Bacopa monnieri (Brahmi)

7 Emerging Benefits of Bacopa monnieri (Brahmi)
Bacopa monnieri is an ancient herbal remedy that today has proven benefits. It may help improve inflammation, reduce ADHD symptoms, and prevent anxiety and stress.

Bacopa monnieri, also called brahmi, water hyssop, thyme-leaved gratiola, and herb of grace, is a staple plant in traditional Ayurvedic medicine.

It grows in wet, tropical environments, and its ability to thrive underwater makes it popular for aquarium use (1Trusted Source).

Bacopa monnieri has been used by Ayurvedic medical practitioners for centuries for a variety of purposes, including improving memory, reducing anxiety, and treating epilepsy (2Trusted Source).

In fact, research shows that it may boost brain function and alleviate anxiety and stress, among other benefits.

A class of powerful compounds called bacosides in Bacopa monnieri is believed to be responsible for these benefits.

Here are 7 emerging benefits of Bacopa monnieri.

Michael Meijer/Getty Images

  1. Contains powerful antioxidants
    Antioxidants are substances that help protect against cell damage caused by potentially harmful molecules called free radicals.

Research suggests that damage caused by free radicals is linked to many chronic conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers (3Trusted Source).

Bacopa monnieri contains powerful compounds that may have antioxidant effects.

For example, bacosides, the main active compounds in Bacopa monnieri, have been shown to neutralize free radicals and prevent fat molecules from reacting with free radicals (4Trusted Source).

When fat molecules react with free radicals, they undergo a process called lipid peroxidation. Lipid peroxidation is linked to several conditions, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other neurodegenerative disorders (5Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source).

Bacopa monnieri may help prevent damage caused by this process.

For example, an older study showed that treating rats with dementia with Bacopa monnieri reduced free radical damage and reversed signs of memory impairment (7Trusted Source).

More studies in humans are needed to better understand the effects of Bacopa monnieri on on neurodegenerative disease, if any. A systematic review of 5 randomized controlled trials found no benefit of this herb in the treatment of Alzheimer’s, though the authors did note that the studies were of small sample sizes (8Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source).

Bacopa monnieri contains active compounds called bacosides, which have been shown to have antioxidant effects, especially in the brain.

Check your vitamin levels with a micronutrient test
This micronutrient test checks for vitamin B12, D, E, Copper, & Selenium. Get your results in 2-5 days from an accredited laboratory with free shipping.

Order today for 25% off.
30+ home health tests
24/7 care team
2 million+ tests done

  1. May reduce inflammation
    Inflammation is your body’s natural response to help heal and fight disease.

However, chronic, low-level inflammation has been linked to many chronic conditions, including cancer, diabetes, and heart and kidney disease (10Trusted Source).

In test-tube studies, Bacopa monnieri appeared to suppress the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which are molecules that stimulate an inflammatory immune response (11Trusted Source).

Also, in test-tube and animal studies, it inhibited enzymes, such as cyclooxygenases, caspases, and lipoxygenases — all of which play key roles in inflammation and pain (11Trusted Source, 12Trusted Source).

What’s more, in animal studies, Bacopa monnieri had anti-inflammatory effects comparable to those of diclofenac and indomethacin — two nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs commonly used to treat inflammation (12Trusted Source, 13Trusted Source).

Nevertheless, more research is needed to determine whether Bacopa monnieri reduces inflammation in humans.

Test-tube and animal studies show that Bacopa monnieri may have potent anti-inflammatory properties and suppress pro-inflammatory enzymes and cytokines.

  1. May boost brain function
    Older studies suggests that Bacopa monnieri may help enhance brain function.

For example, one study in mice showed that supplementing with Bacopa monnieri improved their spatial learning and ability to retain information (14Trusted Source).

The same study also found that it increased dendritic length and branching. Dendrites are parts of nerve cells in the brain that are closely linked to learning and memory (14Trusted Source).

Additionally, a 12-week study in 46 healthy adults observed that taking 300 mg of Bacopa monnieri daily significantly improved the speed of processing visual information, learning rate, and memory, compared with the placebo treatment (15Trusted Source).

Another 12-week study in 60 older adults found that taking either 300 mg or 600 mg of Bacopa monnieri extract daily improved memory, attention, and the ability to process information, compared with the placebo treatment (16Trusted Source).

Animal and human studies show that Bacopa monnieri may helpimprove memory, attention, and the ability to process visual information.

  1. May help reduce ADHD symptoms
    Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is characterized by symptoms like hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattentiveness (17Trusted Source).

Interestingly, research has shown that Bacopa monnieri may help reduce ADHD symptoms.

One study in 31 children aged 6–12 years found that taking 225 mg of Bacopa monnieri extract daily for 6 months significantly reduced ADHD symptoms, such as restlessness, poor self-control, inattention, and impulsivity in 85% of the children (18Trusted Source).

