Bacopa monnieri (usually just referred to as bacopa) is a great supplement for relaxation. It is most commonly known for its mood enhancing and anti-inflammatory effects, however, Bacopa monnieri shows potential in improving a wide variety of disorders. Read on to discover all the great benefits of Bacopa monnieri.
What is Bacopa Monnieri?
Bacopa monnieri is a creeping herb native to wetlands of southern India, Australia, Europe, Africa, Asia, and North and South America. It is a medicinal herb used in Ayurveda, where it is known as “Brahmi” after “Brahma”, the creator God of the Hindu pantheon and“Jalanimba” in India .
Bacopa monnieri was initially described around the 6th century A.D. in texts such as the Charaka Samhita, Atharva-Veda, and Susrut Samhita as a “Medhyarasayana”–class herb taken to sharpen intellect and attenuate mental deficits. The herb was allegedly used by ancient Vedic scholars to memorize lengthy sacred hymns and scriptures.
- Great for reducing anxiety and relaxation
- Good for cognitive enhancement
- Good anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant
- Has anti-fertility effects and
- Can make you more tired if you’re living on a stress response to stay awake
- Doesn’t taste good and can cause a bit of nausea or stomach upset
Bacopa Monnieri Benfits
Finally, bacopa had a significant protective effect on H2O2 induced DNA damage in human fibroblasts .
Mechanism: Bacopa’s antioxidant activity has been shown to be via metal chelation at the initiation level and also as a lipid peroxidation chain action breaker .
Alcoholic extracts of Bacopa demonstrated significant anti-arthritic activity .
Mechanism: Bacopa inhibits COX (Cyclooxygenase) and LOX (Lipoxygenase) and decreases TNF-α (Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha) .Bacopa inhibits inflammation through modulation of pro-inflammatory mediator release .
3) Reduces Stress/Anxiety
Bacopa reduced retrograde amnesia produced by immobilization-induced stress in healthy humans .
Bacopa is a component of “Perment”, a herbal formulation which is effective for stress and depression in humans .
Bacopa showed antidepressant activity when tested on forced swimming and tail suspension in mice .
4) Enhances Memory
Bacopa is traditionally used for enhancing learning and memory .
Bacopa extract had positive effects on learning and memory following 12 weeks of administration in post-menopausal women (Pilot study) .
An Australian survey showed Bacopa to be one of the most popular aids for memory among 60-64-year-old consumers .
Bacopa improved memory free recall in human subjects with dementia or significant cognitive impairment (RCTs) .
Bacopa showed a significant effect on the retention of new information and also decreased the rate of forgetting newly acquired information in humans (DB-RCT) .
Bacopa had memory- and learning-enhancing effects on long-term dosing in patients with anxiety neurosis (DB-RCT) .
Bacopa was effective against the scopolamine-induced impairment of spatial memory in mice .
Bacopa reversed diazepam-induced amnesia in mice .
5) May Prevent Heart Disease
Bacopa (as a component of Protandim) decreases the abnormal growth of normal cells (hyperplasia) in human saphenous veins which are widely used for bypass grafts .
Bacopa extract was able to dissolve clots in experimental organisms, hence could be a promising “thrombolytic agent” .
Bacopa is a component of a herbal formulation (DHC-1) which had a protective effect against damaged heart in rats .
Bacopa (Brahmi) could be an effective antihypertensive and vasodilator in various artery types .
Bacopa may provide protection on various biochemical changes and aortic pathology in rats with high cholesterol .
Mechanism: Blood pressure reducing activity is partly by releasing Nitric Oxide from the endothelium .
6) Protects the Brain
Bacopa is known as an effective “brain food” as it nourishes the brain and improves intelligence and memory .
An oil prepared with Bacopa is used for habitual headaches in humans .
Bacopa (Bacosides) is effective against age-related chronic neuroinflammation in the rat brain .
Bacopa protected neurons from beta-amyloid-induced cell death in primary cortical cultures .
Bacopa has a protective effect on methylmercury-induced oxidative stress in the cerebellum of rats .
Bacopa (Bacosides) aids in the repair of damaged neurons .
Bacopa exerts a protective effect against DNA damage in astrocytes (a star-shaped glial cell of the CNS) .
Mechanism: Bacopa enhanced protein kinase activity and increased protein in the hippocampus of humans .
7-9) May Help Neurodegenerative Conditions: Huntington’s, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s
Bacopa is a potential anti-Parkinsonian agent (reduces alpha-synuclein aggregation, prevents dopaminergic neurodegeneration and restores the lipid content in nematodes) .
