Bacopa Monnieri

Bacopa Monnieri


Summary: Bacopa monnieri is a powerful natural herb nootropic used for ages for its memory enhancing and anti-aging effects. It reduces anxiety and improves memory formation. It also expands learning capacity, decreases stress and even offers neuroprotection


Introduction


What is Bacopa Monnieri?

Bacopa monnieri (also known as Brahmi) is one of the most acknowledged and widely respected nootropics. A traditional Ayurvedic medicine that has a good reputation of being a potent cognitive enhancer, stress and anxiety reliever, and brain protector. It improves memory formation and recall speed, it stimulates learning, enhances thought clarity, and increase brain function. It acts as a brain protectant, and studies confirm it as a potential remedy for dementia and similar conditions. Furthermore, it reduces anxiety and provides a feeling of calm and tranquility, all while eliminating stress. Users report it an excellent relaxant that improves sleep quality, leading to rejuvenating and refreshing rest. Its nootropic effects are comparable to those of Piracetam, one of the most popular smart drugs in the world. The supplement is produced from the plant extracts.


Benefits & Effects


Bacopa Monnieri Enhances Memory Formation

Enhancement in memory formation, as well as recall speed, is one of Bacopa’s primary benefits. Studies show that it significantly enhances memory in older people, and ongoing research is investigating its potential as a treatment of memory issues relating to neurological disorders.  (J Altern Complement Med. 2010 Jul;16(7):753-9. doi: 10.1089/acm.2009.0342.)

Does Bacopa monnieri improve memory performance in older persons? Results of a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial. [R]

Improves Learning and Cognition

Bacopa Monnieri improves cognitive processing, making learning new things faster and easier. Studies show that it significantly enhances spatial learning, and it has also been confirmed to improve learning capacity in subjects under stress. Most users say that taking bacopa while studying makes it easier to understand and process new information. Reports carried out by clinical trials at India’s Central Drug Institute (CDRI) in Lucknow state that children taking bacopa show improved academic skills. (R)

Reduces Anxiety and Stress

Bacopa Monnieri is effective in reducing anxiety and stress. Clinical trials show that it significantly decreases anxiety and depression in volunteers, and animal studies compare bacopa to other plant extracts for the effective treatment of anxiety and similar disorders. (R)(R)

Neuroprotective and Promotes Longevity

Bacopa is effective in reducing oxidative stress effects on the brain. It possesses potent antioxidant properties that protect the brain against environmental stressors associated in the cognitive decline relating to aging and associated with Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases. (R)

Reduces Symptoms of Depression

In a study of individuals over 65 years old receiving 300mg dosage, the results show a notable decrease in depression symptoms as well as anxiety. (R)


Mechanism of Action


Bacopa’s nootropic and anxiolytic effects are due to its capability of enhancing neural communication as well as modulating the release of several neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, and GABA.

Memory and Cognitive Actions

Although it works over time by a variety of functions, bacopa improves memory and cognitive abilities by increasing synaptic communication. It promotes dendrites generation, thereby enhancing neural signaling. The improvement in neural impulse transmission is key to cognitive enhancement. The active ingredient in Bacopa monnieri extract (Bacoside-A) has been shown to stimulate nerve cells and cause synapses to be more receptive to nerve impulses. Studies show that Bacoside-A can prevent dopamine receptor dysfunction. Dopamine is a powerful neurotransmitter responsible for the brain’s reward and pleasure systems.

It also improves production of the enzyme Tryptophan Hydroxylase (TPH2); vital to many central nervous system actions such as the biosynthesis of serotonin. Furthermore, Bacopa stimulates activity in the hippocampus by increasing the activity of kinases, which are proteins that regulate cellular pathways. Because the hippocampus is involved in almost all cognitive activity, this is one of the main methods that allows bacopa to boost brain function.

Anxiety and Stress Reducing Actions

Bacopa monnieri produces its unique calming effects through several actions. One of the most crucial anxiety reduction effects is within its power to modulate the activity of certain neurotransmitters like those that regulate the uptake of serotonin, which is connecting to mood and anxiety.

Another active ingredient in bacopa is hersaponin, an alkaloid that provides a relaxing and soothing effect. Bacopa’s active ingredients also support the activity of GABA, another major neurotransmitter that acts to prevent anxiety by restricting the signaling of neuron over-excitement due to stress.


Dosage


How To Take Bacopa Monnieri?

The minimum effective dose of Bacopa Monnieri is 300mg, taken with food or fat source.

Some people, myself included, find it more effective at a higher dosage.

I take 300 to 600mg depending on the purpose, while people like Dave Asprey recommend a daily dose of 750mg.


Side Effects


Bacopa monnieri side effects are uncommon. It is generally safe and effective, nevertheless, side effects can occur just as with any other nootropic.

Bacopa side effects range from minor (digestion issues and fatigue) to severe (thyroid disorders and urinary tract complications). Minor side effects usually disappear as the body adapts to the herb.

Rodent studies suggest bacopa may reduce sperm count, so it’s wise to avoid it if you are planning to conceive. However, it didn’t have any impact on sex drive nor testosterone. Moreover, sperm count returns to normal once supplementation stops (R).

