More than three thousand years Bacopa, commonly known as water hyssop, has been a wonderful useful brain tonic and a tool to improve ones intellectual activity. It was used for consecration of new born babies (because of the belief that Bacopa would potentially give the child intelligence and wisdom). Resent researches confirm the influence of this aquatic plant on the memory improving and on some conditions’ relief (such as anxiety and epilepsy).
Botanical name of the herb is Bacopa Monniera. The family of the plant is Scrophulariaceae. The genus Bacopa has 5 more species: Bacopa australis, caroliniana (Lemon Bacopa or Blue water Hyssop), crenata, madagascariensis and myriophylloides. Bacopa Monniera is commonly known under other names – Water Hyssop and Brahmi. Other names are less common: Herpestis Monniera, Thyme Leaved Gratiola, Sambrani chettu, Jalnaveri, Jalanimba.
Bacopa is an aquatic creeping herb, perennial with succulent thick leaves and small white flowers. The leaves are arranged oppositely on the stem, the flowers are usually with four or five petals, white (but can be blue or purple in color), the stem is usually smooth. When one takes the leaf in the hand and crushes it with ones fingers it has a nice lemon scent.
Water Hyssop is a wonderful aquarium plant as it feels itself very good in water. It likes wetlands, muddy shores and near the ponds, bog gardens, and can even grow in rather brackish conditions.
It grows mostly in India (especially in South India), but also in such countries as Nepal, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, China, southern states of the USA (Florida) and other tropical and subtropical regions of the world.
Bacopa is easy to grow and tolerate a wide range of water conditions.
In folk medicine the whole plant is used.
In the market Brahmi is available in the form of capsules, syrups, tinctures and extracts. Main usage instructions are for memory and mood, mental clarity, concentration, alertness and focus, clear thinking, spiritual and intellectual improving.
It is also in the shelves in the dried or powered form. From it you can prepare a tea infusion or decoction, which is rather tasteful when taken with honey or stevia leaves.
Bacopa is bitter in flavor which makes it a unique addition to the salads and soups. It adds the food a piquant taste and health benefits – it also strengthen the heart, digestive and endocrine systems.
Bacopa Monniera contains a lot of active components such as alkaloids (brahmine and herpestine), saponins (d-mannitol and hersaponin, acid A, and monnierin), flavonoids, betulic acid, bacosides A and B and other useful constituents.
The last two chemicals play a central role in making Bacopa a popular brain food. Bacosides A and B improve the transmission of impulses between nerve cells in brain, they regenerate synapses and repair damaged neurons. It helps you to learn and remember new things much easier. In addition to it Bacopa promote you relaxation by increasing the level of serotonin (this chemical increases the level of happiness, especially in women). So, the herb switches on your brain functioning along with reducing the stress, restlessness, and senility. Sounds like it kills two problems by one shot.
This is the best herbal medical to enhance academic performance and mental alertness together with decreasing the effect of the tension of the period – it calms your nerves and removes the anxiety.
It is not only the memory enhancer or anxiety reliever, it is used for other health problems such as asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, acne, eczema, rheumatism, burns, cuts and other skin irritations (and also as anti-inflammatory), in case of constipation, also as emetic and aphrodisiac. It is also a diuretic, cardiac, nervine and tonic.
The main (but not the only) its benefit is Bacopa’s interesting effects on brain cells and its ability to improve protein synthesis. The all above mentioned adds up to it effectively having anti-aging effects on the mind. Of course it is better and more effective to learn and memorize when we are calm and relaxed and have a positive look for life. This is another strategically important health benefit of the Water Hyssop. By the way during the studies of the plant properties patients treated with Bacopa for anxiety neurosis got the feeling of harmony and calmness in first two weeks, they also experienced reduced mental fatigue and better short-term memory performance. After four weeks of taking the Bacopa they experienced decreasing of the systolic blood pressure. Along with these benefits (especially with the reducing of the anxiety) other symptoms gone – no more headaches, irritability, lack of concentration and nervousness. Insomnia, tremors and palpitations were notably relieved. So, it is a great safe substitute for anti-anxiety drugs, absolutely lack of side effects.
Another aspect of memory relates to motor function in our bodies. Memory operating at a molecular level is also involved in transmitting chemicals. It in its turn governs motor responses and nerve signals. Brahmi balances these important chemicals by stimulating production of a neurotransmitter in the brain known as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glutamate in the brain. GABA inhibits convulsive behavior and assists locomotor function. It allows the plant to serve as a sedative.
Bacopa plant is a friend in the most common life situations. Whenever you need your extra memory potential with calm nerves (and when on earth you don’t) Bacopa gives it to you.
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