BACOPA

OTHER NAME(S):

Andri, Bacopa, Bacopa monniera, Bacopa monnieri, Herb of Grace, Herpestis Herb, Herpestis monniera, Hysope d’Eau, Indian Pennywort, Jalanimba, Jal-Brahmi, Jalnaveri, Nira-Brahmi, Moniera cuneifolia, Sambrani Chettu, Thyme-Leave Gratiola, Water Hyssop.<br/><br/>

Overview

Overview Information

Brahmi is a plant that has been used in traditional Indian medicine (Ayurveda). Be careful not to confuse brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) with gotu kola and other natural medicines that are also sometimes called brahmi.

Brahmi is used for Alzheimer's disease, improving memory, anxiety, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), allergic conditions, irritable bowel syndrome, and as a general tonic to fight stress.

People also take brahmi to treat backache, hoarseness, mental illness, epilepsy, joint pain, and sexual performance problems in both men and women. It is also sometimes used as a “water pill.”

How does it work?

Brahmi might increase certain brain chemicals that are involved in thinking, learning, and memory. Some research suggests that it might also protect brain cells from chemicals involved in Alzheimer's disease.

Uses

Uses & Effectiveness?

Possibly Effective for

  • Improving memory. Some research shows that taking specific Bacopa extracts (KeenMind; BacoMind) improves some measure of memory in otherwise healthy older adults. Also, taking Bacopa extract seems to improve some measures of memory and hand-eye coordination in children aged 6-8 years.

Possibly Ineffective for

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Anxiety. Early research suggests that taking 30 mL of Bacopa syrup daily for 4 weeks reduces symptoms of anxiety, including nervousness, racing heart, trouble sleeping, headaches, tiredness, difficulty concentrating, and stomach discomfort.
  • Epilepsy (seizures). Early research suggests that taking Bacopa extract for 5 months prevents seizures in some people with epilepsy.
  • Asthma.
  • Backache.
  • Hoarseness.
  • Mental illness.
  • Joint pain (rheumatism).
  • Sexual problems.
  • Fluid retention.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate bacopa for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

Bacopa extract is POSSIBLY SAFE for adults when taken by mouth appropriately and short-term, up to 12 weeks. Common side effects include increased bowel movements, stomach cramps, nausea, dry mouth, and fatigue.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking Bacopa if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Slow heart rate (bradycardia): Bacopa might slow down the heart beat. This could be a problem in people who already have a slow heart rate.

Gastrointestinal tract blockage: Bacopa might cause “congestion” in the intestines. This might cause problems in people who have a blockage in their intestines.

Ulcers: Bacopa might increase secretions in the stomach and intestines. There is concern that this could worsen ulcers.

Lung conditions: Bacopa might increase fluid secretions in the lung. There is concern that this could worsen lung conditions such as asthma or emphysema.

Thyroid disorders: Bacopa might increase levels of thyroid hormone. Bacopa should be used cautiously or avoided if you have a thyroid condition or take thyroid hormone medications.

Urinary tract obstruction: Bacopa might increase secretions in the urinary tract. There is concern that this could worsen urinary obstruction.

Interactions

Interactions?

We currently have no information for BACOPA Interactions.

Dosing

Dosing

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

BY MOUTH:

  • For improving memory and thinking: a dosage of 300 mg brahmi extract per day for 12 weeks. Specific brahmi extracts (KeenMind; BacoMind) have been used in studies.

View References

REFERENCES:

