Bacopa monnieri is an Ayurvedic herbal treatment used to improve “concentration, comprehension, recall and alertness.” The Sanskrit name for Bacopa is Brahmi, which is, also, the Sanskrit name for Centella asiatica (gotu kola.) Bacopa is an antioxidant. This review covers the use of Bacopa in epilepsy related problems.
Bacopa contains numerous chemicals including alkaloids and glycosides. Bacosides are a major component. The extract used in this study was 40-50% bacosides as Bacoside A. The activity of Bacopa is believed to be due to acetylcholine and, possibly, serotonin or GABA. Bacopa is considered to be an adaptogen, allowing the user to resist the physical effects of stress.
Bacopa has been shown to help children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD.) It was of benefit to older adults with memory, learning and retention of information over time. Cognitive dysfunction can result from chronic epilepsy. There are reports of cognitive impairment with onset before the start of seizures. In addition, some anticonvulsant medications can reduce the child’s ability to learn.
In epilepsy there is a disturbance in the electrical activity of the brain. This is the cause of some of the cognitive problems caused by epilepsy. Some of the cognitive problems are psychosocial related to the fear of being abnormal or of having a seizure.
The author reviews a number of studies that demonstrate the ability of adaptogens, such as Bacopa, to improve the cognitive problems resulting from chronic convulsions.
CONCLUSION: Bacopa monnieri has been shown to have antioxidant properties, anticonvulsant properties and the ability to improve the cognitive impairment of epilepsy.
NOTE: Gotu kola is an Ayurvedic adaptogen, also. It is anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and a “brain tonic” to improve memory.
Read about the beneficial effects of bacopa on seizures.
To read the authors abstract of the article click on the link to the author’s title of the article above.