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    Bacopa

    Bacopa

    Uses

    Common names:
    Brahmi, Water Hyssop
    Botanical names:
    Bacopa monnieri

    Parts Used & Where Grown

    Bacopa is native to India, where it grows in marshy areas. In the West, bacopa is a familiar water plant used in aquariums. Most parts of the plant have been used traditionally, but modern preparations are extracts of the stem and leaves.

    What Are Star Ratings?

    Our proprietary ?Star-Rating? system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

    For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

    3 Stars Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.

    2 Stars Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.

    1 Star For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement,little scientific support.

    This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

    Used for Why
    2 Stars
    Age-Related Cognitive Decline
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    Animal studies have found the Ayurvedic herb bacopa has constituents that enhance several aspects of mental function and learning ability.2 , 3 , 4 A controlled study found that a syrup containing an extract of dried bacopa herb given to children improved several measures of mental performance.5 A double-blind trial in adults found that a standardized extract of bacopa (300 mg per day for people weighing under 200 lbs and 450 per day for people over 200 lbs) improved only one out of several measures of memory function after three months.6 Another double-blind trial lasting twelve weeks found 300 mg per day of bacopa improved four out of fifteen measures of learning, memory, and other mental functions in adults.7 A third double-blind trial found that 300 mg per day of bacopa improved memory acquisition and retention in healthy elderly people.8 Similar results were found in a 12-week double-blind study of elderly individuals who had no evidence of dementia.9 Afourth double-blind study found no effects on mental function in a group of healthy adults given 300 mg of standardized bacopa and tested two hours later. Bacopa has not been tested on people with memory problems.10

    1 Star
    Alzheimer?s Disease
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    Animal studies have found the Ayurvedic herb bacopa has constituents that enhance several aspects of mental function and learning ability.11 , 12 , 13 A controlled study found that a syrup containing an extract of dried bacopa herb given to children improved several measures of mental performance.14 A double-blind trial in adults found that a standardized extract of bacopa (300 mg per day for people weighing under 200 lbs and 450 per day for people over 200 lbs) improved only one out of several measures of memory function after three months.15 Another double-blind trial lasting twelve weeks found 300 mg per day of bacopa improved four out of fifteen measures of learning, memory, and other mental functions in adults.16 A third double-blind study found no effects on mental function in a group of healthy adults given 300 mg of standardized bacopa and tested two hours later. Bacopa has not been tested on people with memory problems.17

    1 Star
    Anxiety
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    Bacopa , a traditional herb used in Ayurvedic medicine, has been shown to have anti-anxiety effects in animals.18 A preliminary study reported that a syrup containing an extract of dried bacopa herb reduced anxiety in people with anxiety neurosis.19 A double-blind trial in healthy adults found that 300 mg per day of a standardized bacopa extract reduced general feelings of anxiety, as assessed by a questionnaire.20

    1 Star
    Epilepsy
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    One older preliminary trial in India found an extract of bacopa , an Ayurvedic herb, reduced the frequency of epileptic seizures in a small group of people.21 However, another similar preliminary trial gave inconclusive results.22 Controlled research is needed to properly evaluate whether bacopa is helpful for epilepsy.

    Traditional Use (May Not Be Supported by Scientific Studies)

    Since at least the sixth century A.D., bacopa (Brahmi) has been used in Ayurvedic medicine (the traditional medicine of India) as a diuretic and as a tonic for the nervous system and the heart. Specific uses include the treatment of asthma, insanity, and epilepsy.1

    How It Works

    Common names:
    Brahmi, Water Hyssop
    Botanical names:
    Bacopa monnieri

    How It Works

    The leaves of bacopa contain saponins, including the bacosides,23 , 24 , 25 which are thought responsible for the therapeutic properties of the herb. In animal studies, both purified bacosides and extracts of bacopa standardized for bacosides have been found to enhance several aspects of mental function and learning ability.26 , 27 , 28 Additional brain effects of bacopa demonstrated in animal research include reduction of both anxiety and depression.29 , 30 Biochemically, these nervous-system effects have been attributed to an enhancement of the effects of the neurotransmitters acetylcholine and,31 , 32 possibly, serotonin or GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid).33 , 34

