BACOPA MONNIERA
 
   

Bacopa monniera
(Memory and Nutrition)

This section was compiled by Frank M. Painter, D.C.
Send all comments or additions to:
  Frankp@chiro.org

If there are terms in these articles you don't understand, you can get a definition from the Merriam Webster Medical Dictionary. If you want information about a specific disease, you can access the Merck Manual. You can also search Pub Med for more abstracts on this, or any other health topic.

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Bacopa monniera Research
 
   

Bacopa monniera Monograph
Alternative Medicine Review 2004 (Mar);   9 (1):   79–85 ~ FULL TEXT

Bacopa monniera, also referred to as Bacopa monnieri, Herpestis monniera, water hyssop, and “Brahmi,” has been used in the Ayurvedic system of medicine for centuries. Traditionally, it was used as a brain tonic to enhance memory development, learning, and concentration, [1] and to provide relief to patients with anxiety or epileptic disorders. [2] The plant has also been used in India and Pakistan as a cardiac tonic, digestive aid, and to improve respiratory function in cases of bronchoconstriction. [3] Recent research has focused primarily on Bacopa’s cognitive-enhancing effects, specifically memory, learning, and concentration, and results support the traditional Ayurvedic claims. Research on anxiety, epilepsy, bronchitis and asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, and gastric ulcers also supports the Ayurvedic uses of Bacopa. Bacopa’s antioxidant properties may offer protection from free radical damage in cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer.

Effects of a Combined Extract of Ginkgo biloba and Bacopa monniera
on Cognitive Function in Healthy Humans

Hum Psychopharmacol 2004 (Mar);   19 (2):   91–96

The results showed that the combined extract relative to placebo did not demonstrate any significant effects on tests investigating a range of cognitive processes including attention, short-term and working memory, verbal learning, memory consolidation, executive processes, planning and problem solving, information processing speed, motor responsiveness and decision making. These findings suggest that at least within the current treatment duration and doses, an extract containing Ginkgo biloba and Bacopa monniera (a product called "Blackmores Ginkgo Brahmi") had no cognitive enhancing effects in healthy subjects.

A Comparative Study in Rodents of Standardized Extracts of Bacopa monniera
and Ginkgo biloba: Anticholinesterase and Cognitive Enhancing Activities

Pharmacol Biochem Behav 2002 (Nov);   73 (4):   893–900

At a dose concentration of 30 and 60 mg/kg, extracts of G. biloba showed a cognitive enhancing property and, at the same time, a significant decrease in AChE-specific activity in both per se and scopolamine-dementia groups. These extracts possess a significant anticholinesterase and antidementic properties, which may be useful in the treatment of dementia.

Chronic Effects of Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) on Human Memory
Neuropsychopharmacology 2002 (Aug);   27 (2):   279–281

There were three testing sessions: one prior to the trial, one after three months on the trial, and one six weeks after the completion of the trial.

The Chronic Effects of an Extract of Bacopa monniera (Brahmi)
on Cognitive Function in Healthy Human Subjects

Psychopharmacology (Berl) 2001 (Aug);   156 (4):   481–484

These findings suggest that B. monniera may improve higher order cognitive processes that are critically dependent on the input of information from our environment such as learning and memory.

 
   

Other Memory Enhancers ~ The Nootropics
 
   

Ginkgo biloba
Research performed during the past fifteen years suggests that ginkgo may be of value in the treatment of age-related physical and mental deterioration, dementia, peripheral vascular disease, and organic impotence. Ginkgo may also reduce the severity of depression in individuals with cerebral dysfunction. Preliminary or uncontrolled studies suggest that ginkgo may benefit some patients suffering from tinnitus, vertigo, acute cochlear deafness, macular degeneration, cyclic edema, and asthma.

Guaraná Seed Extract
Guaraná seed extract (Paullinia cupana) has been shown in double-blind, placebo-controlled studies to rapidly improve attention span, memory performance, and increased alertness and mood in participants.

Vinpocetine
Vinpocetine is a powerful memory enchancer. It facilitates cerebral metabolism by improving cerebral microcirculation (blood flow), stepping up brain cell ATP production (ATP is the cellular energy molecule), and increasing utilisation of glucose and oxygen. What all this means is that vinpocetine shares many of the effects of several other cognitive enchancers.
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