Bacopa

Bacopa, also called brahmi, water hyssop, thyme leaved gratiola and herb of grace, is a plant that is used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine which grows in wet, tropical environments.

Updated: October 18, 2021

Bacopa:

Bacopa, also called brahmi, water hyssop, thyme leaved gratiola and herb of grace, is a plant that is used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine which grows in wet, tropical environments.

Some facts about Bacopa:

  • It is popular for aquarium use because of its ability to thrive underwater.
  • The compounds called bacosides present in Bacopa can help improving memory, reducing anxiety, boosting brain function, alleviating anxiety and stress as well as treating epilepsy.
  • Bacopa can be used for Alzheimer disease, memory and cognitive function such as thinking skills, anxiety, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  • Backache, hoarseness, mental illness, epilepsy, joint pain and sexual performance issues in both men and women can be treated by using Bacopa.
  • Certain brain chemicals that are involved in thinking, learning, and memory can be incresed by using Bacopa.
Brain cells can be protected from chemicals involved in Alzheimer's disease.  

Uses & Effectiveness of Bacopa:

  • Some measure of memory in healthy older adults can be increased by taking specific Bacopa extracts.
  • Some measures of memory and the coordination of hand and eye in children of 6 to 8 years of age can be improved by taking Bacopa extract.
  • The symptoms of anxiety, including nervousness, fast heartbeat, insomnia, headache, tiredness, difficulty concentrating, and stomach discomfort can be reduced by taking 30 mL of Bacopa syrup daily for 4 weeks.
  • Seizures can be prevented in some people with epilepsy by taking Bacopa extract for 5 months.
  • Symptoms of depression can be reduced by taking bacopa along with citalopram, which is an antidepressant.
  • Bacopa can be used for Alzheimer disease, congestive heart failure or CHF, hoarseness, mental illness, back pain, high blood pressure, insomnia, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), sexual problems that prevent satisfaction during sexual activity and some other conditions.
  • It can help protect against cell damage caused by potentially harmful molecules called free radicals because of its antioxidant property.
  • Bacopa can help prevent damage caused by Lipid peroxidation, which is associated with several conditions, such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative disorders as the free radicals can be neutralized and fat molecules can be preventd from reacting with free radicals because of the presence of bacosides, the main active compounds in Bacopa.
  • Bacopa can help treat various chronic conditions, including cancer, diabetes, and heart and kidney disease which are asociated with low-level inflammation as the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which are molecules that stimulate an inflammatory immune response can be suppressed.
  • The anti-inflammatory effects of bacopa is comparable to diclofenac and indomethacin which are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs commonly used to treat inflammation.
  • It inhibit enzymes, such as cyclooxygenases, caspases, and lipoxygenases which play key roles in inflammation and pain.
  • The speed of processing visual information, learning rate, and memory can be inceased by 300 mg of Bacopa.
  • Memory, attention, and the ability to process information can be improved by taking either 300 mg or 600 mg of Bacopa extract.
  • The resistance of your body to stress can be increased by using this adaptogenic herb. It help reducing stress and anxiety by elevating your mood and reducing the cortisol levels, which is closely linked to stress levels.
  • The anti-anxiety effects of bacopa is comparable to lorazepam (benzodiazepine), a prescription medication used to treat anxiety.
  • Bacopa can help reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels by releasing nitric oxide, which helps dilate blood vessels, resulting in improved blood flow and lower blood pressure.

Side Effects of Bacopa:

  • Bacopa extract is posssibly safe when used for up to 12 weeks for adults.
  • Bacopa is posssibly safe when taken by mouth for up to 6 months by children of 6 to 12 years old.
  • Bowel movements, stomach cramps, nausea, dry mouth, and fatigue are some of the common side effects of Bacopa.

Precautions and Warnings of Bacopa:

  • Avoid using Bacopa during pregnancy and breast feeding to stay on safe side as there is not enough is known about the safety of using Bacopa during pregnancy and breast feeding.
  • Bacopa can slow down the heart rate which could be a problem in people who already have a slow heart rate.
  • Bacopa can cause gastrointestinal tract blockage in people who have a blockage in their intestines.
  • Bacopa could worsen ulcers as it can increase secretion in the stomach and intestines.
  • Lung conditions such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD can get worsen by using bacopa as it can increase fluid secretions in the lung.
  • Avoid using bacopa if you have a thyroid condition or take thyroid hormone medications as it can increase levels of thyroid hormone.
  • Bacopa can worsen urinary obstruction as it can increase secretions in the urinary tract.

Interactions of Bacopa:

  • Do not use Bacopa with drying medications as it might decrease the effects of drying medication or anticholinergic drugs that help increase levels of certain chemicals in the body that work in the brain, heart, and elsewhere.
  • Atropine, scopolamine, antihistamines that is used for allergies, and antidepressants are used as drying medications.
  • The effects and side effects of medications used for Alzheimer's disease can be increased by taking Bacopa along with medications for Alzheimer's disease.
  • Taking Bacopa along with medications used for glaucoma, Alzheimer's disease might increase the chance of side effects. Pilocarpine (Pilocar and others), donepezil (Aricept) and tacrine (Cognex) are some of the examples of these medication.
  • Taking Bacopa along with thyroid medication can cause too much thyroid hormone in the body, which can increase the effects and side effects of thyroid hormone.

Dosing of Bacopa:

A dosage of 300 mg brahmi extract per day for 12 weeks can be taken for improving memory and thinking.

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