    Bacopa extracts also appear to have significant antioxidant activity in the brain,35 and other effects that may help protect brain cells.36

    Animal research has also reported that bacopa extracts can relax the muscles that control the blood vessels, the intestine, and the airways of the respiratory system,37 , 38 , 39 , 40 and can help both prevent and heal ulcers in the stomach.41

    How to Use It

    Traditional herbal references recommend 5 to 10 grams per day of the powdered herb.42 Human research has used 300 to 450 mg per day of an extract standardized to contain 55% bacosides.

    Interactions

    Common names:
    Brahmi, Water Hyssop
    Botanical names:
    Bacopa monnieri

    Interactions with Supplements, Foods, & Other Compounds

    At the time of writing, there were no well-known supplement or food interactions with this supplement.

    Interactions with Medicines

    Certain medicines interact with this supplement.

    Types of interactions: Beneficial Adverse Check

    Replenish Depleted Nutrients

    • none

    Reduce Side Effects

    • none

    Support Medicine

    • none

    Reduces Effectiveness

    • none

    Potential Negative Interaction

    • Perphenazine

      An animal study found that the effects of chlorpromazine, a drug similar to (perphenazine, prochlorperazine, thioridazine), were enhanced when a bacopa extract was given along with it.43 Until more is known, people taking medications from this family of drugs (called phenothiazines) should not take bacopa.

    • Prochlorperazine

      An animal study found that the effects of chlorpromazine, a drug similar to (perphenazine, prochlorperazine, thioridazine), were enhanced when a bacopa extract was given along with it.44 Until more is known, people taking medications from this family of drugs (called phenothiazines) should not take bacopa.

    • Thioridazine

      An animal study found that the effects of chlorpromazine, a drug similar to (perphenazine, prochlorperazine, thioridazine), were enhanced when a bacopa extract was given along with it.45 Until more is known, people taking medications from this family of drugs (called phenothiazines) should not take bacopa.

    Explanation Required

    • none

    The Drug-Nutrient Interactions table may not include every possible interaction. Taking medicines with meals, on an empty stomach, or with alcohol may influence their effects. For details, refer to the manufacturers? package information as these are not covered in this table. If you take medications, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.

    Side Effects

    Common names:
    Brahmi, Water Hyssop
    Botanical names:
    Bacopa monnieri

    Side Effects

    Bacopa appears to be well tolerated when taken in typical amounts,46 although one double-blind study reported significantly more symptoms of dry mouth, nausea, and muscle fatigue in participants taking bacopa.47

    References

    1. [No author listed].The Wealth of India: Raw Materials. II-B. New Delhi: Publications and Information Directorate, CSIR, 1950:2?3.

    2. Singh HK, Dhawan BN. Neuropsychopharmacological effects of the Ayurvedic nootropic Bacopa monniera Linn. (Brahmi). Indian J Pharmacol 1997;29:S359?S365.

    3. Singh HK, Rastogi RP, Srimal RC, Dhawan BN. Effect of bacosides A and B on avoidance responses in rats. Phytother Res 1988;2:70?5.

    4. Singh HK, Dhawan BN. Effect of Bacopa monniera Linn. (brahmi) extract on avoidance responses in rat. J Ethnopharmacol 1982;5:205?14.

    5. Sharma R, Chaturvedi C, Tewari PV. Efficacy of Bacopa monniera in revitalizing intellectual functions in children. J Res Edu Ind Med 1987:1:12.

    6. Roodenrys S, Booth D, Bulzomi S, et al. Chronic effects of Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) on human memory. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2002;27:279?81.

