Trading Benzos for Bacopa
Bacopa, also known as Brahmi after the God of Creation Brahma, has been viewed since ancient times as one of Ayurveda's most effective intellect herbs. Early Ayurvedic scholars initially described bacopa in ancient Vedic texts such as the Atharva Veda as a medicine for sharpening learning abilities, enhancing intuition and boosting memory. It is continued to be used as a nootropic today to stimulate and support cerebral functioning.
Bacopa is a creeping perennial found in warm wetlands, and is native to India and Australia.
Bacopa has been cultivated and used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years and continues to be used now, along with other “nootropic herbs”.
What are nootropics?
Nootropics are herbs that enhance emotional and mental well-being and promote cerebral circulation. They are used to enhance memory, slow/prevent the onset of age or Alzheimer’s disease-related cognitive decline, and improve mood.
How can Bacopa heal me?
Ayurveda classifies Bacopa as a “medhya rasayana”, which are used to sharpen the mind and promote focus and concentration. Bacopa is used in combination with other herbs in remedies for memory loss, anxiety, poor cognition and lack of focus.
Trading Benzos for Bacopa
The anxiety is real...so real that anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the US, affecting 18.1% of the population each year.
When faced with anxiety, our health care system responds with benzodiazepines, a class of medications used to treat anxiety and insomnia. One in eight US adults use benzodiazepines as a quick fix for anxiety, however the side effects of these drugs are quite serious. Those who take these drugs may experience inattentiveness, cognitive decline, impaired movement, and difficulty driving. Furthermore, long-term use can lead to dependence, and stopping the drug often leads to withdrawal symptoms. Health care professionals are beginning to question the risks of benzodiazepines and push for safer alternatives.
Among these safer alternatives is Bacopa, which has been shown to lower cortisol levels, relieve chronic stress, and build our body’s resistance to anxiety. One study on rodents showed that Bacopa even had anti-anxiety effects comparable to lorazepam, a common benzodiazepine, without the harmful side effects. In human studies, bacopa has been shown to reduce anxiety and depression, enhance cognitive function, and enhance mood.
While more studies are needed, bacopa has shown a good amount of evidence for its ability to combat anxiety and our mood, without the side effects.
Bacopa and its brain-boosting bioactivities
Your brain? Yeah, it’s kind of a big deal. It controls everything in your body - your heart, lungs, movement, feelings, and thoughts. That is why it is more than important to maintain healthy brain functioning by supplementing your body with herbs like Bacopa. Bacopa is an all-around brain booster, and specifically helpful in enhancing mental performance and memory retention.
As we get older, cognitive functioning begins to decline if we do not take care of our mental health. Bacopa has shown to promote cognitive functioning such as attention, language, verbal ability, and orientation in those with degenerative brain decline. These results show promising benefits for those suffering with Alzheimer’s disease, an irreversible neurodegenerative disease without a cure.
While Bacopa targets issues that may arise as we get older, it is also extremely useful for the younger generation. Bacopa has shown to improve retention of new information and enhance mental performance, making it an awesome tool for students or those learning a new skill.
So whether you are focused on protecting your brain’s health, boosting your memory, or simply trying to get an A in that tough college course, look to implement Bacopa in your daily life.
A natural antioxidant to support immunity
As if promoting brain health wasn’t enough, Bacopa has been found to be a powerful antioxidant and DNA damage-preventing agent. Antioxidants help protect our body against free radical cell damage, which if unchecked, causes disease such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. Bacopa helps reduce oxidative stress, which prevents cell damage and protects us from disease.
Inflammation is naturally supposed to help our body heal and fight disease, however chronic-low level inflammation is frequently the cause and exacerbates many chronic conditions such as cancer, diabetes, heart, and kidney disease.
Bacopa is specifically helpful in lowering inflammation in the CNS and helping treat CNS disorders such as Alzheimer’s, anxiety, depression, addiction, and much more.
A recent study on rodents even suggests Bacopa’s anti-inflammatory potential is comparable to a common anti-inflammatory drug, indomethacin.