Common name: Bacopa, Brahmi
Parts used: Aerial
- Steroidal & Tripterpene saponins (bacosides & bacosine, jujubogenin)
- Alkaloids (brahmine & herpestatine)
- Betulinic acid
- Phytosterols (stigmastarol & beta-sitosterol)
- Cognition & memory enhancer
- Nervine Tonic & Sedative
- Used for more than 3000 years in Ayurvedic medicine for increasing brain function, or promoting longevity. Has a reputation for enhancing circulation to the brain, thereby increasing short and long-term memory, improving concentration, mental performance & cognitive function as a whole.
- Used in disorders of the nervous system such as insomnia, anxiety, stress, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
- Taken internally or applied topically for rheumatic conditions, joint pain and neuralgias.
- Various mechanisms of action for cognitive effects have been proposed, including acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibition, β-amyloid reduction, antioxidant neuroprotection, neurotransmitter modulation (Ach), 5-hydroxytryptamine [5-HT], dopamine, choline acetyltransferase activation and increased cerebral blood flow.
- Steroidal & Triterpenoid saponins (bacosides) increase protein kinase activity, protein synthesis in the long-term memory brain regions, and are responsible for cognitive effects and enhanced nerve impulse transmission (balances GABA and glutamate levels in the brain). Has protective effects against β-amyloid toxicity and beneficial effects on cognitive performance.
- Bacosine has analgesic effects.
- The alkaloid brahmine is toxic in very large doses.
- Tincture: (1:2, 25%), 5-13 ml QD, 90 ml/week.
- Whole herb: 5-15 grams a day, divided
- Standardized extract (20% bacosides A & B): 200-400 mg QD.
- May cause gastric irritation of the gastric mucosa membranes and reflux due to saponin content.
- Potential interaction when orally co-administered with drugs metabolized by CYP1A2, CYP3A4, CYP2C9 and CYP2C19.
- Find a complete list of references for this monograph as well as images and a review of its evidence based applications in Dr. Marciano’s Herbal Textbook.
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