Alcoholic extract of Bacopa might be helpful in reducing 6-OHDA (6-HydroxyDopamine) induced lesioning in Parkinsonian rat models .
Bacopa extract reduces beta-amyloid deposits in the brain of an Alzheimer’s disease animal model .
10-11) Improves ADHD and Dyslexia
Standardized extract of Bacopa was found to be effective in reducing the symptoms of ADHD and was well-tolerated by the children .
Bacopa is effective in the management of Dyslexia (reading disorder) in children .
12) May Help Cognitive Decline in Schizophrenia
Mechanism: Bacopa has the ability to reduce Nitric Oxide-induced cellular alterations in neurological disorders .
Bacopa enhances kinase activity, neuronal synthesis, restoration of synaptic activity and nerve impulse transmission .
13) For Bronchitis/Asthma
A hot soft moist mass of Bacopa is applied for Bronchitis and chest ailments in children .
14) Balances The Immune System
Bacopa (BacoMind) protects human lymphocytes against various agents which damage DNA .
Bacopa slightly suppressed splenocyte proliferation and decreased T-Lymphocyte proliferation in rats .
Bacopa is effective in managing diseases involving chronic brain inflammation driven by the innate immune system .
Bacopa is used to treat enlargement of the spleen .
Bacopa (Brahmi) reversed the age-related increase in lipid peroxidation in the spleen cells of both early-middle-aged and old rats .
Bacopa (Bacosine) reversed the weight loss in diabetic rats, returning the values to near normal .
Bacopa (Bacosine) increased glycogen content in the liver of diabetic rats and glucose utilization in the diaphragm of diabetic rats .
Bacopa showed antimicrobial activity against Vibrio cholera .
Bacopa showed anti-Helicobacter pylori (a bacterium associated with chronic gastric ulcers) activity .
Alcoholic leaf extract of Bacopa exhibited antibacterial activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumonia and E.coli .
Alcoholic (diethyl ether) extract of Bacopa had a maximum inhibitory effect against Staphylococcus aureus and Proteus vulgaris .
Bacopa has a broad spectrum of antibacterial activity against other bacteria like Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus cereus, Salmonella typhi and Proteus vulgaris .
Bacopa leaf extract along with Azadirachta seeds showed antibacterial activity against Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi, the causative organism of Typhoid fever .
Bacopa plant extract is taken to treat gonorrhea .
17) May Help Prevent Cancer
Oral administration of an alcoholic extract of Bacopa slowed the development of solid tumors .
Bacopa may be a possible chemoprotective agent against colon cancer .
Bacopa (Bacoside A) is effective in preventing N-nitrosodiethylamine (DEN) induced liver cancer and may play a role in preventing this cancer .
Bacopa can protect human brain cancer (neuroblastoma) cells against H2O2 and acrolein .
Alcoholic extract of Bacopa whole plant was active against human breast cancer cell lines .
Bacopa (Stigmasterol) had a protective effect against Ehrlich Ascites Carcinoma in mice .
Alcoholic extract of Bacopa has anti-tumor activity against Daltons Lymphoma Ascites (DLA) .
Bacopa extract promotes the antioxidant status, reduces the rate of lipid peroxidation and the markers of tumor progression in the fibrosarcoma bearing rats .
Bacopa inhibited the proliferation of cells in human carcinoma of the larynx .
Mechanism: Bacopa may be effective against DLA due to its radiomimetic, nucleotoxic and cytotoxic effect. It also inhibits cell division .
Studies also suggest Bacopa’s ability to prevent cancer is by preventing DNA replication of cancer cell lines .
Bacopa (cucurbitacins) has anti-tumorigenic activity by inducing cell cycle arrest at the G2/M phase and formation of multiplied cells .
18) Promotes Longevity
Bacopa prevents the formation of malondialdehyde and lipofuscin, which are the indicators of aging .
The imbalance between oxidants and antioxidants during aging can be minimized by Bacopa .
Bacopa promoted longevity in worms .
19) Helps Protect the Gut
Fresh juice of Bacopa was earlier reported to have anti-ulcer properties. 
Mechanism: Bacopa extract may protect the gut due to its predominant effect on mucosal defensive factors. 
20) Has an Antifatigue effect
21) Is a Mild Sedative
Bacopa has a mild sedative property .
Bacopa plant has been studied for its sedative effect in dogs and frogs .
22) May Help Protect the Liver
It significantly inhibited Alkaline Phosphatase (a marker of liver damage) and bilirubin levels in rats .
