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Spotlight: Yerba Mate

Yerba mate has shown up in a lot of different supplements lately. If you’ve ever wondered how it helps you burn and lose weight, and what other health benefits might you observe, then this short article can help you sort it all out.

How Yerba Mate Helps You Burn Fat

Yerba mate is a stimulant with an ingredient known as mateine, which is similar to caffeine, without some of the known side effects. The mateine in yerba mate can help increase your metabolism and increase your energy, thereby burning fat in the process.

Yerba mate also has a relaxing effect that can calm your emotions and make you less prone to fall into overeating while stressed—a condition known as stress eating. This effect of yerba mate has also been known to stop cravings you may have for unhealthy foods. In addition, yerba mate has been found to slow down the rate of gastric emptying. This leads to dieters feeling fuller longer and less likely to overeat. It’s easier to burn fat when you’re not burning off all the excess food you’re eating.

Yerba mate’s weight loss properties were discovered during a study in which dieters consumed yerba mate along with guarana and damiana. It is unknown at this time whether the weight loss properties are from yerba mate, the other herbs in the study or the combination of all three. Yerba mate has also been known to delay the onset of lactic acid in your muscles—a condition that many exercisers know as “the burn.” A delaying of “the burn” allows you to work out for longer than usual, thereby also increasing your ability to burn more fat.

Other Benefits of Yerba Mate

  • A study on small mammals suggests that yerba mate can lower cholesterol levels and blood sugar level.
  • Yerba mate can help the body to produce more bile and soften your stool, allowing your body’s digestive system to operate more smoothly.
  • Even though yerba mate is a stimulant, it can help you sleep sounder. Sleep is a critical component of a healthy life.
  • Unlike other stimulants which can cause undue stress on your heart, yerba mate can actually be helpful to your heart by increasing supply of oxygen to the heart.
  • It can also relax your blood vessels, increasing circulation and lowering blood pressure.
  • Yerba mate is also believed to reduce inflammation of the lungs.

SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE

The Positive Effects of Yerba Maté In Obesity

Cellular studies demonstrate that yerba maté suppresses adipocyte differentiation and triglyceride accumulation and reduces inflammation. Animal studies show that yerba maté modulates signaling pathways that regulate adipogenesis, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and insulin signaling responses. In summary, the data presented here showed that the use of yerba maté might be useful against obesity, improving the lipid parameters in humans and animal models. In addition, yerba maté modulates the expression of genes that are changed in the obese state and restores them to more normal levels of expression. In doing so, it addresses several of the abnormal and disease-causing factors associated with obesity. Protective and ameliorative effects on insulin resistance were also observed. Thus, as a general conclusion, it seems that yerba maté beverages and supplements might be helpful in the battle against obesity.

<Click here for the full study>

Anti-obesity and anti-diabetic effects

Our data from in vivo studies revealed that Yerba Mate treatment affects food intake, resulting in higher energy expenditure, likely as a result of higher basal metabolism in Yerba Mate-treated mice. Furthermore, in vivo effects of Yerba Mate on lipid metabolism included reductions in serum cholesterol, serum triglycerides, and glucose concentrations in mice that were fed a high fat diet. In conclusion, Yerba Mate can potentially be used to treat obesity and diabetes

<Click here for full study>

Antiobesity effects of yerba maté extract

After treatment with yerba maté extract, we observed a recovery of the expression levels. In conclusion, our data show that yerba maté extract has potent antiobesity activity in vivo. Additionally, we observed that the treatment had a modulatory effect on the expression of several genes related to obesity

<Click here for the full study>


Honeybush: A South African Treasure

One of its early recognized benefits of honeybush is its lack of caffeine, which makes it especially suited for night time consumption and for those who experience nervousness and want to avoid ordinary tea. As a result, it had a reputation as a calming beverage, though it may not have any specific sedative properties. It also has a low content of tannins, so it doesn’t make a highly astringent tea, which can be a problem with some grades of black or green tea or when ordinary tea is steeped too long.

