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The mechanism of action of brahmi has not been significantly investigated in clinical studies, so results from in vitro and animal tests provide most of the evidence. Some studies have investigated the effects of an Ayurvedic herbal combination known as brahmi rasayan, which consists of 10 parts bacopa, 2 parts cloves, 1 part cardamom, 1 part Piper iongum and 40 parts sucrose. ANTIOXIDANT

Brahmi has potent antioxidant activity, which appears to be a result of both direct free-radical scavenging activity and increasing the activity of endogenous antioxidant © 2007 Elsevier Australia

systems (Bhattacharya et al 2000, Tri path i et al 1996). Administration of bacoside A reduced the effects of cigarette smoke in an animal model by increasing lactate dehydrogenase and its isoenzymes (Anbarasi et al 2005). Bacoside A has also been shown to reduce creatine kinase in brain and cardiac tissue, thus preventing smoking induced damage (Anbarasi et al 2005). An extract of brahmi provided protection against DNA damage in both animal cells (Russo et al 2003a) and human cells (Russo et al 2003b) in vitro. Dose-related increases in superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase activities in several important regions of the brain has been demonstrated in animal models (Bhattacharya et al 2000). Additionally, brahmi induces increased activity of superoxide dismutase and catalase in the liver (Kar et al 2002).

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