Bacopa is a genus of 70 - 100 aquatic plants belonging to the family Plantaginaceae. It is commonly known as Waterhyssop (or Water Hyssop, though this is more misleading as Bacopa is not very closely related to hyssop but simply has a somewhat
Bacopa is a genus of 70 - 100 belonging to the family . It is commonly known as Waterhyssop (or Water Hyssop, though this is more misleading as Bacopa is not very closely related to but simply has a somewhat similar ).
- Kingdom- Plantae.
- Division- Angiospermae.
- Class- Dicotyledonae.
- Order- Tubiflorae.
- Family- Scrophulariaceae.
- Genus- Bacopa.
Species- monnieri Linn.
Part used: Leaves and stems.
he best characterized compounds in Bacopa monnieri are dammarane types of triterpenoid saponins known as bacosides, with jujubogenin or pseudo-jujubogenin moieties as aglycone units. Bacosides comprise a family of 12 known analogs. Novel saponins called bacopasides I–XII have been identified more recently.The alkaloids brahmine, nicotine, and herpestine have been catalogued, along with D-mannitol, apigenin, hersaponin, monnierasides I–III, cucurbitacins and plantainoside B.
The constituent most studied has been bacoside A, which was found to be a blend of bacoside A3, bacopacide II, bacopasaponin C, and a jujubogenin isomer of bacosaponin C. These assays have been conducted using whole plant extract, and bacoside concentrations may vary depending upon the part from which they are extracted. In one BM sample, Rastogi et al. found this bacoside profile—bacopaside I (5.37%), bacoside A3 (5.59%), bacopaside II (6.9%), bacopasaponin C isomer (7.08%), and bacopasaponin C (4.18%).
Bacopa displays antioxidant and cell-protective effects. It also inhibits acetylcholinesterase, activates choline acetyltransferase, and increases cerebral blood flow. In rats, bacoside A enhances antioxidation, increasing superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase activities. Brahmi augments Th1 and Th2 cytokine production.
Several studies have suggested that Bacopa extracts may have protective effects in animal models of neurodegeneration. There have also been preliminary clinical studies suggesting improvement of cognitive function in humans.
The rat LD50 was found to be to be 2400 mg/kg following a single oral administration. Aqueous extracts of Bacopa monnieri may elevate serum thyroxine and decrease spermatogenesis, sperm count, and fertility in male mice.
The most commonly reported adverse side effects of BM in humans are nausea, increased intestinal motility, and gastrointestinal upset.
- Triterpenoids, saponins and bacosides A&B are the main constituents of Bacopa monnieri responsible for enhancing nerve impulse transmission. These substances help to repair damaged neurons by powering Kinase activity and stimulating the neuronal synthesis, improving also the neurotransmission.
- The main characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease is the loss of the cholinergic activity in the Hippocampus. Bacosides increase the antioxidant activity in the Hippocampus, in the Frontal Cortex and in the Striatum.
- Several studies have shown that Bacopa monnieri’s extract modulates the expression of some enzymes that are involved in generating free radicals in the brain.
- The potentialization of the cholinergic neurotransmission brings the improvement of the cognitive properties of the brain: memory, stability, volume and attention sharpness, amongst others.
- Bacopa monnieri exerts a powerful relaxing effect on the pulmonary arteries, Aorta and Trachea as well as the muscular mass; probably, as a result of the inhibition of the intracellular flow of Calcium through the cellular membrane.
- It is presumed that Bacopa monnieri stabilizes the Mast Cells in vitro. It also has an anti-inflammatory effect because it inhibits the synthesis of Prostaglandins and stabilizes the lysosomal membrane.
- Although Bacopa monnieri has always been recommended to treat convulsions, some recent studies show that it only works when given in big dosages, for a long period of time. Yet, if Bacosides are used along with the anti-convulsive drugs, the effect of these drugs will be increased so that Polypragmasy is avoided; thus also reducing the amount of potentially toxic anti-convulsive drugs that will be applied.
- Bacosides stabilize the Heparin Granules Membranes of the Mast Cells, and the Basophil Granulocytes of the blood, inhibiting the atopic reactions. Bacopa monnieri‘s ability to stabilize those membranes is comparable to Sodium Cromoglicate.
- Some studies in vitro suggest an anticarcinogenic effect by Bacopa monnieri, which is probably due to its capability of inhibiting the replication of DNA in the malignant cell’s lines.
- Studies done on different mammals have demonstrated that Bacopa monnieri‘s extracts control the chemically induced ronchospasm. This is, possibly, by blocking the calcium canals and stabilizing the Mast Cells Granules. These qualities justify Bacopa monnieri‘s use in the treatment of Bronchial Asthma.
- Some experiments found that Bacopa monnieri‘s extract increases by 41% the concentration of Tyroxine, while T3 levels do not change. This suggests that Bacosides work directly on the Thyroid Gland, stimulating the synthesis and/or release of T4, without altering the conversion of T4 into T3. These studies confirm that the plant has a stimulant effect on the Thyroid Gland. However, in these studies, dosages were very high; a regular dosage (200-400 mg daily) does not have a significant stimulating effect on the Thyroid Gland, it should be to take it into consideration for people with thyroidal pathologies.
- In the last decades, it has been largely reported that there is evidence of neurochemical molecular alterations in the Nerve Tissue (endocrine and immune) which is caused by stress. There has been an emphasis about the role that the axis “Hypothalamus-Hypophysis-Suprarenal Glands” has, in response, to psycho-traumatic (chronic and acute) situations. Although alterations caused by stress tend to limit themselves, after a long exposure, it will transgress the limit of each particular person’s resistance and could result in an irreversible pathological condition.
- In case of severe stress, it has been proven that a pre-treatment with Bacopa monnierireduced significantly the levels of ulcers and Creatine Kinase, as well as the Adrenal Glands’ weight.
- Bacopa monnieri helps to attenuate the somatic consequences caused by stress. It also helps to cope with relevant psychophysical traumatic situations.
syn. Herpestis monniera, is important in and has been used, particularly in India, for several thousand years to improve mental functioning, including comprehension (Dhi), memory (Dhriti), and recollection (Smriti).[