Ancient Ayurvedic Plant Help Treat Alzheimer's?

Can an Ancient Ayurvedic Plant Help Treat Alzheimer's? 

Brahni Bacopa_monnieri 600.jpg

Tests have taken place at an Australian University (Swinburne University of Technology) to see if a plant that has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine really can help to treat, or delay the onset of Alzheimer's and dementia.

The plant, Brahmi (also known as Bacopa monnieri - Thyme-leafed gratiola -  Water hyssop, etc) is a perennial, creeping herb whose habitat includes wetlands and muddy shores.
 
Brahmi, with its anti-oxidant properties, has a number of uses in Ayurvedic medicine and is a traditional treatment for asthma and epilepsy, but is far more likely to be used in low doses as a (cognitive) additive to regular epilepsy medication.


"Don't Worry"

Studies already show that Brahmi has a positive effect on anxiety and is considered a plant that enhances cognitive ability. 

Studies on rats indicate that extracts of the plant improve memory capacity and motor learning ability.


More recent studies suggest that it also reduces beta-amyloid deposits in mice with Alzheimer's disease.
 
Also of interest: 

The researchers at Swinburne University have looked at potential medicinal effects of pine bark and lemon balm on treating dementia.

References:

Rajani, M., et al. "Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri (L.) Pennell) - A Medhya Rasaayana Drug of Ayurveda" in Ramawat, K. G., Ed. (2004). Biotechnology of Medicinal Plants: Vitalizer and Therapeutic Enfield, New Hampshire: Science Publishers, Inc.

C. Stough, J. Lloyd, J. Clarke, L. Downey, C. Hutchison, T. Rodgers, P. Nathan (2001). "The chronic effects of an extract of Bacopa monniera (Brahmi) on cognitive function in healthy human subjects". Psychopharmacology (Berl).

S. Roodenrys, D. Booth, S. Bulzomi, A. Phipps, C. Micallef, J. Smoker (2002). "Chronic effects of Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) on human memory". Neuropsychopharmacology (Wollongong) 27: 279. doi:10.1016/S0893-133X(01)00419-5.

Stough C, Downey LA, Lloyd J et al. (2008). "Examining the nootropic effects of a special extract of Bacopa Monniera on human cognitive functioning: 90 day double-blind placebo-controlled randomized trial." Phytother Res. 22:1629-1634.

Dhanasekaran M, Tharakan B, Holcomb LA et al. (2007). "Neuroprotective mechanisms of ayurvedic antidementia botanical Bacopa monniera." Phytother Res. 21:965-969.

This is a picture file from the Wikimedia Commons. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Starr_010818-0007_Bacopa_monnieri.jpg

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