A more recent study of 112 males aged 6-14 years with ADHD found cognitive, mood, and sleep benefits among those taking Bacopa monnieri, but saw no effect on behavioral outcomes (19Trusted Source).

Although some findings are promising, more large-scale studies examining the effects of Bacopa monnieri on ADHD are needed before it can be recommended as a treatment.

Bacopa monnieri may help reduce ADHD symptoms, such as restlessness and self-control, but more large-scale human studies are needed.

  1. May prevent anxiety and stress
    Bacopa monnieri may help prevent anxiety and stress. It’s considered an adaptogenic herb, meaning that it increases your body’s resistance to stress (20Trusted Source).

Research suggests that Bacopa monnieri helps reduce stress and anxiety by elevating your mood and reducing levels of cortisol, a hormone that is closely linked to stress levels (21Trusted Source).

One rodent study showed that Bacopa monnieri had anti-anxiety effects comparable to those of lorazepam (benzodiazepine), a prescription medication used to treat anxiety (22Trusted Source).

However, human studies on Bacopa monnieri and anxiety show mixed results.

For example, two 12-week human studies found that taking 300 mg of Bacopa monnieri daily significantly reduced anxiety and depression scores in adults, compared with the placebo treatment (1Trusted Source, 15Trusted Source).

A more recent human study found taking 500 mg Bacopa monnieri twice daily for 4 weeks reduced depression, anxiety and stress (23Trusted Source).

Yet, another human study found that treatment with Bacopa monnieri had no effect on anxiety (24Trusted Source).

More large-scale human studies are needed to confirm its effects on stress and anxiety.

Bacopa monnieri may help reduce stress and anxiety by elevating mood and reducing cortisol levels. However, human studies show mixed results.

  1. May help lower blood pressure levels
    High blood pressure is a serious health concern, as it places strain on your heart and blood vessels. This can weaken your heart and increase your risk of heart disease (25Trusted Source, 26Trusted Source).

Research suggests that Bacopa monnieri may help keep blood pressure within a healthy range.

In one animal study, Bacopa monnieri reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels. It did this by releasing nitric oxide, which helps dilate blood vessels, resulting in improved blood flow and lower blood pressure (27Trusted Source, 28Trusted Source).

A 2020 study of 69 participants on high blood pressure medication found an herbal supplement which included Bacopa monnieri among other herbs lowered blood pressure and increased nitric oxide levels (29Trusted Source).

However, one older 12-week study in 54 healthy older adults found that taking 300 mg of Bacopa monnieri daily had no effect on blood pressure levels (30Trusted Source).

Based on current findings, Bacopa monnieri may lower blood pressure in animals with high blood pressure levels. Nevertheless, more human research is required to confirm these effects.

Bacopa monnieri may help reduce blood pressure in animals with high blood pressure levels. However, human research in this area is lacking.

  1. May have anticancer properties
    Test-tube and animal studies have found that Bacopa monnieri may have anticancer properties.

Bacosides, the active class of compounds in Bacopa monnieri, have been shown to kill aggressive brain tumor cells and inhibit the growth of breast, brain, and colon cancer cells in test-tube studies (31Trusted Source, 32Trusted Source, 33Trusted Source).

Additionally, Bacopa monnieri induced breast cancer cell death in animal and test-tube studies (34Trusted Source).

Research suggests that the high levels of antioxidants and compounds like bacosides in Bacopa monnieri may be responsible for its cancer-fighting properties (35Trusted Source).

Keep in mind that these results are from test-tube and animal studies. Until there are more human studies on Bacopa monnieri and cancer, it cannot be recommended as a treatment.

Bacopa monnieri has been shown to block the growth and spread of cancer cells in test-tube and animal studies, but human research is needed to confirm these effects.

Bacopa monnieri side effects
While Bacopa monnieri is considered safe, it may cause side effects in some people.

For example, it may cause digestive symptoms, including nausea, stomach cramps, and diarrhea (36Trusted Source).

Furthermore, bacopa monnieri is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women, as no studies have assessed the safety of its use during pregnancy or lactation (37Trusted Source).

Finally, it may interact with certain medications, including amitriptyline, a medication used as an antidepressant and for pain relief (38).

If you are taking any medications, speak with your healthcare provider before taking Bacopa monnieri.

Bacopa monnieri is generally safe, but some people may experience nausea, stomach cramps, and diarrhea. Pregnant women should avoid this herb, while those on medications should speak with their healthcare provider before taking it.

How to take Bacopa monnieri
Bacopa monnieri can be purchased online and from health food stores.

It’s available in several forms, including capsules and powders.

Typical dosages for Bacopa monnieri extract in human studies range from 300–450 mg per day (39Trusted Source).

However, dosage recommendations can vary widely depending on the product you purchase. If you have questions regarding dosage, speak with a qualified health professional to ensure your safety.

The powdered form can be added to hot water to make a soothing tea. It can also be mixed with ghee — a form of clarified butter — and added to warm water to make an herbal drink.

