Bacopa Monnieri Supplement – Improve Memory and Mood

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This post was originally published on Nove 2018 and updated on May 15, 2019.

Introduction to Bacopa Monnieri

Bacopa Monnieri supplement is another natural nootropic, meaning it is plant based and extracted from the plant. Bacopa is time tested as it goes back many years and is one of the most well-known and used natural nootropics today. It is mainly used to increase your brain power naturally and to help against anxiety. The anti-anxiety effects decrease ones stress symptoms and at the same time creates a feeling of calmness. Having these qualities makes it a great general relaxant and quality sleep promoter. People who take Bacopa Monnieri wake up feeling fully rested and refreshed.

Benefits

Anti-Aging Benefits

Bacopa is also known for its anti-ageing attribute used in Indian medicine. What it has are antioxidant properties that protect our brain against stressors that cause cognitive deterioration as we age.

Stress Alleviation and Decrease in Anxiety

By its ability to reduce your stress symptoms, Bacopa, therefore, has a positive effect by reducing the effects of chronic stress.bacopa monnieri supplement

A lot of us fall under the category of chronic stress sufferers.  Society has changed and the expected demands are such that stress is with us much of the time.  You have long work hours and commute time, deadlines to meet and a family to tend to.

Current research on both human and animal studies shows us that the Bacopa Monierri supplement can help us with this stress because of its anxiolytic properties.

Though human studies on Bacopa’s anxiolytic potential are limited, those that exist are positive. A six-week study involving 54 healthy, non-demented volunteers over 65, Bacopa supplementation significantly reduced anxiety and depression. [1]

In a 12-week placebo-controlled study on 72 men and women between 30 and 60, the participants who took 450 mg of Bacopa daily scored significantly lower on state anxiety than their counterparts who took a placebo. [2]

Better Learning Ability

Bacopa has always been known to have the ability to increase our cognitive processing, making learning new things simpler and quicker. The ability to have better learning powers while under stress is another proven ability of Bacopa as well as claims being able to recall recently learned information much easier for example taken a test or student exams. This also includes children although I don’t condone feeding growing children supplements unless necessary and given the go-ahead by a physician.

A Memory Booster

When many people think of Bacopa, they think of memory enhancement and rightly so because it is the most well-known benefit of this herb.  You have to stick with it for a while as many studies have shown that memory improvements take up to 4 – 6 weeks before taking full effect, but when they do the results are significant. [3]

Another study looked at participants with age-related memory impairment and found that taking 125 mg sufficiently improves “various parameters of memory”. [4]

A 12-week double-blind study done in Australia at the Neuropsychology Laboratory at the School of Biophysical Science and Electrical Engineering gave participants 300 mg of Bacopa Monnieri per day and others received a placebo.

The tests given were performed at the 5 and the 12 week period in the study.  What was discovered was that there was a significant improvement with those taking Bacopa vs those taking the placebo.  This, researchers concluded showed that Bacopa Monnieri “may improve higher order cognitive processes that are critically dependent on the input of information from our environment such as learning and memory.” [5]

 

A Strong Antioxidant

Research has concluded many times over that Bacopa Monnieri (Brahmi) is a good antioxidant.  These antioxidants can prevent damage to cells from free radicals. [5]

Free radicals are unattached oxygen molecules that damage and age all cells, especially brain cells.

 

Alzheimer’s Disease & Dementia Treatment

Alzheimer’s patients have been known to respond well to natural treatments including Bacopa Monnieri. According to the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, it might even hold promise for preventing Alzheimer’s associated dementia. (6)

No high-quality human studies have been conducted, but animal research affords great results so far. For example, these research studies have found that bacopa improves cognition, reduces oxidative stress and may protect the brain from Alzheimer’s- and dementia-related symptoms. (7)

 

Bacopa Can Help With Childhood ADHD and Dyslexia

After most of my articles, I write that these supplements should not be given the children.  In this case, I won’t be saying that because unlike most other brain supplements, Bacopa has actually been studied in children.

We don’t really understand how, but Bacopa has been shown that it is a safe and effective natural treatment for children suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

One study showed that 85% of the children with ADHD who were given Bacopa experienced reduced symptoms of ADHS such as restlessness, self-control, impulsiveness and learning problems.   Not only that, but numerous studies on children and adults with Dyslexia found that Bacopa Monnieri was beneficial.

 

Bacopa Can Protection Against Memory Loss Caused by Medications

Bacopa can offset the memory loss caused by medications that are anticholinergic.

