Monnieri is a plant native to India that's traditionally been used in Ayurvedic medicine.
The Ayurvedic medical tradition is thousands of years old, and has a different approach to medicine than Western or Chinese medicine. In Ayurveda, it's thought that the mind and body are connected. For example, if you're feeling angry with someone in your life, your liver function might get affected as a result. But if you develop better communication skills to deal with the anger, then your liver could heal up again. Similarly, an unhealthy digestive system can impact your mental wellbeing by making it harder for you to concentrate on activities that require focus and attention.
Ayurvedic doctors often treat patients with herbal remedies called “rasayana” to help them achieve balance between their minds and bodies. One popular rasayana is Bacopa monnieri—an herb used in Ayurveda since at least 600BCE—which is thought to be helpful for memory and concentration problems.
In this article, we'll explain exactly how Bacopa works in terms of promoting cognitive functioning; why it's been used for millennia as an Ayurvedic remedy; whether or not modern science supports its effectiveness; what to expect when taking it; what kind of side effects have been reported from taking it; who should take extra caution before supplementing with Bacopa monnieri; and where you can buy reliable supplements containing this powerful plant extract in capsule form.
In Ayurveda, it's considered an herb that nourishes your mind and helps you process information.
In Ayurveda, it's considered an herb that nourishes your mind and helps you process information. Nourishing the mind, however, may mean different things to different people. It could mean improving memory or attention span. It could also mean helping you respond to stress in a healthy way instead of letting it disrupt your life or relationships. You can take bacopa as a supplement to boost these various aspects of mental health. Bacopa increases the activity of antioxidant enzymes and reduces lipid peroxidation (free radical damage) [R].
The active ingredients in bacopa monnieri are called bacosides.
The active ingredients in bacopa monnieri are called bacosides. These compounds appear to interact with your brain cells in several ways. One way is by promoting neuron communication. Specifically, they may influence certain receptors that receive and transmit signals from one neuron to another. This could increase the connection between nerve cells, which would improve cognitive function (source).
Another way that bacosides may work is by affecting the brain's neurons. Research suggests that they may act like the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is involved in learning and memory (source). Bacopa monnieri also appears to improve blood flow to the brain (source), which could help your neurons receive more oxygen and nutrients (source).
It's likely that bacopa monnieri works through other mechanisms as well — we don't yet have a complete understanding of all its effects on the body (source, source).
Other research suggests they may affect the brain's neurons and work like the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is involved in learning and memory.
Bacosides may help improve memory, learning and attention by helping repair damaged neurons and maintain the brain's acetylcholine levels. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that helps memory and learning. In one study, people who took 300 milligrams of bacopa for 12 weeks demonstrated better memory retention than those who didn't take it.
These results support other research suggesting that bacosides may affect the brain's neurons and work like the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is involved in learning and memory. Other studies have shown that bacosides can increase the growth of nerve endings, improve neuron communication, reduce inflammation in the brain and protect neurons from cell death caused by free radic