Honeybush also contains flavones, isoflavones, coumestans, luteolin, 4- hydroxycinnamic acid, polyphenols, and xanthones. These ingredients serve as antioxidants and may help lower blood lipids. The isoflavones and coumestans are classified as phytoestrogens, used in the treatment of menopausal symptoms, an application for which honeybush has recently been promoted.

Other key health benefits of honeybush tea includes:

  • Caffeine-free
  • Very low tannin levels
  • It is very soothing and calms the central nervous system
  • Eases constipation
  • Can be applied topically to skin irritations
  • Full of antioxidants to guard against free radical attack
  • Contains polyphenols that boost the immune system and to help reduce the degenerative effects of lifestyle diseases
  • Rich in minerals such as iron, potassium, calcium, copper, zinc, magnesium, manganese, and sodium

Honeybush tea processes numerous properties that enhance the health of people that use it:

Isoflavones & Coumestans The dietary phyto-estrogen-hormone-dependant process. This is advantageous for:

  • Regulation of menstruation cycles
  • Prevention of breast, prostate and Uterus cancer
  • Reduces the risk of Osteoporosis
  • Anti-fungal properties
  • Anti-virus properties
  • Anticholesterolemic-lowers cholesterol levels
  • Hypolipemic-lowers fat levels
  • Anti-microbial
  • Anti-oxidant

Xanthones

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-hepatotoxic (works against kidney poisoning)
  • Anti-virus
  • Anti-diarrhea
  • Anti-fungus o Anti-oxidants
  • Anti-depressant

Flavones

  • Vitamin-type activity (mixture of eriodictyol and hesperidien)
  • Anti-oxidants
  • Anti-microbial
  • Anti-virus
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Spasmolytic
  • Diuretic (increases Urinating)
  • Non-feeding sweeteners

Research on Honeybush tea has only started recently in the 90’s and already great progress was made on testing and researching the medicinal values of this tea.

Honeybush tea improves the immune system – honeybush tea is a natural source of many antioxidants, including major phenolic compounds. Phenolic compounds play a significant role in protecting the immune system from oxidative stress, which could damage cells, according to a 2013 review published in “Nutrients.” Phenolic compounds also modulate the immune system, which helps the body’s natural defenses against infections. This may be responsible for the belief that honeybush tea is effective in relieving colds, influenza and other diseases (Livestrong).

Honey bush tea protects from inflammatory diseases – evidence also exists that the phenolic compounds in honeybush tea are able to reduce inflammation and prevent the development of chronic inflammatory diseases. Phenolic compounds have a direct effect on down-regulating the body’s inflammatory response, as demonstrated in inflamed intestinal cells similar to those seen in inflammatory bowel disease, according to a December 2010 study published in “Chemico-Biological Interactions.” This makes honeybush tea effective in providing short-term inflammatory relief as well as helping to prevent or ameliorate inflammatory diseases like IBD or Crohn’s disease (Livestrong)

Women’s Health – honeybush tea is valuable to women’s health, according to Montego Rooibos Herbal Tea, because it helps regulate periods and reduces the risk of osteoporosis and cancer of the breast and uterus (eHow).

Good for gastrointestinal health – people suffering from digestive problems can benefit from drinking honeybush tea. It can be taken to alleviate heartburn, nausea and constipation. It can also help cure constipation. It treats abdominal cramps and colic pain in infants (Natural Home Remedies).


SPOTLIGHT: Piper Longum Linn.

One of the core functions of our product development team, is to infuse into our formulas some of the most breakthrough blends known to man and science.

These herbs and extracts come from all over the world (Japan, China, India, Europe, Brazil, etc.), and have been expertly and thoughtfully combined into what we believe are the most superior products available on the market today.

Herbal Cleanse Tea is no exception, In fact, the ingredient list reads more like the ‘who’s who’ in the world of Ayurvedic medicine.

Over the weeks since its launch, we’ve featured stories on a couple of Herbal Cleanse Tea’s ingredients (Rooibos, Salacia Oblonga and Pu-erh tea).

Here’s another herbal spotlight that’s sure to get your attention: Piper Longum Linn.

From antioxidant, antiflammatory, antitumor and anticarcinogenic to neuroprotective and immunomodulatory, Piper Longum Linn is one powerful herb.

