9 Benefits of Bacopa Plant Extract? (and 7 Side Effects)

Table of Contents

What are the Benefits of Bacopa Plant Extract?

Bacopa Monnieri is a staple plant used for centuries in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. The health benefits of Bacopa Extract include:

  1. Antioxidant effect: Bacoside, an active ingredient of Bacopa extract works as an antioxidant by neutralizing free radicals protecting the body and cells from oxidative damage, and preventing interaction between fat and free radicals. Thus it has the potential to protect the body from conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. 
  2. Reduces inflammation: Studies show that Bacopa extract suppresses and inhibits precursors such as enzymes and cytokines that stimulate an inflammatory response and play an active role in pain and inflammation. Research further suggests that the anti-inflammatory response produced by Bacopa extract is equivalent to some commercially available non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. 
  3. Improves memory and brain function: Research suggests that Bacopa improves memory and brain function. Studies show Bacopa also modulates the physiology of neurons in the brain which play a role in attention span, memory, learning rate, and information processing. A clinical trial performed on elderly patients shows that Bacopa extract can improve cognitive performance, and decrease anxiety and stress. 
  4. Reduces stress: Bacopa extract works as an anxiolytic, it balances levels of neurotransmitters in the brain and reduces stress and anxiety, and may help lessen the symptoms of ADHD patients.
  5. It may be helpful as an anti-epileptic.
  6. May prevent anxiety and stress.
  7. May aid in lowering blood pressure levels.
  8. May be used in the treatment of cancer.
  9. Bacopa Monnieri can also be used as an ornamental plant in ponds and aquariums. If you are interested in ornamental plants, our folks at Happy DIY Home have put together an awesome guide to tall flowers for the garden.

In the video below, SuperFood Evolution shows what this ayurvedic herb is, how to use it, and when it can be a welcomed nurturing adjunct for everyday stress and anxiety.

This is our recommended Bacopa Monnieri supplement (Amazon’s Choice):

Bacopa Monnieri Capsules | 1000 mg | 180 Capsules | Non-GMO & Gluten Free Supplement | by Carlyle

Does Bacopa Monnieri have any Side Effects?

The following are some common side effects of Bacopa Monnieri:

  1. Nausea
  2. Bloating
  3. Stomach cramps
  4. Diarrhea
  5. Dry mouth
  6. Fatigue
  7. Increased bowel movement

Bacopa is generally safe for adults when taken orally until 12 weeks. 

What is the recommended dose of Bacopa Monnieri?

According to literature and meta-analysis, the usual dose of Bacopa Monnieri ranges from 300-450 mg/ day. The dose of Bacopa Monnieri differs depending on the condition and the form of supplement.

  • Extract: The usual dose of Bacopa Monnieri extract is around 300 mg. 
  • Leaf Powder: The dose of Bacopa Monnieri in leaf powder form is 750-1500 mg.

Bacopa monnieri is usually taken along with meals given it is fat-soluble and requires a vehicle for transportation. 

What are the benefits of Bacopa Monnieri for Hair?

The following are some benefits of Bacopa Monnieri for hair:

  • Given Bacopa is a good source of nutrients and minerals it helps promote hair growth.
  • It provides nourishment to the scalp and further promotes hair growth.
  • Prevents and reduces hair fall: Bacopa reduces levels of a stress hormone known as Cortisol, higher levels of which lead to hair fall. It also provides nutrients to the hair follicles making hair roots stronger and further reducing hair fall.
  • Maintaining sebum production and pH of the scalp prevents dryness and dandruff in the hair.
  • The antioxidants in Bacopa provide a soothing effect on the scalp.
  • It promotes hair rejuvenation and calming effect on the scalp.
  • Bacopa creates a protective layer on the hair which inhibits the formation of split ends.

What are the benefits of Bacopa Monnieri for the Thyroid?

The following are some benefits of Bacopa Monnieri for the thyroid:

  • Treats hypothyroidism: A study shows oral administration of Bacopa increases levels of thyroid hormones and T4 in mice. In the study 200 mg/ kg of body weight, Bacopa extract was administered to the experimental mice. After 15 days of treatment, the levels of T4 in mice increased by 41%.
  • Bacopa also improves the functioning of thyroid glands.
  • It can work as a thyroid-stimulating drug and can be used in the regulation of hypothyroidism.

How long does it take for Brahmi (Bacopa) to work?

It takes about 4-6 weeks for Brahmi to work. However, the duration may vary depending on the form and underlying condition. 

  • Memory enhancement: 12 weeks.
  • To decrease oxidative stress: 12 weeks
  • Neuroprotective effect: 3 months
  • Protection against toxins: 21 days
  • As an anti-epileptic: 15 days in rats.
  • To increase cerebral blood flow: 8 weeks
  • For hair loss: use regularly

When is the Best Time to take Bacopa?

Most doctors advise taking Bacopa Monnieri twice a day. 