Severe side effects may include thyroid disorders, urinary tract problems, gastrointestinal blockage, adverse impact on ulcers and lung conditions, and bradycardia.

So start with the lowest effective dose, and observe your body’s reaction to it. If adverse effects occur, stop use.


Conclusion


Bacopa monnieri enhances cognitive abilities, reduces anxiety, and treats a variety of conditions. Although it works over time, the anxiety-relieving effects are immediate.

Its a precious addition to nootropic stacks. If you’re looking for a natural nootropic to boost your cognition, relieve anxiety, and protect your brain against oxidative stress, Bacopa would make an excellent choice.

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha


Summary: Ashwagandha is an excellent herb in Ayurvedic medicine. It has become a popular nootropic due to its numerous health benefits. It is able to eliminate stress and anxiety. Research suggest that it helps in improving depression symptoms.

It also increases testosterone levels and significantly boosts sperm quality and fertility in men. Furthermore, it increases muscle mass, reduces body fat and increases strength.


Introduction


What is Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha (also known as Withania somnifera) is an excellent herb in Ayurvedic medicine. It has become a popular nootropic due to its multiple health benefits.

It is able to eliminate stress and anxiety. And research suggests it also helps in improving depression symptoms.

It also increases testosterone levels and significantly boosts sperm quality and fertility in men. Furthermore, it increases muscle mass, reduces body fat and increases strength.

Current users are rediscovering the traditional herb as a valuable brain-booster that improves cognition by combating the impacts of stress and helping mood enhancement.

Recent research confirms it as a promising adaptogen helping prevent the consequences of recurring anxiety.

Users find that it’s also a powerful anxiolytic; reducing stress and thereby enhances mood, decreases restlessness, insomnia, and sleep issues alike.

Withania somnifera, known commonly as ashwagandha, Indian ginseng, poison gooseberry, or winter cherry is a plant in the Solanaceae or nightshade family.

Wikipedia

Benefits & Effects


What Are The Benefits of Ashwagandha?

  1. Reduces Anxiety and Improves Depression Symptoms
  2. Reduces Cortisol Levels
  3. Improves Cognitive Function
  4. Reduces Arthritis Symptoms
  5. Reverses Deficits Pathology in Alzheimer’s Disease
  6. Helps in Weight Loss and Weight Management
  7. Improves Muscle Strength
  8. Treats Male Sexual Dysfunction
  9. Decreases Blood Pressure
  10. Combats Chemotherapy Fatigue
  11. Rejuvenation and Overall Health Improvement

Here is each of the benefits mentioned above, with a bit more explanation and detail:

Reduces Anxiety and Improves Depression

Ashwagandha is best known for its ability to fight stress and to ease different types of anxieties (R) by eliminating stressors. It serves the body’s overall health, and empowers the immune system. Thereby preventing the damage of excessive cortisol. It enhances mood, sense of well-being, and all-around cognition.

Clinical trials verify Ashwagandha possess robust anxiety relief capabilities. As well as reducing symptoms of generalized & social anxiety.  Particularly useful for those suffering chronic stress (R).

Another study further reveals its potential as a treatment for mild depression and panic disorder (R).

Reduces Cortisol Levels

A 60-day regimen of Ashwagandha seems to efficiently decrease levels of serum cortisol in individuals with chronic stress. The finding is significant because high cortisol levels lead to health complications. Those range from immune system weakness to bone density. In many cases it further extends to weight gain, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

Improves Cognitive Function

Studies on Ashwagandha enhancing memory and intelligence are few. However, at the same time, studies are confirming that anxiety is a significant cause of cognitive decline, impairing memory and attentiveness. Stress deregulates the body and brain natural processes. Normalizing those functions is, therefore, the critical element to restoring optimal cognition (R).

Individuals who frequently worry, stress out, or suffer from depression are the ones to benefit most from Ashwagandha.

Reduces Arthritis Symptoms

A 2015 Indian study comprising more than 100 patients with rheumatoid arthritis showed that after using Ashwagandha for several weeks, more than half those participants had a notable reduction in arthritic symptoms, including pain, movement difficulties, sore and swollen joints. (R)

Reverses Deficits Pathology in Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s is the continuous impairing in memory and cognitive functions. After a 30-day course treatment using Ashwagandha, a complete reverse of the behavioral deficits is marked. This result shows how ashwagandha reverses the behavior of Alzheimer’s disease. It is achievable by the improvement of low-density lipoprotein protein in liver (R).

Helps in Weight Loss and Weight Control

A study of 52 people diagnosed with chronic stress revealed that two daily doses of 300 mg of Ashwagandha resulted in a significant reduction in stress and food cravings, along with a decrease in serum cortisol and body mass. (R)

Improves Muscle Strength

A series of studies on healthy men reveal that using 300 mg to 1250 mg of Ashwagandha on a daily basis show a measurable increase in muscle strength and intensity. In comparison to participants receiving a placebo, those on the Ashwagandha were able to increase their bench press and leg extension. Moreover, notable increases in muscle mass, testosterone, and muscle recovery. (R)

Treats Male Sexual Dysfunction

A pilot study of 46 men suffering weak sperm production found a remarkable result when using 675 mg of Ashwagandha daily for two weeks. Another finding from that clinical trial is an impressive rise of 167% in sperm count, a 53% rise in semen mass, and a 57% rise in sperm fluidity. Animal studies similarly confirm Ashwagandha enhance sexual performance, improve testicular sperm production, and boost serum testosterone levels (R).

