Thursday, July 31, 2014

Make Your Voice Heard Against a New Toxic Endocrine-Disrupting Herbicide!

Make Your Voice Heard Against a New Toxic Endocrine-Disrupting Herbicide!

Link to Natural Health & Organic Living Blog

Make Your Voice Heard Against a New Toxic Endocrine-Disrupting Herbicide!

Posted: 30 Jul 2014 01:04 PM PDT


I have recently received an email from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) attempting to spread awareness around a new herbicide, Enlist Duo. This toxic product is produced by the Dow Chemical Company, a multinational, multibillion-dollar organization that supports the proliferation of genetically-modified crops into our food supply. At the moment, the Dow Chemical Company is seeking approval from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to market this herbicide to farmers as a potent and effective weed killer. While herbicides can certainly aid in combating competing plant life, they also promote more harm than good by interfering with human health.

The main ingredients in Enlist Duo are 2,4-D and glyphosate, two compounds also found in Monsanto’s dangerous Roundup weed destroyer. Genetically-engineered, non-organic crops will be subjected to this weed killer if it is approved by the EPA, causing an enormous toxic load to be spilled directly into our environment. Sticking to organic produce is great for reducing exposure; however, this is not enough. Herbicides and pesticides have the potential to travel through the air, affecting humans and nearby crops. The ingredients in Enlist Duo have the potential for causing endocrine and reproductive issues in people exposed, even indirectly.

More than 5,600 schools are located near corn and soy fields, two types of crops that are typically genetically modified and sprayed with toxic chemicals. This exposes hundreds of thousands of children to a toxic chemical that could negatively affect their endocrine system and future reproductive health. 2,4-D also has the potential of affecting literally dozens of endangered species and may also contribute to the shocking decline of honeybees and various other beneficial insects necessary for human survival.

You Can Help!

This is where you come in. Oregon and Main representatives have already written letters to the EPA ad USDA in an effort to reject Dow’s application for Enlist Duo’s approval. Click here to to contact your state’s representative and urge them to take action against this new toxic threat. Not only will you be protecting your own health, you will be standing up against the chemical’s effects on the population at large. Your voice, your effort, and your concern are powerful forces that can make a positive change!

-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM

The post Make Your Voice Heard Against a New Toxic Endocrine-Disrupting Herbicide! appeared first on Natural Health & Organic Living Blog.

How Does Digestion Work?

Posted: 30 Jul 2014 08:00 AM PDT


The garbage passed off as food today and the high rates of digestive disorders plaguing the nation make it clear that the importance of the digestive process is not understood. Digestion is a process that can affect our daily quality of life, playing a direct role in our mental health and mood. [1] In essence, digestion is where our health begins, and recent research has blatantly illustrated this fact. Let’s look at how the digestive system performs its function and discuss the key facts you need to know when seeking to protect your digestive health.

The Digestive Process

The digestive process involves three basic steps: the cephalic phase, the gastric phase, and the intestinal phase. Here are some of the main focus points associated with each phase:

  • The Mouth. Upon chewing, enzymes in the mouth begin the digestive process by breaking down food. Amylase is one of the main enzymes in saliva that aid in the digestion of starch (carbohydrates).
  • The Esophagus. This long, muscular tube aids in the passage of food from the mouth into the stomach. Hydrochloric acid will further break down food particles while killing microbes and denaturing proteins. Due to the high acidity of hydrochloric acid, a protective mucosal layer of tissue lines the stomach, protecting it from acid erosion and gastric ulcers.
  • The Small Intestine. Once food has traveled to the stomach and been subjected to the actions of hydrochloric acid, the contents then travel to the small intestine. This is the main organ that is responsible for absorbing calories, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and proteins. Small finger-like projections called “villi” line the small intestine to offer protection and facilitate absorption. The small intestine also hosts a wide range of beneficial bacteria responsible for digestion, specifically Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria.
  • The Large Intestine. This is the final stage of the digestion process. Once nutrients have been absorbed by the small intestine, the leftover wastes travel to the large intestine before being eliminated. Water and salts are reabsorbed before elimination.


While digestion requires the three phases listed above, it also requires four essential components–stomach acid, enzymes, probiotics, and prebiotics.