Anticholinergic drugs cause memory loss by blocking the action of acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter of memory and learning. (8)

You will know which drugs these are because of how common they are and that they start with “anti”.  They are antidepressants, antibiotics, antihistamines, antipsychotics, antihypertensives etc.

 

Increases in Brain Plasticity

What does brain plasticity actually mean?  It’s simple really.  It is the ability of our brain to grow, expand, change and form new neural pathways your whole life.  Bacopa helps with this.

It enhances brain plasticity by increasing true formation of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which is a protein that promotes the true formation of new brain cells as explained here. [9]

Brain plasticity is the brain’s ability to keep changing, growing, and forming new neural pathways throughout your lifetime.

 

Epilepsy Treatment

Brain cells sending out the wrong signals for whatever reason are a source of seizures.  There are many reasons people suffer seizures, one of which is Epilepsy.

There have been studies done on the effectiveness of Bacopa in fighting Epilepsy however these studies have been done only on animals to date.  The research on animals has been promising in that they suggest Bacopa Monnieri could be a natural treatment for Epilepsy.

The findings show that bacopa may regulate gene expression, helps correct the faulty reception of brain cells and helps increase GABA responses [10111213]

 

Blood Pressure Regulation

A recent animal study showed that bacopa might increase the human body’s utilization of nitric oxide and encourage vascular muscle function, two benefits that positively influence normal blood pressure. The Journal of Ethnopharmacology study concludes that, according to research studies, some Bacopa monnieri ingredients could be effective at naturally lowering blood pressure. (14)

 

How Bacopa Monnieri Works

Mood and Anti-Anxiety Benefits

Bacopa is a natural soother and it does this by regulating dopamine and serotonin. It stimulates serotonin while regulating the natural loss of dopamine. These are hormones that are involved in managing your mental energy and good feelings of euphoria. One of Bacopa’s active ingredients is an alkaloid called hersaponin. This produces a relaxing effect. Having this ability to manage these two hormones along with having the active ingredient hersaponin means bacopa can reduce symptoms of anxiety and stress all the while increasing better mood.

Researches have also proven that Bacoside-A which is one of Bacopa Monnieri’s primary active ingredients, can prevent Dopamine receptor dysfunction. Dopamine is a potent neurotransmitter bacopa monnieri supplement

responsible for the brain’s pleasure and reward system. Without enough dopamine, your motivation drops and you’re unable to experience pleasure from activities usually found enjoyable.

Cognitive Function and Memory Enhancement

Bacopa Monnieri promotes cognitive functions and memory by enhancing synaptic communication. It boosts the growth and proliferation of dendrites, the branched nerve cell extensions along which neural impulses pass, increasing neural signalling. This enhanced neural impulse transmission is key to cognitive improvement.

Bacoside-A has been proven to stimulate neurons and make synapses more receptive to nerve impulses. It also boosts the production of the enzyme TPH2 (Tryptophan Hydroxylase). This enzyme is extremely important to many central nervous system activities, including the biosynthesis of Serotonin. The total effects result in an amazing recall of information, memory, and a much easier time studying and organizing new facts.

Bacopa Monnieri also enhances the activity of kinases, proteins which regulate cellular pathways and in this way stimulates activity in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is integrally involved in almost all cognitive activities so this is probably one of the most important ways in which Bacopa Monnieri increases brain power.

 

Side Effects

This is a tried and true supplement has been around for hundreds of years. Thus it is very safe with no serious side effects. If you do feel any side effects they would likely be fatigue, dry mouth, and indigestion. Once your body gets used to the supplement.

These side effects are usually associated with taking high dosages above the recommended dose on a consistent basis.

Do not take Bacopa Monnieri if you are using prescription sedatives such as Valium, anti-depressants and thyroid medications.

If you are pregnant or planning on getting pregnant don’t take Bacopa. Studies have not been in this area.

All in all this supplement does have great nootropic qualities. It has been used for thousands of years all over the world for its benefits without any dangerous long term effects. It is considered a very safe supplement to take regularly without worry.

 

Bacopa Monnieri Stack Example

Ginkgo Biloba, Bacopa Monnieri & Lion’s Mane

This is a fairly good and simple all natural stack intended to boost your focus, memory and learning.  Based on the research done on these natural nootropic supplements you can see why this combination of nootropics should fit nicely.

This stack is certainly not a ‘take it and feel the effects’ stack.  Based on users who take it, some say it can take upwards of 12 weeks for you to feel the full effect.  Take it for the long haul.

