Bacopa Monnieri: 15 Amazing Benefits Of This Nootropic

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• Fact Checked By: Spela Bednjanic, B.A. In Psychology

Bacopa monnieri is a perennial herb with nootropic benefits. But is it safe supplementing Bacopa? How about the side effects? And where can you buy it? Check out my full Bacopa Monnieri review here.

Bacopa monnieri (Brahmi) is a herb initially used in traditional Indian medicine. It is known for improving cognition and memory formation. It has also been used to treat Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety, ADHD, and many other conditions. Because of its brain function benefits, it is also commonly used as a nootropic.

Read on for more about the health benefits of this nootropic.

bacopa monnieri

What Is Bacopa Monnieri?

Bacopa monnieri is a non-aromatic herb native to Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, and America. This herb is grown commercially as a medicinal and nootropic herb. It mainly grows in swamps.

History

Bacopa Monnieri is a herb with a long history and many different uses. It was first mentioned in the 6th Century as a substance that helped ancient scholars memorize long and difficult books.

Since then, it has been widely used in traditional Indian medicine called Ayurveda. [1]

Bacopa Monnieri, also known as Brahmi and water hyssop, has been known to improve cognition and memory formation and used to support the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety, ADHD, epilepsy, and many other conditions. [2]

“How?” you may ask.

Several studies proved that Bacopa Monnieri consists of neuroprotective and memory-restoring ingredients that prevent the degradation of lipids, cell death, and stress by facilitating neuronal activity and blood flow in the brain.

It also elevates levels of serotonin receptors and therefore promotes information encoding and neuron communication.

Moreover, it has been recognized as a substance that helps grow dendrites (nerve endings). [3]

Bacopa is also great for:

  • improving memory formation
  • reducing stress
  • reducing anxiety
  • improving cognitive brain functions

Let’s look at the benefits in more detail.

Bacopa Monnieri Benefits

The health benefits of Brahmi range from improved memory and neuroprotective effects to the improved immune system. Continue reading to discover all research-backed Bacopa benefits.

1. Improved Memory

Many studies have shown that taking Bacopa Monnieri for a more extended period improves memory.

Interestingly enough, positive effects are recognized among healthy people and also those in cognitive decline.

One study showed that supplementing Bacopa Monnieri improved spatial learning and the ability to retain information. [4]

But this amusing herb needs a little bit of your patience. The first results can only be seen after 4-6 weeks of use. [1]

A review of five studies found Bacopa monnieri improves language skills in children, including vocabulary, spelling, processing sounds, and understanding words. [5]

Another double-blind placebo-controlled randomized trial show improved spatial memory, working memory, and rapid visual processing in 90 days of supplementing Bacopa. [6]

2. Decreased Anxiety And Stress

Bacopa Monnieri helps people with anxiety. It won’t diminish it, but Bacopa’s compounds will lower its levels and provide you with relief. [1]

This herb is an adaptogenic herb, which by default means it can increase the body’s resistance to stress. [7]

It has been shown Bacopa can reduce our levels of cortisol and has anti-anxiety effects.

Actually, when Bacopa was compared to prescription medication, it showed being equally effective. [8]

Supplementing Bacopa Monnieri will help you stay calm while pursuing your busy schedule, checking things off the day’s to-do list, and managing other activities.

But this benefit is not a benefit for everyone though.

If you are generally a very relaxed person or don’t experience much stress, taking Bacopa Monnieri as a supplement may cause you to be slightly less motivated or even lazy. [1]

3. Antioxidant And Anti-Inflammatory Benefits

Bacopa Monnieri contains compounds that provide antioxidant effects. [9] The role of antioxidants is to protect your cells against damage and free radicals. In addition, Bacopa protects cells against DNA damage and cell toxicity, which can lead to Alzheimer’s disease.

Actually, a study showed that bacosides, the main active compounds in Bacopa, have been shown to neutralize free radicals. [10]

Another study showed that treating rats (that have dementia) with Bacopa Monnieri reduced reversed signs of memory impairment and improved their health status. [11]

But that’s not all.

This study showed that Bacopa Monnieri is as effective as prescription drugs that provide anti-inflammatory effects.

