- Bacopa monnieri appeared in recorded texts around 6th century AD as Charaka Samhita, Atharva-Veda, and Susrut Samhita, a "Medhya rasayana" that can sharpen the intellect and attenuate mental deficits. It may be one of the first plants used in Ayurvedic medicine. as it required no processing. (39)
- Called Brahmi or "the herb of grace," the plant is believed to be beneficial to the mind and has been a staple in Ayurvedic medicine in India for centuries. (39)
Ulasimang-aso is a creeping, smooth, somewhat fleshy plant, with branches 5 to 20 centimeters long. Leaves are stalkless, entire, oblong-ovate to spatulate, 8 to 15 millimeters long, up to 4 millimeters wide, widest near the blunt tip, and tapering toward the base. Flowers are borne singly in the axils of the leaves, on stalks which are usually as long as the leaves or longer. Calyx is about 5 millimeters long, the outer sepal being oval and the others ovate-lanceolate or lanceolate. Corolla is 8 to 10 millimeters long; the tube, which is nearly as long as the calyx or quite as long, has white or pale violet lobes. Capsules are ovoid and shorter than the calyx. Seeds are numerous and pale.
- In open wet places at low altitudes, especially within the influence of salt and brackish water.
- In Cagayan, Ilocos Norte, Rizal and Laguna Provinces in Luzon.
- Phytochemical study yielded saponins, tannins, flavonoids, and triterpenoids.
Plant yields the presence of a trace of oil matter, two resins, organic acid, tannin and an alkaloid principle.
- Indian study yielded alkaloids, Brahmine and hespestine, saponins d-mannitol and hersaponin, monnierin.
- Yields betulic acid, stigmasterol, beta-sitosterol, bacosides and bacosaponins.
Plant yields characteristic saponins called "Bacosides" a complex mixture of structural closely related compounds glycosides of ether,jujubogenin, or pseudojujubogenin Bacosides have a family of 12 known analogs. Major bacopasaponins are bacosides A3, bacopasides I, II and X, bacopasaponin C; bacopaside with minor components of bacopasaponin E and F, bacopaside N1, III and IV, and bacopaside V. (43)
- Aerial parts have yielded four cucurbitacins, bacitracin A-D. a known cytotoxic, cucurbitacin E and three phenylethanoid glycosides,
monnieraside I and III. (43)
- Aerial parts yield large amount of saponin, alkaloids, and sterols.
Chief constituents are tetracyclic triterpenoid saponins, Bacoside A and B, with the former being more dominant. both yield glucose, arabinose, and bacogenin A1, 2, 3, and 4. Other minor compounds include saponins viz. bacoside A1 and A3, hersaponin, monnierin; alkaloids viz. herpestine and brahmine; flavonoids viz. luteolin-7 glucoside, glucoronyl-7-apigenin and glycoronyl-7-luteolin; phytosterols viz. stigmasterol, beta sitosterol. (52)
- Considered aperient, adaptogenic, anti-anxiety, anti-epileptic, antipyretic, analgesic, anti-ulcer, anti-asthmatic, antidepressant, antispasmodic, antioxidant, diuretic, immuno-modulating, memory enhancing, neurotonic.
- Studies have suggest antifungal, antibacterial, analgesic, antioxidant, anticancer, cytotoxic, nootropic, antiasthma, anticonvulsant, hepatoprotective, antianxiety, spasmolytic, antidiiarrheal, gastroprotective, memory and cognitive enhancing, antifertility, antistress, antidepressant, phytoremediative, anticholinesterase, cardioprotective, antiepileptic, neuroprotective, antiamnesic properties.
- In the Philippines, decoction of entire plant utilized as diuretic.
- Hindu physicians use it as nervine tonic; used for insanity, epilepsy and hoarseness.
- Teaspoon of leaf juice used for vomiting and purging.
- In India, used as diuretic, aperient, and nervine tonic.
- In prehistoric times, used as nerve tonic for rejuvenating mental health and memory enhancement.
- Used to enhance memory, learning and concentration.
- In India and Pakistan, used as cardiac tonic, digestive aid, and to relieve bronchoconstriction.
