Bacopa Monnieri (Brahmi): Review of Nootropic Effects & Uses

Updated on July 11, 2023
 by — reviewed by Jason Williams, PhD (Contributor: George Collins / Editor: Yoko Hill)

We looked at Bacopa Monnieri and how it works. We then explore the benefits of taking the plant as a supplement as well as the suggested dosage for safe use and any potential side effects.

Bacopa Monnieri is a plant grown throughout India and has traditionally been used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine. It’s commonly used to treat brain disorders and help with cognitive function, as well as help with stress and anxiety levels.

As it increases certain brain chemicals involved in cognitive function, it has been studied by scientists as a way of helping treat Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. It’s an impressive plant and is very quickly becoming popular in modern medicine.

This article takes a closer look at Bacopa Monnieri, as well as its benefits, suggested dosage, and potential side effects.

What is Bacopa Monnieri (Brahmi)?

Bacopa Monnieri (Brahmi)

Bacopa Monnieri is a perennial plant and is found in humid wetlands. It is found all over the globe, yet mostly found in the Middle East. It’s also known as ‘Brahmi’, which is the common name for the plant in India and other eastern cultures.

The Brahmi plant is grown throughout India and can be found near river beds. It produces small white flowers.

Commonly found in Indian Ayurvedic medicine, it has been used as a nootropic to treat Alzheimer’s disease, improve cognitive function, calm anxiety levels, treat Parkinson’s disease and treat attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It works similarly to the synthetic nootropic Piracetam, yet is a natural supplement and isn’t synthesized at all.

It was first used in ancient India as a medicinal tonic and has been used for centuries to treat ailments from leprosy and infertility. Moreover, it is said that the plant can protect against brain cell degradation and promote the healing of brain tissue.

Every part of the plant can be used as medicine, however, you can use it as a fresh herb and if you can’t get access to the Brahmi plant, you can purchase it in powder form. Brahmi oil is made up of Brahmi leaves and can promote healthy hair growth.

The FDA lists Bacopa Monnieri as poisonous yet it has still granted access to the plant as a dietary supplement since the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994.

Bacopa works by increasing certain brain chemicals involved in learning, thinking skills, and memory. Some research suggests it might protect brain cells from chemicals that are associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

How Does Bacopa Monnieri Work?

Bacopa Monnieri works by giving the brain a one-two punch of stimulating enzymes that enhance memory and encourage synaptic communication. It helps to boost the release of Tryptophan Hydroxylase, which is an enzyme that increases synaptogenesis or the growth of neuron connections found inside the brain.

Bacoside A is found in Bacopa Monnieri and this improves synaptic communications, whilst also increasing how fast information flows inside the brain.

Bacopa Monnieri helps with mental clarity as it limits the amount of HSP70 in the brain, which is a biomarker. This biomarker helps your brain to handle stress and therefore when it is limited, stress levels decrease and overall anxiety decreases.

Bacopa Monnieri also has herasaponin, which is an anxiolytic that causes relaxation. When combined with Bacopa’s ability to increase the body’s secretion and regulate serotonin and dopamine levels, this helps send your body into a state of calm.

Though it takes a few weeks to take effect, it also takes a few weeks to wear off.

What are the Benefits and Effects of Bacopa Monnieri?

In the US, Bacopa Monnieri is used mostly to treat brain activity. Some other benefits and effects include:

Improving Memory and Cognitive Function

There is a connection between long-term use of Bacopa and increased memory, cognitive function, and language recall.

Scientists have found that Brahmi extract has got a significant effect on the hippocampus part of the brain and this is what is responsible for memory.

Brahmi protects the brain cells and this means it has been used as a preventative measure for age-related brain disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s. This is because these disorders result in rapid degeneration of brain cells.

Enhances Learning

As Bapoca has the ability to lower stress levels and increase memory function and cognitive abilities, it’s also said to help with focus and learning. This makes it useful for those starting new jobs or students.

Brahmi is also said to greatly benefit children who suffer from attention deficit disorder and this will allow them to learn new things at a faster pace.

Helps with Stress Management

As an adaptogenic, Bacopa is also used as a supplement to help with stress or as a normalizer of stress hormones. This means it is used as a key ingredient in many stress-reducing nootropic stacks.

By lowering your stress hormone levels, Bacopa Monnieri can reduce the damage that cortisol and adrenaline have on your overall health.

The compounds found in the supplement can trigger an anti-stress response in test animals and human subjects. This helps the brain cope with anxiety-inducing situations.

Brahmi can also increase serotonin levels in the brain and this helps with levels of calm. If you are going through a particularly stressful time in your life, we, therefore, recommend drinking Brahmi tea regularly.


It is recommended to take this supplement with a meal. Some users like to take it first thing in the morning with breakfast and this also helps you to find out how it affects drowsiness levels. Without food, it can make you experience nausea.

The appropriate dosage depends on several factors such as age and health. However, a general recommendation for a safe dosage is 250-300mg daily if the supplement has a Bacoside content of 50%. However, scientific research is still being carried out on dosage and it can vary significantly between users.

