Bacopa Monnieri extract supplement health benefit, review of research studies, capsules and tablets 500 mg - Also known as Brahmi - Drug interactions, safety, danger
How well does this herb work for mental enhancement and as a memory pill? Does it work for ADD or ADHD, depression, anxiety
Influence on neurotransmitters, thyroid gland, function as nootropic pill
March 27 2014

Bacopa is an herb used for memory and mental enhancement. Many mind formulas include this herbal extract combined with other herbs and nutrients used for memory and mind enhancement. Research on humans is ongoing and shows promise. You may also consider a potent brain enhancing formula that has extracts of this herb, it is called Mind Power Rx and it was developed by a highly regarded and well known medical doctor.

Traditional uses and benefits
Brahmi is extensively used in traditional Indian medicine as a nerve tonic and thought to improve memory and mental function. We are not sure if it has an influence on libido or sexual health.

Onset of action
The mental enhancement benefits of bacopa herb or extract are often noticed within a few hours or a few days depending on the dosage used and how sensitive you are to herbal products that influence the mind.

Dosage
Adults can use a dosage of bacopa herb between 200 mg to 500 mg a few times a week. Many preparations are in the form of extracts with various potencies. If you buy a bacopa extract product, your dosage would be less than that of the regular bacopa powder. How much less depends on how potent and concentrated the extract. When you first begin with a new product consider taking half a capsule or tablet, or at least no more than one. Take on empty stomach in the morning.

Availability as a dietary supplement
The herb is sold in health food stores or online in a variety of forms. It is not easy to determine which product and in what dosage will work for you best unless you personally try them.

Bacopa-225mg-physician-formulas-Sahelian-front.jpgBramhi leaves, dried water extract 500 mg tablet
Bacopa monniera 200 mg vegetarian capsules
100:1 extract ratio, PSE-50% bacosides, 500 mg tablet
Leaf extract 20:1 (equivalent to 5,000 mg whole leaf) 250 mg, plus 50% bacosides A and B 125 mg
Whole Plant Extract (20% bacosides A+B) 450 mg
Whole Plant Extract Standardized to 20% bacosides 150 mg

 


Purchase Bacopa herb for memory enhancement or Mind Power Rx which has ginkgo and other memory enhancers

Q. I have often used bacopa from Indian Ayurvedic companies to good effect. I notice that you sell an extract and I have read that sometimes the whole herb can be better than the extract and vice versa. Do you only sell the extract because you have compared it with the more traditional Indian usage and found it to be better than the whole herb?
   A. We have not seen studies comparing the extract versus the whole herb in a human study group to know in the long run which is better for cognitive enhancement.

Spelling
The accepted spelling of this herb is Bacopa Monnieri although you will see a variation of this spelling as monniera.

Addiction or habituation
We are not aware of any studies or reports of this herb having addictive or habituation potential.

Bacopa side effects, safety, no danger at this point
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.

Bacopa monnieri and fertility issues
Evaluation of antifertility potential of Brahmi in male mouse.
Contraception. 2009. Department of Zoology, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India.
The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the effect of Brahmi on fertility of male laboratory mouse. The treatment had no effect on levels of testosterone, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase and creatinine in blood serum, hematological parameters and on liver and kidney histoarchitecture. In Bacopa treated males, libido remained unaffected, but fertility was notably suppressed. The alterations caused in the above reproductive endpoints by the plant extract were reversible, and by 56 days of treatment withdrawal, the parameters recovered to control levels. The results in mice thus suggest that Bacopa extract treatment causes reversible suppression of spermatogenesis and fertility, without producing apparent toxic effects.

Human studies
Many studies have shown the herb to have a beneficial effect on the mind and memory.

Bacopa improves memory
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; Calabrese C, Gregory WL, Kraemer D, Bone K, Oken B. Helfgott Research Institute, National College of Natural Medicine, Portland, OR, USA.
Study aims were to evaluate effects of Bacopa monnieri whole plant standardized dry extract on cognitive function and affect and its safety and tolerability in healthy elderly study participants. The study enrolled volunteers from the community to a clinic in Portland, Oregon by public notification. Fifty-four (54) participants, 65 or older (mean 73 years), without clinical signs of dementia, were recruited and randomized to standardized Bacopa monnieri extract 300 mg/day or a similar placebo tablet given orally for 12 weeks. Controlling for baseline cognitive deficit using the Blessed Orientation-Memory-Concentration test, Bacopa participants had enhanced Auditory Verbal Learning Test delayed word recall memory scores relative to placebo. Stroop results were similarly significant, with the Bacopa group improving and the placebo group unchanged. CESD-10 depression scores, combined state plus trait anxiety scores, and heart rate decreased over time for the Bacopa group but increased for the placebo group. The dose was well tolerated with few adverse events, primarily stomach upset. This study provides further evidence that Bacopa monnieri standardized extract has potential for safely enhancing cognitive performance in the aging.