- In Ayurveda, used for anxiety, mental retardation, depression, psychosis and epilepsy.
- Used as tonic and memory enhancer.
- In India, used for treatment of malaria. For falling hair, juice from leaves, roots, and white flowers taken orally. For snakebites, plant juice mixed with castor oil is applied externally, and leaf powder decoction mixed with hot cow's milk is taken orally. (43)
• Cognitive Enhancing Effects: Study results suggest only chronic administration of extract is associated with cognitive-enhancing effects. (1)
• Antianxiety: Study on rat model with extract with 25% bacoside A showed an anxiolytic effect comparable to benzodiazepene anxiolytic drug, lorazepam. (1)
• Anticonvulsant / Effect in High Doses: Study in mice showed hersaponin provided protection against seizures. Study in mice using high doses of Bacopa extract demonstrated anticonvulsant effect, an effect not observed with lower doses. (1)
• Asthma: Study showed Bacopa extract to have a relaxant effect on chemically-induced bronchoconstriction. (1)
• Spasmolytic: In vitro studies demonstrated direct spasmolytic activity on intestinal smooth muscle through inhibition of calcium influx across cell membrane channels. (1)
• Gastroprotective: Animal and in vitro studies suggest a protective and curative effect on gastric ulcers. (1)
• Memory / Cognitive Enhancement in the Elderly/ Clinical Trial: A double-blind randomized, placebo-control study evaluated the effects of B. monnieri whole plant extract on cognitive function and its safety and tolerability in 65 participants, 65 or older with mean of 73.5 years, without clinical signs of dementia. Bacopa participants showed enhanced AVLT delayed word recall memory scores. Bacopa also improved depression scores and combined state plus trait anxiety scores, along with decreased heart rate. Results suggest potential for safely enhancing cognitive performance in the aging. (4)
• Antioxidant: Study of B. monniera extract on rat brain showed dose-related increases in SOD, CAT and GPX activities, suggesting a significant antioxidant effect after subchronic administration. The increase in oxidative free radical scavenging activity by BM may explain, in part, the cognitive-facilitating action noted in Ayurveda practice. (6)
• Antifertility: Study in mice showed antifertility effects with reversible suppression of spermatogenesis and fertility without any apparent toxic effects. (3)
• ADHD / Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A double-blind, placebo controlled, randomized trial of 36 children with ADHD showed a significant benefit at 12 weeks, with improvement in sentence repetition, logical memory and paired associate learning tasks.
• Antistress: A study in adult male Sprague Dawley rats on the antistress effect of bacosides of Brahmi showed B, monnieri has the potential to modulate the activities of Hsp70, P450 and SOD, to prepare the brain to act under adverse conditions such as stress. (5)
• Antistress: Study showed the standardized extract of B. monniera possesses a potent adaptogenic effect. (7)
• Anti-Inflammatory: Study showed Bacopa monniera possesses anti-inflammatory activity through inhibition of COX and LOX and down-regulation of TNF-alpha. (8)
• Pollutant Detector: Study showed the plant to be considerably tolerant to heavy metals, even accumulating trace quantities of these metals during growth. Analytical study showed considerable amounts of Al, As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, Pb, etc. in different parts of the plant. Its use as ingredient in many Ayurvedic medicines and food supplements on one hand and bioaccumulation potential and phytoremediation efficacy are paradoxical. (9)
• Serotonin Receptor Activity / Antidepressant: Study concluded Bacopa extract decreased cAMP production in cells with 5HT1a receptors, suggesting an agonistic effect. The effect was similar to results of a previous study where Bacopa displayed antidepressant effects comparable to imipramine. (10)
• Antioxidant Response Modulation: Study evaluated the protective effect of B. monnieri on tissue antioxidant defense system and lipid peroxidative status in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Results showed Bm extract modulates antioxidant activity, and enhances the defense against ROS generated damage in diabetic rats. (11)