Checkout these abstracts from a few of the most recent studies on this one-of-a-kind herb.

Studies on the neuroprotective role of Piper longum in C6 glioma induced rats.

Subramanian U1, Poongavanam SVanisree AJ.

Abstract

Many naturally occurring substances of plant origin ingested in human diet, exhibit anticarcinogenic and antimutagenic effects. One of the active phytochemical which shows the active anticarcinogenic role is Piper longum Linn. (Pl). Pl is widely used in ayurvedic industry due to its property in healing some of the bodily ailments. Despite being known for the antioxidant, antimicrobial and anticarcinogenic effects, its relation to brain and its tumour development is still scarce. Hence, the experimental glioma model was developed in rats using C6 glioma cells and the effect of Pl was evaluated in the brain tissue of experimental group of rats. From the study, the glioma induced animals showed an increased level of lipid peroxides (LPO), tissue marker enzymes lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), creatine kinase (CK), 5’nucleotidase (5’ND) and acetylcholine esterase (AChE). But Pl treatment (20 mg/kg body weight) significantly attenuated these alterations thereby showing potent anticancer effect in glioma induced rats. In addition, the anticarcinogenic effect of Pl was confirmed by microscopic analysis and the restoration of increased lipids and protein bound carbohydrates (PBCs) in the brain tissue of glioma induced rats. Hence our results implicate a major role for Pl in preventing the cancer development in the experimental glioma model.

 

Protective effect of Piper longum Linn. on monosodium glutamate induced oxidative stress in rats.

Thomas M1, Sujatha KSGeorge S.

Abstract

Protective effect of ethanol extract of Piper longum Linn. against monosodium glutamate (MSG) induced toxicity was studied. Rats, orally administered with MSG at a dose of 8 mg/g body weight for 20 consecutive days, showed an increase in liver weight and rate of lipid peroxidation. Glutathione (GSH) in serum, liver and kidney showed decreased concentration. Significant increase was noticed in activities of serum alanine amino transferase (ALT) and aspartate amino transferase (AST), levels of serum triacylglycerol, total cholesterol and urea. Histopathological examination of liver and kidney showed central venous congestion, diffuse degeneration and necrosis of hepatocytes in para cortical and midzonal areas of liver and diffuse cortical tubular degeneration of kidney. Oral administration of ethanol extract of P. longum fruits at 300 mg/kg body weight along with MSG significantly reduced the levels of lipid peroxides in serum, liver and kidney, serum AST activity, serum levels of triacylglycerol and total cholesterol. Though, there was an increase in the level of GSH in tissues it was not significant. However, the treatment failed to reduce the levels of ALT and urea. Examination of tissue sections also exhibited normal histological architecture of both the organs. The present study revealed that administration of P. longum provided significant protection to liver and kidney from the oxidative stress of MSG, though the dose rate was not sufficient to provide a complete protection.

 

Pipernonaline from Piper longum Linn. induces ROS-mediated apoptosis in human prostate cancer PC-3 cells.

Lee W1, Kim KYYu SNKim SHChun SSJi JHYu HSAhn SC.

Abstract

The antiproliferation effects of pipernonaline, a piperine derivative, were investigated on human prostate cancer PC-3 cells. It inhibited growth of androgen independent PC-3 and androgen dependent LNCaP prostate cells in a dose-dependent (30-90 μM) and time-dependent (24-48 h) manner. The growth inhibition of PC-3 cells was associated with sub-G(1) and G(0)/G(1) accumulation, confirmed by the down-regulation of CDK2, CDK4, cyclin D1 and cyclin E, which are correlated with G(1) phase of cell cycle. Pipernonaline up-regulated cleavage of procaspase-3/PARP, but did not change expression of proapoptotic bax and antiapoptotic bcl-2 proteins. Its caspase-3 activation was confirmed by the caspase-3 assay kit. In addition, pipernonaline caused the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), increase of intracellular Ca(2+), and mitochondrial membrane depolarization, which these phenomena were reversed by N-acetylcysteine, a ROS scavenger. The results suggest that pipernonaline exhibits apoptotic properties through ROS production, which causes disruption of mitochondrial function and Ca(2+) homeostasis and leads to its downstream events including activation of caspase-3 and cleavage of PARP in PC-3 cells. This is the first report of pipernonaline toward the anticancer activity of prostate cancer cells, which provides a role for candidate agent as well as the molecular basis for human prostate cancer.