Alcoholic extract of Bacopa also exerted a liver protective effect against morphine , Nitrobenzene , N-Nitrosodiethylamine  and “ferrous sulfate cumene hydroperoxide”  induced liver injury in rats.
23) May Help With Muscle Growth
Bacopa (Ecdysterone) has a muscle growth promoting effect on mice, rats, and pigs .
Bacopa extract prevented smooth muscle spasms in rabbits and guinea pigs by inhibiting calcium influx (via both voltage and receptor-operated calcium channels of the cell membrane) .
24) Promotes Hair Growth
Bacopa (leaves) is a component of a Herbal oil which showed excellent hair growth activity .
Bacopa (as a component of a herbal formulation) also significantly decreased hair loss in animals .
Alcoholic extracts of Bacopa, Emblica officinalis, and Cyperus rotundus are useful in treating “Indralupta” (hair loss) in rats .
Mechanism: Bacopa promotes hair growth by an enlargement of follicular size and prolongation of the anagen phase .
25) Relieves Pain and Fever
26-28) Helps With Histamine Intolerance, Respiratory Problems, and Allergies
Bacopa produced significant inhibition of carbachol-induced lung constriction in rats .
Mechanism: Bacopa possess Broncho-vasodilatory activity, which is attributed mainly to the inhibition of calcium ions . Bronchodilatory property shown by Bacopa extract is reflected by a reduction in exhaling pressure .
29) Protects Against Cigarette Smoke Damage
Bacopa (Bacoside A) has a protective effect against chronic smoking-induced toxicity and can protect the brain from the toxic effects of cigarette smoking in rats .
Bacopa extract upgrades various impairments associated with neuronal and physiological changes in rats exposed to smoke from fireworks .
30) Protects the Kidney and is a Diuretic
Bacopa is used as a diuretic (increases urine flow) .
Bacopa extract exerted protection against morphine-induced kidney toxicity in rats .
31) Good For Skin Health
Bacopa (Brahmi) is traditionally used in the treatment of blisters, itching and skin diseases .
Bacopa (Bacoside A) was found to enhance wound healing of the skin in rats .
Bacopa is also used to treat ringworm (a skin infection caused by a fungus) .
The wound healing activity of Bacopa (Bacoside A) was more effective in various wound models compared to the standard skin ointment Nitrofurazone (in rats) .
32) May Reduce Morphine Dependence
Bacopa (Bacoside) has potential benefits in the treatment of Morphine Dependence in mice .
33) Increases Thyroid Hormones
The fresh whole plant of Bacopa is crushed and juice is taken along with cows milk for treating irregular menstrual cycles .
36) Effective for Snake Bite
Fresh root decoction of Bacopa has traditionally been used as an antidote for snake-bites and scorpion stings .
Bacopa powder (except the root portion) about 1 teaspoonful is given (with warm goat milk or black tea) as an antidote for snake bite  about 30 ml infusion is administered orally as an antidote for Cobra bite .
37) Prevents Convulsions and Epilepsy
Bacopa is a component of “Mentat” syrup which is used to treat children with febrile convulsions .
Bacopa had a potential protective effect on cognitive deficit associated with PHT (Phenytoin) therapy in mice .
Extract of Bacopa and rosemary is more neuroprotective than each of the extracts individually .
Bacopa Side Effects, Cautions, and Toxicity
Bacopa (Brahmi) treatment inhibited fertility and caused a suppression of sperm creation that was reversible –without producing toxic effects in male mice .
Bacopa was found to be safe and well tolerated by normal healthy male human volunteers in a single dose (20-300 mg) and multiple doses (100 and 200 mg) .
No-observed adverse effect level of 500 mg/kg body weight was established in rats .
Active Chemical Constituents
Steroidal saponins and Bacosides A and B are the active chemical constituents responsible for improving both learning and memory .
- Increases enzyme tryptophan hydroxylase-2 (TPH2) .
- Increases Serotonin Transporter (SERT) .
- Increases Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) .
- Increases Catalase and Glutathione peroxidase .
- Increases Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) .
- Increases Catalase (CAT) .
- Increases Glutathione peroxidase (GPx) .
- Increases Glutathione (GSH) .
Daily doses of Bacopa are 5-10 grams of non-standardized powder, 8-16 ml of infusion and 30 ml daily of syrup . Dosages of a 1:2 fluid extract are 5-12 ml per day for adults and 2.5-6 ml per day for children ages 6-12 .
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