Bacopa monnieri: know its important benefits

Its curious scientific name, Bacopa monnieri, it encompasses a large medicinal plant that today is being subjected to a multitude of scientific trials. The results are showing that it can have great potential for people with memory problems, anxiety, depression, etc., which are the diseases of the XXI century.

Hence, we want to give it the importance it deserves and tell you all the research and medicinal properties of this plant.

Getting to know Bacopa monnieri

Common names by which it is known

Although the best known common name to name this plant is that of Bacopa it also has other curious names depending on the area where it is located and used:

  • Brahmi
  • Baby tear
  • Water swab
  • Centella asiatica
The first name (Brahmi) is widespread in different Asian areas, since its cultivation and medicinal uses have been used in this area for a long time.

Bacopa monnieri it grows wild in countries like Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Taiwan, etc. Although its presence has also been detected in areas of the UNITED States that meet the necessary climatic conditions (such as Florida).

Belongs to the family Plantaginaceae, which forms a set of 2000 species and ranges from plants from cold to tropical areas.

Among the weather conditions that must be given for cultivation, often of wild or spontaneous growth, are typical of humid climates (such as these Asian countries) or humid areas (swamps and wetlands). In terms of temperature, warm areas with warm winters are ideal for cultivation.

No express soil and texture conditions have been described, since it grows without problems in all types of substrates and pH. Due to the characteristics of its root development, it can grow even in waterlogged areas, and this means that Bacoppa monnieri can be used as ornamental decoration in aquariums, fish tanks and ponds.

We leave you a video where it has been placed Bacopa monnieri to decorate an aquarium.

The leaves of Bacopa monnieri they are quite particular, since they are thick like those of succulent plants (cactus type).

The propagation of the brahmi plant is carried out by cuttings, since it is a plant that grows quite fast horizontally and covers large areas in a short time.
Its flowering is characteristic, white and violet tones.

Active chemical components in Bacopa monnieri

  • Brahmin and Herpestin
  • Saponins (d-mannitol)
  • Hersaponins
  • Amino acids (glutamic acid, aspartic acid, alanine and serine)
  • monnierin.
  • Betulic acid
  • Stigmastarol
  • Beta-sitosterol
  • Bacosids
  • Bacopasaponins

Among all these components, steroidal saponins and bacosides are responsible for improving the ability to learn and remember, which we will see below in the breakdown of the medicinal properties of Bacopa monnieri.

Action of its components as a medicinal plant

These compounds have been studied for many years and offer the following responses to the body. this will help us understand certain effects it causes bacopa monnieri as a medicinal plant.

Neuroprotective activity

  • Increases the enzyme tryptophan hydroxylase-2
  • Increases serotonin transporter (SERT)
  • Increases catalase and glutathione peroxidase
  • Increases superoxide dismutase (SOD)

Antioxidant activity

  • Increases superoxide dismutase (SOD)
  • Increases glutathione peroxidase (GPx)
  • Increases catalase (CAT)
  • Increases glutathione (GSH)

Anti-cancer activity

  • Activates protein phosphatase 2A
  • Decreases the expression of the Bcl-2 gene
  • Activates Caspase-3
  • Antidepressant effect

Antidepressant action of Bacopa monnieri. Different studies have been carried out to evaluate the potential of the medicinal plant Brahmi in reducing chronic depression, with or in conjunction with modern medications currently used and prescribed.

Here are some of the results:

Study conducted in healthy people over 55 years of age with 300 mg of Bacopa monnieri (Brahmi) with daily intake.

  • Improvements observed in verbal learning, memory acquisition and delayed recall assessed by ALVT.
  • Statistically insignificant positive trends to reduce the rate of forgetfulness and reduce depressive symptoms.
  • Side effects of cramping and nausea were more frequent in the experimental group than in the placebo group (significantly). Flatulence, bloating and headaches were not significantly different.
ResultDecreased depression
Test designDouble blind
Test length1-6 months
Number of subjects98
GenderBoth genders
Age range65+

Reduces anxiety

Although the results obtained have not been as satisfactory as those collected in other medicinal plants, it can be interesting if it is combined with these plants to obtain a set of their benefits.

