Bacopa extract depression anxiety information and use as a mental enhancement herb for memory and clarity of thinking, how much to take and how effective is it?
March 23 2014

Bacopa is an Ayurvedic herb used in India for memory enhancement, epilepsy, insomnia, and as a mild sedative. It commonly grows in marshy areas throughout India. Studies show that bacopa monnieri has antioxidant properties, protects mental function in those with epilepsy who take the drug phenytion, while a study on rats showed administration improves learning skills.  Recent human studies show the herb has the ability to improve memory and mood.

Depression, use with antidepressant drugs
I was wondering if I can take bacopa pills with my antidepressant Celexa SSRI. I was reading an article stating that it does have some effect on the serotonin receptors and wanted to know if there would be an interaction together? I have been on Celexa for about 2 months now and I just took a dose of around 400 mg about 15 minutes ago!
    It is not easy to predict the interactions between different herbs and medications used for depression, and it can vary among individuals based on various factors. When combining herbs and prescription drugs, it is a good idea to use low dosages at first and to have approval by your health care provider. There are other factors besides serotonin that can influence SSRI and bacopa interactions.

Buy Bacopa Extract, 225 mg, 120 Tablets
Studies have shown that bacopa monnieri supports learning and memory in humans. In animal models, it provides antioxidant protection for critical memory centers and helps to reduce the effects of stress on the brain. Traditional application suggests that it has a direct effect on improving brain functions, increasing concentration, and in promoting memory functions. Bacosides play a protective role in the synaptic functions of the nerves in the hippocampus, the seat of memory. Nerve impulses are transmitted across the synapses and their degeneration is believed to contribute to impaired memory and cognition. Most people find one pill a day is enough. Once you notice mental enhancement, you can reduce the number of times you take these pills.


 

buy Bacopa Monnieri tablets, and acetylcarnitine

Amount Per Serving
Bacopa Whole Plant extract 450 mg
   (20% bacosides A and B)

What's in the herb?
Two saponins, designated as bacopaside I and II, are found in bacopa monniera.
Additional phytochemicals betulinic acid, wogonin and oroxindin have been isolated from the aerial parts of Bacopa monnieri and showed significant antifungal activity.

Benefits
The role of this herb in depression treatment and anxiety relief are still being evaluated.

Antioxidant
Bacopa has antioxidant properties.
Doctors in India who practice Ayurveda use this herb often.

Brain cell protection
Bacopa monniera prevents from aluminium neurotoxicity in the cerebral cortex of rat brain.
J Ethnopharmacol. 2006; Neurobiology Laboratory, School of Life Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi-67, India.
Our findings strongly implicate this plant has potential to protect brain from oxidative damage resulting from aluminium toxicity.

Cognitive enhancement and learning
The chronic effects of an extract of Bacopa monniera Brahmi on cognitive function in healthy human subjects.
Psychopharmacology 2001.
Extracts of Bacopa monniera Memory Herb Pill have been reported to exert cognitive enhancing effects in animals. However, the effects on human cognition are inconclusive. The current study examined the chronic effects of an extract on cognitive function in healthy human subjects. The study was a double-blind placebo-controlled independent-group design in which subjects were randomly allocated to one of two treatment conditions, bacopa (300 mg) or placebo. Neuropsychological testing was conducted pre-(baseline) and at 5 and 12 weeks post drug administration. Treatment significantly improved speed of visual information processing measured by the IT task, learning rate and memory consolidation measured by the AVLT and state anxiety compared to placebo, with maximal effects evident after 12 weeks.

Memory herb
Researchers at the Department of Psychology, University of Wollongong, in Woolongong, Australia, studied the effects on human memory. Seventy-six adults aged between 40 and 65 years took part in a double-blind randomized, placebo control study in which various memory functions were tested and levels of anxiety measured. There were three testing sessions: one prior to the trial, one after three months on the trial, and one six weeks after the completion of the trial. The results showed a significant effect of bacopa on a test for the retention of new information. Follow-up tests showed that the rate of learning was unaffected, suggesting that the herb decreases the rate of forgetting of newly acquired information.
   Additional mind boosting herbs include Alpha-GPC, acetyl l carnitine, along with huperzine supplement, and galantamine.

