Monday, May 16, 2011

Bacopa Monera Extract (BME)

I heard on Dr. Usman's presentation during the Down syndrome track at AutismOne about how Bacopa Monera can help our kids with stimming. (See: her presentation on Exploring Options for Down Syndrome, brought to you by Down Syndrome OPTIONs). So, I thought I'd give it a try. We were having issues with Jett running in circles and talking non-stop. Usually, we address this with vestibular neurodevelopmental work, but it was in the dead of winter and we were having difficulty getting him enough vestibular stimulation. After about two weeks, we saw these two stimms completely stop. The stimms stay away as long as he's on Bacopa and comes back in about three days upon stopping it. I also saw that he is more affectionate on Bacopa. Asking us for hugs everyday whereas before, it was very rare that he was cuddly. Again, this could be because it's cold weather and he wants to be warm, LOL! But, I do really think (hope) that it's genuine affection.

Now, I'm wondering if potty training issues can be helped by using Bacopa. It seems that controlling urine may be related to cortisol.  Jett's been potty trained for #2 since 10 months old, but #1 only since he was the later part of 3 years old. Well, I recently ran out of bacopa (which helps regulate cortisol) and switched to Gaia ginkgo (also can lower cortisol levels but the brand turns out to be 1/24 of the potency of what I was previously giving Jett)... A mom mentioned sudden regression in potty training with her daughter. I asked if she had recently switched to Gaia brand too and she had as well. When I looked up symptoms of a possible incontinence/high cortisol connection, I came across this same issue in dogs w/high cortisol. They stop being potty trained because the amount of urine is increased when cortisol is high and they don't know how to deal with it. The dogs also have the pot bellies and walk around in circles (which Jett does off bacopa). So, for Jett, anyway, I think this is the case. The bacopa came a couple of days ago so hopefully this will end soon! He just can't seem to control it. When I talk with him, he says, yes, he'll tell me when he has to go potty but then he doesn't. (He's too short to go by himself.)  I wonder if high cortisol levels are why a lot of kids w/DS take so long to potty train?

Update: During the later part of 6 years old, Jett no longer muscle tested as needing bacopa and when I stopped giving it, he no longer ran in circles or verbally stimmed. I'm thinking that his adrenals (what controls release of cortisol) are healing so he no longer needs this extra support.

  • An Ayurvedic medicinal herb used traditionally as a revitalizing herb, primarily for enhancing cognitive functioning.
  • Memory Enhancer. Human studies conducted on seventy six adults, between the ages of 40 and 65, showed significant improvements in memory retention of learning new information.
  • Neuro Protection. Acting as a powerful neuron antioxidant, BME was shown to provide significant protection against free radical induced toxicity of the neurons as well as a protector of DNA against damage. Further protection was demonstrated for aluminum induced oxidative stress, and against excitotoxcity elicited in epileptic rats.
  • Anti-Depressant. BME was found to provide important antidepressant activity in animal studies.
  • Reduction in beta-amyloid deposits in the brain (as is characteristic of Alzheimer’ disease), in animal research. The authors suggest that such mechanisms of action may have application in Alzheimer’s.
  • Enhance learning and academic performance, improve mental alertness, and sharpen short and long-term memory.
  • The scientific literature reports that Bacopa monniera can enhance mental focus in stressful situations, and improve mental clarity and mood.
  • An animal study investigating the effects of botanicals on the thyroid found Bacopa increased T4 (Thyroid Hormone) levels by 41 percent, suggesting a thyroid-stimulating (If you do give this to your child, be sure to watch for signs of hyperthyroidism although many of our children can't convert T4 to T3 anyway!)
Helps regulate cortisol levels. See

For Products, see the DS Day to Day Store
Himalaya brand makes a Bacopa that is organic and additive free, but has mostly whole plant, so, for Jett is caused a rash on his stomach. But then he got NAET for it and then he took the same product just fine. And, through muscle testing, it revealed that he still needed it.

Paradise Herbs Bacopa We've tried this brand as well and really liked it. It's in capsule form and is easy to add to his applesauce, so this is what he is now taking with much success.
I also got the vitacost brand of Bacopa (it was buy one get one half off) but wasn't happy with it. It just doesn't seem to be as strong or potent. I had to give him 3 capsules a day (morning, noon and night) so I didn't buy it again.

