Brahmi: the nootropic herb

Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) is one of my favourite herbs for memory and cognition. I first learned about Brahmi (and other Ayurvedic and Chinese herbs) in 1996. I attended a symposium in 1997 on Ayurvedic and Chinese herbs presented by Kerry Bone.

Brahmi demonstrates cognitive, enhanced memory and learning, adaptogenic, anxiolytic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, and hepatoprotective activity. A nootropic is used to enhance memory and cognitive function. Adaptogens enable the body to better cope with the mental and physical consequences of stress. Emerging research demonstrates several mechanisms of action, including increased cerebral blood flow, acetylcholinesterase inhibition, choline acetyltransferase activation, β-amyloid reduction, and monoamine potentiation.

Brahmi was initially described around the 6th century A.D. in texts such as the Charaka Samhita, Athar-Ved, and Susrutu Samhita as a medhya rasayana-class herb taken to sharpen intellect and attenuate mental deficits.

For memory and cognitive products, I always look for Brahmi, along with Ginkgo, B Vitamins.

Reference: Aguiar S and Borowski T. Neuropharmacological review of the nootropic herb Bacopa monnieri. Rejuvenation Res. 2013 Aug; 16(4): 313-26.

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