Mechanism of action
The mode of action of brain cell protective effects is due to the antioxidants that suppress neuronal oxidative stress and the acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activities. Treating patients with bacopa extract may be a way to treat neurodegenerative disorders associated with oxidative stress as well as perhaps Alzheimer's disease.

Phytother Res. 2014 Jan 21. n Vitro Evaluation of Bacopa monniera Extract and Individual Constituents on Human Recombinant Monoamine Oxidase Enzymes. Bacopa monniera is a traditional Ayurvedic medicinal plant that has been used worldwide for its nootropic action. Chemically standardized extract of B. monniera is now available as over the counter herbal remedy to enhance memory in children and adults. Considering the nootropic action of B. monniera, we evaluated the effect of clinically available B. monniera extract and six of B. monniera constituents (bacoside A3, bacopaside I, bacopaside II, bacosaponin C, bacosine, and bacoside A mixture) on recombinant human monoamine oxidase (MAO) enzymes. Bacopaside I and bacoside A mixture inhibited the MAO-A and MAO-B enzymes. Bacopaside I is the major constituent of B. monniera, which inhibited the MAO-A enzyme selectively.

Herb composition
Bacopa herb contains many compounds including bacopasaponins such as bacoside A, bacopaside II, bacopaside I, bacopaside X, bacopasaponin, bacopaside N2 and minor components bacopasaponin F, bacopasaponin E, bacopaside N1 bacopaside III, bacopaside IV and bacopaside V. The total saponin content in samples, plant materials and extracts vary from 5 to 22%. Dammarane-type triterpenoid saponins classified as pseudojujubogenin and jujubogenin glycosides are reported as some of active components in this plant.

Animal studies

Alzheimer's disease and cognitive benefit
Cognitive enhancement and neuroprotective effects of Bacopa monnieri in Alzheimer's disease model.
J Ethnopharmacol. 2010; Uabundit N, Wattanathorn J, Mucimapura S. Department of Physiology (Neuroscience Program) and Graduate School, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Thailand.
To determine the effect of alcoholic extract of Bacopa monnieri on cognitive function and neurodegeneration in animal model of Alzheimer's disease. Bacopa monnieri extract improved the escape latency time in Morris water maze test. Moreover, the reduction of neurons and cholinergic neuron densities were also mitigated. These findings suggest that it is a potential cognitive enhancer and neuroprotectant against Alzheimer's disease.

Fertility
Evaluation of antifertility potential of Brahmi in male mouse.
Contraception. 2009. Department of Zoology, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India.
The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the effect of Bacopa monnieri on fertility of male laboratory mouse. Mice of the Parkes strain were orally administered Brahmi (250 mg/kg body weight/day, for 28 and 56 days), and effect of the treatment on reproductive organs and fertility was investigated. The treatment caused reduction in motility, viability, morphology, and number of spermatozoa in cauda epididymidis. Histologically, testes in mice treated with the plant extract showed alterations in the seminiferous tubules, and the alterations included intraepithelial vacuolation, loosening of germinal epithelium, exfoliation of germ cells and occurrence of giant cells. In severe cases, the tubules were lined by only Sertoli cells or Sertoli cells, spermatogonia and spermatocytes. Significant reductions were also noted in height of the germinal epithelium and diameter of the seminiferous tubules in Brahmi-treated mice compared to controls. Epididymis in treated males showed slight alterations in histological appearance. The treatment had no effect on levels of testosterone, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase and creatinine in blood serum, hematological parameters and on liver and kidney histoarchitecture. In Brahmi-treated males, libido remained unaffected, but fertility was notably suppressed. The alterations caused in the above reproductive endpoints by the plant extract were reversible, and by 56 days of treatment withdrawal, the parameters recovered to control levels. The results in mice thus suggest that Brahmi treatment causes reversible suppression of spermatogenesis and fertility, without producing apparent toxic effects.
   Comments: The dosage used in this study is very high compared to what humans may ingest and thus may not reflect what goes on in humans who would ingest usually less than 15 mg per kilogram.

Interaction with other supplements
Epimedium extract, also known as horny goat weed - We suggest using Epimedium herb and the mind enhancing herb on separate days unless the dosages are low.

Gotu kola - Bacopa can be used together with gotu kola, or centella asiatica, but in lower dosages.