Bacopa Monnieri has been used in eastern medicine for many many years. The herb reduces anxiety, clearing the users mind to experience improved cognitive function. Removing the stressor – in this case actual stress or anxiety – is remarkably effective at improving your ability to concentrate on the things that really matter.
The second principal benefit of BM is its enhancement of the user’s memory formation, and it is as effective on young people as it is old, making it a very effective nootropic.
It increases the growth of nerve endings, known as dendrites, which heighten the rate at which the nervous system communicates. To top it off, Bacopa Monnieri is an antioxidant, purging the brain of free radicals and toxins the likes of which ultimately reduce the lifespan of the organ they are attacking.
How does Bacopa Monnieri Work?
In the brain, Bacopa Monnieri extract interacts with the enzyme Tryptophan Hydroxylase (TPH2) and the serotonin transporter (SERT) to enhance memory formation.
Nerve endings, called dendrites, seem to grow more readily after a month of use, meaning to appreciate the full neurological benefit of the compound it is best used as a long term supplement (arbitrarily, 6 weeks and above).
Both the interaction with the serotonin system and the nerve growth proliferation appear to act positively on the memory improvement. The serotonin increase also has further implications related to anxiety alleviation, general mood level and treatment of depression.
Bacopa is an Adaptogen, which are compounds able to reduce physical and chemical effects of stress. During acute and chronic periods of stress, the levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain drop quite significantly. After supplementation of Bacopa Monnieri, this depletion remarkably does not occur!
Neuroinflammation which can be associated with ageing is reduced, and there may even be evidence that Bacopa can be used as a therapeutic treatment for Azheimer’s. The anti-ageing effect is synonymous with this and the anti-toxic effect, where heavy metal toxicity has been shown to be mitigated with supplementation.
Through interaction with receptors (GABA) in the hippocampus, Bacopa has been shown to reduce the seizure frequency of epilepsy sufferers.
Are There Other Benefits?
While Bacopa has an impressive repertoire as a nootropic; being a memory enhancer, anxiety reducer and neuroprotective agent. However, there are even more strings to this herb’s bow. It has been used to treat:
- learning disorders
- toxic poisoning
- blood disorders
- epileptic seizure frequency
It has even been administered to children for its brain boosting power!
Where Does Bacopa Monnieri Come From?
Bacopa Monnieri is a creeping marsh plant from the Scrophulariaceae family. As for its origins as a medicine, it is yet another to have been discovered decades and centuries ago and used in Ayurvedic practice. Even back then it was touted for its neurological rejuvenation properties, memory improvement and stress management.
For the fact that it is an Ayurvedic herb, Bacopa Monnieri has been used in extensive clinical trials, with overwhelmingly positive results. Ingredients like this do no usually garner so much attention from the scientific community, and certainly don’t normally yield as much funding for said research.
It should be an encouraging indicator, for people considering its use as a supplement, that it has so much solid scientific backing.
In addition to the more obvious nootropic benefits there are interesting avenues of research underway using Bacopa. The epilepsy seizure frequency reduction alone is an exciting development and one which must give many people some hope, especially considering the lack of side effects that many synthesized drugs can have.
Bacopa Monnnieri is included in the best nootropic products, though it can be improved further when Uridine or CDP-choline (citicoline) – which converts to Uridine anyway – is also included as they are synergistic together.
See the Review of Mind Lab Pro for a good example of this.