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Bacopa May Help Prevent Alzheimer’s and Dementia

An extract of a little-known herb called Bacopa can dramatically increase your brain function and memory — and may even help prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Its therapeutic use has its origins from traditional Ayurvedic medicine in India, where it has been used for its adaptogenic, tranquilizing and antioxidant properties.

Bacopa is a creeping perennial herb that can be found in Nepal, China, India, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Vietnam and some parts of the United States, including Hawaii, Florida and other Southern states. Bacopa (also called Bacopa monnieri or brahmi) thrives in wetlands, on muddy shores and around ponds or bog gardens.

Used in India for thousands of years for both traditional and medicinal purposes, Bacopa had a central role in religious consecration ceremonies for infants: The botanical was believed to open a gateway to intelligence for children.

Shamanic Memory

Researchers may first have been intrigued by Bacopa monnieri because of the effect they believed it had on ancient shamans, who reportedly used the herb to help them memorize epic poems.

Researchers theorized that perhaps the Bacopa plant enhanced the shamans’ brain function and improved their memory, concentration and recall.

It’s no wonder researchers suspected a link, since some of these epic poems — when they were finally written down — exceeded 900 pages, and the shamans could recite them word for word!

Mind Booster

Today, modern science is confirming traditional wisdom about Bacopa. In research conducted in Australia and the United States, Bacopa improved study subjects’ ability to retain new information — and it also helped them increase their visual processing speed in as little as three weeks.

Research into the benefits of Bacopa includes:

  • A study by the psychology department at the University of Wollongong in Australia that demonstrated Bacopa could increase memory and recall ability.
  • Research in 1996 presented at the International Brain Research Conference that showed that Bacopa reduced the time needed to learn new tasks by almost half. Participants taking Bacopa mastered mental exercises in as little as six days compared to 10 days for the control group.
  • An extensive 2001 rigorous, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled experiment in Victoria, Australia confirmed the herb’s benefits for learning. After 12 weeks, those taking Bacopa scored significantly better on all higher order cognitive processing tests.

Bacopa monnieri has been extensively tested and proven as a memory and concentration enhancer, but the benefits of Bacopa extend to other mental and emotional functions, as well.
In many areas of the world, Bacopa is also used to treat:

  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Epilepsy
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Mental deficiency

Bacopa May Combat Cognitive Decline
In addition to its short-term cognitive benefits, Bacopa may also prevent long-term cognitive decline. A study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine showed that elderly participants who used 300 mg per day of Bacopa demonstrated improved mental functions in comparison to a placebo group. Improvement was most profound in the areas of attention and verbal-information processing — and researchers concluded that Bacopa could be effective in preventing cognitive decay.

Since research has shown a link between mild cognitive decline and eventual dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, preventing even mild memory difficulties may play an important role in warding off those memory-related diseases that are so prevalent among baby boomers and elderly people.

News of the many health benefits of Bacopa recently seeped into mainstream news. In his TV show on May 30, 2011, Dr. Mehmet Oz (also known as “America’s Doctor”) recommended Bacopa for brain health.

Dr. Oz said, “Bacopa Monnieri will make you smarter, enhance your memory and help you focus better.”

How to Use Bacopa

A 225 mg tablet of Bacopa taken up to three times daily is recommended by many health practitioners, although consultation with a qualified herbalist is advised to determine your ideal dosage.

To be most effective, Bacopa extract is usually taken in the recommended dosage daily for 12 weeks.

In low doses, Bacopa is mild and non-addictive. Although overdose is uncommon, Bacopa has been known to be toxic in very high doses, so caution is advised. However, it is reported that any symptoms of toxicity will immediately subside once Bacopa supplementation is discontinued.

Bacopa is relatively inexpensive and can be found at health food stores and through a variety of online retailers.

Filed Under: Alternative MedicineBrain HealthEasy Health Digest™

About the Author: Danica Collins is a natural health journalist and the Managing Editor of The Underground Health Reporter™. She is also the spokesperson for Think-Outside-the-Book Publishing, the publisher of The One-Minute Cure: The Secret to Healing Virtually All Diseases, which reveals the scientifically proven therapy that creates a condition in the body that is uninhabitable by disease.

Facebook Conversations

  • G.Somasundaram

    can i purchases from you.If yes please give details of it

  • http://www.distance-healer.com Dr. Charles Morris
  • K.H. Fricke

    My wife and I are in the mid eighties. We are still in our home and can look after house , yard and garden ouselves without outside help.
    We both have heart probleme, but under control. Mentally we are capable of quickly resolving crossword puzzles and other problems, and I write short stories and poems. However, our shorttime memory
    plays tricks, thinking of names etc, while the longtime memory is very clear. Would Bacopa be beneficial for us and what daily dosis would you recommend ?
    Karl

    • Becky Soapes

      It’s common to have short term memory problems as one ages Acetylcholine is needed to jump Synapse’s – connecting bridges in the brain, that help us remember. Acetyl L-Carnitine helps make or turns into acetylcholine.

      Phosphatidylserine (PS) is also VERY great for memory.

      I take a memory pill twice a day (early morning and mid afternoon) with ALC 125 mg, PS 75 mg, Bacopa 60 mg, Ginkgo 29 mg, Blueberry Extract 50 mg, and Vinpocetine 5 mg. I & my family noticed great improvement in my memory within 2 days. I won’t be without it!

      • Becky Soapes

        Ginko should be 40 mg.
        It is called Advanced Memory Formula. I get it from http://www.AdvancedBionutritionals.com but I’ve see similar i ingredients from other vendors. It’s becoming well known

  • Pam Olson

    I have a daughter with attention and memory difficulties-mainly working memory. She needs to write everything down or she will forget even daily things. She is 15. Would she take an adult dose and should she only take it for 12 weeks or should she take it long term?

    Pam

  • http://www.shinewithwater.com Melanie Myers

    Pam,
    15 is so very young to be having memory problems. How much water does your daughter drink? The brain is about 75% water and it needs it to function properly. 1/2 your body weight in ounces is what I drink everyday. Have you ever heard of ionized, alkaline, micro-clustered antioxidant water? Check out my website shinewithwater.com May God bless your daughter and send her everything she needs.

  • http://www.shinewithwater.com Melanie Myers

    Could Bacopa help someone who had a stroke? Bleeding in the brain caused brain damage and paralysis of the right leg. Thanks.

  • http://smartnootropics Nootropics

    Hey I enjoyed your writing. extremely cool