Can An Ayurvedic Herb Improve Your Memory?
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Bacopa (Bacopa monnieri) is an aquatic herb that is commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine (the traditional medical system of India) to address neurological and cognitive deficiencies. Studies show that subjects who took bacopa had improved memory function, and the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database concludes that bacopa is “possibly effective” for aiding in learning and memory improvement.
While bacopa is showing promise, other herbal and nutrient-based therapies such as Ginkgo biloba and phosphatidyl serine (PS) have been studied more thoroughly than bacopa. I still recommend that keeping the mind and body active is the best way to maintain cognitive function and memory. Aim for 30 minutes of some form of gentle aerobic exercise at least five times per week, and remain mentally engaged with challenges you find appealing, such as reading, doing crossword puzzles, or learning a new language. If you do decide to take bacopa, choose organic, standardized liquid extracts or encapsulated powder packaged in light-resistant containers. Be aware that side effects may include nausea, dry mouth, and fatigue.