by Michael Ravensthorpe

(NaturalNews) Bacopa monnieri, also called brahmi, is a thick-leafed herb that favors wet and muddy locations in East Asia, Southeast Asia, and southern parts of the United States. It is characterized by its green leaves and white flowers, and has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries thanks to its considerable healing properties, especially in relation to mental health. It is relatively inexpensive to buy from health food stores, and is usually consumed in tablet or capsule form (although some people like to drink the leaves in a tea). Below is a list of the health benefits of bacopa monnieri, so you can decide whether this herb is right for you.

Improves brain function
According to numerous studies, bacopa can noticeably improve cognitive function and mental performance. A study presented in 1996 at the International Brain Research Conference, for instance, demonstrated that a regular consumption of bacopa reduced the time we needed to learn new tasks by almost 50 percent!

Another study by researchers at the University of Wollongong in Australia showed that bacopa improves memory and recall abilities, while a similar study – conducted in 2012 by researchers at Khon Kaen University in Thailand – proved that participants who took bacopa for a 12-week period scored far better in mental processing tests than those who took the placebo. According to the University of Michigan Health System, the reason why bacopa is good for the brain is because it contains bacosides, which are chemical compounds that can repair damaged neurons, thus improving nerve impulse transmission.

Prevents mental diseases
According to a study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, elderly volunteers who took 300 milligrams of bacopa monnieri daily demonstrated greater improvement in the areas of attention and verbal information processing than those who took the placebo. For this reason, the study authors concluded that a regular consumption of bacopa is an excellent guard against age-related cognitive deterioration, as well as mental diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

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