Be sure to
get $10 off your first Vitacost vitamin order.


Dosage on the Paradise Herb bottle for adults is 250mg (but daily value is not established).

Before I knew how to muscle test, I experimented with dosage until I found the right one for Jett. I tried 1/4 a capsule for a couple of days and since the symptoms didn't go away, I increased to 1/2 a capsule for a couple of days, then 1 capsule and then when I got to two capsules, his symptoms disappeared. Every once in a while, I'd give him less to see how low the dose could go without symptoms appearing.


Neuroprotective role of Bacopa monniera extract against aluminium-induced oxidative stress in the hippocampus of rat brain.

Jyoti A, Sharma D.

Neurobiology Laboratory, School of Life Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru
University, New Delhi 110067, India.

Bacopa monniera is a nerve tonic used extensively in traditional Indian
medicinal system "Ayurveda". Reports regarding its various antioxidative,
adaptogenic and memory enhancing roles have already appeared in the last few
decades. In the present study, aluminium chloride (AlCl(3)) was used to
generate neurotoxicity. We have investigated the neuroprotective effect of
Bacopa extract against aluminium-induced changes in peroxidative products,
such as thio-barbituric acid-reactive substance (TBA-RS) and protein
carbonyl contents and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity. Effect on
lipofuscin (age pigments) accumulation and ultrastructural changes were also
studied. Bacopa effects were compared with those of l-deprenyl.
Co-administration of Bacopa extract during aluminium treatment significantly
prevented the aluminium-induced decrease in SOD activity as well as the
increased oxidative damage to lipids and proteins. Protective effect was
also observed at microscopic level. Fluorescence and electron microscopic
studies revealed considerable inhibition of intraneuronal lipofuscin
accumulation and necrotic alteration in the CA1 region of the hippocampus.
Observations showed that Bacopa's neuroprotective effects were comparable to
those of l-deprenyl at both biochemical and microscopic levels.

Anti-inflammatory activity of Bacopa monniera in rodents.

Channa S, Dar A, Anjum S, Yaqoob M, Atta-Ur-Rahman.

Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Frontier Medical College,
Abbottabad, Pakistan.

The ethanol extract of Bacopa monniera (Scrophulariaceae) exhibited marked
anti-inflammatory activity against carrageenan-induced paw edema in mice and
rats, an acute inflammatory model. To assess the possible mechanism of
anti-inflammatory action against carrageenan, the ethanol extract was
treated with chemical mediators (histamine, serotonin, bradykinin,
prostaglandin E(2) and arachidonic acid)-induced edema in rats. The extract
selectively inhibited prostaglandin E(2)-induced inflammation. Thus, it may
be inferred that B. monniera possesses significant anti-inflammatory
activity that may well be relevant for its effectiveness in the healing of
various inflammatory conditions in traditional medicine.

Bacopa monniera, a reputed nootropic plant: an overview.

Russo A, Borrelli F.

Department of Biological Chemistry, Medical Chemistry and Molecular Biology,
University of Catania, Catania, Italy.

Bacopa monniera (BM), a traditional Ayurvedic medicine, used for centuries
as a memory enhancing, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antipyretic, sedative
and antiepileptic agent. The plant, plant extract and isolated bacosides
(the major active principles) have been extensively investigated in several
laboratories for their neuropharmacological effects and a number of reports
are available confirming their nootropic action. In addition, researchers
have evaluated the anti-inflammatory, cardiotonic and other pharmacological
effects of BM preparations/extracts. Therefore, in view of the important
activities performed by this plant, investigation must be continued in the
recently observed actions described in this paper. Moreover, other clinical
studies have to be encouraged, also to evidence any side effects and
possible interactions between this herbal medicine and synthetic drugs.

Free radical scavenging capacity and protective effect of Bacopa monniera L.
on DNA damage.

Russo A, Izzo AA, Borrelli F, Renis M, Vanella A.

