How It Works
The leaves of bacopa contain saponins, including the bacosides,23, 24, 25 which are thought responsible for the therapeutic properties of the herb. In animal studies, both purified bacosides and extracts of bacopa standardized for bacosides have been found to enhance several aspects of mental function and learning ability.26, 27, 28 Additional brain effects of bacopa demonstrated in animal research include reduction of both anxiety and depression.29, 30 Biochemically, these nervous-system effects have been attributed to an enhancement of the effects of the neurotransmitters acetylcholine and,31, 32 possibly, serotonin or GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid).33, 34
Bacopa extracts also appear to have significant antioxidant activity in the brain,35 and other effects that may help protect brain cells.36
Animal research has also reported that bacopa extracts can relax the muscles that control the blood vessels, the intestine, and the airways of the respiratory system,37, 38, 39, 40 and can help both prevent and heal ulcers in the stomach.41
How to Use It
Traditional herbal references recommend 5 to 10 grams per day of the powdered herb.42 Human research has used 300 to 450 mg per day of an extract standardized to contain 55% bacosides.
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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.