Bacopa monnieri contains a class of powerful compounds called bacosides that are believed to be responsible for boosting brain function, reducing anxiety and treating epilepsy. It has been used in Ayurvedic medical practices for centuries for these purposes amongst others.
Could prevent anxiety & stress
Considered an adaptogenic herb (meaning it increases the body’s resistance to stress), Bacopa could help prevent anxiety and stress. Participants in clinical trials have experienced reduced heart rate and anxiety levels, this could be a result of the adaptogen potential of the plant. Research also shows that the herb can prevent these problems by elevating a persons mood and reducing levels of cortisol – a hormone that is closely linked to stress.
Could help reduce ADHD symptoms
Studies suggest that Bacopa may have a positive effect on people with ADHD, showing improvement in mental control and logical memory over a twelve week period. Due to the bacosides in the plant that are said to sharpen cognitive function and being an adaptogen that can improve anxiety and stress levels, it is understandable that Bacopa would be helpful for ADHD suffers. The hyperactive and impulsive tendencies can benefit from the sense of peace and calm that Bacopa creates.
May boost brain function
It may not be a quick fix, but a study of 46 healthy adults has shown that taking Bacopa monnieri daily for twelve weeks significantly improved the speed of processing visual information, learning rate and memory. Elderly participants also found the herb to be very effective for age-associated memory impairment. Although this is not completely unavoidable with age, these participants showed significant improvement of memory procedure and retention.
Contains powerful antioxidants
Antioxidants protect against cell damage caused by free radicals which are potentially harmful molecules. Studies suggest that damage caused by free radicals is linked to many chronic conditions such diabetes, heart disease and some cancers, Bacopa contains powerful compounds that may have antioxidant effects and neutralise these free radicals. It has also been shown that the herb can prevent fat molecules from reacting with free radicals, when this happens the fat molecules undergo a process called lipid peroxidation which is linked to several conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative disorders.
Bacopa monnieri has been used for centuries as a powerful herb which enhances cognitive abilities, for this reason it is an important part of traditional Ayurvedic medicine – especially in treating mind-related health concerns. It has been so revered in history that the Hindus used it in their rituals to consecrate new-born babies, believing it will open the gateways to knowledge.