  • The best time would be in the morning to balance the chemicals in your brain and enhance your memory and cognitive functions.
  • A second dose close to the afternoon can boost and support intellectual activity. The benefits of Bacopa Monnieri are optimal once taken twice a day.

Can Bacopa help to lower Blood Pressure?

According to Research, Bacopa monnieri may help maintain blood pressure within a healthy range. In one animal study, Bacopa monnieri reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels by:

  • Releasing nitric oxide, which aids blood vessels dilation
  • Improving blood flow and lowering blood pressure

Nevertheless, more human research is required to confirm these effects since these current findings are based on animal research studies.

What is the recommended dose of Bacopa powder?

The dosage recommendations can differ depending on the product and the form. You can find Bacopa Monnieri in both capsule and powder form. In powdered form, it can be dissolved in hot water.

In general, a typical dose range for Bacopa Monnieri would be:

  • Standardized extract: 200-400 mg daily. 
  • Powder form : 750-1000 mg.

If you have inquiries regarding dosage, don’t hesitate to contact your health care provider for your safety

Does Bacopa affect the Liver?

Bacopa protects the liver from toxins. In a study, rats received 40 mg/ kg of body-weight Bacopa extract daily for 21 days. The treatment was administered 2 hours prior to the toxin (morphine) injection. After histopathological studies, it was found that Bacopa exerted a protective action on the liver and kidney against the toxin. 

The antioxidant property of Bacopa was to be responsible for the protective action against toxins. 

Bacopa is usually considered safe in adults when administered orally. 

Does Bacopa affect Testosterone?

Bacopa does not affect testosterone. A study was performed on mice to determine the effects of Bacopa on fertility. In the study, male mice were given 250 mg/ kg bacopa extract orally for 28 and 56 days. After the study, various hematological studies were performed, and they found that Bacopa did not affect testosterone levels in the male mice.

In the same experiment, bacopa was found to produce a reversible suppression of spermatogenesis and fertility. Hence, it is advised to consult a physician before consuming Bacopa supplements.

Can Bacopa Monnieri aid in Weight Loss?

Bacopa monnieri has several benefits which may also include weight loss by reducing Cortisol Levels:

  • Stress and weight gain are linked and Bacopa Monnieri has been found to reduce stress by lowering cortisol levels, which in turn can lead to weight loss.
  • Cortisol is considered a stress hormone that helps the body metabolize fats and carbs, so it supplies the body with energy to respond to stressful situations.
  • Cortisol also increases the body’s insulin levels, which simultaneously drops blood sugar levels. Both effects can lead to an increase in appetite and make the body crave sugar and junk foods.

What is the half-life of Bacopa?

The peak effect of bacopa is listed between 2–4 hours after oral ingestion with a half‐life of 12–15 hours. 

What are Bacopa Monnieri’s common names?

Bacopa monnieri is a perennial herb that lives and grows in the wetlands of southern and Eastern India, Australia, Europe, Africa, Asia, and North and South America. It has several common names: 

  • Latin name: Bacopa monnieri
  • English name: herb of grace, water hyssop, thyme leaved gratiola, indian pennywort 
  • Hindi name: Barhmi
  • Bengali name: birami
  • Telugu name: sambarenu
  • Kannada name: Jala brahmi
  • Tamil name: neera brahmi
  • Sinhala name: lunuwila
  • Chinese name: jia-ma-chi-xian

What are the benefits of Bacopa Monnieri in Homeopathic Medicine?

Bacopa is considered as a homeopathic medicine that has been known for:

  • Memory and concentration booster, as well as overall brain activity improvement by increasing certain brain chemicals that are involved in thinking, learning, and memory.
  • Reducing irritable bowel syndrome symptoms
  • Relieving headache and back pain
  • Helping in women fertility enhancement
  • Improving intelligence
  • Anxiety and stress reliever
  • Easing joints pain, backache, and hoarseness
  • Treating convulsion
  • Increasing T3 and T4 levels in the blood

Should you take Bacopa with or without Food?

Bacopa monnieri is fat-soluble, which means you need to pair it with food, specifically with high-fat food, for breakdown. It is advised to take bacopa monnieri with a glass of water after a meal full of fats for the following reasons: 

  • The substance could be quickly absorbed.
  • A full stomach would highly multiply the activity of Bacopa extract.
  • You will have fewer gut side effects when you take the Bacopa Monnieri with food.

Is Bacopa Monnieri useful in managing Tinnitus?

The phase IV clinical study created by eHealthMe was done on 47,999 people who take Bacopa or have Tinnitus.  


No report of Tinnitus is found in people who take Bacopa.

Bacopa monnieri works on supporting a healthy body and a healthy mind. This herb helps to alleviate the depletion of tissues related disorders which are useful to manage the condition of Tinnitus effectively.

Want to know more?

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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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  8. Bacopa and Tinnitus, a phase IV clinical study of FDA data – eHealthMe
9 Benefits of Bacopa Plant Extract? (and 7 Side Effects)
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