 

Immunomodulatory and antitumor activity of Piper longum Linn. and piperine

E.S SunilaG Kuttan

Abstract

Alcoholic extract of the fruits of the plant Piper longum and its component piperine was studied for their immunomodulatory and antitumor activity. Alcoholic extract of the fruits was 100% toxic at a concentration of 500 μg/ml to Dalton’s lymphoma ascites (DLA) cells and 250 μg/ml to Ehrlich ascites carcinoma (EAC) cells. Piperine was found to be cytotoxic towards DLA and EAC cells at a concentration of 250 μg/ml. Alcoholic extract and piperine was also found to produce cytotoxicity towards L929 cells in culture at a concentration of 100 and 50 μg/ml, respectively. Administration of alcoholic extract of Piper longum(10 mg/dose/animal) as well as piperine (1.14 mg/dose/animal) could inhibit the solid tumor development in mice induced with DLA cells and increase the life span of mice bearing Ehrlich ascites carcinoma tumor to 37.3 and 58.8%, respectively. Administration of Piper longum extract and piperine increased the total WBC count to 142.8 and 138.9%, respectively, in Balb/c mice. The number of plaque forming cells also enhanced significantly by the administration of the extract (100.3%) and piperine (71.4%) on 5th day after immunization. Bone marrow cellularity and α-esterase positive cells were also increased by the administration of Piper longum extract and piperine.

 

Looking for more science on Piper Longum Linn, click here. 


Pu-erh Tea is a Chinese Cholesterol Remedy

For over 2000 years, a special tea that originates from the Yunnan Province of China has been coveted for its preventative and curative properties. This tea is known as Pu-erh or Yunnan Tuocha. The tea`s cultivation can be traced as far back as the Han Dynasty (202 BCE-220 CE) and was made from the leaves of da ye or broad leaf tea. The leaves of this variety of old wild tea tree when picked, are taken and put through a process of delicate maturation that ends in the creation of what is called maocha.

Pu-erh Tea has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for generations to inhibit “internal dampness” (a term used in Chinese medicine to describe a build up of internal energy due to the spleen`s inability to transform energy that it receives from the stomach) and to invigorate the activity of the spleen and stomach. Other traditional uses include the removal of toxins from the body, curing dysentery, weight loss, improving eyesight, promoting blood circulation and reviving those who have over indulged in alcohol.

More recently, researchers have taken interest in Pu-erh tea for its ability to reduce cholesterol, lower blood pressure, protect connective tissue, and its ability to attack free radicals within the body. In multiple studies done in several countries, pu-erh tea has shown significant success in reducing blood cholesterol. One study done at the Wun-Shan Branch Tea Research and Extension Station in Taipei, Taiwan compared the effects of green, black, oolong, and cooked/black pu-erh teas on cholesterol in rats. The study showed the rats fed the cooked pu-erh tea leaves had an increase of HDL-C (good cholesterol) and a decrease in LDL-C (bad cholesterol) where the rats given the other teas had varying decreases in both types. This means that with pu-erh tea you get the best of both worlds, an increase in the cholesterol that you do want and a decrease of the cholesterol that you don`t.

