Bacopa monnieri is a powerful adaptogen and memory stimulator. Bacopa is a pond herb, known for centuries in traditional Indian medicine. Its other popular name is Brahmi. Bacopa is traditionally used for improving memory; it has a particularly strong effect on adults but can be applied to children also.
This herb can be categorized as a classical kind of nootropic and does not have stimulants effects. Bacopa stimulates a lot of neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine, dopamine, and serotonin, but this is not the main action mechanism of memory improvement.
It is believed that the active components in Bacopa dramatically improve the relationships between neurons and promote their growth. That contributes to the formation of memory. Currently, there are lots of products on the market that are focus, memory and brain activity stimulators.
A significant part of these products are aimed for fast effect, but their negative side is the content of stimulants such as caffeine, which depletes the nervous system and strengthens fatigue afterward. There are other products that brain activity-oriented. They also ensure long-term support of the nervous system.
Their impact can be seen after several weeks of usage, but have lasting and satisfactory results. Bacopa monnieri is one of these products. Bacopa monnieri is still poorly known but has great potential.
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What Is Bacopa Monnieri
Bacopa monnieri is a powerful adaptogen and memory stimulator. Bacopa is a pond herb, known for centuries in traditional Indian medicine. Its other popular name is Brahmi.
Bacopa is traditionally used for improving memory; it has a particularly strong effect on adults but can be applied to children also. This herb can be categorized as a classical kind of nootropic and does not have stimulants effects.
Bacopa monnieri is also a powerful adaptogen that helps to relieve stress and overcoming anxiety behavior. Its properties are not less popular than other adaptogens, used in Ayurveda (as ashwagandha).
People in India often combine Bacopa with food that is high in fat because fat can dissolve a great number of components in the herb. The main active components in Brahmi are called bacosides which represent 8% of its dry weight.
Other active ingredients are bacosterols, beta-sitosterol and quercetin, and even 10 different flavonoids and phenols. Bacopa’s active substances possess strong antioxidant activity and have a special effect on the antioxidant, called superoxide dismutase (SOD). The bacosides have a low resistance to high temperatures so it recommended that the herb is preserved in dry, cold and dark places.
How Does Bacopa Work
It is a well-known fact that Bacopa stimulates a lot of neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine, dopamine, and serotonin, but this is not the main action mechanism of memory improvement.
Although the action mechanism is not fully disclosed, it is believed that the active components in Bacopa dramatically improve the relationships between neurons and promote their growth. That contributes to the formation of memory.
Another high-potential action mechanism is the interaction between Bacopa and the serotonin system, which has a positive effect on the acetylcholine levels. This interaction is mediated by the stimulation of the enzyme tryptophan hydroxylase and it improves the functioning of the serotonin transporter.
Proven and Potential Benefits of Bacopa Supplement:
- The bacopa supplement is one of the most powerful memory stimulators on the market. Many researchers have been conducted at this stage and most of them are very positive.The results are significant preservation of scientific information, reduction of short-term memory loss, improvement of the learning new information skill (including verbal information). Positive effects are seen with healthy adults and with elderly people who have certain memory loss;
- Improvement of the memory of children, suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In this case, Bacopa is used in combination with several other herbs.
- A successful increase in the serotonin levels and also the serotonin transporter activity. This is one of the possible mechanisms of positive impact on memory;
- Successful regulation of the dopamine neurotransmitter. Bacopa increases the levels of dopamine but has an opposite effect with dopamine peaks, such as those caused by caffeine;
- Increases acetylcholine levels but at a relatively moderate size. This is not a possible mechanism for enhancing memory;
- Potential benefits in the epilepsy treatment. Significantly reduces the signs of seizures and convulsions;
- As an adaptogen, it helps reducing physical stress when taken before intense physical exercise. Reduces stress in all brain sectors but it has the most significant effect on the hippocampus. A positive effect of acute and chronic stress. At least one study has found a significant delay of neural fatigue with high stress;
- Potential benefits in reducing neuronal inflammation that is associated with aging. Inhibits pro-inflammatory cytokines and decreases pigmentation of beta-amyloid. Reduces inflammation that is due to the antioxidant effect in the metals and lipids oxidation. All conducted tests at this stage are invitro;
- Reduces depression and anxiety in adults over 65 years but does not establish a similar effect in healthy young people.
Benefits, Usage, and Dosage of Bacopa Monnieri (Brahmi)
Bacopa can be used as a standardized extract or powder or in the form of leaves. If you use the extract, the recommended daily intake of bacosides is 150-170 mg.
This equates to 300 mg of an extract with 55% bacosides content. When using powder or leaves, you should take at least 750-1500 mg and you should also pay attention to the content of bacosides on the label. In India, people consume Bacopa with dehydrated butter, known as ghee.
Fats are needed for bacosides solubility and transportation. It is therefore advised Bacopa to be taken with foods that are high in fats as bacopa supplement is fat-soluble.
The positive effect on memory is noted at an approximately long period of intake. Stable results begin to form at the end of the first month of usage. I recommend daily use within 2-3 months for maximum effect.
Bacopa Side Effects (Brahmi Side Effects)
Taking Bacopa on an empty stomach is not recommended. This not only reduces the absorption of active ingredients, but even the standard daily dose of 300 mg can cause side effects such as nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Presently, there are no serious side effects and toxicity. The use of high doses by rats has proven to cause infertility, but a similar effect has not been developed with humans.
The effect occurs within 28-56 days and goes away 56 days after stopping the intake. All parameters of sperm quality are affected, but there is no shown evidence of its effect on the libido and testosterone.
How to Combine Bacopa Monnieri with Other Supplements
Ayurveda recommends combining Brahmi with ashwagandha. Both herbs are powerful adaptogens and can stimulate tonicity, concentration, and memory. There are no obstacles for Bacopa monnieri to be combined with other adaptogens, such as Rhodiola Rosea and Ginseng.
A study on the already patented product Protandim (that contains the 4 Ayurveda herbs), financed by a pharmaceutical company, has shown strong synergy between Bacopa and other herbs - such as ashwagandha, milk thistle, turmeric, and green tea.
Bacopa can be combined with these ingredients for a strong antioxidant effect. As a classic nootropic, Bacopa can be combined successfully with L-Tyrosine, DMAE, acetyl-l-carnitine (ALCAR), choline bitartrate and Alpha-GPC.
As a memory stimulator, Bacopa can be combined with Ginkgo Biloba. Combining Bacopa with some thermogenics is not recommended. Bacopa cannot be combined with caffeine because it suppresses some properties for stimulating cognitive processes but without suppressing side effects, such as increased excitability and negative impact on sleep.
Combining Bacopa with yohimbine is also not recommended because it inhibits the alpha-androgenic receptors. Alpha-androgenic receptors are the mechanism by which Bacopa shows the pain-relieving effect.
Where Can You Buy Bacopa Monnieri
In most cases, Bacopa can be found as a standalone product, especially in the form of a standardized capsules extract, as the capsules concentration varies between 200 and 400 mg.
More rarely, the herb can be found in the form of leaves and powder. Bacopa is rarely used in complex formulas. The herb is mostly included in formulas for improving memory and less frequently in sports formulas as a fat burner and nitrogen booster.