• Cu and Cd Pollution Mitigation / Phytoremediation: Study showed a capability to accumulate both copper and cadmium in single and mixed metal treatments. Copper accumulation was stimulated by the presence of Cd whereas uptake of Cd was inhibited by Cu. Results suggest the potential of using the plant for mitigating Cu and Cd pollution in the aquatic environment. (12)
• Beneficial Effects on Attention, Cognition, and Working Memory: In a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled designed study of 60 healthy elderly subjects, study showed B. monnieri can improved attention, cognitive processing, and working memory partly via the suppression of AChE activity. (13)
• Cognitive Enhancing Effect / Free Memory Recall: A review concludes there is some evidence to suggest Bacopa improves memory free recall with evidence for enhancement in other cognitive abilities. (14)
• Anti-Motility Effect: Study evaluated a hydroalcoholic extract of BM for antimotility and toxicological studies. Results showed an anti GIT motility effect which may be due to the presence of saponins, tannins, flavonoids and triterpenoids and may involve the interaction of the constituents with alpha 2 and GABA receptors. (15)
• Anti-Inflammatory, Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Properties / Toxicity Study: In a study of the whole plant using various extracts, methanol extracts were found to have potent antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Active crude methanol extracts assayed for cellular toxicity to fresh sheep erythrocytes showed no cellular toxicity. (16)
• Protective Effect on Liver and Kidney Toxicity in Chronic Opioid Use: Study evaluated the protective effect of B. monnieri against morphine-induced liver and kidney toxicity in rats. Study of Bacopa monniera in rats showed a significant protective effect against morphine induced liver and kidney toxicity. (17)
• Anticholinesterase Efficacy / Novel Approach for Alzheimer's Disease / Leaves and Stems: Study in male albino rats of an ethanol extract of leaves and stems showed anticholinesterase Inhibitory properties. Results showed competitive inhibition in AChE in all brain regions studied. Results suggest a potential natural source of bioactive compounds that may be beneficial to the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. (18)
• Antimicrobial / Aerial Parts: Study evaluated the antimicrobial activity of an ethanolic extract of aerial parts of B. monnieri, with Ciprofloxacin and Cotrimazole as reference controls. Results showed concentration dependent antimicrobial activity against test microorganisms. (19)
• Chemopreventive / Aerial Parts: Study evaluated B. monnieri for cancer chemopreventive property on DBMA-induced skin pappilomagenesis in Swiss albino mice. Results showed chemopreventive activity with a significant reduction in tumor incidence, number of tumors and papillomas. (20)
• Bacoside A and B / Effects on Cognitive and Emotional Deficits in an Animal Model of Dementia: Study evaluated an alcoholic extract of BM on induced cognitive effects in olfactory bulbectomized mice. Results showed amelioration cognitive functions via a mechanism implicated in the enhancement of synaptic plasticity-related neuronal signaling. (22)
• Cardioprotective in a Diabetic Model: B. monnieri exhibited significant myocardial salvaging effects in a model of chemically induced rats using streptozotocin (STZ). In addition, treatment was safe to vital organs with preservation of histopathological structures of hepatic, renal, and pancreatic tissues. (23)
• Anti-Epileptic / Bacoside A / Decreased GABA Receptors: Bacopa monnieri and Bacoside-A treatment reversed epilepsy associated changes to near control suggesting decreased GABA receptors in the cerebral cortex have an important role in epileptic occurrence. (24)
• Inhibition of Human Cytochrome P450 Enzymes / Potential for Herb-Drug Interactions: Study showed Bacoba monnieri extract could contribute to herb-drug interactions when orally co-administered with drugs metabolized by CYP1A2, CYP3A4, CYP2C9 and CYP2C19. (25)
• Anti-Amnesic Effect / Diazepam Induced Amnesia: Study showed B. monnieri has an anti-amnesic effect, significantly reducing SOD activity. Its anti-amnesic effect that may vary depending on the amnesic agent used. However, the antioxidant mechanism may be central to evoking the memory enhancing effects of B. monniera against diazepam induced amnesia. (26)