4. Antidepressant Effects

Supplementing Bacopa Monnieri extract has antidepressant effects. Bacopa increases brain serotonin, dopamine, and BNDF, which all play a role in depression. [12]

5. Dyslexia And ADHD Benefits

Positive effects of Bacopa Monnieri have been seen in 120 children diagnoses with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). They were given a Bacopa Monnieri extract which improved their attention, impulse control, and cognition. [13]

Other studies on children with ADHD showed similar results. [14]

Besides, preliminary studies show that Bacopa Monnieri is beneficial for treating dyslexia. [15]

6. Cognitive Benefits

Cognition includes all mental processes regarding gaining knowledge and comprehension.

I’ve mentioned Bacopa Monnier’s effects on memory before. Besides that, it also improves overall cognition. That’s why it is also widely used with patients that have Alzheimer’s disease. [16]

And even if you are a completely healthy individual, your cognition, thinking, and recalling information may improve if you take Bacopa Monnieri supplement.

For example, one study showed that supplementing Bacopa improved spatial learning and the ability to retain information. [17]

Another study in 46 healthy adults observed that taking Bacopa Monnieri extract daily drastically improved visual processing information, learning rate, and memory.

7. Anti-Cancer Benefits

We are still in the early research stage, but initial studies show that Bacopa Monnieri contains anti-cancer compounds.

Do you remember the bacosides that we mentioned before?

It has been shown that bacosides destroy brain tumor cells and stop colon and breast cancer growth. [19] [20]

Experts believe that extremely high levels of active compounds in Bacopa Monnieri are responsible for such health benefits.

8. Liver Protection

Bacopa Monnieri protects against morphine liver damage. [21] Other studies show that it also protects against acetaminophen-induced liver damage. It does so by raising antioxidant levels. [22]

9. Antifungal Activity

Bacopa inhibits Staphylococcus aureus (staph) Vibro cholerae, Salmonella, E. coli, and H. pylori. It is also beneficial against black mold and candida. [2324]

10. Gut Health

Bacopa has been traditionally used for stomach disorders and constipation. [25] It also helps people who suffer from diarrhea. [26]

Bacopa also had anti-ulcer effects in rats. [27]

And if you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), supplementing Bacopa Monnieri extract may help. [28]

11. Menstrual Cycles Effects

Bacopa Monnieri is traditionally given to women with irregular menstrual cycles. [29] A positive effect of Bacopa Monnieri has also been shown in postmenopausal women. Bacopa extract lowered blood pressure, improved cholesterol, and even reduced insomnia. [30]

12. Immune Support

Bacopa Monnieri has been shown to improve immune health. It has been traditionally used in Ayurveda for immune support. [31]

13. Allergy And Asthma

Rats studies show that Bacopa Monnieri provides asthma relief. [32] Brahmi has been used for treating Asthma in traditional Indian medicine. [33]

In regards to allergy, Bacopa Monnieri reduces the production of histamine. [34] Histamine is an organic compound that is involved in the body’s allergic response. [35]

14. Lowered Blood Pressure

Limited human data shows a possibility that Bacopa Monnieri could reduce blood pressure in individuals. This possibility is based on the following studies:

  1. A Bacopa Monnieri extract reduced LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure in postmenopausal women [36]
  2. Bacopa Monnieri also reduced blood pressure in rats [37]

With more research, we will be able to confirm the effects of Bacopa on blood pressure.

15. Protection Against Heart Disease

When Bacopa was given to rats, it protected against heart damage. [38] Bacopa also protects against biochemical changes and heart valve issues. The study was done on rats who had high cholesterol. [39]

How Does Bacopa Work?

Bacopa Monnieri has been used for centuries in traditional Indian medicine. In the beginning, doctors used the whole plant, but they later switched to the ghee-based emulsion. Today, most people supplement Bacopa Monnieri in capsules. Those capsules usually include a potent extract of the whole plant. 

The most important element of the extract are bacosides, which are the potent compounds that provide the mentioned benefits. Supplements contain an extract with 20-55% of bacosides. The higher is better.

Bacopa works by providing antioxidants, decreasing inflammation, and boosting the immune system. It reduces oxidative stress and oxidative damage, which consequently improves your body’s natural defense system. [42]

Specifically, Bacopa reduces hydrogen peroxide levels and lipid peroxidation. They have been associated with inflammation and cell damage. [43]

Bacopa Monnieri also balances your neurotransmitters. It impacts three important neurotransmitters – dopamine, serotonin, and acetylcholine. They are essential for your well-being, sleep, mood, learning, and memory. Animal studies show that Bacopa balances stress hormone levels like corticosterone and noradrenaline. [44] We lack studies to confirm this effect on people.

