What is Bacopa monnieri Extract?
Bacopa monniera, a member of the Scrophulariaceae family, is a small, creeping herb with numerous branches, small oblong leaves, and light purple flowers. In tropics it grows naturally in wet soil, shallow water, and marshes. The herb can be found at elevations from sea level to altitudes of 4,400 feet, and is easily cultivated if adequate water is available. Flowers and fruit appear in summer and the entire plant is used medicinally.
Holistic and folk doctors use the leaves of Bacopa monnieri to improve memory, cognition and attention span. It is also used to treat anxiety, depression, mental fatigue, asthma, hoarseness, epilepsy, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers, leprosy and anemia.
Dr. Oz, on his show on a few occasions, recommended Bacopa Monnieri herb for Brain health and to boost memory. Dr. Oz said Bacopa Monnieri will make you smarter, enhance your memory, and help you focus better. Bacopa herb has also been used to ease stress and helps people to focus better in stressful situations. It does have a tranquilizing effect, but unlike sedatives (which dull the mind) Bacopa Monniera improves mental clarity, focus, and mood.
Chemical constituents of Bacopa monnieri Extract
Compounds responsible for the pharmacological effects of Bacopa include alkaloids, saponins, and sterols. Many active constituents – the alkaloids Brahmine and herpestine, saponins d-mannitol and hersaponin, acid A, and monnierin – were isolated in India over 40 years ago. Other active constituents have since been identified, including betulic acid, stigmastarol, beta-sitosterol, as well as numerous bacosides and bacopasaponins. The constituents responsible for Bacopa’s cognitive effects are bacosides A and B.5-9.
Benefits of taking Bacopa monnieri Extract supplements:
Bacopa Supports Memory and Learning
A 2002 study published in the journal, Neuropsychopharmacology, found that using Bacopa monnieri for three months may improve memory.When 76 participants were tested on retention of new information, the placebo group forgot the information more quickly than the group taking Bacopa monnieri.
According to a 2008 study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, elderly participants who took 300 mg per day of Bacopa monnieri showed improvement in certain mental functions compared to a placebo group. The tests that examined attention and the ability to learn auditory verbal information showed the most improvement, leading the researchers to conclude that the herb might be used to improve cognitive function in elderly people.
According to the Indian Journal of Psychiatry; a double-blind, placebo-controlled study on subjects with age-associated memory impairments was conducted over the course of 16 weeks. The subjects received 125 mg of bacopa or a placebo twice a day for 12 weeks, followed by a placebo for an additional four weeks. Each subject was then evaluated based on cognitive function through a series of tests focusing on logical memory, mental control and paired associated learning. The study found that bacopa «produced significant improvement on mental control, logical memory and paired associated learning during the 12-week drug therapy» and deemed it «efficacious.»
Bacopa monnieri has been extensively tested and proven as a memory and concentration enhancer, but the benefits of Bacopa extend to other mental and emotional functions, as well.
In many areas of the world, Bacopa is also used to treat:
>Attention Deficit Disorder
Side effects and safety of Bacopa monnieri Extract
Therapeutic doses of Bacopa are not associated with any known side effects, and Bacopa has been used safely e for several hundred years.
Dosage of Bacopa monnieri Extract supplement:
For improving memory and thinking: a dosage of 300 mg brahmi extract per day for 12 weeks.