Department of Biochemistry, Medical Chemistry and Molecular Biology,
University of Catania, V.le A. Doria 6, 95125, Catania, Italy.

Bacopa monniera L. (family Scrophulariaceae) (BM) is an Ayurvedic medicine,
clinically used for memory enhancing, epilepsy, insomnia and as a mild
sedative. In this work, the free radical scavenging capacity of a methanol
extract of BM and the effect on DNA cleavage induced by H2O2 UV-photolysis
was investigated. In addition, we examined whether this plant extract is
capable of reducing the hydrogen peroxide-induced cytotoxicity and DNA
damage in human non-immortalized fibroblasts. It showed a dose-dependent
free radical scavenging capacity and a protective effect on DNA cleavage.
These results were confirmed by a significant protective effect on
H2O2-induced cytoxicity and DNA damage in human non-immortalized
fibroblasts. The antioxidant capacity of BM may explain, at least in part,
the reported antistress, immunomodulatory, cognition-facilitating,
antiinflammatory and antiaging effects produced by it in experimental
animals and in clinical situations and may justify further investigation of
its other beneficial properties. Moreover, this experimental evidence
suggests that because of its antioxidant activity, this Ayurvedic drug may
be useful in the treatment of human pathologies in which free radical
production plays a key role. Copyright 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Chronic effects of Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) on human memory.

Roodenrys S, Booth D, Bulzomi S, Phipps A, Micallef C, Smoker J.

Department of Psychology, University of Wollongong, Woolongong, Australia.

A study is reported on the effects of Brahmi (Bacopa monniera) on human
memory. Seventy-six adults aged between 40 and 65 years took part in a
double-blind randomized, placebo control study in which various memory
functions were tested and levels of anxiety measured. There were three
testing sessions: one prior to the trial, one after three months on the
trial, and one six weeks after the completion of the trial. The results show
a significant effect of the Brahmi on a test for the retention of new
information. Follow-up tests showed that the rate of learning was
unaffected, suggesting that Brahmi decreases the rate of forgetting of newly
acquired information. Tasks assessing attention, verbal and visual
short-term memory and the retrieval of pre-experimental knowledge were
unaffected. Questionnaire measures of everyday memory function and anxiety
levels were also unaffected.

Relative efficacy of three medicinal plant extracts in the alteration of
thyroid hormone concentrations in male mice.

Kar A, Panda S, Bharti S.

Thyroid Research Unit, School of Life Sciences, Devi Ahilya University,
Vigyan Bhawan, Khandwa Road, Indore 452 017, India.

Relative importance of Bacopa monnieri (200 mg/kg), Aegle marmelos (1.00
g/kg) and Aloe vera (125 mg/kg) leaf extracts in the regulation of thyroid
hormone concentrations in male mice was investigated. While serum levels of
both T(3) and T(4) were inhibited by A. vera, A. marmelos extract could
decrease only T(3) concentration. On the other hand, T(4) concentration was
increased by B. monnieri extract suggesting its thyroid-stimulating role.
When the relative potency of each plant extract was calculated in terms of
percent increase or decrease in thyroid hormones, as compared to the control
value, the decrease in T(3) concentration by A. marmelos was about 62%
indicating its possible use in the regulation of hyperthyroidism. B.
monnieri could increase T(4) concentration by 41% without enhancing hepatic
lipid peroxidation (LPO) suggesting that it can be used as a
thyroid-stimulating drug. In fact, hepatic LPO was decreased and superoxide
dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) activities were increased by B. monnieri
and A. marmelos leaf extracts showing their antiperoxidative role. It is
thus suggested that A. marmelos and A. vera may be used in the regulation of
hyperthyroidism, while B. monnieri in hypothyroidism.

A review of nutrients and botanicals in the integrative management of
cognitive dysfunction.

Kidd PM.

