Bacopa is a genus of up to 100 aquatic plants, with Bacopa monnieri being one its best known members. B. monneri is a perennial, creeping herb that grows in tropical wetlands throughout the world. It has many common names, including Bacopa, Indian pennywort, Brahmi, herb-of-grace, thyme-leafed gratiola and water hyssop. Bacopa has a long history of use in the Ayurvedan system of traditional medicine in India. Its common uses in Ayruveda include cognitive enhancement and a neurological tonic.
Bacopa has succulent leaves that can have a thickness of up to ¼-inch, with small, white flowers. It can grow in slightly brackish water and is commonly cultivated in aquatic conditions such as aquariums, bog gardens, hydroponic tanks and ponds. Gardeners typically propagate bacopa with cuttings.
Bacopa contains many biologically active components. Bacosides are one of the most significant of these groups in health supplements. Bacosides are chemically classified as triterpenoid saponins, and include at least 12 specific compounds. Bacopa also contains several bioactive alkaloids, including brahmine, herpestine and nicotine. Additional components in bacopa include apigenin, cucurbitacin, hersaponin, monnierasides and plantainoside.
The most significant health benefits of bacopa extract are related to its effect on the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and antioxidant properties.
Memory support is one of the most common uses for bacopa extract in dietary supplements. It is also used to manage stress, support the respiration system and manage unhealthy inflammation.
Some studies show that extracts of bacopa may help to maintain memory recall in older adults. They may also support the development of eye-hand coordination in children.
Bacopa may be used to maintain normal breathing. This benefit relates to bacopa’s ability to relax the airways and major blood vessels.
Early research indicates that oral supplements of bacopa may help to manage the symptoms of stress such as nervousness, sleeping difficulties and headaches.
Bacopa may also be able to manage some unhealthy inflammatory conditions.
Older adults who wish to maintain their memory are one of the groups most likely to benefit from bacopa in supplements. Children between six and eight years of age may also need bacopa. Respiration issues that may indicate a need for bacopa include seasonal conditions. Additional signs that could mean you need bacopa extract include a rapid heart rate, fatigue, stomach discomfort, headaches, insomnia and difficulty with concentration.
Bacopin, Indian pennywort, Brahmi, herb-of-grace, thyme-leafed gratiola, water hyssop
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