Bacopa Monnieri

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Bacopa monnieri, also known as Brahmi, and water hyssop, is an herb that is commonly used in natural and Ayurvedic medicine.  This is the traditional type of medicine that is practiced in India.

Many Uses for Bacopa Monnieri

Ayurvedic medicine uses bacopa monnieri in a number of different ways and for many different purposes.  For example, it can be used as a heart and nervous system tonic as a diuretic, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.  It has also been associated with uses for treating epilepsy, asthma, mental issues, and thyroid disorders.

There have been very few studies* that have involved bacopa monnieri in terms of its weight loss benefits, but it is still found in a number of different diet formulas on the nonprescription market shelves today.

How Does This Ingredient Work?

Bacopa Monieri has a number of different effects on the body.  These various effects impact health in different ways.  For instance, it is believed that it could have an impact on the thyroid gland.  There is also some indication that it may have diuretic properties, which help to reduce water retention in the body’s tissues.

There is reason to believe that this ingredient also impacts chemicals in the brain.  More specifically, it affects those that are important to learning, thinking and memory.  As a result, it has been studied for a number of related conditions.  Preliminary research has indicated that there could one day be benefit for Alzheimer’s disease patients to use this supplement as it may help brain cells affected by that disease to protect themselves against damaging chemicals.

Why Is This a Diet Pill Ingredient?

If bacopa monnieri does help with thyroid function, it may be important in helping to counteract issues with weight gain and fatigue that are associated with that gland when it is underactive.  That said, if you feel that you might have hypothyroidism, it is important to speak with your doctor before you begin any treatments on your own, as it may be a symptom of a greater problem, or it may require treatment with prescription drugs.

On the other hand, bacopa monnieri is also known as a diuretic.  This means that it can cause fluids from the body to be flushed away and lost as urine.  This feature makes it more useful to bodybuilders than it is to individuals who would like to lose weight.  The reason is that when bodybuilders compete, they often want to be able to eliminate any additional fluids in their tissues that could cause padding over the muscles that would reduce their definition.

That said, it is included in some weight loss pills in order to make it look as though the individual is losing weight, when the truth of the matter is that he or she is only losing a temporary amount of water and no additional fat has been burned away.

The use of diuretics can be very dangerous to some individuals as it significantly increases the risk of dehydration and other medical problems.  It is important to drink large amounts of water in order to avoid severe side effects when taking substances such as bacopa monnieri.  This will help to replace some of the water that is lost and will help to prevent water retention because the body will not think that it is suffering from a drought.

Side Effects and Warnings

Common side effects from using this diet pill ingredient include:

  • Stomach cramps
  • Increased bowel movements
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue

Bacopia monieri is not appropriate for you if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.  Though there isn’t any evidence that it causes harm to the baby, it has not been adequately researched to know that it is true.  According to WebMD, it is best to stay on the safe side and not use this ingredient if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

This diet pill ingredient can slow the heartbeat.  If you already have a slow heart rate (bradycardia), then this can place your health at risk.  Avoid this ingredient or speak to your doctor before trying it.

This substance can also lead to intestinal “congestion”.  If you have a blockage in your intestine, that can make this ingredient dangerous to you.  Choose not to use products that contain it in that case.

This substance may also not be appropriate for you if you have:

  • Ulcers
  • Lung Conditions
  • Thyroid Disorders
  • Urinary Tract Obstruction

If you have any of those conditions and are thinking of using a product containing bacopia monieri, it’s very important for you to speak with a doctor first.  He or she will be able to tell you whether this ingredient is safe for you, how much you should use, or if there is a better alternative.

* Panda S, Kar A. Journal of Ethnopharmacology.”Withania somnifera and Bauhinia purpurea in the regulation of circulating thyroid hormone concentrations in female mice”. 1999 Nov 1;67(2):233-9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10619390

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