• Anti-Colon Cancer / Bacopaside II: Previous study has shown that bacopaside II from Bacopa monnieri blocks AQP1 water channel and impairs migration of cells that express AQP1. AQP1 )Aquaporin-1) is a transmembrane pore-forming molecule that facilitates rapid movement of water and small solutes across cell membrane. Study evaluated the anti-tumor potential inhibits colon cancer cell growth by inducing cell cycle arrest and apoptsis. (28)
• Neuroprotective in Alzheimer Disease: Alzheimer disease is a neurodegenerative disease signified by cognitive decline, memory loss, and erratic behavior. This review presents findings of bacosides in therapeutic plants and their impact on Alzheimer disease pathology. Review reveals the effective use of B. monnieri in cognition and neuroprotection and its phytoconstituents that can be used in novel drug discovery. (29)
• Effect on Cognitive Functions in Alzheimer Disease: An open label, prospective, uncontrolled, non-randomized trail evaluated the effect of B. monnieri on cognitive functions in Alzheimer's disease patients. Results of the clinical trial showed that B. monnieri standardized extract (Bacognize™ 300 mg 2x daily p.o.) for 6 months resulted in improvement in some aspects of cognitive functions in geriatric patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease. (30)
• Effect on Multitasking Stress Reactivity and Mood / Adaptogenic and Nootropic: This double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study evaluated the acute effects of BN extract (KeenMind-CDRI 08) in normal healthy participants during completion of multitasking framework (MTF). Study concluded that acute BM supplementation produced some adaptogenic and nootropic effects. (31)
• Meta-Analysis of Randomized-Controlled Trials on Cognitive Effects: Meta-analysis reviewed randomized controlled trials on cognitive effects of Bacoba monnieri extract using C0chrane's risk of bias assessment and Jada's quality scales. Nine studies met the criteria using 518 subjects. Meta-analysis of 437 subjects showed improved cognition by shortened Trail B test (-17.9 ,s; 95% Cl-24.6 to - 11.2; p<0.001) and decreased choice retention time (10.6 ,s; 95%CI-12.2 to 9.2; p<0.001). Te meta-analysis suggests that B. monnieri has the potential to improve cognition, particularly speed of sttention but only a large designed head-too-head trial against an existing medication will provide definitive data on its efficacy o healthy or dementia patients using a standardized preparation. (32)
• Nootropic Effect / Neuropharmacological Review: Review focused on the neuromolecular mechanisms putatively involved with the low-toxicity cognitive enhancing acting of B. monnieri. The herb has been used as a tonic and memory enhancer. Several randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials have substantiated its nootropic utility in human. There is also evidence for potential attenuation of dementia, Parkinson's disease, and epilepsy. Studies suggest various mechanisms viz. antioxidant neuroprotection via redox and enzyme induction, acetylcholinesterase inhibition and/or choline acetyl-transferase activation, ß-amyloid reduction, increased cerebral blood flow, and neurotransmitter modulation (ACh, 5-HT, dopamine). Studies suggest low toxicity in model organisms and humans; however, long term studies in human have yet to be conducted. The review integrates molecular neuroscience with behavioral research. (33)
• Effect on Cognition and Behavior in Children and Adolescents: Review summarizes clinical trials investigating the effect of B. monnieri-dominant polyherbal formulas and their effects on cognition, memory, learning and behavior in children and adolescents. Nine trails met inclusion criteria. The review supports B. monnieri as a cognitive enhancer and provides modest evidence for use of B. monnieri in polyherbal formulations for improving and behavioral outcomes inn children and adolescent populations. (34)
• Neuroprotective / Amyloid-Induced Death: Study evaluated the neuroprotective effects of Brahmi extracts against beta-amyloid protein (25-35) and glutamate induced neurotoxicity in primary cortical cultured neurons. Results showed the Brahmi extract protected neurons from beta-amyloid induced cell death, but not glutamate-induced excitotoxicity. The neuroprotection may be attributed to its ability to suppress cellular acetylvholiinesterase activity but not the inhibition of glutamate-induced toxicity. The extract promoted cell survival and Brahmi treated neurons expressed lower level of reactive oxygen species suggesting Brahmi restrained intracellular oxidative stress which prolonged the life span of the culture neurons. The extract also exhibited both reducing and lipid peroxidation inhibitory activities. (35)
