Bacopa monnieri is a plant that grows in marshy areas all around India. Ayurvedic medicine has touted its cognitive enhancing effects for centuries. It is a powerful antioxidant. Studies with rats show that bacopa monnieri (also spelled bacopa monniera) improves the ability to learn.
This herb is mainly used for memory and mental enhancement. No side effects have been noticed from people taking it. A study did show that it decreases depression and anxiety. They have found that it contains many beneficial phytochemicals like bacoside A and bacopaside X. A study with Male Wistar rats showed that it can help protect against Alzheimer’s disease.
It is also been seen to improve brain function and enhance concentration. Bacosides in bacopa monnieri play a protective role in the synaptic functions of the nerves in the hippocampus part of the brain, the seat of memory. Nerve impulses are transmitted across the synapses and their degeneration is believed to contribute to impaired memory and cognition.
Some like to take it with other herbs that are good for t he brain like ginkgo biloba, ginseng and gotu Kola. Bacopa monnieri has been used to help epilepsy, stress reduction, amnesia, emotional disturbances and aggressive behaviour.