Bacopa monniera, also know as Water Hyssop, is prominently used in a holistic system of medicine originating from India. Historically, the use of Bacopa monniera dates back to approximately the 6th century AD. Today, practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine, Ayurveda, which means "life sciences" in Sanskrit, is a holistic system of Indian medicine that evolved between 3000 and 5000 years ago, recognize Bacopa monniera as an adaptogen, a physiological agent that naturally increases the body's resistance to physical and emotional stress. Bacopa not only is used to ease stress it helps people to focus better in stressful situations. It does have a tranquilizing effect, but unlike sedatives which dull the mind Bacopa Monniera improves mental clarity, focus, and mood. Bacopa herb has been used for centuries and has been popular by the name of Brahmi in the the India in the Ayurvedic system of medicine. Bacopa, is also known as Bacopa monnieri or Brahmi is known to possess Bacosides, the active ingredient thought to support learning, cognition, and memory by enhancing the efficiency of nerve impulse transmission. Bacopa's antioxidant properties may also offer some protection to brain cells from the damaging effects of free radicals.
In a 2001 study of healthy adults, for instance, participants who took 300 mg of bacopa for 12 weeks showed significant improvements in memory (in addition to learning and anxiety). And in a 2008 study of 48 dementia-free older adults (ages 65 and up), researchers found that 12 weeks of treatment with bacopa (at a dose of 300 mg per day) led to significant improvements in memory, depression, anxiety, and heart rate. In a 2008 study of brain cells in culture, for example, scientists discovered that antioxidants in bacopa helped suppress oxidative stress, a destructive process thought to contribute to Alzheimer's disease. In a 2010 study on rats with an animal model of Alzheimer's disease, bacopa appeared to preserve memory and protect against loss of function in brain cells. A 2002 study on rats shows that bacopa may help alter the activity of certain enzymes involved in the stress response, suggesting that bacopa could allow the brain "to be prepared to act under adverse conditions such as stress."Additionally, a recent study at the University of Catania, Italy found that Bacopa's antioxidants have a protective effect on human DNA fibroblasts (connective tissue cells), suggesting that this Ayurvedic herb may be useful in the treatment of diseases in which free radicals play a key role.
We all know that an optimal level of nitric oxide (NO) is important. This is because NO is a key mediator in many body functions, most notably cardiovascular health and circulation. However, like most good things, too much nitric oxide can be as dangerous as too little. There is growing evidence that excessive concentrations of nitric oxide (NO), generated within overly activated brain cells, might be involved in a variety of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease and epilepsy. A rodent study of brain cells exposed to toxic levels of nitric oxide showed that Bacopa inhibited the DNA damage that occurs in these diseases, suggesting that it may be significant in preventing, or treating them. In other words, Bacopa compensated for the oxidative effects that comes from too much nitric oxide.
Bacopa monniera is well-tolerated and maintains an excellent safety profile. To date, medical literature confirms that there have been no adverse events related to the use Bacopa as a dietary supplement. No significant bacopa side effects have been reported in published studies with humans. However, as with any herb, adverse effects could occur so be reasonable in the amount you use and take a couple of days off each week.
So Bacopa has been used for thousands of years in India, and new scientific research finally confirms that it offers benefits for modern-day health problems resulting from DNA damage, stress and high concentrations of nitric oxide. Like Ginkgo Biloba, which was used for thousands of years in China before modern science had discovered it's usefulness to brain health, Bacopa will become a popular, natural dietary supplement for supporting optimal health and mental functioning.
So, anyone who wants to improve his or her memory, the ability to concentrate, focus under stress, learn new information, and minimize the negative effects of stress, or increase mental clarity under stress in sports performance might want to give a Bacopa supplement a try. Bacopa can be purchased in supplement form through helalth food stores and online, do your homework and pick a reputable distributor. Always consult your healthcare provider before taking Bacopa if you are currently on any prescription anti-anxiety, anti-epileptic, tranquilizers, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, narcotics, or other prescription medications. If you are or suspect you may be pregnant, or if you are breastfeeding take a pass, might adversely affect your fetus or newborn. Good Luck...
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