11 Surprising Benefits of Bacopa or Brahmi in Your Everyday Life

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Bacopa improves your memory and information retention, it protects and nourishes the brain, balances the immune system, promotes adhd treatment and works as an anti-depressant are some of the health benefits.

Bacopa (Bacopa monnieri) or moneywort is a traditional Ayurvedic medicine that  has been in use for almost centuries now. It is known as a nootropic herb primarily because of its ability to repair damaged brain cells and improve brain function. Originating in India, this herb is also called ‘brahmi’, after the Hindu God Brahma, the Creator of the Universe. Bacopa is often confused with the herb gotu kola which also improves cognition. But these two can be easily differentiated on the basis of their appearance.

The bacopa plant is usually sold as an oil or powder, but is also available as capsule or liquid extracts. Taking bacopa or brahmi as a supplement in large amounts is not advised as it may have a toxic effect on the body.

Here are 11 ways in which having bacopa can benefit you:

11 Proven Health Benefits of Brahmi You Must Know

bacopa

 

It improves your memory and information retention

In a report published in the Journal of Ethnophamacology in 2014, researchers analyzed nine previously published studies on the effect of bacopa on cognitive function. In a 2016 research of 60 college students, researchers found that six weeks of twice-daily treatment with bacopa led to improvements in tests relating to their cognitive function.

An Australian survey showed Bacopa to be one of the most popular aids for memory among 60 year old consumers. Bacopa improved memory free recall in human subjects with significant cognitive impairment. Bacopa showed a effect on the retention of new information.

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It protects and nourishes the brain

Bacopa is known as an effective “brain food” as it improves intelligence and memory. Bacopa increases blood flow to the brain in humans. Bacosides present in bacopa help in the repair of damaged neurons. Bacosides bolster levels of antioxidants in the brain, like catalase, superoxide dismutase, and glutathione – the primary antioxidant in our cells. As a result, neurons are protected from things like toxic levels of minerals and cigarette smoke.

Bacopa balances the immune system

Bacopa protects human lymphocytes against various agents which damage DNA, and can stimulate the production of IgA and IgG antibodies. It is used to treat enlargement of the spleen and has been successfully implemented in decreasing the proliferation of T-lymphocytes in rats.

Bacopa regulates your blood pressure and may prevent heart disease

The herb has been observed to help in vascular muscle function and in complete utilisation of nitric oxide- the two processes which promote normal blood pressure. Bacopa extract was able to dissolve clots in experimental organisms and hence can be used as an effective ‘thrombolytic agent’.

It promotes ADHD treatment

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a chronic condition that often begins since childhood and comprises of impulsiveness, attention deficiency and hyperactivity. The bacosides in Bacopa monnieri are said to sharpen cognitive function by improving transmission of nerve impulses, which makes it fit for the treatment of ADHD. In a 12-week, clinical trial, children with ADHD who took 50 milligrams twice a day showed significant improvement over children  in tests of mental control, logical memory and paired associated learning. Evaluation of study subjects did not occur until four weeks after stopping bacopa intake, indicating that the supplementation had a lasting effect.

It works as an anti-depressant

Animal research published by the University of Michigan Health System shows the positive brain effects of bacopa, including reduction of depression and anxiety. These very positive effects on the nervous system have biochemically been attributed to an enhancement of the effects of the neurotransmitters acetylcholine and, possibly, serotonin.

Bacopa increases the brain synthesis of serotonin, best known for its role in mood regulation and thus, plays an important role in reducing depression and anxiety.

It reduces stress

Bacopa has the capacity to regulate the body’s response to acute and chronic stress. Studies suggest that bacopa may help alter the activity of certain enzymes involved in the stress response. A small study published in Phytotherapy Research in 2014 assessed the effects of a bacopa extract in healthy participants undergoing multiple stress. Researchers found positive cognitive effects, and a reduction in cortisol levels in those taking bacopa. Bacopa is a component of “Perment”, a herbal formulation which is effective for stress in humans.

Bacopa is good for skin health

Brahmi is typically used for treatment of blisters, skin itching and other skin diseases. It is also used to treat leprosy and eczema. Bacoside-A was found to be effective for wound healing in the skin of rats.

It assists in the treatment of epilepsy

Bacopa is a much preferred herb for the treatment of epilepsy and has been proved effective in the treatment of epilepsy in male rats. Bacoside-A or bacopa prevents the occurrence of seizures and reversed epilepsy associated changes in rats.(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22364254) Research studies find that treatment with bacopa helps correct faulty reception of brain cells and help increase GABA responses, which suggest that bacopa can potentially treat epilepsy.

Bacopa stimulates treatment for Alzheimer’s and dementia

Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disorder that progressively causes memory loss ,and dementia.  The natural treatment for Alzheimer’s include supplementation with bacopa. According to the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, it might hold promise for preventing the dementia associated with Alzheimer’s. (https://www.alzdiscovery.org/cognitive-vitality/ratings/bacopa-monnieri)

Bacopa is an anti-diabetic

Bacopa (Bacosine) lowered blood glucose in alloxan-induced diabetic rats. It reversed the weight loss in diabetic rats, returning the values to near normal. Bacopa increased glycogen content in the liver of diabetic rats and glucose utilization in the diaphragm of diabetic rats.

So, thus Bacopa monnieri benefits brain health by protecting it against oxidative stress, and also helps reduce anxiety and stress. It is also helpful in the treatment of various heart diseases, epilepsy and even cancer. It is safe to take in limited quantities and is very useful for you!

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23788517

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24252493

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