- 1 Introduction to Bacopa Monnieri
- 2 Benefits
- 2.1 Anti-Aging Benefits
- 2.2 Stress Alleviation and Decrease in Anxiety
- 2.3 Better Learning Ability
- 2.4 A Memory Booster
- 2.5 A Strong Antioxidant
- 2.6 Alzheimer’s Disease & Dementia Treatment
- 2.7 Bacopa Can Help With Childhood ADHD and Dyslexia
- 2.8 Bacopa Can Protection Against Memory Loss Caused by Medications
- 2.9 Increases in Brain Plasticity
- 2.10 Epilepsy Treatment
- 2.11 Blood Pressure Regulation
- 3 How Bacopa Monnieri Works
- 4 Side Effects
- 5 Bacopa Monnieri Stack Example
- 6 Dosage
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.
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.
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. 
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. 
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. 
Another study looked at participants with age-related memory impairment and found that taking 125 mg sufficiently improves “various parameters of memory”. 
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.” 
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. 
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. 
Brain plasticity is the brain’s ability to keep changing, growing, and forming new neural pathways throughout your lifetime.
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.
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 neurotransmitterresponsible 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.
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.
- Lion’s Mane – 500 mg, once per day
- Gingko Biloba – 240 mg, once per day
- Bacopa Monnieri – 100 mg, twice per day
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.
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.
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