    7. Stough C, Lloyd J, Clarke J, et al. The chronic effects of an extract of Bacopa monniera (Brahmi) on cognitive function in healthy human subjects. Psychopharmacology 2001;156:481?4.

    8. Morgan A, Stevens J. Does Bacopa monnieri improve memory performance in older persons? Results of a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial. J Altern Complement Med 2010;16:735?9

    9. Calabrese C, Gregory WL, Leo M, et al. 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;14:707?13.

    10. Nathan PJ, Clarke J, Lloyd J, et al. The acute effects of an extract of Bacopa monniera (Brahmi) on cognitive function in healthy normal subjects. Hum Psychopharmacol 2001;16:345?51.

    11. Singh HK, Dhawan BN. Neuropsychopharmacological effects of the Ayurvedic nootropic Bacopa monniera Linn. (Brahmi). Indian J Pharmacol 1997;29:S359?S365.

    12. Singh HK, Rastogi RP, Srimal RC, Dhawan BN. Effect of bacosides A and B on avoidance responses in rats. Phytother Res 1988;2:70?5.

    13. Singh HK, Dhawan BN. Effect of Bacopa monniera Linn. (brahmi) extract on avoidance responses in rat. J Ethnopharmacol 1982;5:205?14.

    14. Sharma R, Chaturvedi C, Tewari PV. Efficacy of Bacopa monniera in revitalizing intellectual functions in children. J Res Edu Ind Med 1987:1:12.

    15. Roodenrys S, Booth D, Bulzomi S, et al. Chronic effects of Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) on human memory. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2002;27:279?81.

    16. Stough C, Lloyd J, Clarke J, et al. The chronic effects of an extract of Bacopa monniera (Brahmi) on cognitive function in healthy human subjects. Psychopharmacology 2001;156:481?4.

    17. Nathan PJ, Clarke J, Lloyd J, et al. The acute effects of an extract of Bacopa monniera (Brahmi) on cognitive function in healthy normal subjects. Hum Psychopharmacol 2001;16:345?51.

    18. Bhattacharya SK, Ghosal S. Anxiolytic activity of a standardized extract of Bacopa monniera?an experimental study. Phytomedicine 1998;5:77?82.

    19. Singh RH, Singh L. Studies on the anti-anxiety effect of the medyha rasayana drug, Brahmi (Bacopa monniera Wettst.) Part 1. J Res Ayur Siddha 1980;1:133?48.

    20. Stough C, Lloyd J, Clarke J, et al. The chronic effects of an extract of Bacopa monniera (Brahmi) on cognitive function in healthy human subjects. Psychopharmacology 2001;156:481?4.

    21. Mukherjee GD, Dey CD. Comparative study on the anti-epileptic action of some common phyto-products. J Exp Med Sci 1968;11:82?5.

    22. Mukherjee GD, Dey CD. Clinical trial on Brahmi. J Exp Med Sci 1966;10:5?11.

    23. Chatterji N, Rastorgi RP, Dhar ML. Chemical examination of Bacopa monniera Wettst. Part I: isolation of chemical constituents. Indian J Chem 1963;1:212.

    24. Rastogi S, Pal R, Kulshreshtha DK. Bacoside A3?a triterpenoid saponin from Bacopa monniera. Phytochemistry 1994;36:133?7.

    25. Jain P, Kulshreshtha DK. Bacoside A1, a minor saponin from Bacopa monniera. Phytochemistry 1993;33:449?51.

    26. Singh HK, Dhawan BN. Neuropsychopharmacological effects of the Ayurvedic nootropic Bacopa monniera Linn. (Brahmi). Indian J Pharmacol 1997;29:S359?S365.

    27. Singh HK, Rastogi RP, Srimal RC, Dhawan BN. Effect of bacosides A and B on avoidance responses in rats. Phytother Res 1988;2:70?5.

    28. Singh HK, Dhawan BN. Effect of Bacopa monniera Linn. (brahmi) extract on avoidance responses in rat. J Ethnopharmacol 1982;5:205?14.

