Originally from Southeast Asia but also of India, the bacopa is a perennial which thrives on wet soils of tropical regions, in the swampy areas of China, of Nepal, of India and Sri Lanka.
Further on, it was found that this creeping plant also grows in Florida and, can even be grown in bogs and the ponds.
Most of the world production of this plant, still called "brahmi " or "water hyssop », Is collected from the wild in India.
Often considered a weed, bacopa is still well known and widely used in traditional indian medicine : from its aerial parts, herbalists and scientists have drawn various advantages that have a positive effect on human health. What exactly is it? What are his virtues and benefits ? How effective is bacopa in medicine? How to use it wisely?
Here's what you need to know ...
> Read also: how to grow bacopa properly
Bacopa: for the record
Etymologically, the Indian name "brahmi"From this swamp plant, is taken from the name of the god"Brahma "(Creator of the pantheon Hindu).
Indeed, the Indian Ayurvedic medicine, have been using water hyssop for at least 3000 years.
This medicinal culture has spread beyond borders, becoming an integral part of various therapies in Indonesia, in China, at Cuba and even in some tropical regions and subtropical.
Bacopa in culture
Belonging to the scrophulariaceae family, Bacopa is a plant measuring between 20 to 25 cm and, which does not support frost. Provided with leaves thick, opposite and spatulate, of fleshy stemsslender and branched, the brahmi also presents small flowers axillaries of color light blue and white, formed of 4 to 5 petals, the arrangement of which is opposite to the stem. As to fruit of this perennial succulent plant, it is ovoid and capsular.
Multi-year plant whose leaves are edible, bacopa quickly aroused the interest of Western researchers, herbalists and doctors because of the virtues and benefits attributed to it.
Bacopa: virtues and health benefits
As part of the pharmacopoeia of Ayurveda, the virtues of bacopa do not dry up.
This medicinal plant contains the following active ingredients:
- Flavonoids (luteolin apigenin).
- Triterpenoid saponins
- Ascorbic acid
- Bacosides A and B which have antioxidant functions.
According to research conducted by scientists, main virtues of this plant are linked to its ability to help "process information faster and assimilate more knowledge". True memory aid and nervous tonic, bacopa helps improve cognitive and intellectual faculties.
It therefore treats effectively against memory and concentration disorders.
Better yet, among its attributes, the brahmi:
- soothes and improves the mind,
- promotes emotional well-being and physical endurance for a healthy immune system,
- treats neurological disorders, neurasthenia (or mental fatigue), convulsions, anxiety, depression, sexual disorders (premature ejaculation, impotence),
- relieves symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, digestive or gastrointestinal disorders (ulcer, constipation, gas, indigestion).
- treats infertility and respiratory ailments (bronchitis, asthma).
In the same medical perspective, it was noted that water hyssop contains pain relief. This is why it is recommended as part of the treatment against joint problems (osteoarthritis) and rheumatism.
Bacopa is also indicated for:
- reduce nervous disorders (neuralgia, sleep disorders, epilepsy or mental illness).
- treat filariasis, because of the diuretic and purgative properties it contains.
To go even further, it should be noted that virtues and benefits bacopa, the leaves of which are the part used in herbal medicine, are identified and used in Cosmetics.
Indeed, to fight against dandruff, hair loss and itching of the scalp, bacopa is also very effective. To do this, homemade bacopa oil is recommended for hair care in the form of fortifying mask and, for a ayurvedic massage.
And that's not all !
Even in gastronomy, this perennial and creeping plant has had echoes.
Usually, we extract juice water hyssop leaves and stems. This juice once dried, is reduced to powder before serving as a base for the preparation. spread, of refreshing drinks (syrups), despite its relatively bitter taste.
NB : It must therefore be sweetened well before consuming it as is.
Uses and dosages
Benefits of bacopa and its use
– the Infusion. Bring 25 cl of water to the boil. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of bacopa leaves and let stand for about ten minutes. Drink it morning, noon and night.
- the Mother tincture : It is advisable to take 1 or 2 teaspoons of the tincture (depending on the indications for use required).
- the syrup : 2 tablespoons per day are sufficient.
- the capsules : 1 intake of 5 to 10 grams of powder per day. Usually the prescribed dose is 150 mg twice a day.
Regarding the fortifying hair mask based on bacopa, it is advisable to pour 1 teaspoon of bacopa powder into boiling water. Then leave to infuse for 2 hours then add to the preparation thus obtained, 5 teaspoons of oil. Mix. Filter, and return to low heat for a while.
Then transfer the mixture to a flask or bottle. To be applied daily to your hair in the form of a mask for a fortifying effect.
NB : In the form of an oil, extract or powder, daily dose to respect is to 300 mg of extract per day.
Practical advice / tips about bacopa
Today the modern western medicine and that ayurvedic coexist thanks to traditional remedies that the latter offers.
Without a doubt, bacopa is known to treat certain intellectual and mental dysfunctions and epilepsy.
However, it is likely to cause tired, nausea and an dry mouth. Bacopa can also, when combined with sedatives, increase the drowsiness, increase the effects of a neuroleptic (phenothiazine) and, have interactions with the thyroid drugs.
However, it is strongly not recommended to the:
- to the pregnant women and, who are breastfeeding.
- subjects suffering fromurinary obstructions or emphysema and intestinal congestion.
Good to know about bacopa
To obtain effective results, opt for packaged and standardized preparations of bacopa.
You can also choose homemade preparations.
In all cases, respect the dosage daily indicated.
If in doubt, but above all as a precaution, do not hesitate to consult your doctor or your pharmacist.
> Read also: how to grow bacopa properly