Bacopa monnieri is a perennial herb most commonly found in Southern and Eastern India, Australia, Europe, Africa, Asia, and North and South America.
It has been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years for different ailments, including calming down anxiety, improving memory and focus, and enhancing learning abilities.
Despite its brain-boosting benefits, Bacopa possesses strong antioxidants that scavenge the free radicals that cause oxidative stress.
Bacopa’s positive effects on the mind have made it a popular nootropic, commonly used to improve overall cognition, but also to gently reduce anxiety and stress by lowering cortisol, the stress hormone.
Scientists have often studied its various health benefits, but a recent animal study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences focused on the neurotrophic effects of Bacopa Moonieri extract, with a special emphasis on how it affects memory.
What They Found
First of all, they found that Bacopa monnieri extract is most likely age-dependent.
The results of the clinical tests they did showed that there were notable improvements in the working memory of the adolescent animals, but not the adult ones.
Another notable result is that the effects on the adolescent animals lasted for up to 3 weeks after the treatment with Bacopa.
According to the scientists, this is because during adolescence the brain is more susceptible to changes, so they concluded that long-term treatment with Bacopa extract during adolescence could lead to long-lasting improvement of memory function.
Second, the Bacopa plant contains many phytochemicals. They found that one of them is largely responsible for most of its cognitive benefits.
This constituent of Bacopa can promote the growth, spread, and survival of different types of cells in the part of the brain that’s associated with memory function and learning.
The Bottom Line
It could be said that this study has further proved why Bacopa monnieri has been used in traditional medicine for ages.
But, as with any successfully completed study, it also leaves a lot of room for further exploration of this plant’s brain health benefits.
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Resource: Pham, H.T.N.; Tran, H.N.; Nguyen, P.T.; Le, X.T.; Nguyen, K.M.; Phan, S.V.; Yoneyama, M.; Ogita, K.; Yamaguchi, T.; Folk, W.R.; Yamaguchi, M.; Matsumoto, K. Bacopa monnieri (L.) Wettst. Extract Improves Memory Performance via Promotion of Neurogenesis in the Hippocampal Dentate Gyrus of Adolescent Mice. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 3365. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21093365