Have you ever heard of Bacopa?
Bacopa is a plant that has been used for years to treat memory and brain related problems. It is also referred to as Brahmi. This plant is used to tread a range of disorders among them being Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss, anxiety, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorders epilepsy, and as a stress releaser. Psychotropic drugs cannot be compared to this plant; it has far less side effects when you compare the two. Most men and women occasionally take this plant as a treatment for sexual related problems, backaches, joint problems among other problems.
As you can see from the picture, Bacopa plant is very appealing to the eyes and it is used as a decorative and flourishing piece of live real estate in aquariums. But don’t confuse it for just another type of flower, its medicinal level is very high such that it is able to regulate dopamine production up and down as needed. This plant has been used for many years in Indian tradition as Ayurvedic treatment for ulcers, tumours, ascites, enlarged spleen, inflammations, leprosy, anaemia, gastroenteritis epilepsy and asthma.
Natural Chemicals Composition
Bacopa monnieri is composed of dammarane-type triterpenoid saponins known as bacosides and bocopasides I-XII, with jujubogenin as aglycone units. These compounds have alkaloids brahmine, nicotine, and herpestine, along with D-mannitol, apigenin, hersaponin, monnierasides I–III, cucurbitacin and plantainoside. Recent research has laid emphasis on component bacoside A, and it was found to be blended with bacoside A3, bacopacide II, bacopasaponin C, and a jujubogenin isomer of bacosaponin C. Different parts of this plant contains different concentration of bacoside A. Other components include:
- Hersaponin, alkaloids viz. herpestine
How Bacopa monnieri works
Bacopa monnieri has high concentration of antioxidants and choline. The antioxidants strengthens the nerves leading to increased neurotransmission hence enables an individual to be more still; making it easy to reduce anxiety which may cause fear and confusion which may cause a lot of stress. Moreover, the high percentage of choline present in this plant inhibits acetylcholinesterace, leading to increased flow of choline in the cortex which in turn the cognitive functionality of the brain. Increased level of choline in the brain interacts with the dopamine and serotonergic systems which enhances neuron communication.
Research has proved the effectiveness of this plant in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders making it evident on how this plant may save current and future generations in memory enhancement and improving the brain cognitive functionality to increase the brain functionality in the society. Bacopa monnieri also has a positive impact on the young people, making it a predominant nootropic essential to the youths in doing their studies at ease and be able to record high grades in their examinations.
The most recommended dosage for Bacopa monnieri is 300mg. This takes the assumption that the total bacoside content is at least 55% of the extract, since the concentration may vary depending on part of the plant the product was extracted from.
When making the supplement, a dose of 750-1500 mg of the leaf or powder is required to ensure that the leaf or powder supplement containsnoocu the right composition of bacoside.
Bacopa Monnieri is occasionally consumed with ghee butter which originated from India since the herb is highly soluble in this fat. In addition, some individuals prefer mixing Bacopa monnieri with another herb called Mandookparni or Gotu Kola together with milk in order to drink a highly soluble solution.
Benefits of Bacopa Monnieri
- Memory improvement.
Bacopa Monnieri extract can be used in enabling an individual to recall memories easily and lead to formation of new memories. It uses the enzyme Tryptophan Hydroxylase (TPH2) to increase the expression of the serotonin transporter (SERT). It interacts with the serotonin system, and may have downstream effects on the cholinergic system which is responsible for memory enhancement.
In addition, Bacopa supplement increases dendritic intersections and branching points in neurons. According to recent studies, research shows that Bacopa did not have any neuronal growth in adult rats after two weeks. However, this growth is witnessed after four to six weeks after taking Bacopa Monnieri supplementation. This growth occurs in brain cortical areas which are associated with memory. The increased neuron transmissions in hippocampus and basolateral amygdala areas translates to memory enhancement and cognitive enhancement after a 4-6 weeks intake of Bacopa brain supplement.
- Stress Reduction.
Research shows that 92 % of the total Google search is on how to reduce and manage stress. Stress and depression negatively affects the health of our brain and the physical body which leads to adoption of a poor lifestyle. Bacopa extract have been proven to work as a natural stress reliever by enabling an individual to cope with day to day manoeuvres at ease. It does this by enabling the brain to maintain a constant state of stillness; which will enable you to respond to different situation rather than being trapped in your own mind by reacting on your emotions which may bring worry and pressure. With a relaxed mind, you get to realise that reacting to a situation brings no benefits and you only make the situation worse when you keep on worrying.
- Alzheimer’s disease & Dementia Treatment
Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related disorders progressively causes memory loss, dementia and early death. Bacopa is one of the most effective Natural Alzheimer’s treatment. According to a research carried out by the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, Bacopa extract might be the ultimate treatment for dementia associated with Alzheimer’s. The study experimented on Bacopa`s effects using rodents as specimens proved that Bacopa has neurogenic effects which might protect the brain from aging or suffer from dementia. However, it is not yet clear whether the same effects are observed in humans but it is encouraging to note that Bacopa improved the focus, attention and verbal memory in elderly people after regular daily intake of 300mg of Bacopa extract.
- Blood Pressure Regulator
Bacopa brain supplement has components which reduces the heart beat rate enabling the body to maintain an optimal level of blood pressure. It is proved that Bacopa might increase the human body`s utilization of nitric oxide which encourages muscle functioning according to a recent animal study.
- Enhancement of cognitive Functionality.
Bacopa monnieri contains bacosides which are said to improve the cognitive functioning of the brain by improving neurotransmissions, enabling you to have more focus, attention and concentration, making it a promising treatment of ADHD. ADHD is can be traced in childhood as well as in adulthood. It makes one to have attention difficulty, hyperactivity and impulsiveness.
The use of Bacopa may make you experience the following side effects:
- Stomach upsets when taken without food
- Having to wait for weeks to enhance the cognitive functionality.
- Having to bear with a bitter taste when taking the powder form.