Dementias and other severe cognitive dysfunction states pose a daunting
challenge to existing medical management strategies. An integrative, early
intervention approach seems warranted. Whereas, allopathic treatment options
are highly limited, nutritional and botanical therapies are available which
have proven degrees of efficacy and generally favorable benefit-to-risk
profiles. This review covers five such therapies: phosphatidylserine (PS),
acetyl-l-carnitine (ALC), vinpocetine, Ginkgo biloba extract (GbE), and
Bacopa monniera (Bacopa). PS is a phospholipid enriched in the brain,
validated through double-blind trials for improving memory, learning,
concentration, word recall, and mood in middle-aged and elderly subjects
with dementia or age-related cognitive decline. PS has an excellent
benefit-to-risk profile. ALC is an energizer and metabolic cofactor which
also benefits various cognitive functions in the middle-aged and elderly,
but with a slightly less favorable benefit-to-risk profile. Vinpocetine,
found in the lesser periwinkle Vinca minor, is an excellent vasodilator and
cerebral metabolic enhancer with proven benefits for vascular-based
cognitive dysfunction. Two meta-analyses of GbE demonstrate the best
preparations offer limited benefits for vascular insufficiencies and even
more limited benefits for Alzheimer's, while "commodity" GbE products offer
little benefit, if any at all. GbE (and probably also vinpocetine) is
incompatible with blood-thinning drugs. Bacopa is an Ayurvedic botanical
with apparent anti-anxiety, anti-fatigue, and memory-strengthening effects.
These five substances offer interesting contributions to a personalized
approach for restoring cognitive function, perhaps eventually in conjunction
with the judicious application of growth factors.

Antioxidant activity of Bacopa monniera in rat frontal cortex, striatum and

Bhattacharya SK, Bhattacharya A, Kumar A, Ghosal S.

Department of Phamacology, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu
University, Varanasi - 221005, India.

The effect of a standardized extract of Bacopa monniera Linn. was assessed
on rat brain frontal cortical, striatal and hippocampal superoxide dismutase
(SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GPX) activities, following
administration for 7, 14 or 21 days. The effects induced by this extract
(bacoside A content 82% +/- 0.5%), administered in doses of 5 and 10 mg/kg,
orally, were compared with the effects induced by (-) deprenyl (2 mg/kg, p.
o.) administered for the same time periods. Bacopa monniera (BM) induced a
dose-related increase in SOD, CAT and GPX activities, in all the brain
regions investigated, after 14 and 21 days of drug administration. On the
contrary, deprenyl induced an increase in SOD, CAT and GPX activities in the
frontal cortex and striatum, but not in the hippocampus, after treatment for
14 or 21 days. The results suggest that BM, like deprenyl, exhibits a
significant antioxidant effect after subchronic administration which, unlike
the latter, extends to the hippocampus as well. The results suggest that the
increase in oxidative free radical scavenging activity by BM may explain, at
least in part, the cognition- facilitating action of BM, recorded in
Ayurvedic texts, and demonstrated experimentally and clinically. Copyright
2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Antistress effects of bacosides of Bacopa monnieri: modulation of Hsp70
expression, superoxide dismutase and cytochrome P450 activity in rat brain.

Chowdhuri DK, Parmar D, Kakkar P, Shukla R, Seth PK, Srimal RC.

Industrial Toxicology Research Center, PO Box 80, M.G. Marg, Lucknow -
226001, UP, India.

The antistress effect of bacosides of Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri, BBM),
dissolved in distilled water, was -studied in adult male Sprague Dawley rats
by administering oral doses of 20 and 40 mg/kg for 7 consecutive days. In
half of the animals treated with 20 or 40 mg/kg of BBM, stress was given 2 h
after the last dose. Stress was also administered to the animals treated
with distilled water alone. BBM, at both doses, did not induce a significant
change in the expression of Hsp70 in any brain region studied while stress
alone produced a significant increase in the Hsp70 expression in all the
brain regions. A significant decrease in the activity of superoxide
dismutase (SOD) was evident in the hippocampus with the lower dose of BBM
and in animals given stress alone, while an increase in the activity of SOD
was observed in the brain regions with the higher dose of BBM. An increase
in the activity of cytochrome P450 (P450) dependent
dealkylase (PROD) and 7-ethoxyresorufin-o-deethylase
(EROD) was observed in all the brain regions after exposure to stress alone
and with both doses of BBM although the magnitude of induction of P450
expression was less with a higher dose of BBM. Interestingly, stress when
given to the animals pretreated with BBM for 7 days resulted in a decrease
in Hsp70 expression in all the brain regions with a significant decrease
occurring only in the hippocampus. Likewise the activity of SOD was found to
be further reduced in all the brain regions in the animals treated with the
lower dose of BBM followed by stress. However, when stress was given to the
animals pretreated with the higher dose of BBM, a significant increase in
the enzyme activity was observed in the cerebral cortex and in the rest of
the brain while the activity of SOD was reduced to a much greater extent in
the cerebellum and in the hippocampus. Likewise, the activity of P450
enzymes was found to be restored to almost control levels in the animals
given stress and pretreated with the higher dose of BBM, while a lesser
degree of induction, compared with animals treated with BBM or stress alone,
was observed in the animals pretreated with the lower dose of BBM and given
stress. The data indicate that BBM has potential to modulate the activities
of Hsp70, P450 and SOD thereby possibly allowing the brain to be prepared to
act under adverse conditions such as stress. Copyright 2002 John Wiley &
Sons, Ltd.