Digestive enzymes break molecules into smaller parts so they can be absorbed by the body. These enzymes are categorized as:

  • Protease – breaks down protein into amino acids
  • Lipase – catabolizes lipids (fats) into fatty acids
  • Amylase – breaks down carbohydrates, starches, and sugar into simpler monomers

Those that are deficient in these enzymes, or those that suffer from an impairment in enzyme function, may benefit from enzyme supplementation. [2]


These bacterial colonies, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria being the most common, play an essential role in digestion. Probiotics aid in the synthesis of vitamin K, B12, and biotin (B1), contribute to the digestion of foods, denature proteins, and kill off hostile microbes. Some studies even suggest that probiotics may aid in balancing mood. [3] [4] [5] This effect is observed in relation to serotonin, a neurotransmitter found mainly in the gastrointestinal system.


These “bionics” are essentially the food for probiotic colonies. [6] Generally speaking, prebiotics are pectins or fibers and aid in the nourishment and flourishing of probiotic bacteria. Some probiotic supplements come with prebiotics, an addition believed to increase the effectiveness of the probiotic bacteria.

Are there certain foods you find you can’t digest? Which ones are they? Leave us a comment below to let us know!

-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM


  1. Jane A. Foster. Gut Feelings: Bacteria and the Brain. Cerebrum. 2013 July-August; 2013: 9.
  2. Roxas M. The role of enzyme supplementation in digestive disorders. Alternative Medicine Review. 2008 December;13(4):307-14.
  3. Farmer AD, Randall HA, Aziz Q. It's a Gut Feeling – how the gut microbiota affects the state of mind. The Journal of Physiology. 2014 March 24.
  4. Benton D, Williams C, Brown A. Impact of consuming a milk drink containing a probiotic on mood and cognition. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2007 March;61(3):355-61.
  5. Desbonnet L, Garrett L, Clarke G, Bienenstock J, Dinan TG. The probiotic Bifidobacteria infantis: An assessment of potential antidepressant properties in the rat. Journal of Psychiatric Research. 2008 December;43(2): 164-74. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2008.03.009.
  6. Roberfroid MB. Prebiotics and probiotics: are they functional foods? The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2000 June;71(6 Suppl):1682S-7S; discussion 1688S-90S.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Battle of the Frozen Treats: Sorbet vs. Ice Cream vs. Gelato vs. Fro-yo

Posted: 30 Jul 2014 03:03 PM PDT

If you're going to splurge on a sweet frozen treat, which is your best option: sorbet, ice cream, frozen yogurt or gelato? And what are the differences anyway? Let's break it down and end the battle of which frozen treat is healthiest, shall we?


Sorbet is made up of fruit juices, syrup and water. One cup of an all-fruit sorbet has 184 calories, 34 grams of sugar, 46.2 grams of carbohydrates and no fat. While no fat is good, sorbet is high in sugar and doesn't have any calcium, like milk-based frozen treats do.

Ice Cream

Ice cream is made from milk, cream, sugar and egg yolk. One cup of vanilla ice cream, on average, has 267 calories, 32.5 grams of carbohydrates and 14.3 grams of fat. That mixture of cream and sugar makes this treat high in calories and fat. To put things in perspective, the American Heart Association recommends that total fat intake should be no more than 25% to 35% of one's daily calories. Saturated fat should be limited to less than 7% of daily calories, and trans fat should be less than 1%.


Gelato consists of milk, egg yolk and sugar. The lack of cream that is in ice cream means that gelato can have less bad fats. However, what it lacks in fats, it makes up for in added sugar. A half cup of vanilla bean gelato, which is the recommended serving size for the treat, contains 204 calories, 9 grams of fat, 25 grams of carbohydrates and 25 grams of sugar.

Frozen Yogurt

Frozen yogurt consists of yogurt instead of cream, which lowers its fat when compared to ice cream. While frozen yogurt is low in fat, the calories and sugar can be a problem. One cup of low-fat plain frozen yogurt is 214 calories, 2.9 grams of fat, 38.1 grams of sugar and 39.2 grams of carbohydrates. A cup of soft-serve fro-yo yields 235 calories and one cup of chocolate is 230 calories. Don't forget that those calories don't include toppings, which can range from the healthier, such as fruit, to the not-so-healthy, like cookie dough.

Women should consume no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar per day, while men shouldn't have more than nine. To put that into perspective, a can of soda contains around 8 teaspoons of sugar.