For this stack, the most common combination is what is below.

After 12 weeks and if you aren’t getting the effect you desire you can just adjust the dosages.  Start upping your doses slowly about 50 mg at a time.  This stack is slow to take full effect so you need patience.

Dosage

This is a powerful natural nootropic and doses are not to be played around with. Bacopa Monnieri toxicity is a real threat if you take it in high doses. Supplements are still a form of medication.

This is especially important to understand as Bacopa Monnieri is not a fast-acting nootropic. Bacopa takes up to 8 weeks before the benefits become felt.bacopa monnieri supplement

You take between 200mg and 400mg per day. Divide this up and take it 3 times a day at 3 times a day intervals (morning, noon, evening). If you find yourself feeling the relaxing effect too much and you find yourself drowsy during the day, decrease the amount or take it in the morning and nighttime.

Start with the lowest dosage and work up slowly until you reach the desired effect, but do not go over the recommended dose.

You will find bacopa in capsule and powder form. Because it is fat soluble it is difficult to dissolve, but it can be dissolved in hot water or whatever hot drink you choose. Bacopa is also recommended to take just before eating a meal.

If you are unsure of how to take Bacopa Monnieri safely for yourself, you can find it as part of many nootropic stacks or you can look at my article New to Nootropics?. This way you can be sure the dose will not exceed what is recommended.

For example, there is 100mg of Bacopa Monnieri in Onnit Alpha Brain

You can also find it as a key ingredient in Neuro Ignite

[ratings]

 

33 thoughts on “Bacopa Monnieri Supplement – Improve Memory and Mood”

  1. Another great article! Bacopa sounds amazing, though I’d be super careful with the toxicity. I wonder if it might not be good to mix it into bulletproof coffee, which has fat in it. It might dissolve a little better in that mixture and would probably be really good and energizing.

  2. thanks for all this helpful and interesting information. I did know about this plant and the supplements made from it. So much benefits! I am looking forward to consume the supplement. I have been under too much stress lately and I have also lost concentration. I hope this works for me.

    Thanks for your help!

    • I hope it works for you too.  If not, there are others out there that may work.  Everyone is different so not every one works for every one.

  3. Lately like the last couple years my brain has felt tired.  Im sure anyone reading this knows what I am talking about.  I hadnt heard about nootropics until about a month ago.  I know I plan on trying them but first I have to get cleared by my Dr as I am a diabetic and wouldnt want to affect that.

    Thank yiu for another great article and I hope my Dr gets back to me soon.

    Dale

  4. Very interesting read. I have only recently stumbled upon the whole nootropics space, can’t believe I have missed this for so long! I have been trawling the internet trying to get my head around just what I should take and how much and then of course there’s the cost.

    I like the idea of this as it’s all natural. I don’t sleep well so maybe Bacopa could be the answer, but I’m thinking if I am going to take something perhaps I could get more benefits. 

    I think I’d more like to go with a mixed nootropics stack, something that has everything in it. Do you have one you use and recommend? There seems to be quite a few out there and I am looking for personal recommendations where I can. 

    Thanks for any help.

  5. This is such a crazy supplement! im really intrersted in this kind of stuff, it sounds like it does amazing things. Im definetly going to have to try this one out. Have you personally tried it? or do you know if there is any supplements you cant take this with? Thanks for the great read ill definatley be following for more information!

    • Yes I do take it from time to time and it really does help.  

      As far as other supplements, no there aren’t any that you should stay away from when taking Bacopa.

  6. Hey there,

    I’ve never heard of this supplement, and I’m curious about it.  It seems a great supplement to try, but I’m worried about the side effects. So, I’d like to ask how would you compare it to other similar supplements such as sea buckthorn, bee royal jelly or bee pollen?

    Thanks!

    Marios

    • fatigue, dry mouth, and indigestion are the only side effects I know about and they are generally associated with higher amounts or when new to taking it.

  7. Bacopa Monnieri sounds like the magic potion that I need to improve my mood and anxiety. I prefer to take natural products because I think there are always less side effects. 

    I see you wrote its not safe for a pregnant woman but is it safe for breastfeeding? Also do you know if I can get this supplement in the UK?

    • It is available in the UK yes.

      As far as breast feading I wouldn’t.  I think warnings about pregnancy and breast feeding go hand in hand from me anyway.  The drug will get into the baby through the breast milk and we don’t want that.

