Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri)
Well demonstrated neuroprotective action, able to improve attention and cognitive functionalities, antioxidant and anti inflammatory.
Bacopa monnieri, also called brahmi or waterhyssop, is a perennial herb whose fame is growing fast all over the world as a remedy to improve memory. It belongs to the ancient Ayurveda and, nowadays, it is the subject of several scientific studies to test the properties that, according to tradition, brahmi should show. Beyond the advertising catchphrases, often without a true basis, that consider bacopa a remedy able to heal quite any disorder, from heart diseases to anxiety, brahmi shows a real action on the cognitive functionalities. Indeed, scientific studies (Nemetchek et al, J Ethnopharmacol, Feb 2017) observed that bacopa has an anti inflammatory and antioxidant action on the brain, by protecting it from the damages of free radicals. Moreover, this plant increases the blood flow to the brain, without changing the global blood pressure, and improves attention and the process of drawing up and remembering new information, especially new words (Roodenrys et al, Neuropsychopharmacology, 2002 – Aguiar et al, Rejuvenation Res, Aug 2013). These properties are due to substances contained in bacopa such as alkaloids and saponins, that are considered able to improve the transmissions between neurons (Kumar et al, Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, Oct 2016). Finally, bacopa is considered a promising remedy in case of attention deficit and hyperactivity in children and, in adults, in case of Alzheimer. However, in both cases the studies are still limited and for this reason, in order to be sure about these last effects other researches are needed (Chaudhari et al, Ann Neurosci, Mat 2017 – Dave et al, Adv Mind Body Med, 2014 ). You can take bacopa in the form of dry extracts. In scientific researches (Kumar et al, Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, Oct 2016) the studied dose was 300 mg every day and the first results have been observed after 6 weeks. In general, the intake of bacopa is considered safe although some side effects such as nausea, stomach cramps or diarrhea may occur (Morgan et al, J Altern Complement Med, Jul 2010). Avoid bacopa during pregnancy since there aren’t any studies about its safety during this period and ask always your doctor for advice if you are already taking medicines to verify interactions. In fact, it has been reported (Khurshid et al, Braz J Pharm Sci, 2017) that bacopa may interact with medicines, such amitriplyne that is an antidepressant and may also be used to counteract some forms of headache.