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Brahmi for Memory & Concentration in Children

Brahmi for Memory & Concentration in Children

InterClinical eNews May 2018, Issue 80

Bacopa monnieri has a long history of use in Ayurvedic medicine as a cognitive enhancing agent. These learning enhancement effects have been validated in healthy adults, but only recently has this herb been trialed in younger cohorts. In clinical settings, Bacopa polyherbal formulations have demonstrated improvement in children diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) potentiating it as an alternative treatment. This month we look at the safety and effectiveness of Brahmi for healthy and ADHD diagnosed teenagers and children.

A systematic review, the first of it’s kind, was conducted on the efficacy of Bacopa monnieri for children and adolescents, particularly in the areas of attention, cognition, behaviour, intelligence and mood. Dosages of Bacopa monnieri used in the studies ranged from 100mg to 1050mg per day, duration from 3 to 6 months with participant numbers from 28 to 40.

Brahmi and Memory
Bacopa monnieri was shown to significantly improve memory span as well as verbal and visual memory in children and adolescents. In particular, it significantly improved  IQ scores of spatial memory, reaction time, logical memory, meaningful and non-meaningful recall, digit span, paired associative learning, and sentence repetition.

Brahmi and Attention
Two of the studies involving children diagnosed with attention deficit /hyperactivity disorder showed highly significant improvements including lowered restlessness, improved attentiveness and enhanced self-control. These effects were consistently evident in trials involving chronic intervention with Bacopa and mixed in shorter trials

Safety
Bacopa monnieri was well tolerated by the populations under study with a low incidence of side effects (2.3%) and these symptoms were mild, transient and reversible.

Comment: This fledgling research shows promising results in many aspects of memory improvement in healthy children and several facets of attention and memory in children and teenagers diagnosed with ADHD. Further studies are needed to replicate these promising results utilising Bacopa as a safe, natural aid to boost memory and concentration in children.

 
Reference

  1. Kean JD, Downey LA, Stough C. A systematic review of the ayurvedic medicinal herb Bacopa monnieri in child and adolescent populations. Complementary therapies in medicine. 2016 Dec 1;29:56-62.

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