  • Basu, N., Rastogi, R. P., and Dhar, M. L. Chemical examination of Bacopa monniera Wettst. - part III: Bacoside B. Indian Journal of Chemistry 1967;5:84-86.
  • Bhattacharya, S. K., Bhattacharya, A., Kumar, A., and Ghosal, S. Antioxidant activity of Bacopa monniera in rat frontal cortex, striatum and hippocampus. Phytother Res 2000;14(3):174-179. View abstract.
  • Chaudhuri, P. K., Srivastava, R., Kumar, S., and Kumar, S. Phytotoxic and antimicrobial constituents of Bacopa monnieri and Holmskioldia sanguinea. Phytother.Res. 2004;18(2):114-117. View abstract.
  • Chowdhuri, D. K., Parmar, D., Kakkar, P., Shukla, R., Seth, P. K., and Srimal, R. C. Antistress effects of bacosides of Bacopa monnieri: modulation of Hsp70 expression, superoxide dismutase and cytochrome P450 activity in rat brain. Phytother.Res. 2002;16(7):639-645. View abstract.
  • Dar, A. and Channa, S. Calcium antagonistic activity of Bacopa monniera on vascular and intestinal smooth muscles of rabbit and guinea-pig. J Ethnopharmacol. 1999;66(2):167-174. View abstract.
  • Dey CD, Bose S, and Mitra S. Effect of some centrally active phyto products on maze learning of albino rats. Indian J Physiol Allied Sci 1976;30(3):88-97.
  • Ganguly, D. K. and Malhotra, C. L. Some behavioural effects of an active fraction from Herpestis monniera, Linn. (Brahmi). Indian J Med Res 1967;55(5):473-482. View abstract.
  • Ganguly, D. K. and Malhtora, C. L. Some neuropharmacological and behavioural effects of an active fraction from Herpestis monniera, Linn (Brahmi). Indian J.Physiol Pharmacol. 1967;11(1):33-43. View abstract.
  • Garai, S., Mahato, S. B., Ohtani, K., and Yamasaki, K. Bacopasaponin D--a pseudojujubogenin glycoside from Bacopa monniera. Phytochemistry 1996;43(2):447-449. View abstract.
  • Garai, S., Mahato, S. B., Ohtani, K., and Yamasaki, K. Dammarane-type triterpenoid saponins from Bacopa monniera. Phytochemistry 1996;42(3):815-820. View abstract.
  • Goel, R. K., Sairam, K., Babu, M. D., Tavares, I. A., and Raman, A. In vitro evaluation of Bacopa monniera on anti-Helicobacter pylori activity and accumulation of prostaglandins. Phytomedicine. 2003;10(6-7):523-527. View abstract.
  • Kar, A., Panda, S., and Bharti, S. Relative efficacy of three medicinal plant extracts in the alteration of thyroid hormone concentrations in male mice. J Ethnopharmacol. 2002;81(2):281-285. View abstract.
  • Kishore, K. and Singh, M. Effect of bacosides, alcoholic extract of Bacopa monniera Linn. (brahmi), on experimental amnesia in mice. Indian J Exp.Biol 2005;43(7):640-645. View abstract.
  • Martis, G and Rao, A. Neuropharmacological activity of Herpestis monniera. Fitoterapia 1992;63:339-404.
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  • Pawar, R., Gopalakrishnan, C., and Bhutani, K. K. Dammarane triterpene saponin from Bacopa monniera as the superoxide inhibitor in polymorphonuclear cells. Planta Med. 2001;67(8):752-754. View abstract.
  • Rao, C. V., Sairam, K., and Goel, R. K. Experimental evaluation of Bocopa monniera on rat gastric ulceration and secretion. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 2000;44(4):435-441. View abstract.
  • Rastogi, S., Pal, R., and KulshreshthaDK. Bacoside A3--a triterpenoid saponin from Bacopa monniera. Phytochemistry 1994;36(1):133-137. View abstract.
  • Renukappa, T., Roos, G., Klaiber, I., Vogler, B., and Kraus, W. Application of high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometry, mass spectrometry and bioassay for the determination of active saponins from Bacopa monniera Wettst. J Chromatogr A 6-25-1999;847(1-2):109-116. View abstract.
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  • Russo, A., Izzo, A. A., Borrelli, F., Renis, M., and Vanella, A. Free radical scavenging capacity and protective effect of Bacopa monniera L. on DNA damage. Phytother.Res. 2003;17(8):870-875. View abstract.
  • Sharma, R, Chaturvedi, C, and Tewari, PV. Efficacy of Bacopa monniera in revitalizing intellectual functions in children. J Res Edu Ind Med 1987;1-12.
  • Singh HK, Rastogi RP, Srimal RC, and Dhawan BN. Effect of bacosides A and B on avoidance responses in rats. Phytother Res 1988;2:70-75.
  • Singh, H. K. and Dhawan, B. N. Effect of Bacopa monniera Linn. (brahmi) extract on avoidance responses in rat. J Ethnopharmacol. 1982;5(2):205-214. View abstract.
  • Singh, H. K. and Dhawan, B. N. Neuropsychopharmacological Effects of the Ayurvedic Nootropic Bacopa monniera Linn. (Brahmi). Indian Journal of Pharmacology 1997;29:359-365.
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  • Sumathy, T., Govindasamy, S., Balakrishna, K., and Veluchamy, G. Protective role of Bacopa monniera on morphine-induced brain mitochondrial enzyme activity in rats. Fitoterapia 2002;73(5):381-385. View abstract.
  • Sumathy, T., Subramanian, S., Govindasamy, S., Balakrishna, K., and Veluchamy, G. Protective role of Bacopa monniera on morphine induced hepatotoxicity in rats. Phytother Res 2001;15(7):643-645. View abstract.
  • Vohora, SB, Khanna, T, Athar, M, and Ahmad, B. Analgesic activity of bacosine, a new triterpene isolated from Bacopa monnieri. Fitoterapia 1997;68(4):361-365.
  • Kidd PM. A review of nutrients and botanicals in the integrative management of cognitive dysfunction. Altern Med Rev 1999;4:144-61.. View abstract.
  • Limpeanchob N, Jaipan S, Rattanakaruna S, et al. Neuroprotective effect of Bacopa monnieri on beta-amyloid-induced cell death in primary cortical culture. J Ethnopharmacol 2008;120:112-7. View abstract.
  • Morgan A, Stevens J. Does Bacopa monnieri improve memory performance in older persons? Results of a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial. J Altern Complement Med 2010;16:753-9. View abstract.
  • Samiulla DS, Prashanth D, Amit A. Mast cell stabilising activity of Bacopa monnieri. Fitoterapia 2001;72:284-5.. View abstract.
  • Singh M, Murthy V, Ramassamy C. Modulation of hydrogen peroxide and acrolein-induced oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunctions and redox regulated pathways by the Bacopa monniera extract: potential implication in Alzheimer's disease. J Alzheimers Dis 2010;21:229-47. View abstract.
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  • Yadav SK, Jain AK, Tripathi SN, Gupta JP. Irritable bowel syndrome: therapeutic evaluation of indigenous drugs. Indian J Med Res 1989;90:496-503.. View abstract.

More Resources for BACOPA

CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

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