rates and anxiety levels. These physiological effects point to the adaptogen potential of Bacopa monnieri. Note the word “adapt” nestled inside. Adaptogens are classified by their abilities to help us adapt to stress by normalizing the body’s physiological responses to them.
4. It serves as an antidepressive agent: Bacopa monnieri’s calming effect may also be attributed to its modulation of serotonin levels, which Bacopa monnieri has been shown to regulate. Serotonin is the targeted neurotransmitter for the most successful antidepressive agents: the selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (or SSRIs). Antidepressants also often increase the availability of dopamine in synapses, which is another neurotransmitter involved in regulating mood and motivation. Both dopamine and serotonin levels can decline with age, but Bacopa monnieri may be able to mitigate this decline by protecting dopaminergic neurons from death.
From memory to anxiety, supplementing with Bacopa monnieri can be a powerful tool for the mind in conclusion.
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