  8. This is great Stew. I really did not know that bacopa has that many benefits for human body. I heard that this type of supplements are getting more and more popular. I would get one for my mom as I have read that it is good for memory boost. Can type-2 diabetics use this supplement?

    • Can type 2 diabetics use this?  As far as I know, but I am not a doctor and would not want to say for sure.  For that I would defer to a physician

  9. After reading your post, I can’t help but found myself google the origin o the plants. I am from Thailand but I have never seen this herb. According to wikipedia, this plant can grow underwater, that’s why it looks so familiar! The benefits and properties sounds amazing. I am going to give it a try since I can use supplements that will reduce my stress. I am pro nature as long as it is not modern medicine I am willing to give it a try. 

    Happy Holidays

  10. This sounds like the perfect supplement for me 😀  I don’t suffer from memory loss, but heck I have over 50 and I am always wanting to stay focused and not to lose my memory.  Will this help fight off the symptoms or Alzheimer’s, or just help those who currently suffer memory loss of some form?

    • It may help with prevention of the dementia associated with Alzheimer’s, but for now we know it is the symptoms./

      Thx for the comment.  I appreciate it

  11. Thank you for the information about Bacopa. This is the first time I am knowing about this. my interest in it arises because I am 66 years old and my husband is experiencing the early stages of Parkinson’s and my challenge is insomnia. Based on the description of how it works , it sounds like something that might help him ( with doctor’s advice). We both drink gingko tea from time to time, but this Bacopa definitely looks like something to check out. Thanks for this valuable information

  12. My husband and I are using Ginko Biloba for many years now and we are quite satisfied with the outcome.

    Reading your article I really wasn’t aware of all the benefits for me it was just some “good” memory boost. Learning about this plant and all its benefits was quite an eye-opener.

    However, I was pleasantly surprised that it can be given to children with ADHD condition and since one of my grandchildren does fall into this category, I certainly will talk to the parents.

    I do know, that it can take quite some time for the substance to build up in your system but, as you have said, just keep it up and stick with it for a while.

    Thanks for sharing all the information I have saved it. 🙂

    • Yes, be patient.  Many people give up on it and miss the benefits because they can’t wait for a quick fix.  

      It is one of the few that have been tested on children and proved to be safe.

  13. Highly useful and informative post, I have heard about this product a couple of times but I never knew it contains so much useful supplements, I will surely share this post with my friend who is battling memory loss. I hope this works perfectly well for him. Does it really leads to indigestion in the body? 

  14. Great info!! Excellent content.

    I appreciate your thoroughness on every subject, You really take the time for research.

    Herbs improve the health of specific organs & the body as a whole and restore health.

    The body is then able to perform all the physiological functions needed.

    Bacopa will have positive results with “short term memory”.

    In India Bacopa is rarely used in combination with other adaptogens such as ashwagandha.

     Is it safe to take Bacopa with Ashwagandha?

    Have a nice day,

    Leo

    • Both bacopa and ashwagandha have similar properties and as a result will work together to enhance those benefits without negative effects

  15. Bacopa is commonly used for Alzheimer’s disease, improving memory, anxiety, and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) among many other uses like memory enhancement  But there is limited scientific research to support these uses because it does have some side effects like slow down the heartbeat. This could be a problem in people who already have a slow heart rate.the right dosage should always be taken.

  16. Hello Stew,Looking at the photo I can affirm that the Bacopa-Brahmi herb grows in my lands in a wild way in certain areas. 

    Welcome to all the incredible properties and benefits to improve our health. 

    Your article details very well all its characteristics being very opportune to use it as alternative medicine. 

    I will make a consultation with my personal doctor before making the purchase. 

    Regards! Claudio

  17. Hi Stew – well, who wouldn’t want to reduce stress and have a brain boost! 🙂  I’m getting  on in years – argh! – and although I’m slowing down more physically than mentally, I work with my brain so losing congnition is a concern, especially as older members of my family had memory impairment problems.

    Back in the day I took a lot of supplements which were supposed to provide a range of physical and mental beneftis. I stopped them all except Vitamin C after a year as I felt no different.  This was long before I’d heard of nootropics but my collection did include Ginko Biloba.

    Can you quantify by how much you might see an improvemnt in any of the beneficial areas? A small percenttage improvement will probbly not be noticeable, even thought researchers may count it as an improvement.

    Thank you,ian

    • That is difficult to do as everyone is different.  A lot of people feel quite a bit of the effect and improve quite a bit in the areas the nootropic targets.

      Others have to try a couple before they find the one that works and then it could be subtle.  Who knows

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