At China`s Kunming Medical College, another study that consisted of 86 patients with unusually high levels of blood cholesterol examined the differences in the treatment of patients with Pu-erh tea verses conventional cholesterol medication. 55 of the patients were given a regimented dose of pu-erh tea three times a day; the other 31 were given a cholesterol lowering drug called PCIB in doses of 1/2 a gram 3 times a day. At the end of a two month period, the patients drinking the Pu-erh tea showed a 64.29% reduction in blood cholesterol levels in comparison to 66.67% for the group taking PCIB. Cholesterol is not the only benefit that pu-erh tea has to offer though. In 2006, a study found that it has anti-aging and anti-cancerous properties by attacking free radicals within the body as well as actively protecting human fibroblast cells (connective tissue) from damage and deterioration

References:

Source: http://www.naturalnews.com/026747_tea_Pu-erh_cholesterol.html#ixzz3Ruy2icyR


Herbal Remedies Showing Promise for Sufferers of ADD and ADHD

Parents and professionals faced with the challenging task of treating ADD and ADHD in children commonly face an unfortunate situation in which behavior problems at home and/or school have placed yet another pressure to opt for medication as the primary treatment.

There is little doubt that the majority of these ‘medicated’ children will have benefits in their attention span, behavior, and other components of their disorder. And yet, the benefits of medication come with built-in risks from misdiagnosis, side effects, abuse, and unforeseen long-term complications.

Although complementary and alternative therapies have shown promise in treating ADD and ADHD, the task of matching the patient to the most appropriate of these therapies remains elusive to many parents who have explored the options, as well as professionals. Many treating physicians are waiting for better studies, and conventional standards, to help establish appropriate treatment protocols. The use of herbal medicine in the treatment of ADHD is of high interest to many families and professionals looking for alternatives to drug therapy. This interest has no doubt heightened in recent years due to problematic and near epidemic proportion use of stimulants in children.

The following review of an alarming trend to medicate ever-increasing numbers of school- and pre-school age children will help serve to emphasize the need for greater research into natural alternative treatments.

Conventional pharmaceutical treatment for ADD/ADHD commonly includes methylphenidate or amphetamine substances that have the highest abuse potential and dependence profile of all drugs that have medical utility. According to statistical records, the production of methylphenidate by the drug manufacturers in the world has increased by more than 500 percent since 1991. The production of amphetamine has increased by over 2,000 percent in the same nine-year period of time. More than 50 percent of the methylphenidate and amphetamine prescriptions are written by pediatricians. Ayurveda, which means “life sciences” in Sanskrit, is a holistic system of Indian medicine that evolved between 3000 and 5000 years ago. It is becoming more and more popular in the India and abroad and is still used by the majority of people in India to treat a variety of health problems, because not only is it time-tested for its safety and effectiveness, it is accessible and inexpensive.

Bacopa monniera-named Brahmi in the Ayurvedic texts, probably for Lord Brahma, the Hindu creator of the world and originator of Ayurveda-is recognized as a powerful brain enhancer.1 It is still considered to be the greatest herb in Ayurveda for treating age-related mental decline, as well as for improving cognitive processes, including comprehension, memory and recall. It also enhances the crucial coordination of these three aspects of mental functioning, and helps increase one’s ability to solve problems

Although people in India, especially ayurvedic physicians, knew about Brahmi’s benefits thousands of years ago, new research is emerging. The trails have resulted in establishing that this long treasured herb, besides possessing antioxidant properties, also has the amazing ability to facilitate learning and enhance memory and concentration.

Ayurvedic tests describe Brahmi as medhya, a medicine that braces the mind to carry cognitive functions and intellectual pursuits. But ancient authors seem to believe that the healing effects of Brahmi extend far beyond mind and brain. Brahmi is not only a memory-booster and intellect-promoting herb; it is also a muscle relaxant, an anti-convulsant, a blood purifier, and an anti-pyretic, carminative and digestive agent.

Though Brahmi is beneficial for maintaining the tridoshic balance, ayurvedic physicians believe it to be the drug of choice for counteracting the vitiated vata dosha — the factor which governs the nervous system. Brahmi is known for its salutary effect in anxiety, depression, hypertension, sleeplessness, mental retardation, insanity and hysteria.

Acharya Chakradutta has written that Brahmi is beneficial in all types of epilepsy. Ancient texts describe the use of Brahmi in a number of other disorders like biliousness, ulcers, splenomegaly, asthma, skin diseases and in general and senile debility. Brahmi enhances the mind’s ability to learn and concentrate. As it simultaneously calms and invigorates the mind, it is a very good medicine for reducing the effects of stress and nervous anxiety.

