Bacopa, also known as 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.

Bacopa is commonly used for Alzheimer disease, memory and thinking skills (cognitive function), anxiety, and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but there is limited scientific research to support these uses.

How does it work ?

Bacopa 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 disease.

Uses & Effectiveness ?

Possibly Ineffective for

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Anxiety. Taking bacopa syrup daily for 4 weeks seems to reduce symptoms of anxiety, including nervousness, racing heart, trouble sleeping, headaches, tiredness, difficulty concentrating, and stomach discomfort in some people with anxiety.
  • Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Taking bacopa for 6 months seems to improve ADHD symptoms such as restlessness and learning problems by 20% or more in some children with ADHD.
  • Depression. Early research shows that taking bacopa along with the antidepressantcitalopram helps to reduce symptoms in people who may have depression and don't get full relief from citalopram.
  • Memory and thinking skills (cognitive function). There is mixed evidence about bacopa for improving memory. Some research shows that bacopa extract taken for 12 weeks does not improve memory and attention. But other research shows that taking bacopa 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. It seems that some bacopa extracts can benefit memory while others do not.
  • Seizure disorder (epilepsy). Taking bacopa extract for 5 months might prevent seizures in some people with epilepsy.
  • Insomnia.
  • Asthma.
  • Back pain.
  • Hoarseness.
  • Mental illness.
  • Joint pain.
  • Sexual problems.
  • Fluid retention.
  • Cancer.
  • Ulcers.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate bacopa for these uses.

Side Effects

When taken by mouth: Bacopa extract is POSSIBLY SAFE for adults when taken by mouth appropriately for 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 isn't enough reliable information to know if bacopa is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Slow heart rate (bradycardia): Bacopa might slow down the heartbeat. 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.

Special Precautions and Warnings

We currently have no information for BACOPA Precaustions.

Interactions ?

We currently have no information for BACOPA Interactions.


The appropriate dose of bacopa depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for bacopa. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
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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.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version. © Therapeutic Research Faculty 2018.