Low-calorie, fat-free and offering at least some "good" sugars from the fruit juice, sorbet is a tasty way to cool down in the summer. Just eat in moderation and look out for that sugar!

Can Mucuna Pruriens Promote Male Fertility?

Can Mucuna Pruriens Promote Male Fertility?

Link to Natural Health & Organic Living Blog

Can Mucuna Pruriens Promote Male Fertility?

Posted: 29 Jul 2014 08:00 AM PDT

Can Mucuna pruriens be used to support male fertility?

Infertility and low libido, common symptoms associated with male dysfunction, have been heavily researched and written about for centuries. Henry VIII, the famous King of England during the sixteenth century, is a prime example of this statement. He did his best to hide his infertility from the public, blaming his many wives for his impotency by promptly placing them on the chopping block. With today's science, men can no longer blame these issues on other people or outside circumstances. Luckily, there are some safe and simple options available that may help prevent and decrease problems associated with male sexual dysfunction.

For hundreds of years, Ayurvedic medicine has employed a potent remedy for promoting male sexual health: Mucuna pruriens. According to Ayurvedic texts, this tropical plant acts as an aphrodisiac, improves fertility and sperm quality, and may be used to address male impotency. Current research is beginning to support its application in this area of male reproductive health.

A Natural Fertility Booster

Medical practitioners often examine sperm count and mobility to determine male fertility. Chances for reproduction become minute when the quality (and quantity) of sperm is relatively low. If sperm isn't mobile, it can't get to where it needs to be in order for reproduction to take place.

With its rich history of being used for improving fertility, several researchers have begun examining Mucuna pruriens and their actual reproductive effects. One study examined the effectiveness of M. pruriens seed powder on improving sperm quality. Men who were given the tropical plant showed a marked improvement in sperm volume and movement. [1] Another study administering similar doses of M. pruriens in 60 men found that participants enjoyed improved fertility, increased sperm count, and increased sperm mobility. [2] These men also experienced a significant reduction in stress. Stress, whether it is metabolically induced or environmentally triggered, may negatively influence fertility.

An additional research study investigated the effect of Mucuna pruriens on 150 men, with 75 of the men identified as infertile and another 75 identified as fertile (control group). Researchers noted that semen quality significantly improved following M. pruriens intake. Steroid hormone production also increased, an important factor for increasing the levels of testosterone (male sex hormone) in the body. Testosterone is one of the steroid hormones responsible for strengthening and maintaining fertility. Increasing testosterone naturally can also be very helpful for improving libido in males. [3]

Increases Growth Hormone

Here's some good news for you fitness fanatics out there: M. pruriens appears to increase growth hormone in men during regular physical activity. Growth hormone encourages cellular regeneration and protects against DNA damage and oxidative stress. The effects of growth hormone doesn't stop there, as more and more research is shedding light on its benefits for male fertility and libido.

In one research study, 15 men were given a supplement containing M. pruriens once a week for two weeks. After taking the supplement, circulating serum growth hormone levels began to increase. [4] Animal models have also found a significant improvement in hormone levels, libido, and potency, all factors that are affected by the presence of growth hormone. [5]

Side-Effect Free?

The biggest issue with most drugs, including those that are designed to treat male sexual dysfunction, is the wide assortment of side effects. Having an erection for more than four hours, for example, is just one of the many embarrassing reported effects following initial or regular use of male sexual health medications. Despite its effectiveness for improving male sexual health, Mucuna pruriens has shown to exhibit little to no side effects. [6]

One Final Thought

For the male readers out there, be sure to consult with your natural health practitioner before using M. pruriens for improving your sexual health. While this tropical legume can be a healthy addition to your lifestyle, your specific issues may also be a mere symptom of an underlying problem. Whether it's nutritional, environmental, or biological, your health is individualized and should be discussed with a qualified, trusted medical physician.

What is your take on Mucuna pruriens? Have you seen any improvements after taking it? Let us know in the comments!

