In celebrating nature’s positive influence to our health, Brahmi has been named 2024 Viridian Ingredient of the Year by ethical vitamin company Viridian Nutrition.
Each year, experts at Viridian Nutrition forecast a nutrient or herb which will be especially significant in the field of nutrition and health in the year ahead.
“For 2024, the natural nootropic, Brahmi has been chosen because of its considerable importance to cognitive health,” explains Viridian Head Nutritionist, Aimee Benbow. “We have connected with medical professionals, nutritionists and herbalists internationally and collectively it is considered that the issues of cognition and memory are of such magnitude, an ingredient that shows promise in this area is worthy of celebration.”
Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), also known as the herb of grace, has featured in Ayurvedic traditions to naturally help improve concentration and memory. It’s known to provide support in the following areas:
- A natural nootropic for an active mind
- Researched for improving cognition and memory enhancing effects
- Studied for reducing anxiety
- May aid mild cognitive impairment
- Can support ADHD
Today, the herb, classed as a ‘nootropic’, continues to draw attention with research confirming its memory-enhancing and anxiety reducing effects. A nootropic (from the Greek ‘noos’ and ‘tropein’ meaning ‘thinking’ and ‘to guide’) is a class of therapeutics known to enhance brain performance, thinking and learning especially when impaired in the patient. The mechanism of Brahmi works by increasing the presence of acetylcholine, a natural substance in the nervous system which can enhance cognitive processing, attention and memory. Studies have shown the optimal amount is 300mg and improvements can be noted from 4-8 weeks.
Natural vs synthetic nootropics
A natural nootropic will inherently feature other additional benefits; synergistic elements within the plant that offer supplementary support. For example, Brahmi contains a high amount of naturally occurring antioxidants. Antioxidants help protect the cells and tissues of the brain from oxidative damage. Natural nootropics, such as Brahmi will also have lower toxicity than chemical synthetics and fewer contraindications. In fact, Brahmi has no known contraindications.
The importance of brain health
The brain has an essential role in controlling many key body functions but can be at risk of several diseases such as dementia and mental and neurological conditions. According to a report, the number of people with dementia in the UK is forecast to increase to over 1 million by 2021 and over 2 million by 2051. (Dementia UK report | Alzheimer's Society)
Brahmi’s long history of traditional use in modern human research looks promising. Brahmi offers encouraging potential for slowing down the progression of age-related diseases in the area of brain health. Brahmi helps to maintain good cognitive function, maintain memory with age decline and to preserve cognitive function. It also contributes to normal blood circulation associated with brain performance.
The view from the experts
“For a long time, the role of nutrition in mental and cognitive health was overlooked,” explains Aimee Benbow, Head Nutritionist at Viridian. “However, now, as the importance of supporting the brain via nutrition is recognised by healthcare professionals and the general public alike, Brahmi is helping more people to maintain good cognitive function.”
Medical doctor Dr Tamsin Lewis: “Brahmi extract has been a game changer in terms of enhancing memory, focus and overall cognition.”
Dale Pinnock BSc & PgDip (Nutr Med), author, chef, herbalist & nutritionist: "Brahmi is a nutrient that I have known about for many years but has become increasingly prominent as I’ve become more interested in nootropics which have the capacity to improve or enhance cognitive function and assist in improving mental wellness.”
Medicine Hunter Chris Kilham: “Brahmi, also known as Bacopa is hot and getting hotter. Used for centuries in India's system of Ayurveda, Brahmi demonstrates significant value in sharpening the mind and enhancing overall mental acuity. It's a wonderful time-honoured botanical, backed by significant modern science and excellent safety."
To help raise awareness of the beneficial impact of Brahmi, Viridian is running a nutritional education programme via specialist independent health food stores. Our team of qualified nutritionists will be sharing human research evidence to support its functions and rolling out a training campaign. The knowledge will also be shared with the general population through videos and blogs.
Kashmira J. Gohil, Jagruti A. Patel (2009) A review on Bacopa monniera: Current research and future prospects, International Journal of Green Pharmacy
Calabrese, C., Gregory, W. L., Leo, M., Kraemer, D., Bone, K., & Oken, B. (2008). Effects of a Standardized Bacopa monnieri Extract on Cognitive Performance, Anxiety, and Depression in the Elderly: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 14(6), 707–713.
Stough C, Lloyd J, Clarke J, Downey LA, Hutchison CW, Rodgers T, Nathan PJ. (2001) The chronic effects of an extract of Bacopa monniera (Brahmi) on cognitive function in healthy human subjects. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 156(4):481-4."
- Stough, L. Downey, J. Lloyd (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
Raghav S, Singh H, Dalal P K, Srivastava J S, Asthana O P. (2006) Randomized controlled trial of standardized Bacopa monniera extract in age-associated memory impairment. Indian J Psychiatry 2006;48:238-42
6Calabrese, C., Gregory, W. L., Leo, M., Kraemer, D., Bone, K., & Oken, B. (2008). Effects of a Standardized Bacopa monnieri Extract on Cognitive Performance, Anxiety, and Depression in the Elderly: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 14(6), 707–713.
Tatimah Peth-Nui, Jintanaporn Wattanathorn, Supaporn Muchimapura, et al., “Effects of 12-Week Bacopa monnieri Consumption on Attention, Cognitive Processing, Working Memory, and Functions of Both Cholinergic and Monoaminergic Systems in Healthy Elderly Volunteers,” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2012, Article ID 606424, 10 pages, 2012
Morgan A, Stevens J. (2010) Does Bacopa monnieri improve memory performance in older persons? Results of a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial. J Altern Complement Med. 2010 Jul;16(7):753-9. doi: 10.1089/acm.2009.0342.
Kar A, Panda S, Bharti S. (2002) Relative efficacy of three medicinal plant extracts in the alteration of thyroid hormone concentrations in male mice. J Ethnopharmacol. 2002 Jul;81(2):281-5.
Wasim, U. Joshua, J. Geetharani, P. Murali, B. Mayachari, A. Venkateshwarlu, K. Saxena, V. Deepak, M. Amit, A. (2008). BacoMind®: A Cognitive Enhancer in Children Requiring Individual Education Programme. Journal of Pharmacology and Toxicology. 3 (4), p302-310.
Dave UP, Dingankar SR, Saxena VS, et al. An open-label study to elucidate the effects of standardized Bacopa monnieri extract in the management of symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in children. Adv Mind Body Med. 2014;28(2):10–15.
Kean JD, Downey LA, Sarris J, Kaufman J, Zangara A, Stough C. Effects of Bacopa monnieri (CDRI 08®) in a population of males exhibiting inattention and hyperactivity aged 6 to 14 years: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Phytother Res. 2022 Feb;36(2):996-1012. doi: 10.1002/ptr.7372. Epub 2022 Jan 18. PMID: 35041248.
Jeyasri R, Muthuramalingam P, Adarshan S, Shin H, Ramesh M. Assessing the Anti-inflammatory Effects of Bacopa-Derived Bioactive Compounds Using Network Pharmacology and In Vitro Studies. ACS Omega. 2022 Oct 30;7(44):40344-40354. doi: 10.1021/acsomega.2c05318. PMID: 36385888; PMCID: PMC9647831.
Santos AFD, Souza MMQ, Amaral EC, Albuquerque ER, Bortoloti DS, Gasparotto Junior A, Lourenço ELB, Lovato ECW, Lívero FADR. Bacopa monnieri in Patients with Parkinson's Disease: A Pilot Study. J Med Food. 2023 Feb;26(2):114-119. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2022.0106. PMID: 36800346.