Bacopa monnieri, also referred to as thyme-leaved gratiola, water hyssop, herb of grace, and Brahmi, is a marvel of nootropic capacity. Modern science has recently developed a great respect for the therapeutic capacity of this herbal wonder.
Bacopa is an attractive creeping plant that thrives in swamps and marshlands. It is identified by dainty blossoms of pinks, blues, and whites. Bacopa is native to every continent except Australia and Antarctica.
Historical Significance of Bacopa Benefits
Long ago in ancient India, all records and teachings had to be recorded through oral lessons. Many of the original books were passed by word of mouth from teacher to student. Ancient people accredited their retentive brains to a gift from the gods themselves, in the form of a divine plant named after the creator of the universe, Brahmi, otherwise known as Bacopa.
Ancient pharmacologists discovered that Bacopa could be used to greatly enhance the capacity to focus and retain information. Bacopa was an important preventative treatment and remedy for many conditions in both Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese medicines. Bacopa was used to treat the seizures associated with epilepsy and calm emotional stress.
Today, Bacopa is still applied to addressing health conditions. Western medicine is only now taking full advantage of the plentiful benefits to cognitive function available from this incredible plant. Experts in the field of cognitive enhancers have hailed Bacopa as the best nootropic on the market.
And here’s why…
Bacopa Benefits for Cognitive Function
Whether you are sitting in the steaming insect-infested jungles of ancient India or in your modern day office up to your neck in urgencies and emergencies, stress can be a real distraction to cognitive progress. When stress persists, it can even develop into conditions of cognitive deficiency.
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As an adaptogen, Bacopa helps to fight stress and improves cognitive function. Adaptogens work to enhance natural homeostatic balance and chemical balance within the body. If stress has sapped your energy levels, Bacopa works to restore them. If you are feeling extra agitated and excited, Bacopa will work to soothe the senses and release relaxing neurotransmitters.1
Depression is an especially difficult condition to understand and is even harder to successfully treat. Statistics show that up to 7% of Americans will suffer from a depressive episode at least once a year. Depression can be caused by health conditions, life events, and even prolonged conditions of stress and anxieties.2
Since ancient times, Bacopa has been used to improve mental conditions and fight depression. One recent medical study showcased the anti-depressive capacity of Bacopa in treating downcast seniors. Not only did Bacopa fight depression, but the subjects showed a reduction in depression and anxiety symptoms as well as improved memory capacity.3
A large part of improving cognitive capacity and increasing mental output involves dealing with aches and pains of all types. Many people reach for an over-the-counter analgesic or even prescription strength painkillers when dealing with pain. This may not always be the best idea. Some synthetic analgesics are fraught with side-effects and can even make pain worse through increased sensitivity to pain.
As a natural analgesic, Bacopa presents no such side effects and has been found effective against nociceptive pain, the kind caused by damaged and inflamed tissues which is the most common type of pain.4
Inflammation, much like stress, is designed to protect the body from exterior threats but can be counter-productive to the healing process if prolonged. When the inflammation gets out of control, healing is compromised and the pain can be greatly increased. This is the case with chronic inflammation as experienced in arthritis, for example.
Chronic inflammation is also very dangerous because it can damage blood vessels and diminish their capacity to carry oxygen and nutrients to the brain. Since the brain cells and neurons require high amounts of oxygen to accomplish their tasks, this can result in serious damage.
Ayurvedic medicine categorized Bacopa as an effective treatment for epilepsy. Modern science has only recently confirmed this application. One study showed how Bacopa positively affects GABA levels in epileptic subjects which improved their special memory and reversing epilepsy associated changes.6
In another study, Bacopa showed promise as an anticonvulsant treatment by reducing acetylcholine activities and increasing glutathione, an important antioxidant made in the body.7
Any good nootropic not only works to keep the brain functioning optimally but also protects it from a cognitive decline. It is only natural that the brain will suffer from its regular use and need to be repaired and upgraded throughout life.
Bacopa monnieri has potent organic compounds called bacosides which work to prevent brain damage and protect it against natural cognitive decline. Studies have shown that Bacopa’s neuroprotective capacity is especially effective at treating and preventing conditions of senile dementia.8
Another study showed how Bacopa benefits the brain by positively protecting and the expressions from dopamine receptors.9
Health Risks and Precautions from Bacopa Monnieri
Bacopa is an all-natural product but still has a powerful effect on health. According to experts, Bacopa is possibly safe when taken orally for up to 12 weeks. It is generally advised not to eat Bacopa monnieri on an empty stomach as this has been known to cause nausea, fatigue, irregular bowel movements and such.
Some other common side effects of Bacopa use that consumers must be careful with include:
Bacopa may cause the heartbeat to slow and those with heart conditions should be extra careful.
Bacopa has the tendency to block the digestive process and cause discomfort. Consulting a nutritionist can help avoid this issue.
Those suffering from ulcers should consult with a medical professional before ingesting this potent substance.
There is a risk that Bacopa can aggravate breathing or lung conditions.
Bacopa benefits can directly affect the biological processes of the thyroid gland. Those with thyroid conditions or on thyroid medication should be extra careful.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Currently, there is not enough medical evidence to say that this natural product is safe or harmful. New and expecting mothers should consult with their medical professionals before making any diet changes.10
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