Lastly, it was confirmed that Bacopa improves learning, memory, relaxation, mood, and sleep. It does so not only by impacting the neurotransmitters but also by increasing cerebral blood flow. [45] In addition, Bacopa also affects the levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).

BDNF is associated with lower levels of depression and increase neuroplasticity. [46] BDNF also protects your nervous system against injury or brain damage.

As you can see, Bacopa Monnieri has several mechanisms of work.

But how exactly should you supplement it for the best results?

Bacopa Monnieri Dosage

The standard dosage of Bacopa Monnieri is 300 mg of the extract per day.

When consuming it, take into account that there is only about 55% of active compound bacoside.

You can take it in the form of a tablet, capsule, or powder, whatever suits you best.

Keep in mind that Bacopa Monnieri is fat-soluble, so it better absorbs if you take it with healthy fats. Also, Bacopa Monnieri can cause nausea, cramps, and other digestion irregularities when taken on an empty stomach.

Since Bacopa can reduce your motivation, I recommend supplementing it in the afternoon.

Before you start supplementing it, consult your doctor.

Bacopa Monnieri Side Effects

Bacopa Monnieri can cause a few side effects if not taken as advised.

The most common side effects are:

  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • cramping
  • bloating

You can decrease the risks of side effects by taking Bacopa Monnieri with a meal or after it.

Some also report feeling lazy or unmotivated after taking it due to its relaxing anti-stress ingredients.

Apart from that, Bacopa Monnieri has low toxicity and is considered safe. [40] No studies are showing any serious clinical, neurological, or hematological complications when supplementing Bacopa. [41]

Bacopa Monnieri Reviews

Before supplementing a specific nootropic it is always good to check out what other users say about it.

During my research, I found many positive reviews of users supplementing Bacopa Monnieri.

"I love the de-stressing and anxiolytic effects of an extract of Bacopa Monniera, and I do believe it also increased my cognition."

"Absolutely love effects of bacopa monnieri, I have been taking it on and off for a couple of years. When I first was taking it, I was having stomach issues that I thought was due do the Bacopa but am pretty sure I found the suspect and it isn't Bacopa."

"I have a bad memory, and ADHD so decided to give it a try. I can't believe how clear my head is! It takes a little while to take effect, but it is amazing!"

"I think I noticed an improvement in my memory and usually I am pretty disbelieving in supplements. Started getting headaches all the time though so I stopped taking it and so did the headaches."

Where To Buy Bacopa Monnieri?

Bacopa Monnieri is available and commonly sold via online supplement and nootropic vendors.

I prefer supplementing Bacopa Monnieri with other effective herbs and nootropics. I recommend buying an advanced brain supplement that contains Bacopa.

My favorite one is Mind Lab Pro.

Mind Lab Pro Recommendation

Most Bacopa supplements supply only a limited spectrum extract of Bacopa Monnier’s bio-active parts.

In Mind Lab Pro, Bacopa Monnieri delivers promising effects alongside ten other high-quality ingredients.

Click here to read more about it.

Your Inception Final Recommendation

Your Inception recommends supplementing Bacopa Monnieri.

After years of reviewing and experimenting with nootropics, we believe Bacopa Monnieri is one of the top 5 nootropics that we’d like to have included in every brain supplement. There are many reasons for that.

Bacopa Monnieri is an adaptogen herb, which makes it a great relaxing agent.

Besides, it provides a whole list of benefits, it has been used for ages, and it’s a tremendous cognitive booster.

Bacopa Monnieri is a safe nootropic, but you need to supplement it for 4-5 weeks to get the benefits.

We love it, and we’ll be recommending it to all people in the future.

Frequently asked questions

1. What is Bacopa Monnieri good for?

Bacopa Monnieri is good for improving memory, helping with anxiety and ADHD, treating Alzheimer’s disease, enhancing cognition, and for several other uses.

2. Does Bacopa Monnieri interact with any medicine?

No, as we currently know, Bacopa Monnieri does not interact with any medicine. Do consult your doctor if you are taking any kind of medicine. 

3. What does Bacopa do for the brain?

Bacopa provides multiple antioxidants to the brain, which serve as neuroprotective agents.

4. Should you take Bacopa before bed?

Yes, you can try supplementing Bacopa before bed due to its anti-anxiety effects. However, I achieved the best results when supplementing it in the morning with other nootropics.

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