5 Amazing Health Benefits of Bacopa monnieri

Bacopa monnieri is an ancient Ayurvedic herbal treatment for many diseases. Human studies indicate that it can help improve brain activity, relieve symptoms of ADHD, and reduce stress and anxiety.
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health benefits of bacopa monnieri

Brahmi is a staple plant in traditional Ayurvedic medicine, also known as bacopa monnieri. For centuries, Ayurvedic medical practitioners have used bacopa monnieri for its health benefits, including memory recovery, anxiety reduction, and epilepsy treatment.

1. Prevents Anxiety and Stress

bacopa monnieri can prevent anxiety and depression. It is called an adaptogenic herb, which means this increases the resilience of your body to stress. Research on the health benefits of bacopa monnieri suggests that it may help reduce stress and anxiety by elevating the mood and reducing cortisol levels, a hormone associated with stress.

One rat study shows that the anti-anxiety effects of bacopa monnieri is like those of lorazepam (benzodiazepine), a prescription drug for anxiety treatment. The results of bacopa monnieri on anxiety are, however, conflicting.

Two human studies, for example, showed that taking 300 mg of bacopa monnieri daily reduced anxiety and depression in adults over 12 weeks compared to placebo.

Another human study found that anxiety was not reduced by treatment with bacopa monnieri. To validate bacopa monnieri health benefits, we need more large-scale human studies.

2. Can Enhance Brain Function

Research suggests Bacopa monnieri may improve brain function. One research in mice, for example, found that supplementing with Bacopa monnieri enhanced their spatial learning and knowledge processing capacity.

The same study also found that the length and branching of dendritic increased. Dendrites are portions of the brain’s nerve cells associated with learning and memory.

In addition, a 12-week study of 46 healthy adults found that taking 300 mg of bacopa monnieri daily improved the speed of visual information processing, learning levels, and memory compared with placebo treatment.

Another 12-week study in 60 older adults showed that, compared to placebo, taking either 300 mg or 600 mg of bacopa monnieri extract daily improved memory, focus, and ability to process information.

3. Helps Lower Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is a major health problem because it put stress on your heart and blood vessels. This can weaken the heart and increase heart disease risk. Research suggests that bacopa monnieri can help maintain a healthy blood pressure.

Bacopa monnieri decreased the levels of systolic and diastolic blood pressure in one animal study. It achieved this by releasing nitric oxide that helps dilate blood vessels, leading to better blood flow and lower blood pressure.

Another study showed that bacopa monnieri lowered levels of blood pressure in rats with elevated levels, but had no effect on rats with normal levels of blood pressure.

One 12-week study in 54 older adults found that taking 300 mg of bacopa monnieri daily had no effect on blood pressure levels.

Based on current findings, in animals with high blood pressure, bacopa monnieri can lower blood pressure. To validate these results, we need further human research.

4. Reduces Inflammation

Inflammation is the natural reaction of your body to help heal and fight disease. Several chronic conditions, including cancer, diabetes, heart and kidney disease, have been associated with chronic inflammation.

Bacopa monnieri suppresses the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines in test-tube studies. Molecules that induce an inflammatory immune response.

It also blocked enzymes including cyclooxygenase, caspase, and lipoxygenase in a test tube and animal studies, all of which play key roles in inflammation and pain.

Bacopa monnieri had anti-inflammatory benefits in animal studies similar to diclofenac and indomethacin, which are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications for inflammation treatment.

To determine whether bacopa monnieri reduces inflammation in humans, we need further research.

5. Contains Antioxidants

Antioxidants are compounds that help protect against cell damage from harmful molecules known as free radicals. Research suggests that many chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers are associated with damage caused by free radicals. Bacopa monnieri produces strong antioxidant compounds.

For example, bacosides, the main active compounds in bacopa monnieri, neutralize free radicals and prevent the reaction of fat molecules with free radicals. They undergo a process called lipid peroxidation as fat molecules react with free radicals.

There are several diseases associated with lipid peroxidation, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other neurodegenerative disorders. A research study, for example, found that bacopa monnieri decreased free radical damage and reversed memory loss signs in rats.

Bacopa Monnieri Side Effects

Although bacopa monnieri is safe, some people may experience side effects. It can cause digestive symptoms, including nausea, cramps of the stomach, and diarrhea, for example.

For pregnant women, bacopa monnieri is not recommended as no studies have tested the efficacy of its use during pregnancy. It may also interfere with certain drugs, including amitriptyline, a medication used to relieve pain.

Speak to your health care provider before taking bacopa monnieri if you are taking other drugs. Bacopa monnieri is safe, but nausea, stomach cramps, and diarrhea can occur in some people.

Bottom Line

For many illnesses, bacopa monnieri is an ancient herbal remedy from Ayurveda. Human studies show that it can help improve brain function and reduce stress and anxiety. In addition, test-tube and animal studies have found that it may have anticancer properties and decrease inflammation and blood pressure. While these potential health benefits are encouraging, there is a need for more work on bacopa monnieri to understand its full impact on human health.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to take bacopa monnieri?


Typical dosages in human studies range from 300 to 450 mg daily. Depending on the product you purchase, however, dosage recommendations can differ. If you have dose-related questions, speak to a trained health professional to ensure your safety.

How does bacopa monnieri work?


The nootropic and anxiolytic effects of bacopa are because of its ability to improve neuronal connectivity and to modulate the release of several neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, and GABA.

How long does it take bacopa monnieri to work?


Bacopa monnieri’s acute stimulation effects work as soon as it enters the bloodstream, 15-30 minutes after intake. The potential benefits of bacopa Monnieri should take place within 4-6 weeks to improve memory and cognition.

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References

Adaptogenic effect of Bacopa monniera (Brahmi). Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2003.

Anxiolytic activity of a standardized extract of Bacopa monniera: an experimental study. Phytomedicine. 1998.

Effects of a standardized Bacopa monnieri extract on cognitive performance, anxiety, and depression in the elderly: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. J Altern Complement Med. 2008.

The chronic effects of an extract of Bacopa monniera (Brahmi) on cognitive function in healthy human subjects. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2001.

Chronic effects of Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) on human memory. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2002.

Enhancement of basolateral amygdaloid neuronal dendritic arborization following Bacopa monniera extract treatment in adult rats. Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2011.

Effects of 12-Week Bacopa monnieri Consumption on Attention, Cognitive Processing, Working Memory, and Functions of Both Cholinergic and Monoaminergic Systems in Healthy Elderly Volunteers. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012.

Bacopa monnieri and its constituents is hypotensive in anaesthetized rats and vasodilator in various artery types. J Ethnopharmacol. 2011.

Effects of a standardized Bacopa monnieri extract on cognitive performance, anxiety, and depression in the elderly: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. J Altern Complement Med. 2008.

The Ayurvedic plant Bacopa monnieri inhibits inflammatory pathways in the brain. J Ethnopharmacol. 2017.

Bacopa monnieri (L.) exerts anti-inflammatory effects on cells of the innate immune system in vitro. Food Funct. 2014.

Antiinflammatory effects of an Ayurvedic preparation, Brahmi Rasayan, in rodents. Indian J Exp Biol. 1994.

Bacopa monnieri as an Antioxidant Therapy to Reduce Oxidative Stress in the Aging Brain. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015.

Neuroprotective effects of Bacopa monnieri in experimental model of dementia. Neurochem Res. 2012.

– 14 references
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