• Neuroprotective / Cognitive-Enhancement / Alzheimer's Disease Model: Study evaluated the effect of an alcoholic extract of B. monnieri on cognitive function and neurodegeneration in an animal model of Alzheimer's disease induced by ethylcholine aziridinium ion (AF64A) in male Wistar rats. The Bacopa monnieri extract improved the escape latency time (p<0.01) in Morris water maze test. Reduction of neurons and cholinergic neuron densities were also mitigated. Results suggest a potential cognitive enhancer and neuroprotectant against Alzheimer's disease. (36)
• Cardioprotective / Increase Coronary Blood Flow: Study evaluated B. monieri as a cardioprotectant against myocardial ischemia/perfusion injury using cardiac function and coronary flow as end points. Results showed improved myocardial function following ischemia/reperfusion injury throughout recovery of coronary blood flow contractile force, and increase in infarct size. Study suggests potential for a lead to a novel cardiprotectant strategy. (37)
• Effect on Cognitive Functions of Medical Students / Clinical Trial: A randomized placebo-controlled study evaluated the effect of B. monnieri on memory of medical students with six weeks administration of Bacognize™. Results showed statistically significant improvement in tests relating to cognitive functions with the use of B. monnieri. Blood chemistry also showed significant increase in serum calcium levels (still within normal range). (38)
• Improved Growth and Bacoside Production / Induced Autotetraploidy with Colchicene: While increasing in demand, the lack of high-bacoside cultivars has limited its pharmaceutical utilization and production. This study reports on chromosome doubling to improve biomass and bacoside content in its seedling. Nodal segments were treated with colchicene. Maximum total bacoside content (1.55 mg plant) was obtained from an autotetraploid plant, 2.3-fold higher than diploid plants. The novel autotetraploids have potential for development as resources for value-added improvements in medicinal and pharmaceutical industries. (40)
• Neuroprotection and Cognitive Benefits / PCP Induced Schizophrenic Model: Decreased gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-ergic neurons in the brain of both schizophrenic patients and animal models indicate that impairment of GABAergic function is implicated in the pathophysiology of the disorder. Study evaluated the cognitive-enhancement and neuroprotective effects of Brahmi on novel object recognition memory and GABAergic neuronal density defined by presence of binding proteins in a subchronic phencyclidine rat model of schizophrenia. Study demonstrated the effects, both partial restoration of cognitive deficit and neuroprotection, of Brahmi, and elucidated its underlying mechanism of actions via increased GABAergic neurons in a PCP-induced schizophrenic-like model. (41)
• Mitigation of Paraquat Induced Behavioral Deficits and Brain Oxidative Stress: Study evaluated the influence of B. monnieri on behaviors reflecting anxiety-like state and motor function, along with selected biochemical changes in brain regions of mice chronically exposed to the herbicide, paraquat (PQ). BM supplementation significantly reversed PQ-induced reduction of exploratory behavior, gait abnormalities and motor impairment. In another study, BM prevented the reduction in dopamine levels and reversed cholinergic activity in brain regions essential for motor (striatum) pathology. Results suggest B. monnieri supplementation mitigates paraquat-induced behavioral deficits and brain oxidative stress in mice. (42)
• Augmentation Therapy for Anhedonia: Study have suggested efficacy in neuropsychiatric diseases. This study evaluated the effects against anhedonia using a standardized extract (20% bacosides). for a mouse model of a depressive-like syndrome induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS). m The extract dose-dependently countered the immobility time in Porsolt and Tail suspension tests (p<0.01). At the sucrose preference test, directly related to the ability of feeling pleasure, the extract counteracted the reduction of sucrose intake induced by LPS (p<0.01). There was also reduction of cytokines, cortisol, and artemin LPS-dependent alterations in plasma and increased brain-derived neurotropic factor levels (p<0.05). In a clinical study of 42 patients with significant anhedonia, the Pears Sample T-test showed a significant improvement (p<0.05). Results suggest R. monnieri extract may be effective for the management of anhedonia. (44)
