Travis Lemon: Bacopa offers promise for brain health

Travis Lemon: Bacopa offers promise for brain health
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A small and rather delicate looking flowering plant by the name of bacopa has been used for thousands of years in India to enhance memory, amongst other things. Bacopa supplements are quickly gaining shelf space in the aisles of American health food stores and are the focus of quite a few promising clinical studies.

Considered by many in the health and wellness industry to be the best adaptogenic, or adrenal supporting, herb for promoting clarity and focus, one could begin to see the importance that a high-quality bacopa extract could have in supporting healthy cognitive function.

Data from the Journal of Ethnopharmacology suggests that bacopa "inhibits enzymes associated with inflammation of the brain." A randomized double-blind placebo controlled study with sixty elderly subjects published by the National Institutes of Health concluded that bacopa could improve attention, cognitive processing and working memory. Bacopa may also be beneficial in supporting healthy blood pressure levels as well as supporting healthy stress response due to its adaptogenic qualities.

Many prefer to take bacopa in capsule form, but it can also be found in tea, liquid and powder as well as in combination with other adrenal or brain supporting supplements. Look for a supplement containing around 300 milligrams of bacopa extract to be taken once or twice daily. Be leery of supplements that make bold medical claims and instead stick with quality brands that can guarantee the purity of their finished product.

Bacopa has been in my herbal supplement regimen for years, and I have no plans to let it go. With all of the new, exciting data we are seeing on this ancient herb, it might be a good fit for your supplement regimen as well.

Travis Lemon is a certified herbalist and co-owner of Tulsi at The Market in Huntington. He has worked in the natural health and wellness industry for over 16 years. He can be contacted at travislemonmh@gmail.com.

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