Bacopa Monnieri – Dosage, Benefits & Side-effects

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Summary

Bacopa Monnieri (BM) or Brahmi has been used in Ayurveda for ages. It is a creeper with all its parts having health benefits. Previously it was used as an herbal brain and health tonic. Now it is a popular ingredient in almost all nootropic supplements.

Active compounds of this plant, bacosides, are responsible for all its major benefits. Bacosides are rich in antioxidants and protect your brain from age-related damage, inflammation, and injury.

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It stimulates nerve health, improves the transmission of signals, and thus cognitive functions. Being an adaptogen, it also reduces the effect of stress and anxiety on your body.

Overall, Bacopa Monnieri is a nootropic that supports both nerves and brain health. It is readily available without a prescription.

Bacopa Monnieri (BM) is a popular nootropic. It is a common ingredient in modern-day, premium brain health supplements.

Used in the Ayurveda system of Medicine for ages, BM has various health advantages. Various clinical trials have been conducted to understand and prove its benefits.

While it was not used much by the western world, they have now started using it along with other treatment options.

What is Bacopa Monnieri?

Bacopa Monnieri, commonly known as Brahmi and Water Hyssop, is a creeper native to India and Australia. The entire plant can be used for health benefits.

Its benefits were mentioned around the 6th century A.D. in Ayurvedic texts. Since then, it is used to promote healthy longevity, prevent disease, and strengthen the mind. Hindu devotees would use this plant to help them memorize long passages of text.

Bacopa Monnieri

Extensive research has shown it to improve cognitive functions, lower anxiety, and protect the brain cells from damage. (3)

Unlike other stimulants, Bacopa Monnieri nourishes nerve cells instead of depleting them. It thus reduces mental deficits and sharpens the intellect. (1)

Bacosides – powerful compounds present in this plant – are responsible for the health benefits. In addition, as it is an adaptogen, Bacopa Monnieri lowers the effect of stress and anxiety. (2)

Benefits of Bacopa Monnieri

Bacopa Monnieri (BM) is rich in powerful antioxidants. It thus prevents long-term disorders caused by free radicals, such as heart diseases, cancer, and diabetes. Studies have shown:

  • It neutralizes free radicals. (4)
  • Signs of memory loss in dementia can be improved with BM. (5)
  • When fat molecules interact with free radicals, they result in lipid peroxidation. Lipid peroxidation results in neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Bacopa Monnieri inhibits fat molecules from reacting with these harmful radicals. (6) (7)

An important function of BM is as a memory enhancer. It improves the speed of recall and memory information. Studies have confirmed that:

  • BM improved memory in the elderly. (8)
  • New information was retained with a lower risk of forgetting newly acquired information after taking BM. (9)
  • Bacopa improved memory and cognitive functions. (10)

Being an adaptogen, it lowers the effect of stress and anxiety on your body. Studies indicate that:

  • BM manages anxiety and depression. (11)
  • A standardized extract of Bacopa worked as effectively as lorazepam. (12)

In addition, Bacopa is also known to work as a brain tonic. Anti-aging and antioxidant properties protect brain cells from energy. Various clinical trials have shown:

  • Bacopa lowers the degeneration caused in Parkinson’s disease. (13)
  • It is effective against age-related inflammation of various disorders. (14)

How Does Bacopa Monnieri Affect the Human Brain?

The major benefits of Bacopa Monnieri are due to its active compounds known as Bacosides. You may start noticing its benefits between 4-8 weeks of consuming it.

The nootropic effect of BA is because of its ability to regulate the release of chemical messengers (neurotransmitters) and improve communication between the nerve cells. (15)

Here are some benefits for the human brain:

  • It enhances growth and multiplication of nerve extensions (dendrites) that allows the travel of neural impulses through them. (16)
  • Synapse is a junction between two nerve cells through which impulse can pass. Bacosides makes nerve cells and synapses more receptive to a nerve impulse.
  • Besides, Bacopa also boosts the activity of proteins in the hippocampus, which is a major part of your brain. As the hippocampus plays a major role in cognitive functions, BM boosts brainpower. (17)
  • Consuming BM also improves chemical messengers associated with cognition, such as serotonin, GABA, and acetylcholine. (18) This feature of BM also makes it effective against stress and anxiety. Serotonin calms you, and GABA prevents overfiring of nerve cells due to stress and anxiety.
  • Lastly, Bacopa Monnieri protects your brain from damage caused by oxidative stress. This feature makes it effective in age-related degenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s. (19)

How to Take Bacopa Monnieri & Dosage?

Bacopa Monnieri supplement is available as powder and capsule. As it is fat-soluble, it should be taken with milk or food. You can also consume it with hot liquid.

Although you may find its calming effect within a few days, it should be consumed for 2-3 months for optimal benefits.

Ideal dosage:

The standard dose of Bacopa Monnieri is 300 mg containing 55% bacosides. While for Bacopa Monnieri containing 20% bacosides, it is 750 mg.

What Are The Potential Side-effects of Bacopa Monnieri?

Bacopa is seen to be safe and well-tolerated. No toxic side-effects were observed in the studies. 

Milder side-effects noticed were nausea and fatigue. It also depends on your tolerance. Some get a pumped feeling after taking BM and thus disrupt sleep. In such cases, you can take it in the morning.

While others may feel sleepy and lethargic. In this scenario, you can take it at night.

You can also start with a minimum dose and monitor its effect. Gradually you can adjust the dose and timing that suits you the best.

How Should You Stack Bacopa Monnieri?

Bacopa Monnieri works well with almost all other nootropics. It is mainly combined with other herbal supplements for mood and cognition enhancement. Here are some suggestions:

  • For stress and anxiety: Stack with anxiolytic nootropics, such as phenibut and aniracetam.
  • For increasing physical energy: You can compound with phenylpiracetam or oxiracetam

Final Words!

Bacopa Monnieri is an herbal supplement with various benefits. It was used as an herbal physical and mental tonic for centuries. BA improves memory and cognitive functions. It also protects your brain from free radicals and age-related changes.

This powerful brain booster works efficiently alone as well when compounded with other nootropics. It is safe, well-tolerated, and available without a prescription. 

Although it may have effects within a few weeks of consuming it, it is better recommended to continue it for a few months for optimal benefits.

To sum it up, if you are in search of a natural supplement to boost your brainpower and relieve you of stress and anxiety, Bacopa could get you off the hook.

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