Bacopa monnieri is a plant that’s been used for thousands of years as a form of traditional medicine. A lot of traditional medicines have come under scrutiny lately and are now considered ineffective, but Bacopa is not one of these.
Bacopa still retains its well-deserved reputation as a powerful, beneficial herb – only now it’s backed by scientific studies. Bacopa is a staple herb in the Ayurvedic regime, one that is well-known for being one of the most holistic and powerful ancient medicine systems. Known by the Ayurvedics as Brahmi, this plant is used to treat a huge number of ailments and mental problems. It’s been used as a tonic for anxiety, as a supplement to reduce the effects of aging, as a memory-enhancer, and even as a combatant against mental diseases.
This plant is so significant that it deserves an entire article dedicated to it, so hopefully you can gain some valuable knowledge. This is a supplement that you won’t want to miss out on!
What exactly is Bacopa?
On top of being incredibly versatile and powerful, Bacopa is an aesthetically pleasing plant; if a beautiful floral display was a good indication of how powerful a plant can be, Bacopa would be a great example.
Bacopa has been used to treat all sorts of mental problems, mostly by holistic doctors and nutritionists. However, there are also studies that indicate the efficacy of treatments with Bacopa.
- It’s used to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and using it from an early age can delay the onset of these diseases for those who have a family history.
- Bacopa can improve memory and is a safe alternative to more traditional pharmaceutical study aids, like Adderall.
- It can decrease anxiety, which is impressive since many pharmaceutical study aids like the aforementioned are known for causing anxiety.
- It can even mediate symptoms of diagnosable ADD. Very few plants have a significant impact on serious ADD.
- It’s even been studied for its use in preventing epilepsy!
Bacopa’s effects are partly due to its ability to regulate dopamine and serotonin, two of the primary neurotransmitters in the brain. Ensuring that your serotonin and dopamine levels are properly balanced is one of the keys to ensuring a good state of mental health.
These neurotransmitters both play a significant role in anxiety modulation, hence why Bacopa can be so effective as a long-term anxiolytic and a focus-booster. Excessive dopamine can also cause psychotic disorders like schizophrenia to emerge.
Why is Bacopa better than other herbs?
Bacopa is revered for being a potent medicinal herb with a very small profile of negative side effects. It’s readily available and can be purchased at many health food stores or
ordered online. Despite being easy to access and very versatile in its medicinal uses, Bacopa has still not caught on as a commonly used clinical medicine.
One of the best things about Bacopa is that it’s non-addictive and won’t be habit-forming. Many supplements that have benefits such as Bacopa’s run the risk of forming a dependency.
- Benzodiazepines, commonly prescribed for anxiety, can easily result in blackouts, overdoses, and even fatal withdrawal due to lowering the seizure threshold. Bacopa is known for preventing seizures, and can be used for weeks at a time without risking any sort of withdrawal symptoms.
- ADD medications like Ritalin and Dexedrine carry serious risks of addiction and psychological dependency.
- Antidepressants are known for often becoming a lifelong necessity, or for worsening certain symptoms while alleviating others. While Bacopa may not knock out all the symptoms of your depression, at least it’s not likely to make any of them worse.
Bacopa is also great because of the many ways it can be stored and used. It can be purchased and consumed in many different forms. You can find it in supplement capsules, you can buy the raw powder in bulk and use it to make tea or tinctures, or you can buy pre-made tinctures or syrups with a high concentration of Bacopa.
The effects of Bacopa continue to stack up after using the herb for a while. You may only notice mild effects at first – or perhaps none – but after several days of continuous usage, you’ll notice more and more benefits. Many antidepressants function in a similar way, not causing any effects at first while they work to balance your neurotransmitters.
How should I use Bacopa?
As we’ve mentioned, there are many different forms of Bacopa. Because of this, the dosage range differs depending on the form in which you purchase your Bacopa.
- It’s recommended to source your Bacopa through a retailer that uses organic ingredients. Buying non-organic Bacopa can lead to a host of problems, including impurities. This can lead to a miscalculated dosage range. Pure organic Bacopa powder is relatively easy to compare regardless of the source you buy it from.
- As a general rule, dosages should follow these guidelines:
– 5–10 grams daily of Bacopa powder
– Around 10 milligrams of Bacopa tincture
– 200–400 milligrams of Bacopa-extracted active ingredients
If you buy raw Bacopa powder, or are using raw Bacopa leaves, you can make it into a tea yourself. This is a strong, simple, and reliable method of ingesting your Bacopa.
You can add a regular dose of Bacopa powder into a teabag, or simply throw a few Bacopa leaves into a pot of lightly boiling water. If you’re using the leaves, you should mash them with a mortar and pestle, or at least tear them a bit to help release the active components.
Turn the water down and allow the teabag or the leaves to steep for around ten minutes. You’ll probably want to add some sugar, and maybe some cinnamon or nutmeg, before drinking.
Is Bacopa safe?
The Bacopa plant can be used with minimal side effects as long as you follow a standard dosing regimen. However, with excessive use or high doses, users might experience some of the following side effects:
- jitters, akin to drinking too much coffee
- stomach or intestinal upset
These side effects are minimal when compared with other traditional pharmaceutical medications that are used to treat ADD or anxiety. A lot of common medications can induce dozens of side effects, including dizziness, nausea, depression, suicidal thoughts, blurred vision, confusion, and lethargy. On top of that, most pharmaceutical medications used for either ADD or anxiety can be extremely addictive and carry with them the risk of withdrawal.
Bacopa is a very powerful and undervalued medicine. Its effects can be compared to serious pharmaceutical medication, but its side effect profile is quite limited. It’s not an addictive substance and can be readily purchased and used long term without risk.
If you’re hoping to balance your mental health and boost your brainpower, try out Bacopa before seeing your pharmacist!