-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM


  1. Ahmad MK, Mahdi AA, Shukla KK, Islam N, Jaiswar SP, Ahmad S. Effect of Mucuna pruriens on semen profile and biochemical parameters in seminal plasma of infertile men. Fertil Steril. 2008 Sep;90(3):627-35. Epub 2007 Nov 14.
  2. Shukla KK, Mahdi AA, Ahmad MK, Jaiswar SP, Shankwar SN, Tiwari SC. Mucuna pruriens Reduces Stress and Improves the Quality of Semen in Infertile Men. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2010 Mar;7(1):137-44. doi: 10.1093/ecam/nem171. Epub 2007 Dec 18.
  3. Shukla KK, Mahdi AA, Ahmad MK, Shankhwar SN, Rajender S, Jaiswar SP. Mucuna pruriens improves male fertility by its action on the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal axis. Fertil Steril. 2009 Dec;92(6):1934-40. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2008.09.045. Epub 2008 Oct 29.
  4. Alleman RJ Jr, Canale RE, McCarthy CG, Bloomer RJ. A blend of chlorophytum borivilianum and velvet bean increases serum growth hormone in exercise-trained men. Nutr Metab Insights. 2011 Oct 2;4:55-63. doi: 10.4137/NMI.S8127. eCollection 2011.
  5. Suresh S, Prakash S. Effect of Mucuna pruriens (Linn.) on sexual behavior and sperm parameters in streptozotocin-induced diabetic male rat. J Sex Med. 2012 Dec;9(12):3066-78. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2010.01831.x. Epub 2010 Apr 26.
  6. Mahajan GK, Mahajan AY, Mahajan RT. Efficacy of aphrodisiac plants towards improvement in semen quality and motility in infertile males. J Complement Integr Med. 2012 Feb 17;9:Article 6. doi: 10.1515/1553-3840.1520.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

6 Disturbing Side Effects of Chewing Gum

Posted: 29 Jul 2014 11:35 AM PDT

By Dr. Mercola

The US is among the top three countries with the highest rates of chewing gum consumption worldwide. In the US, 59 percent of people chew gum, surpassed only by Iran (82 percent) and Saudi Arabia (79 percent) (a primary reason why the Middle East may have more gum chewers than the US is because chewing gum is often given out by merchants in place of small change).

In the US, many people chew gum as a snack simply because they like the flavor or the distraction it provides. Some use it for stress relief or even a tool for reducing food cravings (this typically doesn't work, as I'll explain shortly).

But if you're a regular gum chewer, there's compelling evidence that this is one habit you're better off without. From its questionable ingredients to its impact on your teeth and digestion, chewing gum belongs right in the trash – not in your mouth.

Side Effects of Chewing Gum

Before you reach for another stick of gum, consider these rather disturbing side effects that gum chewing can cause.

1. Chewing Gum May Increase Your Junk-Food Intake

Many people chew on a stick of gum to reduce food cravings and, theoretically, help them avoid eating unhealthy foods. However, while research shows that chewing gum reduces your motivation to eat, your hunger and how much you end up eating, gum chewers' meals end up being less nutritious than those eaten by non-gum-chewers.

For instance, people who chewed gum were less likely to eat fruit and instead were more motivated to eat junk food like potato chips and candy. This is likely because the minty flavor in the gum makes fruits and vegetables taste bitter.

2. It May Trigger TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder) in Your Jaw

Chewing gum can cause jaw muscle imbalance (if you chew on one side more than the other) and even TMJ or temporomandibular joint disorder in your jaw, which can be a painful chronic condition. Anytime you overuse a certain set of muscles, it can lead to contracted muscles and related pain, including headaches, earaches, and toothaches over time.

3. Gastrointestinal Problems

Chewing gum causes you to swallow excess air, which can contribute to abdominal pain and bloating seen with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Further, when you chew gum you send your body physical signals that food is about to enter your body. The enzymes and acids that are activated when you chew gum are therefore released, but without the food they're intended to digest.

This can cause bloating, an overproduction of stomach acid, and can compromise your ability to produce sufficient digestive secretions when you actually do eat food. Some people may also have adverse gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhea, from the artificial sweeteners that are commonly found in chewing gum.

4. Tooth Damage – Even from Sugar-Free Gum

If your chewing gum contains sugar, you're essentially "bathing" your teeth in sugar while you chew away. This can contribute to tooth decay. Even if you chew sugar-free gum, there are still risks to your teeth because sugar-free gum often contains acidic flavorings and preservatives that may in fact lead to dental erosion, even if it contains cavity-fighting xylitol. Unlike cavities, dental erosion is a process of incremental decalcification, which, over time, literally dissolves your teeth.

5. Sheep Byproducts

Chewing gum often contains lanolin, a waxy substance that's derived from sheep wool, to help it stay soft. While not necessarily dangerous to your health, chewing on lanolin is not exactly appetizing.

