9 Bacopa Benefits for Brain? (Sleep, ADHD, Memory, Dopamine)

Table of Contents

What are the benefits of Bacopa for the Brain?

 The following are some benefits of Bacopa for the brain:

  1. Decreases stress: Bacopa extract decreases stress by decreasing the levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. It also balances the level of hormones and improves the functioning of the adrenal glands. 
  2. Neuroprotective effect: Animal studies show that the administration of Bacoside A, an active ingredient of Bacopa increases the levels of glutathione in response to cigarette smoke. Increasing levels of antioxidant glutathione protect neurons from toxins and free radical damage. 
  3. Decreases inflammation in the brain: Studies show the administration of 200 mg/ kg of bacoside for 3 months decreases neuroinflammation by suppressing the levels of cytokines that cause inflammation. 
  4. Increases blood flow to the brain: A review suggests that Bacopa treatment increases cerebral blood flow resulting in higher levels of nutrients and lower levels of toxins in the brain. 
  5. Enhancing and maintaining a good memory.
  6. Improving attention.
  7. Increasing the capability and speed to process visual information.
  8. Enhancing spatial learning rate.
  9. Increasing dendritic length and branching.

In the video below, the Nootropic Reviewer discusses his personal experience with Bacopa Monnieri, a nootropic with benefits across improvements in stress, anxiety and studying. Side-effects, dosages.

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Does Bacopa affect Dopamine?

Bacopa reduces the levels of Dopamine in the brain. Specifically, It reduces dopamine in the dopaminergic neurons in the frontal cortex of the brain. Studies show that Bacopa modulates neurotransmitters and promotes neuronal communication which in turn affects brain health and cognitive functions. Mainly Bacopa affects brain function by modulating neuronal physiology i.e. by increasing the length of dendrites. 

In addition, Bacopa affects the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain which influences mood and memory. Due to its positive effects on the brain Bacopa has been a part of many Ayurvedic formulations over centuries.

Is Bacopa Monnieri useful for the treatment of ADHD?

Bacopa Monnieri extract is useful to decrease the symptoms of ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). A clinical trial was performed on children 6-12 years of age for 6 months. The subjects received 225 mg of Bacopa extract per day as treatment. The children were monitored for various symptoms such as impulsivity, self-control, and learning problems associated with ADHD.

At the end of the study, 70% of children responded positively, while the other 30% were unresponsive to the treatment. 

What is the dosage of Bacopa for memory improvement?

The usual dosage of Bacopa for memory improvement and cognitive function is between 300-450 mg/ day when taken in the form of extract. However, the duration of treatment varies depending on the condition. 

Bacopa treatment is also available in the form of leaf powder, however, the dosage for leaf powder is higher in the range of 750-1500 mg. 

Bacopa is usually taken along with a meal or with butter because it is fat-soluble and requires a vehicle for absorption. 

Can Bacopa be used for Sleep support?

Bacopa can be used for sleep support due to the following benefits:

  • Promoting restful sleep and ensuring calmness during periods of emotional distress.
  • Improving brain health, and balancing the nervous system.
  • Improving blood circulation and supporting the body’s natural healing mechanisms.

Studies show that the sedative effect is caused due to a glycoside known as hersaponins. Another study performed on animals demonstrated that an alcoholic extract of the whole plant produced a tranquilizing effect on the experimental animals.

Does Bacopa make you sleepy?

Bacopa can make you sleepy.  However, only a few people have observed this side effect. Drowsiness is not a common side effect of Bacopa, although in some online forums it is mentioned that Bacopa may make the user sleepy during initial usage. 

Can Bacopa and Ashwagandha be taken together?

Bacopa and Ashwagandha can be taken together for their collective beneficial effects. Both of these have been well-documented as Ayurvedic herbs for their positive health effects. 

Multiple preparations containing both Bacopa and Ashwagandha are also available.

They both are taken together for the following benefits:

  • Both herbs decrease stress levels by balancing neurotransmitters in the brain.
  • Both Ashwagandha and Bacopa improve cognitive health and memory.
  • They both work as antioxidants protecting the brain from oxidative damage. 
  • They both offer an anti-inflammatory response. 
  • Both Ashwagandha and Bacopa modulate the immune system.

What is the difference between Bacopa vs. Gotu Kola?

Although Bacopa and Gotu kola are mistakenly considered similar, both plants are different. 

  • Name: The scientific name of Bacopa is Bacopa Monnieri and Gotu Kola is Centella Asiatica.
  • Family: They both belong to different families, Bacopa is from Scrophulariaceae and Gotu kola belongs to the Apiaceae family.
  • Usage: Gotu kola is often used as a cream to treat wounds and for issues that pertain to the skin and hair, while Bacopa is used internally as a more effective adaptogen. 
  • Dosage: The usual dosage for Bacopa extract is between 300-450 mg/ day while the dosage for Gotu Kola is between 50-250 mg/ day.
  • Side effects: Gotu Kola can cause drowsiness while Bacopa does not, it causes nausea, fatigue, and dry mouth.
  • Although both of the supplements are to be taken under the supervision of a medical practitioner, Gotu kola can cause liver damage, while Bacopa is considered relatively safe. 