It also helps maintain the clarity of thought and has proved effective in treating ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) in hyperactive children, and age-related mental disorders in old persons.

In a double-blind, randomized trial conducted at the Department of Pediatrics, BRD Medical College, Gorakhpur, India, 19 ADHD children, aged 8-10 years old, were given 50 mg. of Bacopa twice daily. 17 ADHD children received a placebo. After 12 weeks of treatment, the children took a battery of specialized tests. The data revealed a significant improvement in the areas of sentence repetition, logical memory, and pair-associative learning (matching things that go together; e.g., “test” and “grade”) in all 19 children who took Bacopa. Evaluation did not occur until four weeks after stopping Bacopa usage, indicating that it had a lasting effect.5

Now, thanks to this study and other numerous studies conducted by the Central Drug Institute (CDRI) in Lucknow, India, it is being introduced to the rest of the world and tested by scientists outside of India, who have found that Bacopa:

  • Increases mental agility and alertness
  • Improves memory
  • Increases ability to learn new information and skills
  • Calms the mind, while promoting relaxation
  • Improves academic performance
  • Helps concentration and focus

According to scientists at the CDRI, a number of compounds have been identified in Bacopa, including bacosides A and B, two chemicals that improve the transmission of impulses between nerve cells in the brain. These bacosides regenerate synapses and repair damaged neurons, making it easier to learn and remember new information. Bacopa also increases serotonin levels, a neurotransmitter that promotes relaxation.7

Additionally, a recent study at the University of Catania, Italy found that Bacopa’s antioxidants have a protective effect on human DNA fibroblasts (connective tissue cells), suggesting that this Ayurvedic herb may be useful in the treatment of diseases in which free radicals play a key role.8 We all know that an optimal level of nitric oxide (NO) is important. This is because NO is a key mediator in many body functions, most notably cardiovascular health and circulation. However, like most good things, too much nitric oxide can be as dangerous as too little. There is growing evidence that excessive concentrations of nitric oxide (NO), generated within overly activated brain cells, might be involved in a variety of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy. A rodent study of brain cells exposed to toxic levels of nitric oxide showed that Bacopa inhibited the DNA damage that occurs in these diseases, suggesting that it may be significant in preventing/or treating them.12

Ayurvedic texts describe three aspects of mental ability: dhi (the power of acquisition or learning), dhriti, (the power of retention), and smriti (the ability to recall). When the three mental functions are not in balance, either individually or in their coordination with one another, then learning problems can crop up. Children who have learning problems often feel like failures in school, which leads to frustration and low self-esteem.

When these three mental functions are coordinated, then the child’s memory is quick and bright. If impurities (ama) are obstructing the channels of communication between these three functions, then not only learning problems but behavioral problems can begin. The high incidence of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in this country is a prime example of a learning/behavioral problem for millions of children. According to a study in Advanced Pediatrics, the frequency of ADHD among school children has been estimated to be as high as 20 percent.

To understand how Bacopa monniari can help nourish the memory and attention span in children, it’s important to understand the three subdoshas involved in memory. These are Prana Vata, which governs the brain, sensory perception, and the mind; Sadhaka Pitta, which governs the emotions and their effect on the functions of the heart; and Tarpaka Kapha, which governs the spinal fluids, sinus cavities, and sensory organs. In ayurveda, three types of imbalances of the mind are described, and each is associated with a different subdosha. We can correlate diminished learning ability combined with a hyperactive mind, with a breakdown in Prana Vata. A disturbance in Sadhaka Pitta is associated with a learning imbalance that carries over from childhood into adolescence and young adulthood — the Pitta time of life. And imbalances in Tarpaka Kapha correlate with problems with learning that occur without hyperactivity involved.

Two chemicals in bacopa, bacosides A and B, improve the transmission of impulses between nerve cells in your brain. These bacosides regenerate synapses and repair damaged neurons, making it easier for you to learn and remember new things. Bacopa also increases level of serotonin, a brain chemical known to promote relaxation. The herb’s ability to boost brain function while reducing anxiety may explain why it helps treat ADHD.