6. Release Mercury From Your Fillings

If you have mercury fillings, you should know that chewing gum may cause this known neurotoxin to release from the fillings into your body. According to one study.

"…chewing gum has been shown to increase the release rate of mercury vapor from dental amalgam fillings… The impact of excessive chewing on mercury levels was considerable."

Every time you chew, mercury vapor is released and quickly finds its way into your bloodstream, where it causes oxidative processes in your tissues. If you chew gum, you're going to be chewing often, which is why it's particularly problematic for those with mercury fillings.

Chewing Gum Linked to Headaches in Teens

Teenagers are notorious for gum chewing and popping. If your child is a frequent gum chewer and suffers from headaches, you should know that a link has recently been established.

One study involved 30 daily gum chewers between the ages of six and 19 years. Each suffered from chronic migraine or tension headaches. After quitting gum chewing for one month, 19 of them had their headaches go away completely while another seven had a reduction in headache frequency and severity. Twenty-six of the children then started chewing gum again, only to have their headaches return within days.

The researchers believe the headaches may be linked to chewing-gum-induced TMJ, which may cause headaches. Past research has also suggested chewing gum may cause headaches via aspartame exposure.

Most Chewing Gum Contains Artificial Sweeteners

You might not pay much attention to the ingredients in chewing gum because, after all, it's not actually swallowed. But the ingredients, many of which are potentially dangerous, do enter your body, directly through the walls of your mouth.

As with the toxic ingredients in personal care products like lotion, which are absorbed directly through your skin and into your bloodstream, the ingredients in gum also get absorbed by your body quickly and directly, bypassing the digestive system that would ordinarily help to filter some of the toxins away.

One such type of harmful chemicals is artificial sweeteners, which are ubiquitous in chewing gum. Many people choose sugar-free gum on purpose, believing it to be healthier than other varieties. But even non-sugar-free brands may contain some sort of artificial sweetener. It is very unusual for them not to.

One of the most commonly used artificial sweeteners in chewing gum is aspartame. Aspartame is metabolized inside your body into both wood alcohol (a poison) and formaldehyde (which is a carcinogen used as embalming fluid and is not eliminated from your body through the normal waste filtering done by your liver and kidneys). It's been linked to birth defects, cancers, brain tumors, and weight gain.

Sucralose (Splenda), another common artificial sweetener used in chewing gum, was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) based on only two human studies, the longest of which lasted only four days – even though animal studies found the sweetener was associated with decreased red blood cells (a sign of anemia), male infertility, enlarged kidneys, spontaneous abortions, and an increased death rate. You might also be surprised to learn that consuming artificial sweeteners can cause distortions in your biochemistry that may actually make you gain weight.

Studies looking at this issue show very clearly that artificial sweeteners may actually cause greater weight gain than sugar by stimulating your appetite, increasing carbohydrate cravings, and stimulating fat storage. Several years ago, I wrote a book called Sweet Deception, in which I expose the many concerns related to the consumption of artificial sweeteners. If you want to learn more, this book is an excellent place to start – especially if you're in the habit of chewing sugar-free gum.

Chewing Gum Ingredients to Avoid

Artificial sweeteners are only one reason to avoid chewing gum. Most brands also contain additional chemical ingredients that do not belong in your body. There are natural chewing gum brands on the market that do not contain these questionable ingredients, so if you must chew gum, look for these. However, keep in mind that even natural chewing gum will pose risks from excess chewing, including TMJ, digestive issues, and more.

1. BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene)

BHT is so toxic it's already been banned in many other countries. In the US, it's often used as a preservative in chewing gum and other processed foods. BHT has been linked to organ system toxicity, including kidney and liver damage, hyperactivity in children, and may be carcinogenic.

2. Calcium Casein Peptone (Calcium Phosphate)

Found primarily in Trident gum, it's thought this ingredient may be used as a whitening agent or texturizer. As a highly processed milk derivative, little is known about its long-term ingestion, although casein was previously linked to baby formula poisonings in China and is a well-recognized trigger of autoimmunity.

3. Gum Base

It's quite a mystery what "gum base" is actually made out of, but the investigators found it's usually a blend of elastomers, resins, plasticizers, and fillers. Most manufacturers do not reveal more specifics than this. After all, why would they want you to know that you're potentially chewing on petroleum-derived paraffin wax, polyvinyl acetate (carpenter's glue) and talc, all of which are linked to cancer.

