What are the benefits of this herb?
Are there side effects?
What can Bacopa do for you?
Bacopa monnieri is a plant that grows in tropical, moist environments in India, Africa, Australia, Europe, and North and South America. This herb has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine that originated in India and is one of the oldest medical systems in the world.
Bacopa is best known for its use as a neural tonic and memory enhancer. It has been used for centuries by the Hindus in rituals involving new-born babies in the belief that it will open gateways to knowledge. This herb is also thought to have been used by ancient Vedic scholars to memorize extensive hymns and scriptures.
Besides its use as a nootropic, Bacopa has shown promise in attenuating dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and epilepsy.1
Cognitive Enhancement With Bacopa
Enhancing cognitive function often comes with unwanted side effects. These can be psychological or the result of toxicity.2
Bacopa contains saponins, which are nootropic phytochemicals that produce only minimal adverse effects when consumed in standard dosages. These chemicals:
- Possess Antioxidant activity.6
- May protect the liver.7
- Possess neuroprotective activity.8
I have a particular interest in cognition because I work on a senior psychiatric unit where a large number of patients have some form of dementia.
Bacopa helps repair damaged neurons, restores synaptic activity, assists with neuronal synthesis, and improves brain function.
The primary molecular mechanism is achieved by promoting neuronal communication. This is accomplished by increasing the growth of nerve endings called dendrites.9
Bacopa has been shown to improve delayed recall memory and Stroop task reaction times.12
Antioxidant Effects of Bacopa
The detrimental effects of free radical cell damage are well known. This damage is linked to many diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer.13
The human body has both enzymatic and non-enzymatic free radical scavenger mechanisms to help cells fight oxidative stress.
Superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and glutathione reductase are the first line of defense. The non-enzyme scavengers are vitamin A,C, and E, coenzyme Q10, glutathione, and selenium.
When an imbalance occurs, as shown in the figure below, free radical damage can lead to aging and cognitive decline.14
Bacopa contains powerful antioxidants.16
An extract of Bacopa monnieri was shown to increase the activity of SOD, CAT, and glutathione peroxidase in the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, and striatum of rats.17
This antioxidant effect has been shown to reverse memory impairment produced in rats using colchicine by attenuating oxidative damage. This study suggests there may be potential in using Bacopa in the treatment of Alzheimer’s dementia in the future.18
Bacopa and ADHD
A study published in 2014 found a standardized Bacopa monnieri extract significantly reduced all ADHD symptom scores except those relating to social problems.19
Here are the results obtained from this study:
- Symptom scores for restlessness decreased in 93% of children.
- Improvement in self-control occurred in 89% of children.
- ADHD symptoms were reduced in 85% of children.
- Learning problems were reduced in 78% of children.
- Impulsivity was reduced in 67% of children.
- Psychiatric problems were reduced in 52% of children.
The study concluded that B. monnierei was effective in relieving the symptoms of ADHD and was well tolerated.
Other Medical Uses of Bacopa
There are many other possible medical uses of Bacopa. Some of these include:
- H-Pylori and ulcers
- Stimulation of the immune system
More studies need to be conducted in order to discover the many benefits of this herb.
Side Effects of Bacopa
Protandim NRF2 Synergizer
Bacopa monnieri is a fantastic substance capable of many positive medicinal effects. As with other nootropics, when stacked with other nootropic agents, synergy is possible. The right herbs combined in the correct ratios can lead to excellent results.
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Bacopa monnieri has been used in ancient medicine for thousands of years.
It is a popular addition to nootropic stacks and is one of the five ingredients present in ProtandimTM NRF-2 Synergizer.
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It is critical to realize that these herbal supplements can be much more effective when combined with other substances in the proper ratios. The ProtandimTM series is able to activate the body’s natural pathways in order to achieve superior results.
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