Health Benefits of Brahmi
*Relieves anxiety and depression.
* Help treat memory disorders.
*Improves information retention.
*Boost cognitive ability.
*Enhances performance on memory related tasks.
*Bacopa monnieri has been used by Ayurvedic medical practitioners for centuries for a variety of purposes, including improving memory, reducing anxiety, and treating epilepsy. In fact, research shows that it may boost brain function and alleviate anxiety and stress, among other benefits. A class of powerful compounds called bacosides in Bacopa monnieri is believed to be responsible for these benefits.
1. Contains powerful antioxidants
Antioxidants are substances that help protect against cell damage caused by potentially harmful molecules called free radicals.
Research suggests that damage caused by free radicals is linked to many chronic conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers
Bacopa monnieri contains powerful compounds that may have antioxidant effects
For example, bacosides, the main active compounds in Bacopa monnieri, have been shown to neutralize free radicals and prevent fat molecules from reacting with free radicals
When fat molecules react with free radicals, they undergo a process called lipid peroxidation. Lipid peroxidation is linked to several conditions, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other neurodegenerative disorders
Bacopa monnieri may help prevent damage caused by this process.
For example, a study showed that treating rats with dementia with Bacopa monnieri reduced free radical damage and reversed signs of memory impairment
2. May reduce inflammation
Inflammation is your body’s natural response to help heal and fight disease.
However, chronic, low-level inflammation has been linked to many chronic conditions, including cancer, diabetes, and heart and kidney disease
In test-tube studies, Bacopa monnieri appeared to suppress the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which are molecules that stimulate an inflammatory immune response
Also, in test-tube and animal studies, it inhibited enzymes, such as cyclooxygenases, caspases, and lipoxygenases , all of which play key roles in inflammation and pain
Whats more, in animal studies, Bacopa monnieri had anti, inflammatory effects comparable to those of diclofenac and indomethacin , two nonsteroidal anti,inflammatory drugs commonly used to treat inflammation
Nevertheless, more research is needed to determine whether Bacopa monnieri reduces inflammation in humans.
3. May boost brain function
Research suggests that Bacopa monnieri may help enhance brain function.
For example, one study in mice showed that supplementing with Bacopa monnieri improved their spatial learning and ability to retain information.
The same study also found that it increased dendritic length and branching. Dendrites are parts of nerve cells in the brain that are closely linked to learning and memory.
Additionally, a 12-week study in 46 healthy adults observed that taking 300 mg of Bacopa monnieri daily significantly improved the speed of processing visual information, learning rate, and memory, compared with the placebo treatment .
Another 12-week study in 60 older adults found that taking either 300 mg or 600 mg of Bacopa monnieri extract daily improved memory, attention, and the ability to process information, compared with the placebo treatment .
4. May help reduce ADHD symptoms
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is characterized by symptoms like hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattentiveness .
Interestingly, research has shown that Bacopa monnieri may help reduce ADHD symptoms.
One study in 31 children aged 6–12 years found that taking 225 mg of Bacopa monnieri extract daily for 6 months significantly reduced ADHD symptoms, such as restlessness, poor self-control, inattention, and impulsivity in 85% of the children .
Another study in 120 children with ADHD observed that taking an herbal blend that contained 125 mg of Bacopa monnieri improved attention, cognition, and impulse control, compared with the placebo group .
Although these findings are promising, more large-scale studies examining the effects of Bacopa monnieri on ADHD are needed before it can be recommended as a treatment.
5. May prevent anxiety and stress
Bacopa monnieri may help prevent anxiety and stress. It’s considered an adaptogenic herb, meaning that it increases your body’s resistance to stress
Research suggests that Bacopa monnieri helps reduce stress and anxiety by elevating your mood and reducing levels of cortisol, a hormone that is closely linked to stress levels
One rodent study showed that Bacopa monnieri had anti-anxiety effects comparable to those of lorazepam (benzodiazepine), a prescription medication used to treat anxiety
However, human studies on Bacopa monnieri and anxiety show mixed results.
For example, two 12-week human studies found that taking 300 mg of Bacopa monnieri daily significantly reduced anxiety and depression scores in adults, compared with the placebo treatment
Yet, another human study found that treatment with Bacopa monnieri had no effect on anxiety
More large-scale human studies are needed to confirm its effects on stress and anxiety.
6. May help lower blood pressure levels
High blood pressure is a serious health concern, as it places strain on your heart and blood vessels. This can weaken your heart and increase your risk of heart disease
Research suggests that Bacopa monnieri may help keep blood pressure within a healthy range.
In one animal study, Bacopa monnieri reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels. It did this by releasing nitric oxide, which helps dilate blood vessels, resulting in improved blood flow and lower blood pressure
Another study showed that Bacopa monnieri significantly lowered blood pressure levels in rats that had elevated levels, but it had no effect in rats that had normal blood pressure levels
However, one 12-week study in 54 healthy older adults found that taking 300 mg of Bacopa monnieri daily had no effect on blood pressure levels
Based on current findings, Bacopa monnieri may lower blood pressure in animals with high blood pressure levels. Nevertheless, more human research is required to confirm these effects.
7. May have anticancer properties
Test-tube and animal studies have found that Bacopa monnieri may have anticancer properties.
Bacosides, the active class of compounds in Bacopa monnieri, have been shown to kill aggressive brain tumor cells and inhibit the growth of breast and colon cancer cells in test-tube studies .
Additionally, Bacopa monnieri induced skin and breast cancer cell death in animal and test-tube studies .
Research suggests that the high levels of antioxidants and compounds like bacosides in Bacopa monnieri may be responsible for its cancer-fighting properties .
Keep in mind that these results are from test-tube and animal studies. Until there are more human studies on Bacopa monnieri and cancer, it cannot be recommended as a treatment.
Bacopa monnieri side effects
While Bacopa monnieri is considered safe, it may cause side effects in some people.
For example, it may cause digestive symptoms, including nausea, stomach cramps, and diarrhea .
Furthermore, bacopa monnieri is not recommended for pregnant women, as no studies have assessed the safety of its use during pregnancy .
Finally, it may interact with certain medications, including amitriptyline, a medication used for pain relief .
If you are taking any medications, speak with your healthcare provider before taking Bacopa monnieri.