Neuropharmacological Review of the Nootropic Herb Bacopa Monnieri

Rejuvenation Res. 2013 Aug;16(4):313-26. doi: 10.1089/rej.2013.1431.

Abstract

This review synthesizes behavioral research with neuromolecular mechanisms putatively involved with the low-toxicity cognitive enhancing action of Bacopa monnieri (BM), a medicinal Ayurvedic herb. BM is traditionally used for various ailments, but is best known as a neural tonic and memory enhancer. Numerous animal and in vitro studies have been conducted, with many evidencing potential medicinal properties. Several randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials have substantiated BM's nootropic utility in humans. There is also evidence for potential attenuation of dementia, Parkinson's disease, and epilepsy. Current evidence suggests BM acts via the following mechanisms-anti-oxidant neuroprotection (via redox and enzyme induction), acetylcholinesterase inhibition and/or choline acetyltransferase activation, β-amyloid reduction, increased cerebral blood flow, and neurotransmitter modulation (acetylcholine [ACh], 5-hydroxytryptamine [5-HT], dopamine [DA]). BM appears to exhibit low toxicity in model organisms and humans; however, long-term studies of toxicity in humans have yet to be conducted. This review will integrate molecular neuroscience with behavioral research.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacopa / chemistry*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • Nervous System / drug effects*
  • Nootropic Agents / adverse effects
  • Nootropic Agents / chemistry
  • Nootropic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Plants, Medicinal / chemistry*

Substances

  • Nootropic Agents