We always recommend talking with a healthcare professional before taking Bacopa Monnieri so that you can find out which dose would be safest and which dose will benefit you the most.

What are the Side Effects of Bacopa Monnieri?

When taken orally, Bacopa Monnieri is safe for adults to take. However, as with all supplements, there are side effects to look out for.

The potential side effects are:

  • Increased bowel movements
  • Dry mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Stomach cramps
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea and vomiting

There might also be a risk of a slow heart rate, also known as bradycardia. This means Bacopa could pose a problem for those already with a slow heart rate. It might also cause ‘congestion’ in the intestines which is referred to as a gastrointestinal tract blockage and this may cause problems with people who have an existing blockage in their intestines.

Bacopa has the ability to increase secretions in the stomach and intestines. This means it could worsen ulcers. It can also increase secretions in the urinary tract which means it could worsen urinary obstruction.

It can also increase fluid secretions in the lungs which means if you have a lung condition such as asthma or COPD, it might worsen the symptoms.

If you have a thyroid condition or take thyroid hormone medication, you should avoid taking Bacopa as it can increase levels of the thyroid hormone.

There is not enough reliable information to know if Bacopa Monnieri is safe to use when pregnant or breastfeeding.

Bacopa Monnieri should not be taken with sedatives or anti-depressants.

It’s possibly safe when taken by mouth for children between 6-12 years old and when taken for up to 6 months.

Experiences Shared on Reddit

Here are some reviews of Bacopa Monnieri from users and contributors on Reddit.

According to ‘YoungRedPillar’:

‘So I've been taking Bacopa Monnieri for about a month at this point, mostly for its effects on memory because I used to have horrific memory but now that I've tried it for about a month I've realized the effects that it's had on me. I'll try to explain my experience with it so far.

I've heard that the memory effects take at least 8 weeks to show effect but I've been feeling some quite significant changes in my ability to recall events that have happened in the past month. It's also improved the quality of these memories. This is a very nice effect that is very appreciated because I feel if I stick it out for another month my memory will improve noticeably.

One other effect that it's had that I didn't really expect it to have was that it made me completely apathetic. To everything. Studying, reading, music, doing anything at all. I'm completely careless ‘about’ everything and my motivation to do things is very little. But when I start doing things, I don't want to stop. It's had a profound effect on my attention. I don't know if the attention is because of apathy or something but attention is another aspect that I like about Bacopa.

Also due to the apathy, my anxiety is also very minimal in any situation.’

According to ‘BadBi0’:

‘I use Bacognize powder from ND and use around 50mg perhaps an hour or so before bed. At this dose, I get great sleep without [any] grogginess or de-motivation/apathy the next day.

Cognitively, I seem to be a little more verbally fluid with perhaps a tiny boost in memory. I mostly take it for sleep enhancement so I am satisfied with it.’

Where to Buy Bacopa Monnieri

Although you can buy Bacopa Monnieri from local vitamin and supplement stores across the United States, as well as in specialty garden stores, you can also buy Bacopa Monnieri from many online stores.

By doing this, you can ensure you do thorough research on the brand and ensure it is a high-quality supplement. We recommend you check out this website.

Frequently Asked Questions

Your questions answered.

When Should You Start Taking Bacopa Monnieri for Memory Loss?

You can start taking Bacopa Monnieri as soon as you feel like you have memory loss. You can also start taking it as soon as you are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

Is Bacopa Monnieri Safe?

Bacopa Monnieri is generally safe to take but there’s a small risk of digestive discomfort, drowsiness, and increased bowel movements among other side effects. However, these risks are usually small and it is often compared to the effects of caffeine.

Can You Take Bacopa Monnieri with Homeopathic Medicine?

You can take it with homeopathic medicine as this does not tend to react.

Can You Take Bapoca Monnieri with Supplements Such as Multivitamin Tablets or Omega 3 Fatty Acids?

Bapoca Monnieri goes well with a lot of dietary supplements, yet if you are taking more than one product per day, it’s best to always consult a healthcare professional.

How Long Does It Take for Bacopa Monnieri to Start Showing Results?

This will depend on dosage but most people tend to experience effects after 1-2 weeks.

Can Bacopa Monnieri Be Used By People with Diabetes?

It can be used by people with diabetes but you should keep an eye on blood sugar levels as it can reduce these significantly.


Bacopa Monnieri is a plant that is used to treat brain disorders and help with cognitive function, as well as help with stress and anxiety levels. It has minimal side effects and can be taken by infants and adults.

It has been proven to be a great natural nootropic for students, employees, and adults working on enhancing memory and retaining information whilst also lowering stress and improving focus.

Though research is still being done on the plant, it has been known to help with the prevention of brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and is commonly used as a way to enhance memory and improve mental clarity.

As with all supplements, however, we would always recommend chatting with your doctor or a medical professional before adding it to your diet but if it works well, we suggest you go for it! Enhance your memory, improve your focus and reduce your stress levels with Bacopa Monnieri!