4. Titanium Dioxide

Titanium dioxide is often used as a whitening agent in chewing gum, but it's been linked to autoimmune disorders, asthma, and Crohn's disease and is potentially carcinogenic – especially in its nanoparticle form. One study found children are highly exposed to titanium dioxide in confections, with chewing gum containing the highest levels.

Why Are You Chewing Gum?

I generally recommend that you shouldn't chew gum or if you do use gum, use it very rarely or right before a meal when the acid and enzyme stimulation may actually be beneficial. If you'd like to give up gum chewing but are finding it difficult, consider why you're doing it. Below are several common reasons why people chew gum, along with alternative options to help you kick the habit.
  • For stress relief: Try these eight stress-relief tips instead, along with the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), which is based on the concept that a vital energy flows through your body along invisible pathways known as meridians. EFT stimulates different energy meridian points in your body by tapping them with your fingertips, while simultaneously using custom-made verbal affirmations.
  • To freshen your breath: Carry a toothbrush and toothpaste with you so you can brush your teeth even when you're on the go. A natural breath spray also works well for this purpose.
  • To overcome food cravings: The tapping and positive affirmations of EFT are frequently effective at reducing food cravings.
  • For the flavor: If you're chewing gum because you're hooked on the flavor, remember that both artificial and natural flavors are trying to simulate the flavors that nature readily provides. For healthier flavorful options, try sipping on a glass of water infused with fresh mint leaves, cinnamon, or citrus fruit.

A surprising ingredient list!

Hi there!

When I shop I always look for products I used to eat and buy and see what's in them. On Sunday, I found something I used to eat a lot of and couldn't believe the ingredients.  It's shocking this company has taken out certain controversial ingredients for other citizens across the globe and not us - and has publicly admitted to it!

This snack definitely goes into the Product Hall of Shame.

Read about it here.

I'm going to share my little finds like this with you more often – so get ready!



P.S.  If you are looking for a better alternative, you've got to check out my partner Raw Crunch, who is giving everyone 10% off right now for the next 24 hours – Just use the code: "FOODBABE" at checkout. Get shopping here.









P.O. Box 31521 Charlotte, NC 28231

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6 Brain Health Benefits of Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri)

6 Brain Health Benefits of Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri)

Link to Natural Health & Organic Living Blog

6 Brain Health Benefits of Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri)

Posted: 28 Jul 2014 08:00 AM PDT

Mental Health

Brahmi, or Bacopa monnieri, is a therapeutic plant used in Ayurveda for many purposes. Modern research supports this fact and has found Brahmi effective against several neurological diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy, and schizophrenia. Here are 6 health conditions that may be positively benefited by Brahmi supplementation.



Schizophrenia is marked by several defining characteristics and one is unstable chemicals in the brain. Brahmi has generated excitement as a potential therapy for schizophrenia because animal studies have reported that it stabilizes certain chemicals in the brain. The regulation of these chemicals may help some of the cognitive impairment effects common in persons with schizophrenia. [2] In one case study it was reported that a daily, 500-mg serving of Brahmi taken for one month led to a noticeable change in schizophrenia-related problems. [3]

Alzheimer's Disease

Galantamine and rivastigmine are two licensed Alzheimer's drugs that are also plant extracts. They have been the catalyst for many scientific investigations into other plants that have traditional use for memory and brain support. Brahmi is just one of the many plants being evaluated for a protective role in Alzheimer's disease. [4]

Exactly why is Brahmi part of the discussion? Well, animal research has confirmed its positive effect on cognitive function; an effect attributed to the plant’s antioxidant compounds. [5] As an antioxidant, Brahmi seems to work by protecting against the neural oxidative stress associated with Alzheimer's disease. [6] It’s also believed to stimulate the brain’s own chemicals that protect neural cells. [7] Although the research isn’t yet conclusive, the possibility that person’s suffering from Alzheimer’s could potentially have a plant-based therapy is very exciting.