Decreases Blood Pressure

Studies indicate that Ashwagandha leads to a measurable decrease in blood pressure. In research involving 100 participants using Ashwagandha for about six months, an average 1.6% decrease in systolic pressure and 5.6% decline in diastolic pressure is witnessed, along with a minor reduction in heart rate.

Combats Chemotherapy Fatigue

A 2013 trial involving more than 100 breast cancer individuals in all stages of the disease revealed that Ashwagandha efficiently reduced fatigue and weakness caused by chemotherapy. It also enhanced the quality of living. Even though it is not a treatment for cancer, it is a genuinely useful addition to the therapy for cancer patients. (R)

Rejuvenation and Overall Health Improvement

A comprehensive analysis of studies, data, and research on Ashwagandha confirm that it provides a variety of therapeutic effects without toxicity. The review concludes that Ashwagandha possesses anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, anti-stress, antioxidant, immunomodulatory, and rejuvenating qualities. It can exert a positive impact on the central nervous system. (R)


Mechanism of Action


How Does Ashwagandha Work?

The exact mechanisms by which Ashwagandha works remain non-entirely understood, but it appears that the active components are alkaloids and steroidal lactones that are collectively known as withanolides.

It is this combination of elements that are thought to have the potential for physiological action.

Concerning GABA

One of the acknowledged mechanisms of the withanolide components of Ashwagandha is the modulation of circulating levels of MAO and GABA in the cerebellum. GABA is an amino that acts as an inhibitory neurotransmitter, countering to some extent the effects of the stimulatory neurotransmitter glutamate and therefore helping as a natural tranquilizer. Animal studies show that Ashwagandha further indicates GABA-like attributes and improves calmness without producing drowsiness. It has also been revealed to possess anti-depressant effects (R). It appears to work exceptionally well in combination with  SSRIs for compulsion-related mental disorders. As well as with GABAergic anxiolytics, including alcohol.

Concerning Antioxidation

The active withanolides in Ashwagandha are also thought to produce stable antioxidant properties, which makes them a helpful brain protectant. Antioxidants are chemical molecules that restrict conceivably damaging oxidizing causes from harming cells in the cerebellum and body. Cells remained influenced by oxidation can convert to free radicals, particles that harm circling cells. The free radicals triggers a series response of cellular damage that affects the aging process and a variety of complications.

Concerning Anti-inflammation

Ashwagandha seems to be a powerful anti-inflammation tool. Inflammation is a response of the body’s immune system; however, when the immune system is pushed to overactivity, inflammation converts into a health obstacle. Inflammation is correlating with a variety of disorders. From arthritis and joint discomfort to obesity, heart disease, fatigue, blood vessel damage, and even cancer. The anti-inflammatory attributes of Ashwagandha are at the core of many of its benefits. That includes shielding as well as enriching the immune system. Furthermore enhancing memory, improving the learning experience and reaction time, and preventing brain cell degeneration.

Concerning Dendrite Development

Ashwagandha promotes the development of dendrites, branching neuronal extensions that carry and generate electrochemical stimulation from cell to cell. Increasing dendrite development is a marker of connectivity improvement in the cerebellum.


Dosage


How to Take Ashwagandha?

  • Typically, Ashwagandha dose ranges between 300 mg to 600 mg as the highest.
  • Its not advisable to take more than 600mg when using on daily basis.
  • Take Ashwagandha with food and divide into two doses per day. If you prefer once a day, do so in the morning after breakfast.
  • It is not-advisable to use Ashwagandha in combination with JK inhibitors or MAO inhibitors.

Side Effects


What Are The Side Effects of Ashwagandha?

The most common side effects of Ashwagandha include:

  • Indigestion
  • Diarrhea
  • Gastric discomfort
  • Drowsiness

Ashwagandha is safe and digests well in reasonable doses. No severe side effects report using high doses over a short period.

These side effects are brief; if they grow in severity or persist over a long time, discontinue using it and seek medical advice.


Conclusion


Ashwagandha is both a potent adaptogen that supports the brain and body in handling and managing stress. It’s a safe, well-tolerated anxiolytic proven to relief anxiety.

In addition to mood enhancement, it assists in regulating the sleep cycle, and improve memory. It further increases brain signaling by promoting neuronal vitality. It is efficient and with no record of severe side effects or toxicity; all while at an affordable price. This makes it a very worthwhile nootropic.


User Experience


Ashwaganda seems to have reduced my social anxiety. In a v subtle way as well – I don’t find Ashwaganda mood altering, it’s rather there’s just an absence of anxiety. So subtle I only reflected on it & then realised I’d had reduced social anxiety. I’m using KSM 66 & using a high dose – 600mg/day.u/MrMeeSeeks8102