Bacopa monnieri is a creeping herb native to wetlands (ponds, bogs, and marshes) of eastern and southern India, Australia, Europe, Africa, Asia, and North and South America.
Analysis of the plant’s leaves demonstrates a number of compounds of the triterpenoid saponin type. The most studied and beneficial compounds are called bacoside A and bacoside B.
Bacopa has been used for thousands of years for a number of ailments, but mainly to improve memory.
It has been found to have a number of useful properties, such as reducing inflammation, as an antioxidant, improving blood flow, protecting against neurodegeneration, and stimulating healing of damaged neurons and nerve cell connections (synapses). It is also an antidepressant, and reduces pain and anxiety.
Extensive testing using very high doses in both animals and humans demonstrated a very high margin of safety and no serious side effects — even when used in children. It has not been tested for safety in pregnant women.
The most beneficial supplements are those extracted using water or methanol. Most studies were conducted using a form called CDRI-08, which is available without a prescription — at least for now.
Other high quality forms are also available.
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