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Bacopa Monnieri (Brahmi) and the Benefits to Brain Health

What are the benefits of Bacopa Monnieri or Brahmi?

Bacopa monnieri L. or “water hyssop” or in Sanskrit “Brahmi” is an adaptogenic plant that naturally helps to improve cognitive abilities, in particular, attention, concentration, and memory. It’s not a stimulant.

Bundle of Bacopa  Bitter Herbs monnier,  Bitter Leaf, Waterhyssop, Brahmi, Thyme-leafed gratiola, Water hyssop,

What is the mechanism of action of Bacopa?

Bacosides, the active ingredients of Bacopa, act positively on neurotransmitters. In particular, they are increasing:

– the serotonin level that is involved in memory processes.
– the level of acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter of memory and learning
– and the level of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) which plays an important role in adults by preventing prolonged excitation of neurons. (Charles 2011; Rajan 2011)

Clinical Studies with Bacognize®

The extract of Bacopa Monnieri, Bacognize®, used in the formulation of Optim Memory was validated by two clinical trials conducted with volunteer students and people over 50 years of age. (Goswami 2011; Kumar 2016).

A study in people over 50 years old (Goswami 2011)

For 6 months, 39 people with early Alzheimer’s (average age 65 years) took 300 mg of Bacognize® twice daily.

Significant results:
– Improved spatial and temporal orientation
– Improved attention
– Improved mood and decreased irritability and insomnia

 

Goswami Study Graph EN

 
Effects of taking Bacopa Monnieri (Bacognize®) on the score of the Mini-Mental State Examination Scale (MMSES) – Goswami 2011

 

Student Study (Kumar 2016)

For 6 weeks, 42 students took 2 times daily either 150 mg of Bacognize® or a placebo.

Significant results (Bacognize® Group):
– Improved concentration and attention
– Improvement of immediate memory and working memory
– Better linguistic understanding


Children with attention deficit disorder (ADHD)

Over a 16-week period, a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial was conducted with 36 children diagnosed with ADHD (mean age 8-9 years).


19 children received every 12 hours and for 12 weeks 50 mg of Bacopa alcohol extract, followed by 4 weeks of placebo. The remaining 17 children received a placebo for 16 weeks.


Both groups were evaluated at baseline and at 4, 8, 12 and 16 weeks, and improvements were observed in the Bacopa group, particularly in sentence repetition, logical memory and learning tasks, which were maintained 4 weeks after discontinuation. (Negi 2000)

Precautions for use

Not recommended during pregnancy and lactation.

Precautions to be taken in persons under neuroleptic treatment (phenothiazine class), sedation and hormonal treatment (thyroid). (Vohora 200; Kar 2002)

Recommended Doses by Method of Administration

Dry plant: 5-10 g

Bacopa extract standardized to 10-20% bacosides: 200-400 mg/day for adults and 100-200 mg/day for children, divided into several doses. (Monograph 2004)

References

Bacopa monniera. Monograph. Altern Med Rev. 2004 Mar;9(1):79-85. Review.

Goswami S, Saoji A, Kuman N, Thawani V, Tiwari M, Thawani M. Effect of Bacopa monnieri on cognitive functions in Alzheimer’s disease patients. International Journal of Collaborative Research on Internal Medicine & Public Health. 2011;3(3):179.

Kar A, Panda S, Bharti S. Relative efficacy of three medicinal plant extracts in the alteration of thyroid hormone concentrations in male mice. J Ethnopharmacol 2002;81:281-285.

Kumar N, Abichandani LG, Vijay Thawani, Gharpure KJ, Naidu MUR, Venkat Ramana G. Efficacy of Standardized Extract of Bacopa monnieri (Bacognize) on Cognitive Functions of Medical Students: A Six-Week, Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Volume 2016, 1-8.

Negi KS, Singh YD, Kushwaha KP, et al. Clinical evaluation of memory enhancing properties of Memory Plus in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Ind J Psychiatry 2000;42: Supplement

Rajan KE, Singh HK, Parkavi A, Charles PD. Attenuation of 1-(m-chlorophenyl)-biguanide induced hippocampus-dependent memory impairment by a standardised extract of Bacopa monniera (BESEB CDRI-08). Neurochem Res. 2011 Nov;36(11):2136-44.

Vohora D, Pal SN, Pillai KK. Protection from phenytoin-induced cognitive deficit by Bacopa monniera, a reputed Indian nootropic plant. J Ethnopharmacol 2000;71:383-390.