One of the active compounds in Brahmi (Bacoside A) has shown to reverse brain changes associated with epilepsy. [8] It also seems to protect areas of the brain responsible for serotonin uptake, helping to maintain a proper balance of the neurotransmitter. [9] Additionally, Brahmi appears to stabilize brain function and reduce behavioral deficits in epileptic patients. [10]


Cognitive effects don’t have to be part of growing old, but for many people, they are. Ayurveda has promoted Brahmi for centuries to support cognitive performance in the aging. Studies have shown that long-term use may lessen the impacts of aging on the brain. [11] A review of six studies, all at least 12 weeks in length and involving adults who supplemented with brahmi, reported consistent positive effects on memory. [12] In fact, one double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial consisting of fifty-four participants aged 65 years and older reported that Brahmi provided a noticeable boost in cognitive performance. [13]


As far as its traditional use is concerned, Brahmi is best known to enhance memory and support short- and long-term recall. One trial looked at sixty healthy elderly subjects who received either Brahimi or placebo on a daily basis for 12 weeks. Those taking the extract showed a remarkable decrease in brain chemicals associated with age-related cognitive decline. Memory and attention also improved in the subjects. [14]

A study from Australia examined the effect Brahmi extract had on participants' verbal learning, memory, and delayed recall. The study observed significant improvement in these faculties, yet also reported slight side effects such as nausea and mild intestinal distress. [15]

Parkinson's Disease

Brahmi’s track record with other brain issues has prompted researchers to take a look at how it affects persons with Parkinson's disease. This disease affects the brain's ability to produce adequate dopamine transmitter. Some research shows that Brahmi may increase dopamine levels in the brain and may even prevent neural degeneration associated with Parkinson's disease; however, research to date has been limited. [16] [17]

One Final Thought…

Ayurvedic wisdom and conventional medicine are slowly joining forces, especially when it comes to Brahmi. It’s easy to get excited and look at Brahmi like it’s the next miracle substance but it’s important to remember that Brahmi is nutritional support for your brain, it’s not proven to cure or treat anything.

Have you ever heard of Brahmi, or have you ever used it as a supplement? Did you notice any beneficial effects? Let us know in the comments!

-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM


  1. Piyabhan P, Wetchateng T. Cognitive enhancement effects of Bacopa monnieri (Brahmi) on novel object recognition and VGLUT1 density in the prefrontal cortex, striatum, and hippocampus of sub-chronic phencyclidine rat model of schizophrenia. J Med Assoc Thai. 2013 May;96(5):625-32.
  2. Sarkar S, Mishra BR, Praharaj SK, Nizamie SH. Add-on effect of Brahmi in the management of schizophrenia. J Ayurveda Integr Med. 2012 Oct;3(4):223-5. doi: 10.4103/0975-9476.104448.
  3. Howes MJ, Houghton PJ. Ethnobotanical treatment strategies against Alzheimer’s disease. Curr Alzheimer Res. 2012 Jan;9(1):67-85.
  4. Uabundit N, Wattanathorn J, Mucimapura S, Ingkaninan K. Cognitive enhancement and neuroprotective effects of Bacopa monnieri in Alzheimer’s disease model. J Ethnopharmacol. 2010 Jan 8;127(1):26-31. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2009.09.056.
  5. Limpeanchob N, Jaipan S, Rattanakaruna S, Phrompittayarat W, Ingkaninan K. Neuroprotective effect of Bacopa monnieri on beta-amyloid-induced cell death in primary cortical culture. J Ethnopharmacol. 2008 Oct 30;120(1):112-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2008.07.039.
  6. Zhang LN, Sun YJ, Pan S, Li JX, Qu YE, Li Y, Wang YL, Gao ZB. Na?-K?-ATPase, a potent neuroprotective modulator against Alzheimer disease. Fundam Clin Pharmacol. 2013 Feb;27(1):96-103. doi: 10.1111/fcp.12000. Epub 2012 Oct 3.
  7. Mathew J, Balakrishnan S, Antony S, Abraham PM, Paulose CS. Decreased GABA receptor in the cerebral cortex of epileptic rats: effect of Bacopa monnieri and Bacoside-A. Biomed Sci. 2012 Feb 24;19:25. doi: 10.1186/1423-0127-19-25.
  8. Krishnakumar A, Abraham PM, Paul J, Paulose CS. Down-regulation of cerebellar 5-HT(2C) receptors in pilocarpine-induced epilepsy in rats: therapeutic role ofBacopa monnieri extract. J Neurol Sci. 2009 Sep 15;284(1-2):124-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2009.04.032.
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