Bacopa monniera Linn. extract modulates antioxidant and marker enzyme status
in fibrosarcoma bearing rats.

Rohini G, Sabitha KE, Devi CS.

Department of Biochemistry, University of Madras, Guindy Campus, Chennai 600
020, India.

Antioxidative property and tumor inhibitive property of B. monniera (20mg/kg
body wt, sc) was examined in 3-methylcholanthrene induced fibrosarcoma rats.
Antioxidant enzymes such as catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD),
glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and the levels of glutathione (GSH) and the
rate of lipid peroxidation (LPO) in the liver and kidney tissues were
assessed. A significant increase was noted for the rate of LPO with a
corresponding decrease in the antioxidant enzyme status in fibrosarcoma
bearing rats. In fibrosarcoma bearing rats, the tumor markers like lactate
dehydrogenase (LDH), creatine kinase (CK), alanine transaminase (ALT),
aspartate transaminase (AST) and sialic acid (SA) were increased in the
serum. Treatment with B. monniera extract significantly increased the
antioxidant enzyme status, inhibited lipid peroxidation and reduced the
tumor markers. It can be concluded that B.monniera extract promotes the
antioxidant status, reduces the rate of lipid peroxidation and the markers
of tumor progression in the fibrosarcoma bearing rats



1. McDaniel MA, et al. "Brain-specific" nutrients: a memory cure? Nutrition. 2003 Nov-Dec;19(11-12):957-75.
2. Roodenrys S, et al. Chronic effects of Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) on human memory. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2002 Aug;27(2):279-81.
3. Dhanasekaran M, et al. Neuroprotective mechanisms of ayurvedic antidementia botanical Bacopa monniera. Phytother Res. 2007 Oct;21(10):965-9.
4. Holcomb LA, et al. Bacopa monniera extract reduces amyloid levels in PSAPP mice. J Alzheimers Dis. 2006 Aug;9(3):243-51.
5. Russo A, et al. Free radical scavenging capacity and protective effect of Bacopa monniera L. on DNA damage. Neurotoxicology. 2006 Jul;27(4):451-7.
6. Jyoti A, et al. Neuroprotective role of Bacopa monniera extract against aluminium-induced oxidative stress in the hippocampus of rat brain. Neurotoxicology. 2006 Jul;27(4):451-7.
7. Khan R, et al. Decreased glutamate receptor binding and NMDA R1 gene expression in hippocampus of pilocarpine-induced epileptic rats: Neuroprotective role of Bacopa monnieri extract. Epilepsy Behav. 2008 Jan;12(1):54-60.
8. Sairam K, et al. Antidepressant activity of standardized extract of Bacopa monniera in experimental models of depression in rats. Phytomedicine. 2002 Apr;9(3):207-11.

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Chris6h said...

I THINK I am seeing some improvements in Olivia's memory since I started using Bacopa in the last month. I started her with some five new cards on Monday and after showing them to her only about five times, she knew three of the five!!! This is unheard of for her! There might be something to this stuff. :)

Smith said...

This is amazing blog,i never had seen earlier this type of article which contain lots of important information...