In This Article
An Herbal Approach
Bacopa monnieri is the most potent and effective nerve and brain tonic in Ayurvedic medicine. It has been used for centuries to help people of all ages learn and remember new information. It has also been traditionally used to naturally address mental health issues related to mood and cognitive function. In ancient Vedic texts, Bacopa is classified as a rasayana – an herbal agent for longevity. Today, Ayurvedic doctors use it to support cognition and focus.
Bacopa for Brain Power
A 2002 study published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology found that using Bacopa monnieri for three months might support short-term memory function. When 76 participants were tested on retention of new information, the placebo group forgot the information more quickly than the group taking Bacopa monnieri. (1)
For Cognitive Function and Mood
Bacopa supports healthy moods in the elderly. In a double-blind placebo-controlled study at Helfgott Research Institute, National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon, 48 participants, 65 or older, were given a daily dose of 300mg of Bacopa or a placebo for 12 weeks.
Those who took the Bacopa recorded better word recall memory scores in comparison to the placebo group. The Bacopa group also showed less stress and better moods after taking the supplement when compared to the placebo group. (2)
Bacopa Fights Stress
In addition to the improved cognitive function reported by the Portland study, which appeared in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, the participants taking Bacopa showed fewer mood issues. It’s also interesting that heart rate decreased in the Bacopa group over time, but increased in the placebo group. This study provides further evidence that Bacopa has potential for safely enhancing cognitive performance in the elderly, without producing side effects. (2)
How does Bacopa Work?
A number of compounds have been identified in Bacopa, including bacosides A and B, two chemicals that improve the transmission of impulses between nerve cells in the brain. These bacosides support cognitive function, making it easier to learn and remember new information. (3, 4) Bacopa also supports the natural production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine (important for learning and memory), (5, 6) and serotonin and GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid), neurotransmitters that promote relaxation. (7)
Suggested Use of Bacopa
Adults, take 1 capsule, two times per day after food or as directed by your health care professional. Children, 4 years or older, take 1 capsule, one time per day after food or as directed by your health care professional.