Brahmi for the brain

For the Brain Awareness Week (March 12-18), people are encouraged to look at the health of their brain – including cognitive processes such as working memory, learning and concentration abilities, as well as levels of stress.

Evidence is building to support the use of plant-based medicines in supporting cognitive function and assisting healthy memory, according to research from Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, led by Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychology and Co-Director of the Centre of Human Psychopharmacology, Professor Con Stough.

According to Professor Stough, research suggests that bacopa monnieri, a herb also known as bacopa or brahmi – one of the oldest known plant-based medicines traditionally used for centuries as a memory-enhancing agent with an anti-inflammatory effect – may have the potential to support working memory, concentration and learning retention.

In a double-blind placebo-controlled randomised trial on an exclusive bacopa monnieri extract, CDRI 08, with 62 healthy volunteers, results showed significantly improved performance of working-memory factor, and more specifically working-memory accuracy.

The results give hope to millions who are seeking support for healthy memory, often affected due to natural ageing, stress and anxiety.

The statistics show a need for Australian seniors to focus on their cognitive health, with 15 per cent of Australia’s population aged 65 and older – a number projected to more than double by 2056. Reports show cognitive health is increasingly important to younger adults, too.

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