Used in Ayurveda for centuries, Brahmi (Bacopa/Bacopa monnieri) supports normal mental function, intellect, consciousness and spirit. According to the Alternative Medicine Review (March 2004), ‘Recent research has focused primarily on Bacopa's cognitive effects, specifically memory learning and concentration, and results support the traditional Ayurvedic claims.’
Brahmi is a nervine tonic that enhances learning, academic performance and improves mental ability. It acts as an anti-anxiety agent and is used in several mental disorders. It also calms restlessness in children. It is used as a nootropic, a drug that enhances cognitive ability.
Scholars at the University of Wollongong in Australia conducted double-blind, placebo-controlled studies on Brahmi, showing positive effect on brain functions. Another study found that Brahmi is beneficial for memory retention.
Researchers from Uttar Pradesh, India, working with the Frankston Hospital in Victoria, Australia, also found that Brahmi showed a supportive effect on memory control and occasional age-associated memory challenges (Indian Journal of Psychiatry, 2004, 48:4, 238-242).
The plant, a small creeping herb with numerous branches, is found in marshy areas near streams and ponds throughout India especially in the North Eastern regions. It is found at elevations from sea level to altitudes of 4,400 feet.
The herb contains the alkaloids brahmine, herpestine along with saponins, monnierin and hersaponin. Bacosides A and B possess hemolytic activity. Hersaponin is reported to have cardiotonic and sedative properties. These constituents work synergistically to render the herb its pharmacological constituents.
Anxiolytic: Brahmi relieves nervous irritation or agitation. It is used traditionally for treating psychosis, epilepsy and anxiety.
Memory enhancement: Brahmi has a significant positive effect on the retention of new information. It can elevate the level of cerebral glutamic acid and temporarily increase the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) level in the brain. It is believed that the endogenous increase in brain glutamine may be helpful in the learning process.
Cognitive improvement: Brahmi significantly improves the speed of visual information processing, learning rate and memory consolidation, thus enhancing learning ability. It increases superoxide dismutase (SOD) levels, catalase (CAT) levels, and glutathione peroxidase (GPX) activities in the brain, which improves cognitive performance.
Adolescents and adults:
As a supplement to improve mental ability
Improvement of memory
One capsule, twice a day or as directed by your physician
Each capsule contains 250mg extract of Brahmi