Results:

EffectDecrease
Test designDouble blind
Test length1-6 months
Number of subjects48
GenderBoth genders
Age range65+

Study conducted in people over 65 years of age without signs of dementia with 300 mg of Bacopa daily for 12 weeks (3 months).

  • Significant improvements in attention (less likely to pay attention to irrelevant information), working memory, and less anxiety and depression.
  • One of the participants noticed an upset stomach as the only side effect. He also noticed a decrease in heart rate, but no change in blood pressure.

Improves memory

benefits of bacopa monnieri

Trial in medical students

The efficacy of Bacopa monnieri the cognitive ability (memory) of medical students with the administration of 150 mg of the extract for 6 weeks (1 month and a half).

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, non-crossed, parallel trial was conducted. Sixty medical students of both sexes since the second year of medical school at Government Medical College, Nagpur, India.

They were carried out baseline biochemical and memory tests. Participants were randomly divided into two groups to receive 150 mg of standardized extract of Bacopa monnieri (Brahmi) or coincident placebo twice a day for six weeks.

All initial investigations were repeated at the end of the test. The students were followed for 15 days after the intervention.

A statistically significant improvement in tests related to cognitive functions with the use of Brahmi plant extract. Blood biochemistry also showed a significant increase in serum calcium levels (although within the range considered in the analyses as normal).

Strong antioxidant action

The great contribution that a large number of medicinal plants make to nutrition is known. Specifically Bacopa monnieri provides a large amount of antioxidants reflected in its phytochemicals.

These compounds provide protection against oxidative damage and aging, caused by free radicals that potentiate cell damage.

The antioxidant activity of Bacopa monnieri protects the organs and reduces and prevents the appearance of malignant tumors.

Bacopa with antimicrobial action

Some of the extracts and phytochemicals of Bacopa monnieri have been shown to have activity against the development of fungi such as Candida albicans and Aspergillus niger.

Although it has not yet been scientifically proven, trials have been done to evaluate the potential of the Brahmia plant against tuberculosis, syphilis and gonorrhea.

Likewise, it is beingstudying the medicinal potential to protect the stomach, specifically against the development of a well-known bacterium that causes major problems, such as Helicobacter pylori (which causes stomach pains and gastric ulcers).

From the leaf, in Indian medicine its extract is used to reduce the colonies of bacteria of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Kebsiella penumonia and E. Coli.  Likewise, these applications are aimed at evaluating this same response against Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus cereus, Salmonella typhi and Proteus vulgaris.

How to take Bacopa monnieri

The standard dosage for Bacopa monnieri is 300 mg, assuming that the total bacoside content (the active compound) is 55% of the extract, by weight.

Brahmi can also be supplemented in leaf or powder form. To reach the ideal 10-20% bacoside content, a dose of 750-1,500 mg of the leaf or powder is required.

Historically, this medicinal plant was consumed with ghee, a clarified butter that originated in India. This is very interesting as the extracts are fat soluble and require a lipoid transporter to be absorbed. That is why it should be supplemented with a meal.

With which medicinal plants can it be mixed?

Traditionally, in the Indian culture and that of other Asian countries, has been mixed with other medicinal plants such as:

  • Milk thistle, curcumin from turmeric, green tea catechins and Ashwagandha.
  • Clitoria Ternatea , Ashwagandha and Asparagus Racemosus
  • Dietary fatty acids (as it improves absorption)

Side Effects, Precautions and Toxicity of Bacopa

Treatment with Bacopa (Brahmi) inhibited fertility and caused a suppression of sperm creation that was reversible, without producing toxic effects in male mice.

As seen in the trials shown above, bacopa consumption was safe and well tolerated by normal healthy human volunteers at single dose (20-300 mg) and at multiple doses (100 and 200 mg).

  • An unobserved adverse effect level of 500 mg/kg body weight has been established in rats.
  • Administration of Bacopa may cause mild stomach upset, according to the trials collected.

Do you know other medicinal remedies of Bacopa monnieri?