What are the advantages of taking Bacopa and Gotu Kola together?

Gotu Kola and Bacopa have similar properties and can be taken together to further support the mind, nervous system, memory, and healthy mental function.

Is Bacopa Monnieri useful for the treatment of Anxiety?

Bacopa Monnieri is useful for the treatment of Anxiety because it decreases the levels of stress hormones and balances neurotransmitters in the brain. 

A study was performed to evaluate the effects of Bacopa extract on the brain. In the trial, 17 participants were subjected to a multi-frame activity and the effects were measured at the baseline followed by 1 and 2 hours after taking a placebo. After a 7 days washout period, the regimen was repeated with the Bacopa extract. Bacopa extract was administered in two different dosages of 320 and 640 mg. 

The trial concluded that Bacopa extract did decrease stress and positively affected the mood of the participants. 

Can you take Bacopa and Adderall together?

Although Bacopa is considered a substitute for Adderall, taking both of them together may potentiate the brain effects. However, some online forums suggest the opposite. The users in the forum observed a decrease in the effects of Adderall after consuming Bacopa. The forum suggests that concurrent administration of Bacopa and Adderall did not result in any adverse effects. 

The following are some effects observed by users while taking Bacopa with stimulants:

  • Being drowsy for the first few weeks.
  • Diminished or blunted the stimulant effect of Adderall.
  • The lethargic feeling after 3 weeks.
  • Decreases anxiety.

Is it helpful to take Bacopa and Lion’s Mane together?

For optimum brain health and cognitive performance, it is advised to take Bacopa and Lion’s mane together because they improve each other’s effects.

Bacopa Monnieri and Lion’s Mane Mushroom have some differences, for example Lion’s mane promotes brain regeneration and neuron growth and differentiation, while Bacopa improves brain function and cognition, and acts as an antioxidant.

Bacopa and Lions Mane combinations along with other herbs are available commercially. They make claims such as improved memory, increased clarity and focus, and natural cognitive enhancer. However, only combinations that are clinically evaluated should be consumed. Users should exercise caution while consuming unproven combinations of herbs. 

Is Bacopa useful for seizures?

Bacopa is useful for treating seizures because it shows anti-epileptic properties. In a research conducted by scientists, seizures were artificially induced in male rats. The animals were then treated with Bacopa extract (180 mg/kg of body weight) and Diazepam, a standard treatment for epilepsy. The research concluded that the treatment with Bacopa increased the threshold for seizures and improved recovery from artificially induced epilepsy. 

Another study shows that the administration of Bacopa modulates levels of GABA, a neurotransmitter that controls neural excitation. Bacopa works by balancing or modulating levels of different neurotransmitters in the brain.

Is there a link between Bacopa and Serotonin Syndrome?

Bacopa may help with serotonin syndrome for the following reason:

Bacopa is considered a master neurotransmitter regulator that alters the production of neurotransmitters, including serotonin. Bacopa brings the level of serotonin into balance and lowers it when the level is too high to help with serotonin syndrome.

Bacopa saponins vs bacosides: what is the difference?

Bacopa saponins and bacosides have different characteristics listed below :

  • Triterpenoid saponins known as bacosides are the major components of bacopa monnieri extract.
  • Bacosides A and B are two Saponins isolated from Bacopa monnieri which are considered essential chemical constituents in this herb.
  • It is indicated that bacosides A and B are responsible for the underlying memory and brain-enhancing effects of Bacopa
  • Saponins provide a variety of health benefits for our body, from maintaining body weight to boosting the immune system
  • Bacosides of bacopa are strong antioxidants that help protect the body from the harmful effects of free radicals and play a significant role in reducing oxidative stress

Bacopa Monnieri vs Ginkgo Biloba: what are the differences?

Ginkgo and Bacopa almost share common effects, however, there are significant differences like:

  • Bacopa has additional benefits that make it superior to Ginkgo which includes Its active compounds – Bacosides – that have been shown to have remarkable antioxidant properties.
  • Bacosides help protect your brain cells and enhance serotonin, which in turn helps with depression and anxiety.
  • Bacopa helps with memory as well as mental well-being, making it superior in effects to Ginkgo
  • Ginkgo is known for improving blood circulation, which is helpful for the elderly mainly.
  • Bacopa is more beneficial for long-term memory formation, brain cell optimization, and cognitive well-being.

Is there an interaction between Bacopa and SSRI?

Bacopa can have the following interactions with SSRI medication:

  • It is not recommended to take Bacopa monnieri if you’re taking any antidepressant or antipsychotic medication that is metabolized by cytochrome P450 enzymes.
  • Bacopa might influence the way these medications are metabolized and eliminated from the body, thus the amount of the drug that enters the blood will not be controlled and may be a cause for underdose or overdose.

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This article makes use of information from the U.S. National Library of Medicine under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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9 Bacopa Benefits for Brain? (Sleep, ADHD, Memory, Dopamine)
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