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There is an extract of a little-known herb known as Bacopa that can dramatically increase your brain function and memory — and may even help prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. Bacopa is a creeping perennial herb that thrives in wetlands and on muddy shores. Its therapeutic use has its origins in traditional Ayurvedic medicine, where it has been used for its adaptogenic, tranquilizing, and antioxidant properties. The herb can be found in Nepal, China, India, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Vietnam, and some regions in the U.S. such as Hawaii, Florida, and other southern states. Bacopa (also called Bacopa monnieri or Brahmi) thrives easily around ponds or bog gardens. Bacopa has been used in India for thousands of years for both traditional and medicinal purposes. Notably, Indians used Bacopa in religious consecration ceremonies for infants, because the herb was believed to open a gateway to intelligence for the child. Researchers may first have been intrigued by Bacopa monnieri because of the effect they believed it may have on ancient shamans, who reportedly used the herb to help them memorize epic poems.

Researchers theorized that perhaps the Bacopa plant enhanced the shamans’ brain function and improved their memory, concentration, and recall. Studies in humans have found that bacopa supplements may help to reduce stress and anxiety. In India, bacopa is known as a brain tonic because it can be used to improve learning problems, memory, and concentration. Recent research backs up this traditional usage. A study on older, healthy Australians at Southern Cross University in New South Wales, Australia found that bacopa has a remarkable ability to improve memory acquisition and retention.

Studies have also shown that guayusa contains about twice the amount of antioxidants as green tea, often hailed for its health benefits. It is also a good source of vitamin C. Though there have not been many scientific studies on its nutritional benefits as compared to other healthy teas, like green tea, in theory, guayusa has increased health benefits.

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