Bacopa (Bacopa monnieri) was traditionally used as support for memory, mood, and focus, and has recently become popular for the same.
Ayurveda maintains that the inability to focus is, at its core, an issue of stress-affected energy levels. The body and mind require a certain amount of energy to settle down and focus on one task.
In Ayurveda, bacopa is understood to be a rejuvenative nerve and brain tonic. As such, it has been shown to support memory, learning, stable mood, and stomach and respiratory health.*
Bacopa is used for relaxing tension throughout the system, making it an invaluable ally in tension- and stress-related conditions such as slow-moving bowels, muscle tightness, menstrual discomfort, and sleep trouble. A rejuvenative to the nervous system, this treasured herb is specified in the support and care of healthy neurological function and is famed for promoting longevity.
This brain and memory tonic is especially good for kapha types, who can suffer from low energy levels and sluggishness.
Suggested Use: Adults, take 1 capsule, two times per day before meals or as directed by your health care professional.
Bottle Contains: 90 vegetarian capsules, 400 mg each
Ingredients: Organic Bacopa monnieri (Bacopa Herb), Organic Evolvulus alsinoides (Dwarf Morning Glory Herb), Organic Asphaltum punjabianum (Shilajit extract)
(Go to Ayurvedic Herbal Makeup)
Does not contain: Yeast, gluten, corn, soy, milk, fish, animal products, binders, fillers, preservatives or artificial coloring.
Kosher Certified: No animal derivatives
Note: LifeSpa has chosen to use the traditional Northern Indian reference for Bacopa monnieri, which is Bacopa. However, in Southern India, Bacopa monnieri is referred to as Brahmi. Due to the variance between Northern and Southern India’s nomenclature, there is also some variance within the Ayurvedic community itself as to which herbs are called by the name Brahmi or Bacopa. Our suggestion is to pay attention as you do your own online research and make sure you know which herb is really being discussed.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, each year, 6.7% of American adults experience a major depressive disorder. (1) Not only that, but generalized anxiety disorders affect around 6.8 million American adults in any given year. (2)
Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Health Resources and Services Administration reported that up to 11% of young people under 18 years of age have received an ADHD diagnosis – this is around 6.4 million children per year. (3, 4)
7 Reasons to Supplement with Bacopa
- Support Memory: A 2002 study published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology found that using Bacopa monnieri for three months may bolster natural memory function. When 76 participants were tested on retention of new information, the placebo group forgot the information more quickly than the group taking Bacopa. (5)
- Boost Learning: According to a 2008 study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, elderly participants who took 300 mg per day of Bacopa monnieri showed improvement in certain mental functions compared to a placebo group. The tests that examined attention and the ability to learn auditory verbal information showed the most improvement, leading the researchers to conclude that the herb might be used to help mitigate normal cognitive decline in aging populations. (6)
- Support Respiratory Health: Probably the best indicator of how we deal with stress is how we breathe. When the body is stressed, breathing becomes rapid and shallow, which triggers stress receptors located in the upper lobes of the lungs. Bacopa supports the relaxation of the bronchioles, which often become inflamed or irritated during respiratory distress caused by stress and anxiousness. Bacopa also supports the relaxation of the blood vessel muscles around the respiratory airway passages. (7)
- Fight Stress: In addition to the improved cognitive function reported by the study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, the participants taking Bacopa monnieri also showed more stable mood, and their heart rates under stress were decreased over time. (6) The Journal of Ethnopharmacology published a study done on rats where the brains of animals that were pre-treated with Bacopa monnieri were less affected by stress and the animals were physically better able to cope with stress. (8)
- Support Stable Mood: If you experience energy, focus, or mood concerns, taking Bacopa may help. Bacopa monnieri supports the effects of certain neurotransmitters, including serotonin and acetylcholine. (7) This effect on neurotransmitters is what enables Bacopa to support stable mood. Recent animal studies of Bacopa monnieri’s effectiveness in supporting spatial memory have produced positive results. (9)
- Support Healthy Digestion: Stress can impact and irritate the mucous membrane lining of the gut. The result is intestinal dryness, occasional constipation, or an excess production of mucus that may compromise the function of the intestinal villi to both assimilate nutrition and detoxify. Bacopa is one of the herbs I use to help sever that relationship between emotional stress and the gut, and support healthy functioning of the digestive tract.
- Regulate Natural Circadian Rhythms: Certain Ayurvedic herbs have been shown to help reconnect the body’s internal clocks with the natural circadian rhythms. In one study, Bacopa monnieri was found to support a healthy connection to the circadian rhythms while under significant oxidative stress. (10) Bacopa, along Ashwagandha and Turmeric, are all found to support the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNFs), which support brain and mood function as well as the healthy regeneration of nerve cells when under stress. (11, 12) If you are under regular stress, frequently crossing time zones, or living in contrast to the body’s internal clocks and a lifestyle change is not possible at this time, consider some proactive adaptogenic herbal support to help the body stay connected with the circadian rhythms for optimal health, longevity, and well-being.
Important Note: While Bacopa monnieri has excited the scientific community with its psycho-physiological potential, it must be said that there is never a magic bullet. The hallmark of Ayurveda is living a healthy lifestyle in harmony with the environment and the cycles of nature. While I have witnessed incredible benefits using Bacopa, it is always a combination of the right herbs with the correct lifestyle adjustment that will fully restore balance.
Ayurvedic Herbal Makeup
keyword: shankpushpi, brahami, ashwaganda, ashwaghanda, shilajeet, shilijit