Water Hyssop Leaf
Bacopa monnieri , also known as Water Hyssop plant or Brahmi, is a creeping succulent herb that produces small, scentless white flowers. It has been prized for thousands of years among practitioners of Ayurveda — the ancient Indian system of medicine — as a nootropic, supporting mental performance and concentration, improving memory, reducing anxiety, and treating epilepsy.
Bacopa is associated with learning, memory, concentration, and knowledge. Traditionally, people have used Bacopa to increase concentration and devotion to support a spiritual or meditative practice, and it is believed that ancient scholars utilized Bacopa as a nootropic to memorize extensive hymns and scriptures.
Bacopa offers antioxidant support to the brain and is thought to promote a healthy, thriving mind. Recent research suggests it may support both short and long-term brain health for people in all stages of life. A class of powerful compounds called bacosides in Bacopa monnieri is believed to be responsible for this herbs medicinal benefits.
May Helps With Neurodegenerative Disorders and Enhance Cognitive Functions
Bacosides, the main active compounds in Water Hyssop (Bacopa monnieri), have been shown to neutralize free radicals and prevent fat molecules from reacting with free radicals. When fat molecules react with free radicals, they undergo a process called lipid peroxidation. Lipid peroxidation is linked to several conditions, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other neurodegenerative disorders.
Bacopa monnieri may help prevent damage caused by this process. For example, a study showed that treating rats with dementia with Bacopa monnieri reduced free radical damage and reversed signs of memory impairment.
Not only has this incredible herb been used to improve brain function for thousands of years, but modern research also suggests that bacopa has cognitive enhancing properties. For example, one study in mice showed that supplementing with Bacopa monnieri improved their spatial learning and ability to retain information. The same study also found that it increased dendritic length and branching. Dendrites are parts of nerve cells in the brain that are closely linked to learning and memory.
Additionally, a 12-week study in 46 healthy adults observed that taking 300 mg of Bacopa monnieri daily significantly improved the speed of processing visual information, learning rate, and memory, compared with the placebo treatment. Another 12-week study in 60 older adults found that taking either 300 mg or 600 mg of Bacopa monnieri extract daily improved memory, attention, and the ability to process information, compared with the placebo treatment.
Interestingly, research has shown that Bacopa monnieri may help to reduce attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a neurodevelopmental disorder that is characterized by symptoms like hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattentiveness. One study in 31 children aged 6–12 years found that taking 225 mg of Bacopa monnieri extract daily for 6 months significantly reduced ADHD symptoms, such as restlessness, poor self-control, inattention, and impulsivity in 85% of the children. Another study in 120 children with ADHD observed that taking an herbal blend that contained 125 mg of Bacopa monnieri improved attention, cognition, and impulse control, compared with the placebo group.
Water-Hyssop May Reduces Stress and Help with Anxiety
Water Hyssop is also considered to be an adaptogenic herb, meaning that it helps the body better respond and adapt to stress. Research suggests that Bacopa monnieri helps reduce stress and anxiety by elevating your mood and reducing levels of cortisol, a hormone that is closely linked to stress levels. One rodent study showed that Bacopa had anti-anxiety effects comparable to those of lorazepam (benzodiazepine), a prescription medication used to treat anxiety.
Has Potent Anti-inflammatory Properties
Another notable benefit of Bacopa is that it may also reduce inflammation. Inflammation is your body’s natural response to help heal and fight disease, however, chronic, low-level inflammation has been linked to many chronic conditions, including cancer, diabetes, and heart and kidney disease.
In test-tube studies, Bacopa monnieri appeared to suppress the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which are molecules that stimulate an inflammatory immune response. Also, in test-tube and animal studies, it inhibited enzymes, such as cyclooxygenases, caspases, and lipoxygenases — all of which play key roles in inflammation and pain.
Water Hyssop (Bacopa monnieri ) is an incredible plant with powerful medicinal compounds and a rich history of traditional use. Revered for centuries by Ayurvedic practitioners as a brain tonic to improve cognitive functioning and meditative concentration, and with plenty of research to supporting its health properties, Water Hyssop is a powerful nootropic aid and a wonderful herb to use for enhancing brain function and overall health.