The Bacopa moniera is a perennial plant native to Northern India, where it is commonly called "Brahmi" and where since ancient times it has been known by the Brahmins and in Ayurvedic medicine for its many beneficial properties. It is widespread, as well as in India, in the marshy areas of Nepal, China, Vietnam and Sri Lanka, as well as in the subtropical and tropical regions of Asia, Africa and Australia. It can also be found in Florida, Hawaii and other parts of the southern United States where there are lakes with very humid conditions.
It is widely used in herbal medicine and herbal medicine above all as a tonic, therefore to give general well-being to the organism, but also for its property of helping memory and concentration, in neuronal therapies and as anti-stress.
It is a plant that grows and grows very easily because it has the ability to vegetate in both fresh and brackish water, which is why in India its cultivation is widespread and its use abundant.
The stem of the Bacopa Monniera, which generally develops below the water level, is fleshy, erect and very branched. Its leaves are small, thick and oblanceolate, of light green color, arranged in opposite way on the stem. The flowers are small and white, with four or five petals. Flowering occurs in the months from April to September.
The parts used for herbal remedies are flowers and leaves.
Its particular ability to grow in water makes it a plant that is also widely used in domestic aquariums.
The Bacopa Monniera contains multiple chemical components, among which the main ones are: alkaloids, saponins (bacoside A and bacoside B) and flavonoids, such as apigenin and luteolin, fatty oil, resins and tannins. It also has a good amount of beta-sitosterol, stigmasterol, betulinic acid and bacopasaponins.
Property and use
The Bacopa Monniera has multiple properties and is used above all for those related to the cognitive aspect, therefore it is particularly suitable for those who have problems of attention and concentration, and to enhance memory. For this reason it is also used as an excellent adjuvant in therapies to combat Alzheimer's disease.
Recent studies conducted on mice have shown that taking Bacopa and its active ingredients can significantly improve the ability to discriminate, learn and remember. This happens because the plant appears
carry out an antioxidant action on the hippocampus, on the frontal cortex and on the striatum.
Even some studies conducted on children with attention problems and learning difficulties have led to the same results, seeing their cognitive abilities greatly increased.
It has also been demonstrated, from a survey carried out on 67 people, that the intake of Bacopa Monniera does not affect long-term memory but on the most recent information, that is acquired during the intake.
Moreover scholars have verified the effectiveness of the plant, even if in a more bland way, in depressive states, in fact it seems that its action, besides intervening on memory, can also serve as a neuromoderator. For this reason it is also indicated for children who have difficulty socializing with their mates.
Furthermore, it has recently been discovered that Bacopa Monniera may be useful as an adjunct in therapy against heart disease and cancer.
In areas where it is more widespread, then in India and the rest of Asia, the leaves and branches are used as diuretics and aperitifs, the stems especially for urinary problems. In addition, Bacopa is used to treat skin diseases, psoriasis, eczema, skin ulcers, and even respiratory problems, such as asthma, bronchitis, brachycardia.
As for the dosage, in most cases it starts with about 100 mg. daily of the plant, after which if necessary the quantity can be increased, however it is necessary at least a week of regular administration to obtain the desired effects. In children the dosage should be reduced more or less than half.
In addition to its medicinal use, Bacopa Monniera is also an excellent ally in the field of cosmetics, in fact it can perform a protective action on the skin and defend it from free radicals, which is why it is used as a component of many day creams.
The plant extract, on the other hand, is widely used in the preparation of anti-stress face masks, for its ability to make the skin more hydrated and softer.
In addition, Bacopa Monniera is also used in solar products for its functions to prevent redness and erythema caused by the sun.
Finally, this plant, due to its very pleasant taste, can also be used in the kitchen, as a salad, or in soups along with other vegetables.
Bacopa monniera: Contraindications
Regarding the contraindications concerning the use of Bacopa Monniera, all the studies done so far on this plant have not found any particular side effects, therefore it seems that all commercial preparations based on Bacopa do not present any toxicity rate.
It is also true, however, that some individuals may have some sort of hypersensitivity towards one or more of one of the components of the plant itself and this could cause a negative reaction.
In any case, especially in the case of particular pathologies or physical conditions, it is always advisable to consult your doctor before taking any Bacopa-based product.