Bacopa monnieri are plants that are believed to have cognitive enhancing properties, particularly in memory retention and recall. A creeping herb that thrives in marshy habitats, Bacopa monnieri has long been used in traditional Ayuverdic medicine to supposedly treat a number of medical conditions such as epilepsy, asthma, ulcers and anemia.
According to the WebMD website,Bacopa monnieri supplementationis used to manage and treatAlzheimer's disease, for memory enhancement, to reduce anxiety and as a general anti-stress tonic. Because of its memory enhancing properties, Bacopa monnieri is also considered as a nootropic.
Also known as Brahmi, Bacopa monnieri is endemic to Asia, particularly in Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Vietnam,China and Taiwan. The plant can also be found in Hawaii and the Southeastern states in the United States.
The Examine website, which is a website that collects studies on the effectiveness of dietary supplements, cites eight studies that seems to support the memory enhancing capabilities of Bacopa monnieri. The studies, which included double-blind and placebo controlled trials, show that supplementation with the plant can improve memory in both healthy individuals and those who are on cognitive decline.
For the plant's memory enhancing properties to take effect and become noticeable, however, one must have supplement with it for at least four to six weeks. The exact mechanism of function of Bacopa monnieri is not yet fully determined.It is theorized that the memory enhancing properties of the plant is either due to its ability to improve neuronal transmission or its influence on acetylcholinergic transmission.