Chronic effects of Brahmi on human memory.
Neuropsychopharmacology. 2002.
A study is reported on the effects of Brahmi on human memory. Seventy-six older adults took part in a study in which various memory functions were tested and levels of anxiety measured. There were three testing sessions: one prior to the trial, one after three months on the trial, and one six weeks after the completion of the trial. The results show a significant effect of the bacopa monniera on a test for the retention of new information. Follow-up tests showed that the rate of learning was unaffected, suggesting that it decreases the rate of forgetting of newly acquired information. Tasks assessing attention, verbal and visual short-term memory and the retrieval of pre-experimental knowledge were unaffected. Questionnaire measures of everyday memory function and anxiety levels were also unaffected.

Extract availability by herbal suppliers
Bacopa extract is sold in a number of concentrations and extract potencies including 20 percent and 45 percent bacosides.

Bacopa side effects, safety, danger
Long term bacopa side effects are currently not fully understood but no major adverse reports have been mentioned in the medical literature as of Jan 2010.

Are there any side effects or medical conditions where the supplement should not be taken. I have an 80 y/o father with CHF and beginning stage of Alzheimer's.
   Not enough human studies are available to determine its safety in elderly. If it is used, we suggest low dosages.

 

I would like to give some info about my two young daughters. The younger one was prescribed a bacopa extract by a medical practitioner several years ago and then suffered frightening auditory hallucinations at night. I phoned the Dr and asked if this was a side effect and he seemed unconcerned. The hallucinations stopped immediately. A couple of years later I gave my elder daughter a student formula (completely different brand) to help her through exam time. Within a few days she expressed concern about hearing things that she “knew weren’t there at night”. I checked the bottle and one of the ingredients was “brahmi” which as you would know and as I then discovered is aka bacopa – reminding me of the trouble two years previous! So that bottle was thrown away and we check any student formulas very carefully now! Incidentally, our younger daughter suffers an anxiety condition called Selective Mutism – now she is symptom-free thanks to a combination of Inositol, Glutamine, Tyrosine and the occasional course of 5-htp. Several other Selective Mutism children have also been effectively cured with the same combination. She now takes a maintenance dose, which also helps with common Selective Mutism co-traits such as obsessive compulsive, transition anxiety, sensory integration probs. She took the bacopa well before starting on this special combination, in fact we tried a lot of things that didn’t work! At first I thought her condition may have just made her super-sensitive to the bacopa, but then when our other daughter (who didn’t inherit the selective mutism) had just the same reaction, my theory was dashed! I haven’t been able to find any info on the web re any link between bacopa and auditory hallucinations, but I thought you might be interested in our experience with it, or even be able to theorise an explanation for it?!
   This is quite interesting, we have not had reports of bacopa monniera causing auditory hallucinations but unexpected reactions can occur with medicines and supplements. Perhaps it enhances auditory perception?

 

I wanted to report my reaction and adverse effect to taking a bacopa pill along with a tongkat ali It was too stimulating and I felt restless and sweating the whole day. Would a blood test have predicted this?
   There is no blood test that would have predicted your response to this combination. It is just a matter of dosage.

Use with medications
Is it safe to take bacopa monniera for memory improvement? I am on blood pressure pill Coversyl 10 mg daily.
   We can only refer your doctor to read this article and decide for you. We can't make that judgment regarding blood pressure medication interactions. Much depends on your overall health and dosage of medicines used.

 

Press release
2007 – Verdure Sciences announced today that Bacognize Extract, the clinically researched ingredient derived from bacopa monnieri, after an extensive analytical program, has been further characterized to its 100% natural serotonin-active profile of unique glycosides. A substantial amount of published human and in vivo research supports the use for areas of cognitive health, particularly for helping the brain regulate mood and adapt to stress. Traditionally used in Indian and Asian cultures, it is an integral part of an Indian pharmacopoeia refined over the past two to three thousand years. Noted in the traditional literature is regular use of bacopa as a nerve tonic by people within a broad range of ages. “Parallel with our mission to provide efficacy and consistency across the board, we thought it was necessary to improve upon the non-specific ultraviolet spectrometry method for ‘Total Bacosides’, a method which may or may not detect the active glycosides,” said Blake Ebersole, Technical Director of Verdure Sciences. “By HPLC-standardizing to the serotonin-active bacopa phytochemicals, we are now able to provide exact levels of the exact compounds researched for the plant’s cognition-enhancing activity.” Bacognize, a proprietary extract from 100% bacopa monnieri, is manufactured at Verdure Sciences’ ISO-9000:2001, HACCP, botanicals-only facility; is supported by its own clinical, safety, and natural phytochemical profiles; and is Kosher- and Halal-certified, and GMO-free.

 

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