    29. Bhattacharya SK, Ghosal S. Anxiolytic activity of a standardized extract of Bacopa monniera?an experimental study. Phytomedicine 1998;5:77?82.

    30. Sairam K, Dorababu M, Goel RK, Bhattacharya SK. Antidepressant activity of standardized extract of Bacopa monniera in experimental models of depression in rats. Phytomedicine 2002;9:207?11.

    31. Stough C, Lloyd J, Clarke J, et al. The chronic effects of an extract of Bacopa monniera (Brahmi) on cognitive function in healthy human subjects. Psychopharmacology 2001;156:481?4.

    32. Bhattacharya SK, Kumar A, Ghosal S. Effect of Bacopa monniera on animal models of Alzheimer's disease and perturbed central cholinergic markers of cognition in rats. In: Siva Sanka DV, ed. Molecular Aspects of Asian Medicine. New York: PJD Publications, 2000.

    33. Ganguly GK, Malhtora CL. Some neuropharmacological and behavioral effects of an activefraction from Herpestis monniera Linn (Brahmi). Indian J Physiol Pharmacol 1967;11:33?43.

    34. Dey PK, Datta C. Effect of psychotropic phytochemicals on cerebral amino acid level. Indian J Exp Biol 1966; 4:216?8.

    35. Bhattacharya SK, Bhattacharya A, Kumar A, Ghosal S. Antioxidant activity of Bacopa monniera in rat frontal cortex, striatum and hippocampus. Phytother Res 2000;14:174?9.

    36. Russo A, Borrelli F, Campisi A, et al. Nitric oxide-related toxicity in cultured astrocytes: effect of Bacopa monniera. Life Sci 2003;73:1517?26.

    37. Dar A, Channa S. Bronchodilatory and cardiovascular effects of an ethanol extract of Bacopa monniera in anaesthetized rats. Phytomedicine 1997;4:319?23.

    38. Dar A, Channa S. Relaxant effect of ethanol extract of Bacopa monniera on trachea, pulmonary artery and aorta from rabbit and guinea-pig. Phytother Res 1997;11:323?5.

    39. Channa S, Dar A, Yaqoob M, et al. Broncho-vasodilatory activity of fractions and pure constituents isolated from Bacopa monniera. J Ethnopharmacol2003;86:27?35.

    40. Dar A, Channa S. Calcium antagonistic activity of Bacopa monniera on vascular and intestinal smooth muscles of rabbit and guinea-pig. J Ethnopharmacol 1999;66:167?74.

    41. Sairam K, Rao CV, Babu MD, Goel RK. Prophylactic and curative effects of Bacopa monniera in gastric ulcer models. Phytomedicine 2001;8:423?30.

    42. [No author given]. Indian Herbal Pharmacopoeia,Volume 1. Worli, Mumbai: Indian Drug Manufacturers Association, 1998.

    43. Ganguly DK, Malhotra CL. Some behavioral effects of an active fraction from Herpestis monniera Linn. (Brahmi). Indian J Med Res 1967;55:473?82.

    44. Ganguly DK, Malhotra CL. Some behavioral effects of an active fraction from Herpestis monniera Linn. (Brahmi). Indian J Med Res 1967;55:473?82.

    45. Ganguly DK, Malhotra CL. Some behavioral effects of an active fraction from Herpestis monniera Linn. (Brahmi). Indian J Med Res 1967;55:473?82.

    46. Singh HK, Dhawan BN. Neuropsychopharmacological effects of the Ayurvedic nootropic Bacopa monniera Linn. (Brahmi). Indian J Pharmacol 1997;29:S359?S365.

    47. Stough C, Lloyd J, Clarke J, et al. The chronic effects of an extract of Bacopa monniera (Brahmi) on cognitive function in healthy human subjects. Psychopharmacology 2001;156:481?4.

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