Bacopa Monnieri benefits have been used to treat memory and brain-related disorders for thousands of years. This plant is thought to be so beneficial to the mind that it’s been a staple of traditional Ayurvedic medicine in India since seemingly forever!
What is Bacopa Monnieri?
Bacopa Monnieri plant is native to India, where has been used for more than 3000 years. Its name comes from Brahman (as the creator god of the Hindu pantheon of deities), which means “pure conscience”, as it soothes the mind and promotes meditation. As a matter of fact, this plant is also called “Brahmi”.
This plant is extremely rich in antioxidants and has been used for centuries, in order to improve cognitive functions such as attention, memory, and mental reflexes. It also boosts physical resistance.
For therapeutic purposes you use the whole dried plant. Its main components are: saponins, steroids and alkaloids. This plant directly affects the cognitive sphere, neuronal transmission and the hippocampus.
The hippocampus is that part of our brain that plays a key role in how knowledge is obtained and is associated primarily with memory. It belongs to the limbic system and is extremely important in the consolidation of information from short-term memory to long-term memory.
Due to its properties, Bacopa is considered a powerful herbal nootropic.
Nootropic – a substance that enhances cognition and memory and facilitates learning. (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary)
Bacopa Monnieri main benefits
#1 Memory and cognitive functions
Several research studies support taking a Bacopa Monnieri extract as a cognitive and memory enhancer.
The main bioactive compounds of the Bacopa Monnieri plant are Bacosides, which are processed in the body into a large set of secondary metabolites that broadly improve overall brain function by promoting the growth of new connections between neurons.
For thousands of years it has been used to boost brain functions, learning, memory, concentration, motivation and to treat logic and speech difficulties.
Studies carried out on elderly individuals taking Bacopa Monnieri, showed attention improvement and improved verbal skills.
Taking Bacopa consistently may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease and dementia and improve cognitive functions. It has antioxidant benefits and is helpful to reduce the oxidative stress of our brain cells.
#2 Bacopa to help children and adolescents
Since memory and brain activity benefit from Bacopa, it improves learning at school in children and adolescents, promotes curiosity and learning new things.
It has also proved helpful in treating behavioral disorders and pediatric hyperactivity.
#3 Resistance to physical and emotional stress
Taking a Bacopa Monnieri extract may improve resistance to stress and soothe nervous breakdown.
#5 Cough, cold, bronchitis.
Applying a Bacopa poultice on the thorax may soothe cough.
#6 Pain-killer and anti-inflammatory benefits
Bacopa could be very helpful to alleviate chronic and acute pain, and is especially useful to soothe joint pains and headache. In this case it is used as a local plaster. In some cases, a bacopa supplement may be an even more effective pain-killer than aspirin.
#7 Lowers blood pressure
Synergy with other plants
Bacopa is a very effective plant, though sometimes, in order to boost its effect, it may be used together with other plants.
The most frequent synergies with the following plants:
- Griffonia used in case of asthenia and sleep disorders; it also regulates the mood and nervous hunger (emotional eating). In synergy with Bacopa, it battles anxiety and boosts intellectual performances.
- Gingko Biloba, a plant boosting blood circulation, especially brain blood circulation. Gingko Biloba has beneficial effects on memory and attention and, if used together with Bacopa, it may positively affect cognitive disorders in elderly patients.
- Ginseng, tonic for the whole body, roborant. If used together with Bacopa, it battles physical and nervous breakdown.
Doses and administration
You can take Bacopa as capsules, even in synergy with other plants. As for the dose, the best option is to always seek for medical advice. Bacopa usually shows its effectiveness in a short time, though it is advisable to follow two-month treatments and suspend the assumption for 20 days.
Are there any contraindications or side effects of Bacopa?
Bacopa extracts are considered SAFE for adults when taken by mouth appropriately and short-term, up to 12 weeks. The most common side effects may be upset stomach and diarrhea.
Some other not so common side effects may include:
- increased bowel movements,
- stomach cramps,
- dry mouth,
- increased fluid secretions in the lungs, stomach, and intestines
- slower heart rate (bradycardia),
- drowsiness and
The unknown pregnancy safety of this plant makes it unsuitable for pregnant women.
Bacopa has been a star of traditional Ayurvedic healing for centuries. Now modern-day research continues to confirm bacopa’s benefits of improving and positively changing not just mental abilities like memory and learning, but also mental health like depression and anxiety.
Resources: draxe, webmd, pubmed
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