(NaturalHealth365) You probably have never heard of bacopa, but it just may be what you’ve been looking for to improve memory and brain health. This little-known herb might even be a key to preventing the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia that can strike in our later years.
Bacopa is a perennial herb that grows in the wetlands of tropical areas like China, Nepal, Taiwan, Vietnam, India, Sri Lanka, and in U.S. regions like Florida and Hawaii. Its medicinal origins are rooted in Ayurveda, where it is known for its sedating, antioxidant and adaptogenic (cellular de-stressing) properties.
Bacopa used in Ayurveda for thousands of years
Bacopa has been used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. It has also been used in religious ceremonies for babies, as bacopa is associated with bringing enhanced intelligence. It has also been used by shamans to improve their ability to memorize long stories and poems.
In fact, it is reported that writings over 900 pages long were memorized by shamans taking bacopa. These associations caught the interest of researchers, who began to study bacopa for its ability to enhance brain functioning.
Bacopa has been studied for its effects on concentration, memory, recall, retention, and visual processing speed. Research has confirmed the positive effects of the bacopa plant in all of these areas and to cognitive health in general.
Studies confirm bacopa to be effective in improving memory and brain health
Studies in both the U.S. and Australia have shown persons taking bacopa were better able to retain information and process visual input faster, with improvements showing in just 3 weeks in some cases.
A 1996 study presented at the International Brain Research Conference showed bacopa could cut the time required for learning a new task in half. A rigorous 2001 study involving a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled experiment out of Victoria, Australia showed subjects that took bacopa scored higher on cognitive processing tests after 12 weeks.
These results were substantiated by a study out of the University of Wollongong in Australia’s psychology department, which showed that taking bacopa increases both memory and recall substantially.
How to improve your emotional well-being with bacopa
In addition to improving concentration and memory, bacopa also improves emotional health. It has been known to provide relief for depression, anxiety, and ADD. It is even showing promise against conditions like epilepsy and long-term cognitive decline, including Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
A Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine study showed seniors taking 300 mg of bacopa per day showed better mental functioning than those who did not take it. There were noteworthy improvements in the areas of verbal information processing and attention.
These results are exciting for anyone looking for a natural way to better brain functioning. It is also great news for older individuals looking to improve memory and brain health.
A dose of at least 225 mg of bacopa per day (up to three times this for some individuals) is often recommended by herbal practitioners. However, it’s advisable to check with a qualified naturopath to determine ideal dosage.