Did you know that there is a plant that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years proven to help memory and brain-related disorders?
Well there is and its called Bacopa also known as Brahmi and it’s been shown to help with a wide range of mind-related health issues, including Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss, anxiety, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, epilepsy and even stress.
Plus, it has far fewer and less severe side effects than most of the available psychotropic drugs currently being prescribed.
Bacopa also helps relieve back pain, joint pain and sexual issues in both men and women.1
Several studies have validated Bacopa as a potent natural healer and experts are saying that several new studies look promising as they continue to uncover even more benefits.
For example, bacopa has been shown to help regulate dopamine production in the brain, dialing it both up and down as needed.2
Here Are 8 Additional Benefits Of Bacopa
1. It’s A Great Stress Reducer
It’s been shown that up to 90 percent of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress-related complaints.3 Chronic stress is especially destructive and can lead to a variety of health issues affecting both the body and the mind.
Bacopa extract works by helping your body better handle stress. One animal study at the Central Drug Research Institute in India showed that a standardized extract of Bacopa monniera was able to help protect against acute and chronic stress. During the study Bacopa was shown to reduce both stomach ulcers and stress related adrenal activity. The researchers concluded that Bacopa possesses potent adaptogenic activity.4
2. Anti-Anxiety & Antidepressant
The fact that Bacopa has such an affect on stress also makes it an extremely beneficial treatment for anxiety and depression. Animal studies performed at the University of Michigan Health System show that the positive brain benefits of bacopa include the reduction of both depression and anxiety. Bacopa enhances the effects of the neurotransmitters acetylcholine and serotonin or GABA.5
3. Improves Memory
In a double-blind study conducted at the Neuropsychology Laboratory at the School of Biophysical Science and Electrical Engineering in Australia researchers gave 300 milligrams of Bacopa to volunteers daily while a control group was given a placebo. All of the volunteers were tested at the beginning of the study and again at 5 and 12 weeks.
Subjects taking Bacopa showed a significant improvement compared to those in the placebo group, leading researchers to conclude that it “may improve higher order cognitive processes that are critically dependent on the input of information from our environment such as learning and memory.” 6
4. Alzheimer’s Disease & Dementia Treatment
While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease a condition that causes memory loss, dementia and early death, Bacopa may provide some benefit.
According to the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, it may in fact help prevent the dementia associated with Alzheimer’s.
Studies performed both in test tubes and in rodents look promising, but the benefit to humans is still unknown. One human study did show that elderly people with memory issues, did show some improvement in both attention and verbal memory while taking Bacopa.7
5. The Treatment of Epilepsy
Seizures happen when brain cells send abnormal electrical signals to the body and before a diagnosis of epilepsy can be made, a person must suffer from several seizures.
In one preliminary study researchers in India found that Bacopa extract was helpful in reducing the frequency of epileptic seizures in a small group of test subjects. In a different but similar study, the results were inconclusive.
Experts say that more research is necessary to help determine if Bacopa is an effective treatment for epilepsy. Scientists remain optimistic.8
6. May Help Minimize The Effects Of Chronic Pain
Chronic pain affects millions of people. It’s also commonly associated with depression. Bacopa has been show to help both chronic pain and the resultant depression associated with it making it a potentially helpful treatment for chronic pain.
7. Regulates Blood Pressure
In recent animal studies, researchers have discovered that Bacopa may improve the utilization of nitric oxide. It may also encourage vascular muscle function. In turn, these benefits may help regulate blood pressure. In one study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology researchers concluded that Bacopa monnieri could be helpful in regulating blood pressure.9
8. ADHD Treatment
Certain compounds in Bacopa monnieri are said to improve overall cognitive function by improving nerve transmission. This benefit makes it the perfect potential treatment for ADHD. Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is common in childhood and is associated with difficulty paying attention, hyperactivity and impulsiveness.
In a 12-week, double-blind, randomized clinical trial, children with ADHD were given 50 milligrams of Bacopa twice a day. These children showed significant improvements in tests of mental control, logical memory and paired associated learning when compared to children given a placebo. These evaluations didn’t take place for a full 4 weeks after the children stopped taking the Bacopa, indicating a long-term residual effect.10
Here is a head to head comparison of Bacopa and Adderall (a common drug used to treat ADHD)
Bacopa vs. Adderall
- It doesn’t cause addiction.
- Helps memory and cognitive function
- Proven to reduce anxiety and depression
- Shown to support focus, attention, learning and memory
- Enhances overall brain communication
- Has a positive effect on both dopamine and serotonin
- It may upset your stomach if taken without food
- The cognitive benefits may take time to work — studies show better results when taken for eight to twelve weeks compared to four to six weeks
- The powdered form has an unpleasant taste
- If used short term, Adderall can help decrease symptoms of ADHD by increasing availability of certain neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain, boosting alertness, attention and energy levels.
- Can boost the heart rate and increase blood flow to the muscles making the end use feel more energized.
- Can cause feelings of increased energy.
- Can also create euphoria and good feelings.
- Adderall can be extremely addictive and dangerous to those who abuse it.
- Even when taken as a prescription there are negative side-effects associated with Adderall, including:
- Appetite suppression and unhealthy weight loss
- Difficulty sleeping
- Feelings of restlessness
- Potentially dangerous cardiac issues
Here’s how to use Bacopa
You can obtain Bacopa in several different forms, including powder, capsule, tea and syrup. According to the Alternative Medicine Review, recommended daily dosages are:11
- 5–10 grams of non-standardized powder
- 8–16 milliliters of infusion
- 30 milliliters of syrup (Brahmi).
- 5–12 milliliters per day for adults and 2.5–6 milliliters per day for children ages 6–12 of a 1:2 fluid extract
- 200–400 milligrams in divided doses for adults and 100–200 milligrams daily in divided doses for children of extracts standardized to 20 percent bacosides A and B
It’s best to stick with organic or wild-crafted sources of Bacopa to minimize contamination and GMOs.
Current research has confirmed what Ayurvedic practitioners have known for ages, Bacopa works. It’s proven to help improve cognitive function and has a positive effect on memory and learning as well as depression and anxiety.
With an increase in conditions like ADHD and the dangers associated with drugs like Adderall, Bacopa offers a potential natural alternative without the side-effects.
Additionally, Bacopa is an adaptogenic stress reducer, anti-anxiety and antidepressant agent, memory enhancer, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia treatment, epilepsy treatment, chronic pain minimizer, and blood pressure regulator — which means it is a safe alternative for a variety of brain related health issues.