Bacopa is a herb with the botanical name Bacopa monniera. It is also known as Brahmi, water hyssop and Herpestis monniera.
Bacopa is used extensively in traditional Ayurvedic (Indian) medicine. Bacopa is an annual, succulent, creeping plant found throughout India in wet, damp and marshy areas. The whole herb is used for medicinal purposes. It is often referred to as a nervous system adaptogen (assists the nervous system in coping with stress). It is the foremost brain tonic herb of the Ayurvedic healing system. Bacopa contains the steroidal saponins bacosides.
Herbal supplements can alter the effects of certain drugs, including prescription medications. Always tell your Doctor about any prescription medications, non-prescription medications, herbs or other dietary supplements you are taking.
Always consult your Health Professional to advise you on dosages and any possible medical interactions. BRAIN TONIC Bacopa has traditionally been used as a brain tonic for improving memory, concentration and learning. In a recent study, Bacopa improved the learning and memory in rats treated with the herb over a three day period. It was reported that the rats treated with Bacopa were less likely to forget the learned information than those not treated with the herb. NERVOUS SYSTEM Bacopa has traditionally been used to promote longevity. This principle may be partly due to the mild sedative and protective effect that Bacopa has on the nervous system. Bacopa may reduce the nervous system symptoms associated with accidents, epilepsy or stroke. People suffering from a nervous breakdown and exhaustion have reported positive results from taking Bacopa. The mild sedative action of Bacopa may also help to improve the symptoms of insomnia. ANTIOXIDANT Excessive free radical (unstable molecules) activity in the body has been linked to accelerated ageing and the development of chronic diseases affecting organs such as the heart, liver, lungs, etc. Fat and cholesterol are particularly at risk of free radical damage (also known as 'oxidation'). Oxidised body fats can form toxic substances called 'lipid peroxides', which may cause muscle and nerve cell damage. Antioxidant substances help to 'mop up' these unstable free radical molecules. A recent scientific study has revealed that Bacopa is a powerful antioxidant. The antioxidant potential of Bacopa has compared favourably with substances such as Vitamin E and glutathione.
Memory enhancer, mild sedative, mild anticonvulsant, antioxidant.
NOTESBacopa has recently been found to reduce the side effects of the epilepsy drug, phenytoin. Phenytoin can cause cognitive problems such as mental confusion and learning difficulties. These effects were reduced by Bacopa.