What is Bacopa monnieri?
Bacopa Monnieri is a natural nootropic herb, and is also termed as Brahmi in Ayurveda (traditional Indian) medicine. The supplement is famous for cognitive enhancement, combating mental illness and relieving stress. The history of this nootropic herb spans over one and half millennium as it is known as a brain tonic for boosting mental power and treating mental disorders since 6th century. The supplement has been traditionally used in Ayurveda medicine for epilepsy, asthma, ulcers, anemia etc.
Effects of Bacopa monnieri
The main benefit of Bacopa Monnieri supplements is improved memory but they also show acute anxiolytic effects, helping one to relieve stress and anxiety. However, this may induce a tranquilizing effect for relatively high doses. The drug can be taken over night for a good sleep, or can be combined with supplements to counter sleeping effects in the day time. The drug is also termed as adaptogen, which prevents one from chemical as well as physical side effects of stress.
One of the notable components of Bacopa Monnieri is bacosides which has been shown to improve neural pulse transmission. The effect is more pronounced in hippocampus, the part of brain involved in long-term memory storage, recall and consolidation of information. Bacopa Monnieri is considered to be effective in a number of mental disorders like memory loss, cognitive decline with aging etc. Such effects are not acute, but take time to appear significantly. This is the reason the supplement is famous for its use in children. There is ongoing research to establish the neuro-protection effects in humans.
How does Bacopa monnieri work?
Bacopa Monnieri contains multiple compounds (e.g. bacosides, bacosine, luteolin, apigenin etc.) that are believed to increase neuro-transmission, leading to improvements in memory, learning and intellect. Use of the supplement may increase the nerve cell lengths, leading to a fast neuro-transmission. The supplement is also believed to increase blood flow to the brain, which helps improving cognitive performance. The supplement also possesses antioxidant properties which offer neuro-protection to the brain cells under various circumstances.
Studies on Bacopa monnieri
Various human and mouse studies have been carried out for extracts and individual constituents of Bacopa Monnieri. The results are promising for improving memory as well as relieving stress. Bacopa has also been shown to have various benefits in the treatment of epilsepsy .
Side-Effects of Bacopa monnieri
Bacopa Monnieri is considered non-toxic and safe for normal doses, and common side effects include fatigue, nausea, stomach distress, elevated perspiration and urination, diarrhea etc. The drug should not be taken with empty stomach, as this may result in stomach-related side effects.
Recommended Dosage / Usage Instructions
The recommended dosage for Bacopa Monnieri is 300mg per day depending on the bacoside content within the extract is above 50%.
Bacopa Monnieri may interact with other medication, so a doctor’s advice is important before supplementation with other medication. Pregnant or lactating woman should always consult a doctor before administering Bacopa Monnieri.
 - Bacopa monnieri and Bacoside-A for ameliorating epilepsy associated behavioral deficits. - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19944749