An unpublished double-blind study conducted in India in 1998 examined bacopa’s effects on 8- to 10-year-old children with ADHD. In it, 19 children took 100 mg of the herb daily while 17 took a placebo. After 12 weeks, those who used the herb performed significantly better on learning tests than the placebo group.

The texts mention that Brahmi is both medhya and hridya, meaning that it supports both the heart and the mind. A study in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology shows that Brahmi improved acquisition, retention and delayed extinction of newly acquired behavior in rats. Bacopa apparently provides a specialized cleansing and repair system for our nervous system. Its “memory chemicals” are unique saponins known as bacosides. Saponins are natural detergents present in many plants and are commonly used in soaps because of their foaming action. They help flush out damaging chemicals, such as free radicals and excess cholesterol, from the body, protecting molecules such as DNA from damage. The key ones in bacopa, bacoside A and B, are a mixture of saponins that further serve to repair damaged nerve cell connections by aiding protein synthesis, thereby allowing nerves to transmit signals more effectively. The bacosides, combined with many other chemicals in the plant — such as useful alkaloids, sterols and flavonoids — provide a well-stocked cache of brain and nerve foods to boost learning and memory.

The main feature of this ailment is a loss of nerve-cell function in the brain’s hippocampus, and animal studies indicate bacosides have antioxidant activity in the hippocampus as well as the frontal cortex and striatum. This suggests they may help protect the integrity of the brain’s nerve cells in these regions and perhaps deter the onset or development of the disease.

  1. Singh HK, Dhawan BN. Neuropsychopharmacological effects of the Ayurvedic nootropic Bacopa monniera Linn. (Brahmi). Indian J Pharmacol 1997;29(5):S359-65.
  2. Channa S, Dar A, Yaqoob M, Anjum S, Sultani Z, Atta-ur-Rahman. Bronchovasodilatory activity of fractions and pure constituents isolated from Bacopa monniera. J Ethnopharmacol. 2003 May; 86(1): 27-35
  3. Goel RK, Sairam K, Babu MD, Tavares IA, Raman A. In vitro evaluation of Bacopa monniera on anti-Helicobacter pylori activity and accumulation of prostaglandins. Phytomedicine. 2003; 10(6-7): 523-7.
  4. Sairam K, Rao CV, Babu MD, Goel RK. Prophylactic and curative effects of Bacopa monniera in gastric ulcer models. Phytomedicine. 2001 Nov; 8(6): 423-30.
  5. Negi KS, Singh YD, Kushwaha KP, Rastogi CK, Rathi AK, Srivastava JS, Asthana OP, Gupta RC, Lucknow G. “Clinical evaluation of memory enhancing properties of Memory Plus in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.” Indian Journal of Psychiatry, 2000 Apr; 42(2) Supplement
  6. Stough C, Lloyd J, Clarke J, Downey LA, Hutchison CW, Rodgers T, Nathan The chronic effects of an extract of Bacopa monniera (Brahmi) on cognitive function in healthy human subjects. Psychopharmacology (Berl) 2001 Aug;156(4):481-4 7.
  7. Rastogi S, Pal R, Kulshreshtha DK. Bacoside A3 – a triterpenoid saponin from Bacopa monniera. Phytochemistry 1994 May;36(1):133-7. Russo A, Izzo AA, Borrelli F, Renis M, Vanella A. Free radical scavenging capacity and protective effect of Bacopa monniera L. on DNA damage. Phytother Res. 2003 Sep; 17(8): 870-5.
  8. Singh HK, Dhawan BN. Effect of Bacopa monniera Linn. (brahmi) extract on avoidance responses in the rat. J Ethnopharmacol 1982;5:205-14.
  9. Bhattacharya SK, Bhattacharya A, Kumar A, Ghosal S. Antioxidant activity of Bacopa monniera in rat frontal cortex, striatum and hippocampus. Phytother Res. 2000 May; 14(3): 174-9.
  10. Singh RH, Singh L. Studies on the anti-anxiety effect of the medyha rasayana drug, Brahmi (Bacopa monniera Wettst). Part 1. J Res Ayur Siddha 1980;1:133-48.

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