Although it was west who created the modern civilisation today we live in, eastern civilisations have very important contributions to our lives in different areas. In India where practice of meditation and yoga originated, as a component we see ayurvedic medicine. Actually they are all parts of a healing system which is used in India for 2000 years. As a whole it’s impossible to test ayurvedic healing system by western scientific method, but some of the specific herbs could be tested and their traditional uses were confirmed to a degree by scientific research. Today in western world we use these herbs under the name of alternative medicine.
Ayurvedic healing system has a philosophy behind. It has relations with principles of Buddhism. Also meditation that is essential for relaxation has a very important role in this system. Mentally effective ayurvedic herbs are an extension of this tranquility aspect of ayurvedic healing system.
There are many herbs used in ayurvedic medicine like ashoka, bibitaki, chitrac, garcinia, gudushi, haritaki, kutki…They are traditionally used for various purposes from helping female reproductive system to cleaning the bowels… There are two herbs important for mental functions; Ashwaganda and bacopa monnieri.
Ashwaganda as it is used in ayurvedic healing system is a tonic made from plant W. somnifera.
Ashwaganda, sometimes called indian ginseng, but much cheaper than chinese ginseng, is an adaptogen. It improves body’s ability to withstand stress by working on neuroendocrine system. It acts as a stabiliser against stress and said to boost strength and relieve fatigue. Ashwaganda also has sedating properties, and beneficial in cases of nervous exhaustion.
Although it’s not confirmed by studies, at its homeland India, ashwaganda has a reputation as a sexuality enhancer. The Indian Materia Medica recommends use of ashwaganda as a general aphrodisiac.
Bacopa monnieri is traditionally used for epilepsy and asthma but due to being toxic in large doses needed it’s considered as an additive for these uses. It is also an antioxidant. It reduces oxidation of fats in bloodstream. Bacopa monnieri is also shown to have anti anxiety properties and has a relaxing effect on mind.
Lately its widely used as a nootropic, some research shows that it improves memory capacity and motor learning ability. One study shows after a 90 day use bacopa significantly improved working memory factor, more specifically spatial working memory accuracy. It may improve intellectual ability too. Bacopa has some use in treating Alzheimers according to studies.
Best use of ashwaganda and bacopa together may be against stress. They would temporarily lessen effects of stress during use and permanently heal damage by time continous stress did.
Modern medicine usually treats symptoms instead of healing the root of the problem. Ayurvedic medicine is a different approach. If you are a sufferer of serious stress or in need of a nootropic for deterioration of your mind by any reason these herbs, ashwaganda and bacopa are worth a try.