• Antibacterial / Periodontogenic Bacteria: Study evaluated the antibacterial activity of ethanolic and aqueous extracts of pure Bacopa monnieri extract on periodontopathogenic bacteria. i.e., Porphyromonas gingivalis, Prevotella intermedia, Fusobacteria nucleatum Agregibacter actinomycetemcommitans. The MIC, MBC. and time kill curve assay were measured. Results showed durable antibacterial activity against common periodontogenic bacteria. (45)
• Antidepressant : Study evaluated a methanol extract and its fractions for antidepressant activity using forced swimming test (FST) and tail suspension test (TST) in mice. Results showed the ethanol extract, EtOAc fraction and n-BuOH fraction significantly reduced mobility times in both FST and TST All the samples showed no inhibition against locomotor activity. (46)
• Antibacterial / Antifungal: Study evaluated the antibacterial and antifungal activity of various extracts of B. monnieri using agar disc diffusion tests against S. aureus, E. coli, Aspergillus flavus and C. albicans. The diethyl ether extracts showed potent activity against S. aureus while the ethyl acetate extract showed against against E. coli. The ethanolic extract showed potent antifungal activity against the two test fungi. (47)
• Longevity Effect/ Antistressor and ROS Scavenger: Study evaluated the antioxidant and stress resistance potentials of B. monnieri aqueous extract using Caenorhabditis elegans animal model system. Antioxidant activity was measured by DPPH. reducing power, and polyphenol content. Antistress potential was measured through thermal stress and oxidative stress. Results showed significantly enhanced stress tolerance and increased mean lifespan of worms during normal and oxidative stress. BMW was able to up-regulate expression of stress associated gene hsp-16.2 which significantly (p<0.001) extends the mean lifespan of worms under stress conditions. Results suggest BMW acts as an antistressor and potent reactive oxygen species scavenger which enhances survival of worms in various stress conditions. (48)
• Analgesic / Antidiarrheal / Cytotoxic / Leaves: Study evaluated a crude ethanolic extract of leaves for analgesic antidiarrheal, and cytotoxic activity. The extract showed significant )p<0.01 and p<0.001) antinociceptive activity by acetic acid induced writhing at 250 and 500 mg/kbw dose, comparable to standard diclofenac. On castor oil-induced diarrhea in mice, there was decrease in mean number of defecation. The extract also showed significant toxicity to brine shrimp nauplii with LC50 and LC90 at concentrations of 40 g/mL and 150 g/mL, respectively. (49)
• Comparative Phytochemical Evaluation: Study evaluated the comparative phytochemical constituents of natural and micro-propagated plants of Bacopa monnieri. The plant yields various phytoconstituents viz. alkaloids, phenolics, saponins, and flavonoids which are responsible for various activities of the plant. Results of comparative testing by HPTLC showed the phytoconstituents in micro-propagated plant are similar to that of the natural plant. (50)
• Nootropic / Cognitive Enhancing Effects / Clinical Trial: This double-blind placebo-controlled trial evaluated the cognitive enhancing effects of B. monnieri on 62 participants for 90 days using a special extract of B. monnieri (KeenMind™) or placebo. Results showed significantly improved performance on the 'Working Memory' factor, more specifically spatial working memory accuracy. Results provide further support for two other published studies on cognitive enhancing effects. (51)
• Antifungal: The hazardous effects of synthetic fungicides led to an interest in the use of biocontrol agents. Study investigated the antifungal activities of Bacopa monnieri and its possible mechanism. A food poisoning method was applied. Extracts of B. monnieri effectively controlled the growth of chosen fungi as evidenced by IC50s of 31.25 µg/mL for Fusarium oxysporum, 6.25 µg/mL for Sclerotium rolfsii, 28.75 µg/mL for Alternaria sp., and 18.75 µg/mL for Rhizoctonia solani. Phytochemical screening yielded the presence of tannin, phlobatannin, saponin, saponin, steroid, flavonoid, cardiac glycosides, phenol, carbohydrate and alkaloid, with absence of anthraquinone and terpenoids. (53)
Capsules, teas and extracts in the cybermarket.