Brahmi (Bacopa Monnieri, Gotu Kola, Centella Asiatica)
The Molecular Links of Re-Emerging Therapy: A Review of Evidence of Brahmi (Bacopa monniera)
The convolution associated with memory is being resolved with advancement in neuroscience. According to the concurrent assumptions, synaptic plasticity forms one of the basis of memory formation, stabilization and strengthening. In Alzheimer’s disease (AD), which is generally characterized by memory dysfunction, connections amongst the cells in the brain are attenuated or lost leading to degeneration of neural networks. Numerous attempts have been made to find new therapies for memory dysfunction with increasing attention and investments being laid on herbal drugs. Many herbal plants and extracts have already documented beneficial results when tested for antiamnesic effects. Brahmi (Bacopa monniera) is one such common herbal drug, which is employed for a long time in the Indian and Chinese medical system in order to treat several disorders. Previous research has shown that Brahmi exerts many pharmacological effects including memory boosting capacity in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and Schizophrenia, exhibiting antiparkinsonian, antistroke, and anticonvulsant potentials. The present review discusses the chemical constituents of Brahmi along with in vitro and in vivo studies based on the pharmacological effects exerted by it. The efficacy of Brahmi in treating various disorders has evoked sufficient research in recent years and now it is a time to launch multiple clinical trials.
Ayurvedic Medicine for the Treatment of Dementia: Mechanistic Aspects
Ayurvedic medicine is a personalized system of traditional medicine native to India and the Indian subcontinent. It is based on a holistic view of treatment which promotes and supports equilibrium in different aspects of human life: the body, mind, and soul. Popular Ayurvedic medicinal plants and formulations that are used to slow down brain aging and enhance memory include Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), Turmeric (Curcuma longa), Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), Shankhpushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis, Evolvulus alsinoides, and other species), gotu kola (Centella asiatica), and guggulu (Commiphora mukul and related species) and a formulation known as Br?hm? Gh?ita, containing Brahmi, Vac? (Acorus calamus), Ku??ha (Saussurea lappa), Shankhpushpi, and Pur??a Gh?ita (old clarified butter/old ghee). The rationale for the utilization of Ayurvedic medicinal plants has depended mostly on traditional usage, with little scientific data on signal transduction processes, efficacy, and safety. However, in recent years, pharmacological and toxicological studies have begun to be published and receive attention from scientists for verification of their claimed pharmacological and therapeutic effects. The purpose of this review is to outline the molecular mechanisms, signal transduction processes, and sites of action of some Ayurvedic medicinal plants. It is hoped that this description can be further explored with modern scientific methods, to reveal new therapeutic leads and jump-start more studies on the use of Ayurvedic medicine for prevention and treatment of dementia.
Popular Ayurvedic medicinal plants (Ashwagandha, Turmeric, Brahmi, Shankhpushpi, gotu kola, and guggulu) not only reduce brain aging and induce antistress and memory enhancing effects which help in regeneration of neural tissues, but also induce antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiamyloidogenic, nutritional, and immune-supportive effects in the human body. Scientific validation and the documentation of Ayurvedic medicines are essential for their quality evaluation and global acceptance. Therapeutic efficacy of Ayurvedic herbal formulations might be enhanced, not only by achieving purity, but also through a better understanding of their biological effects. These days attempts are underway to achieve this goal. Once it is done, large multicenter clinical trials of Ayurvedic medicine can be planned and performed in patients with dementia and other neurodegenerative disorders.
Effectiveness of Gotu Kola Extract 750mg and 1000mg Compared with Folic Acid 3mg in Improving Vascular Cognitive Impairment after Stroke
This study aimed to determine the effectiveness of gotu kola (Centella asiatica) in improving cognitive function in patients with vascular cognitive impairment (VCI). This study uses a quasi-experimental design. Subjects in this study were patients with poststroke cognitive impairment who were treated at two hospitals in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The number of subjects was 48: 17 subjects were treated with 1000?mg/day of gotu kola extract, 17 subjects treated with 750?mg/day of gotu kola extract, and 14 subjects treated with 3?mg/day of folic acid for 6 weeks. A Montreal Cognitive Assessment-Indonesian version (MoCA-Ina) was conducted at the beginning of treatment and after 6 weeks of therapy. It was found that all trials effectively improved poststroke VCI based on MoCA-Ina scores over the course of the study. There is no significant difference in ?MoCA-Ina (score at the 6th week of treatment ? score at the beginning) mean score among the three groups, indicating that gotu kola is as effective as folic acid in improving poststroke VCI. Gotu kola was shown to be more effective than folic acid in improving memory domain. This study suggested that gotu kola extract is effective in improving cognitive function after stroke.
This study concluded that a gotu kola extract therapy of 1000?mg/day and 750?mg/day is effective in improving cognitive impairment after stroke infarction but is not more beneficial than a therapy of folic acid 3?mg/day. Among the seven cognitive domains assessed by the MoCA-Ina test, gotu kola treatment showed better improvement in delayed memory recall compared with folic acid treatment. Gotu kola extract either in 750?mg or in 1000?mg was well tolerated with minimal side effects.
Centella asiatica (L.) Urban: From Traditional Medicine to Modern Medicine with Neuroprotective Potential
This paper covers the studies relevant to neuroprotective activity of Centella asiatica (L.) Urban, also known as “Gotu Kola.” The plant is native to the Southeast Asia and has been used traditionally as brain tonic in ayurvedic medicine. The neuroprotective effect of C. asiatica has been searched using the key words “Centella, Centella asiatica, gotu kola, Asiatic pennywort, neuroprotection, and memory” through the electronic databases including Sciencedirect, Web of Science, Scopus, Pubmed, and Google Scholar. According to the literature survey, C. asiatica (gotu kola) has been reported to have a comprehensive neuroprotection by different modes of action such as enzyme inhibition, prevention of amyloid plaque formation in Alzheimer’s disease, dopamine neurotoxicity in Parkinson’s disease, and decreasing oxidative stress. Therefore, C. asiatica could be suggested to be a desired phytopharmaceutical with neuroprotective effect emerged from traditional medicine.
C. asiatica, widely known as “gotu kola,” is a reputed medicinal plant for its various pharmacological effects favorable for human health. Besides its potent wound healing property, a number of studies described the noteworthy protective effect of the plant against several diseases of CNS. Biological effects of C. asiatica have been generally attributed to the major triterpene derivatives including asiatic acid, madecassic acid, asiaticoside, madecassoside, and brahmic acid. The neuroprotective effect of the plant has been suggested to result from different mechanisms, most of which have referred to positive influences on oxidative stress parameters.