Bacopa (Bacopa monieri)


Bacopa Summary

Bacopa is an Ayurvedic herb with a long history of use throughout India.

In the past couple of years its popularity has grown a lot for its use as a nootropic supplement.

The herb contains a set of chemicals known as bacosides, which have been shown to provide a list of beneficial actions on the central nervous system and brain.

As a herb, it's used to treat conditions ranging from Alzheimer's to head trauma. Bacopa also has anticonvulsant and anxiolytic actions, making it useful for anxiety, epilepsy, and muscle tension.


+ Indications

  • Improve learning and cognition
  • Improving mental performance and memory
  • Nervous disorders
  • Insomnia
  • Epilepsy
  • Anxiety
  • Hypothyroid
  • Hyperthyroid

+ Contraindications

  • None noted

Herbal Actions:

  • Nootropic
  • Nervine tonic
  • Sedative (Mild)
  • Anticonvulsant (mild)
  • Anxiolytic
  • Adaptogen

What Is Bacopa Used For?

Bacopa as a whole plant is mainly used to treat cognitive related disorders like Alzheimer's and Dementia. Of course, nothing can completely cure these conditions, but bacopa and its associated bacosides have been shown to both reduce the severity, and prolong the health of those experiencing Alzheimer's or other neurological dysfunctions.


Traditional Uses of Bacopa

Bacopa (AKA brahmi) was commonly used as a brain tonic and to enhance learning [3].

In Ayurveda it was used to treat anxiety and epilepsy. [4].


Herb Details: Bacopa

Weekly Dose

Part Used

Leaves and flowers

Family Name



Southeast Asia, will grow anywhere from sea level to 1400 meters in altitude.

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Constituents of Interest

  • Bacosides
  • Alkaloids
  • Sterols
  • Flavonoids

Common Names

  • Brahmi
  • Bacopa
  • Water Hyssop


  • Unknown


  • Unknown


  • Unknown


  • Unknown

Duration of Use

  • Long term use is acceptable

Products Containing Bacopa

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Bacopa Extract

Herb Pharm

Made from Bacopa monnieri

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Neuro Ignite

Havasu Nutrition

Nootropic formula containing Bacopa, St. Johns Wort, and more.

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Zhou Nutrition

Cognitive encanhement supplement containing bacopa, Rhodiola, B12, Phosphatidylserine, DMAE, and Ginkgo.

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Botanical Information

Bacopa is a member of the plantaginaceae family (plantain family), which includes about 94 genera, and 1900 species, the largest of which is the genus Veronica.


Habitat Ecology, and Distribution

Bacopa prefers wet soil or shallow water. It grows at an incredible range of altitudes, from sea level to 1350 m. [5].


Research Overview:

Still compiling research.



Bacopa contains alkaloids, saponins, and sterols as the main active constituents. Other constituents includes betulic acid, stigmasterol, beta-sitosterol., bacosides A and B (responsible for the cognitive effects), bacopasaponins. [2, 6-10].

Alkaloids in bacopa include brahmine, and herpestine [12].


Clinical Applications Of Bacopa:

The bacosides of bacopa are very useful as an adjunctive nootropic substance to add to a nootropic stack for memory, nd neurological conditions related to memory loss like Alzheimer's disease.

The whole plant extract us useful for treating conditions ranging from anxiety and depression, to traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer's, and natural age-related cognitive decline.



None reported.



Justin Cooke, BHSc

The Sunlight Experiment

(Updated November 2018)


Recent Blog Posts:


  1. Bone, K. (2003). A clinical guide to blending liquid herbs: Herbal formulations for the individual patient. Edinburgh [u.a., MO: Churchill Livingstone.

  2. Bacopa monniera. Monograph. (2004). Alternative Medicine Review : A Journal Of Clinical Therapeutic, 9(1), 79-85.

  3. Mukherjee, G. D., & Dey, C. D. (1966). Clinical trial on Brahmi. I. Journal of experimental medical sciences, 10(1), 5.

  4. Chopra, R. N. (1958). Chopra’s Indigenous Drugs of India, UN Dhur & Sons Pvt. Ltd., Calcutta, 12, 495.

  5. Bone, K., & Morgan, M. (1996). Clinical applications of ayurvedic and Chinese herbs: monographs for the Western herbal practitioner. Phytotherapy Press.

  6. Kapoor, L. D. (1990). CRC handbook of Ayurvedic plants.

  7. Chakravarty, A. K., Garai, S., Masuda, K., Nakane, T., & Kawahara, N. (2003). Bacopasides III-V: three new triterpenoid glycosides from Bacopa monniera. Chemical and Pharmaceutical Bulletin, 51(2), 215-217.

  8. Hou, C. C., Lin, S. J., Cheng, J. T., & Hsu, F. L. (2002). Bacopaside III, bacopasaponin G, and bacopasides A, B, and C from Bacopa monniera. Journal of natural products, 65(12), 1759-1763.

  9. Mahato, S. B., Garai, S., & Chakravarty, A. K. (2000). Bacopasaponins E and F: two jujubogenin bisdesmosides from Bacopa monniera. Phytochemistry, 53(6), 711-714.

  10. Chakravarty, A. K., Sarkar, T., Masuda, K., Shiojima, K., Nakane, T., & Kawahara, N. (2001). Bacopaside I and II: two pseudojujubogenin glycosides from Bacopa monniera. Phytochemistry, 58(4), 553-556.