What is Bacopa?
Bacopa (Bacopa monnieri) is a small flowering herb with a long history of use in Ayurveda as a brain tonic and adaptogen.
In the Western world, bacopa is popular as a natural nootropic substance to protect the brain from age-related cognitive decline, boost memory, improve focus and concentration, alleviate the impact of chronic stress, and more.
The active ingredients — a group of saponins, called bacosides — have been studied extensively for their role in supporting optimal brain and neurological health.
These concentrated bacopa capsules contain 50% active saponins in a powerful 10:1 extract.
The Science Behind Bacopa
1. Memory & Learning
In order to store and retrieve memories in the brain, multiple brain systems need to work together to transfer information from one part of the brain to another. The process relies on neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, acetylcholine, and more.
Any issues with these neurotransmitters or the nerves that release them can hinder both short and long-term memory.
Bacopa helps by supporting all of these neurotransmitters individually. It’s been shown to protect nerve cells from damage and regulate serotonin, dopamine, and acetylcholine production. All of these effects combine to enhance memory and learning.
A recent clinical trial showed that after 12 weeks, bacopa extract supplementation resulted in significantly faster visual processing time and improved memory compared to placebo control.
Bacopa contains several active ingredients that have been shown to protect the brain and nervous system from damage. It’s been studied for its effects on age-related cognitive disorders, toxic exposure, traumatic injury, and much more — all of which have shown promising results.
This herb helps to protect the brain through its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory profile.
Free radicals are naturally produced as a byproduct of cellular metabolism. We can also pick up free radicals through the food we eat, the air we breathe, and pores in our skin.
These compounds can damage delicate nerve cells, eventually hampering their ability to function. Antioxidants in bacopa work by neutralising these free radicals before they cause any damage.
Other causes of neurodegenerative disorders include chronic inflammation in the brain. A barrier lining the blood vessels of the brain, called the blood-brain barrier (BBB), blocks harmful particles from entering brain tissue.
Chronic inflammation in the digestive tract, skin, or other areas of the body can “spillover” to the blood-brain barrier. When this happens, the BBB loses its ability to keep harmful compounds out of the sensitive brain tissue.
Bacopa helps by reducing inflammation of the blood-brain barrier to restore this vital protective layer.
3. Stress & Anxiety
Bacopa is considered an adaptogenic herb — which means it can increase the body’s ability to resist and recover from different forms of stress.
Cortisol is the body’s primary stress hormone. When we’re faced with a stressful situation, a region in the brain called the hypothalamus sends a signal to the adrenal glands to start dumping cortisol into the blood. Cortisol causes the changes we associate with stress — including rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, anxiety, and more.
Active ingredients in bacopa work by targeting the hypothalamus to reduce cortisol levels in the body.
Clinical trials on the use of bacopa for reducing stress and anxiety found that just 300 mg of bacopa extract per day, taken over 12-weeks significantly reduced anxiety scores in study participants compared to the placebo.
Is Bacopa the Product for me?
Bacopa is an excellent herbal supplement for anybody looking to improve learning and memory or reduce the progression of age-related cognitive decline. It’s also an excellent supplement for people experiencing inflammatory conditions in other parts of the body that can have neurological implications later on.
This herb works best when used over long periods. The effects take several days or weeks to produce noticeable effects but tend to increase over time.
Most of the research on bacopa over the last few years reported the most significant results around the 12th week of consistent use.
Ingredients & Dosage
Amount Per Serving (1 Capsule):
Bacopa Monnieri (from 10:1 Extract) 500mg.
Ingredients: Bacopa Monnieri, Bulking Agents (Organic Brown Rice Flour), Vegetarian Capsule (HPMC).
Take 1 capsule (500mg) daily with a meal, or as advised by your healthcare professional.