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Bacopa

Bacopa (Bacopa monnieri L.) is also known as thyme-leaved Gratiola or water hyssop (Waterhyssop). Bacopa has been used for augmentation of learning, memory, and brain health for thousands of years.

Composition

Standardized extract of Bacopa monnieri contains at least 55% bacosides.

Healing Properties

Adaptogenic Activity (adaptogen)

High doses of standardized extract of B. monniera significantly reversed chronic stress-induced changes in ulcer index and adrenal gland weight.[1]

Anti-aging

Bacopa has strong potential for safely enhancing cognitive performance in ageing.[1]

Anti-Cancer

Bacopaside II, an extract from the medicinal herb Bacopa monnieri. has promising anti-cancer activity for the treatment of colorectal and other cancers.[2]

  • Bacopaside II inhibits colon cancer cell growth by inducing cell cycle arrest and apoptosis.[2]
  • Bacopaside II inhibits migration of colon cancer cells. [2]

Antidepressant

Methanolic extract of B. monnieri given once daily for 5 days showed significant antidepressant activity.[1]

Cognition-Enhancing (Nootropic)

  • Alcoholic extract of B. monnieri improves the performance in various learning situations.[1]
  • Bacosides enhance the protein kinase activity in the hippocampus which could be contributing factor to the nootropic activity.
  • Several randomized, controlled human clinical trials have proved the cognition-enhancing and nootropic effects of Bacopa.[1]
  • Researchers have suggested that bacosides cause membrane dephosphorylation, with a conjoined increase in protein and RNA turnover in specific brain areas.

Learning

  • Treatment with the ethanolic extract of B. monnieri showed enhanced learning ability.
  • Bacosides A and B have facilitatory effect on mental retention capacity as they tend to improve responses with positive and negative reinforcement.

Memory

The memory augmenting effect of BM is well documented.

  • B. monnieri decreases the rate of forgetting of newly acquired information.[1]
  • Chronic use of Bacopa has been shown to result in improved higher-order cognitive processes that are dependent on learning and memory.[1]

Neuroprotective

B. monniera has been reported to have protective effect from phenytoin-induced cognitive deficit.[1]

  • Extract of B. monniera (40 mg/kg/day) prevents lipid accumulation and protein damage caused by aluminium intake.
  • Bacopa monnieri demonstrated neuroprotective activity on beta-amyloid-induced cell death.[1]

Male reproductive health

Spermatogenesis

Treatment with standardized extract of Bacopa monnieri improves sperm quality, and spermatogenic cell density and steroidogenic indices in the testis.[3]

  • Treatment with standardized extract of Bacopa monnieri for 28 days caused:[3]
    • A significant increase in:
      • Spermatogenic cell density (increases were noted in germinal epithelial height and tubular diameter).
      • Proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) index (a useful marker for assessing germ cell kinetics and spermatogenesis).[4]
      • Steroidogenic indices in the testis (enzyme activity)
      • Sperm viability in cauda epididymis (sperm that is being held "in storage" within the epididymis).
    • This same treatment caused a significant decrease in:
      • Abnormal sperm morphology in cauda epididymidis.[3]
      • Lipid peroxidation levels in testis (oxidative degradation of lipids, cell damage).

Disease / Symptom Treatment

Amnesia

Bacopa monniera extract demonstrated anti-amnesic effects.[1]

Anxiety

A daily dose of 12 g of Bacopa syrup showed significant improvements in anxiety concentration and memory in patients suffering from anxiety neurosis.[1]

Attention-Deficit Disorder

(ADD) Alcoholic extract of Bacopa, administered to children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, demonstrated significant improvement in the areas of sentence repetition, logical memory, and pair associative learning.[1]

Cancer

Bacopaside IIshows promising anti-cancer activity for the treatment of colorectal and other cancers.[2]

Depression

Epilepsy

Bacoside A has been shown to ameliorate epilepsy-associated behavioural deficits.[1]

Morphine dependence

N-Butanolic extract of B. monnieri containing bacoside A (bacoside A3, bacopaside II and bacopasaponin C) has been shown to reduce morphine hyperactivity and the elevated striatal dopamine and serotonin turnover.[1]

Neurodegenerative Diseases

Extract of Bacopa monniera has been reported to improve cognition in old-age people and in patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases.[1]

Alzheimer's

  • Bacopa monnieri demonstrated neuroprotective activity on beta-amyloid-induced cell death.[1]

Sources:

  1. Title: Pharmacotherapeutic Potential of Natural Products in Neurological Disorders
    Author(s): Amritpal Singh SaroyaJaswinder Singh
    Institution(s): Herbal Consultant Mohali India; Department of Pharmacology Sri Guru Ram Das Institute of Medical Science Amritsar India
    Publication: Springer Nature Singapore
    Date: 20 June 2018
    Introduction: Natural Products have always played a pivotal role as sources for drug lead compounds. This book is aimed at providing inside purview of the scope of natural products (including herbal and marine) in the possible treatment of neurological disorders. The book explains pre-clinical neuropharmacological investigations done on herbs including Bacopa monnieri, Hypericum perforatum, Passiflora incarnata, Scutellaria baicalensis and Piper methysticum. It provides a comprehensive overview of the role of phytoconstituents like huperzine, curcumin, Salvinorin A, bioflavonoids, sulforaphane, tanshinone IIA, tetramethylpyrazine, tetrahydrocannabinol, and cannabidiol in the treatment of neurological disorders. The book provides a modern concept of herbal medications, neuropharmacology of marine bioactive products and Ayurvedic formulations, herbal drugs with abuse potential and neurotoxic mycotoxins.
    Link: Source
    Citations:

  2. Title: The Purified Extract from the Medicinal Plant Bacopa monnieri, Bacopaside II, Inhibits Growth of Colon Cancer Cells In Vitro by Inducing Cell Cycle Arrest and Apoptosis
    Author(s): Eric Smith, Helen M. Palethorpe, Yoko Tomita, Jinxin V. Pei, Amanda R. Townsend, Timothy J. Price, Joanne P. Young, Andrea J. Yool, and Jennifer E. Hardingham
    Institution(s): Molecular Oncology, Basil Hetzel Institute, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woodville South SA 5011, Australia; Adelaide Medical School, University of Adelaide, Adelaide SA 5000, Australia; Medical Oncology, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woodville South SA 5011, Australia
    Publication: MDPI
    Date: 21 July 2018
    Abstract: Aquaporin-1 (AQP1), a transmembrane pore-forming molecule, facilitates the rapid movement of water and small solutes across cell membranes. We have previously shown that bacopaside II, an extract from the medicinal herb Bacopa monnieri, blocks the AQP1 water channel and impairs migration of cells that express AQP1. The aim of this study was to further elucidate the anti-tumour potential of bacopaside II in colon cancer cells. Expression of AQP1 in HT-29, SW480, SW620 and HCT116 was determined by quantitative PCR and western immunoblot. Cells were treated with bacopaside II, and morphology, growth, autophagy, cell cycle and apoptosis assessed by time-lapse microscopy, crystal violet, acridine orange, propidium iodide (PI) and annexin V/PI staining respectively. AQP1 expression was significantly higher in HT-29 than SW480, SW620 and HCT116. Bacopaside II significantly reduced growth at ≥20 μM for HT-29 and ≥15 μM for SW480, SW620 and HCT116. Inhibition of HT-29 at 20 μM was primarily mediated by G0/G1 cell cycle arrest, and at 30 μM by G2/M arrest and apoptosis. Inhibition of SW480, SW620 and HCT116 at ≥15 μM was mediated by G2/M arrest and apoptosis. These results are the first to show that bacopaside II inhibits colon cancer cell growth by inducing cell cycle arrest and apoptosis.
    Link: Source
    Citations:

  3. Study Type: Animal Study
    Title: Effect of standardized extract of Bacopa monnieri (CDRI-08) on testicular functions in adult male mice
    Author(s): Shishir Kumar Patel, Shilpi Singh, Hemant Kumar Singh, Shio Kumar Singh
    Institution(s): Department of Zoology, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi 221005, India; Lumen Research Foundation, Chennai 600083, India
    Publication: Journal of Ethnopharmacology
    Date: February 2017
    Abstract: Abstract - Ethnopharmacological relevance - Bacopa monnieri (BM) has been used in India since the time of Rig-Veda for augmentation of learning, memory, brain health etc. Aim of the study - The memory augmenting effect of BM is well documented. CDRI-08 is a standardized extract of Bacopa monnieri, but its effect on the male reproductive health has not been investigated. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to examine the effect of CDRI-08 administration on the male reproductive organs with special emphasis on testis in adult mice. Materials and methods - CDRI-08, containing at least 55% bacosides (the major constituent of BM), was investigated for its effect on testicular functions in adult Parkes (P) mice. A suspension of CDRI-08 was orally administered in doses of 40 and 80 mg kg−1 body weight day−1 for 28 days and various male reproductive end points were evaluated. Results - Compared to control, CDRI-08 treatment caused a significant increase (p<0.05) in spermatogenic cell density (germinal epithelial height: control, 55.03±4.22 vs 40 mg, 67.15±2.65 and 80 mg, 69.93±3.76; and tubular diameter: control, 206.55±2.62 vs 80 mg, 253.23±12.19), PCNA index (control, 59.85±2.09 vs 40 mg, 82.17±1.56 and 80 mg, 84.05±3.51) and in steroidogenic indices in the testis, and in sperm viability (control, 0.67±0.010 vs 80 mg, 0.80±0.04) in cauda epididymidis of the treated mice. On the other hand, however, the same treatment caused a significant decrease (p<0.05) in abnormal sperm morphology (control, 21.72±1.06 vs 40 mg, 10.63±1.50 and 80 mg, 15.86±0.87) in cauda epididymidis, and in lipid peroxidation level in testis of the treated mice compared to controls. Conclusion - The results suggest that treatment with CDRI-08 extract improves sperm quality, and spermatogenic cell density and steroidogenic indices in the testis of P mice.
    Link: Source
    Citations:

  4. Tousson, Ehab, et al. “Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen as a Molecular Biomarker for Spermatogenesis in PTU-Induced Hypothyroidism of Rats.” Reproductive Sciences, vol. 18, no. 7, 2011, pp. 679–686., doi:10.1177/1933719110395401.