Although Bacopa monnieri is considered safe for most people, speak with your healthcare provider before taking it to ensure your safety and proper usage.

Bacopa monnieri is available in several forms but is most commonly taken in capsule form. Typical doses range from 300–450 mg per day.

The bottom line
Bacopa monnieri is an ancient Ayurvedic herbal remedy for many ailments.

This herbal supplement is not regulated by the FDA and it has not been approved for the treatment of any medical conditions. In 2019, the FDA had to warn a company for using unauthorized health claims to market herbal supplements which included Bacopa monnieri (37Trusted Source).

Human studies show it may help boost brain function, treat ADHD symptoms, and reduce stress and anxiety. Furthermore, test-tube and animal Dr Deepti Sharma

We know Bacopa monnieri or Brahmi for its effects on memory and hair growth. There have been many studies regarding the effectiveness of Bacopa monnieri as a neural tonic and memory booster. The following article aims at enhancing the knowledge about the homoeopathic aspect of this drug and its uses in other system of medicine as well.

Keywords- Brahmi, Memory tonic, Alkaloids, Homoeopathy


Bacopa monnieri is a perennial herb that grows along the ground and whose habitat includes wetlands and muddy shores. It has spatula shaped fleshy leaves and pale blue or white flowers on long slender stalks. Flowers are solitary, axillary, white or purple-tinged, with short pedicels and two bracteoles.1

Distribution- throughout India in wet, damp and marshy places2

Family: scrophulariaceae2

Common names- brahmi, water hyssop, thyme-leaved gratiola, and herb of grace3

Parts used- A homoeopathic tincture is made from the aerial parts when in flowers. It is covered by Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia by M. Bhattacharya & Co. and Encyclopedia of Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia by Varma & Vaid.1

Traditional use- Traditionally, it was used as a brain tonic to improve memory development, learning, and attentiveness, and to provide relief to patients with anxiety or epileptic disorders. In India, this herb has also been used traditionally to consecrate new born babies in the belief that it will stimulate the intelligence.3


monniericontains alkaloid brahmine, nicotinine, herpestine, bacosides A and B, saponins A, B and C, triterpenoid saponins, stigmastanol, β-sitosterol, betulinic acid, D-mannitol, stigmasterol, α-alanine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, and serine and pseudojujubogenin glycoside. 4It contains alkaloid brahmine which has many similarities of action to that of strychnine.Another alkaloid, herpestine is useful for its action over the nervous system.Triterpenoid saponins and their bacosides are responsible for Brahmi’s ability to enhance nerve impulse transmission. The bacosides help in repair of damaged neurons by enhancing kinase activity, neuronal synthesis, and restoration of synaptic activity, and eventually nerve impulse transmission. Bacosides have anti oxidant properties thus neutralize free radicals and prevent fat molecules from reacting with free radicals thus blocking lipid peroxidation.5
Pharmacological action-
Nervine tonic, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, emmenagogue, blood purifier, rejuvenative, cardiotonic and memory enhancer.6

According to Ayurvedic medicine

Brahmi is a Sanskrit word which is derived from “Lord Brahma” or “Brahman”. Lord Brahma is the divinity responsible for all of the creative forces in the world and Brahman is the Hindu name given to the universal consciousness. Brahmi literally means the energy (or “Shakti”)

Brahmi enhances the 3 basic components of mind which are: power of learning (Dhi), power of retention (Dhuti) and power of recall (Smriti). It has also been known for balancing and rejuvenating Pitta, while at the same time strongly reducing Kapha. It enhances the quality of Sadhaka pitta which directly influences the nature of consciousness. It helps in all conditions with a deficient Majja dhatu; hence it is used in Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, ADHD, Asperger’s syndrome, autism, insomnia and depression7. It is also therapeutically effective for epilepsy, insanity, and to enhance intellect.6

According to Unani medicine

According to Unani medicine, it is bitter, aphrodisiac, good in scabies, leukoderma, syphilis etc.

It is blood purifier and useful in diarrhea and fevers.3

According to Siddha medicine

The dried powder of this plant is given in the dose of 5-10 grams is given as brain enhancer, and kayakarpam. The leaves are dried and given along with milk for psychological disturbance and memory loss, mental retardation in small children and neonatal jaundice. The juice of the leaves are boiled along with ghee (Brahmi nei) and given for epilepsy, sour belching etc. The leaves are used along with oil as an external application for arthritis. The juice of the leaves is fried along with castor oil and used to give fomentation as well as applied as a paste over the swellings and arthritis. The leaves are applied as paste over the affected areas due to Gonococcal arthritis. With regular application of this paste the swelling and redness will get reduced.8

Homoeopathic use

It has significant influence on learning abilities. Anxiety, weakened memory, tension due to mental over work. It is mostly used as a tonic for absent mindedness and for a short, weak memory. It is also used for whooping cough.9Patients taking Bacopa say that they can better handle difficult mental tasks and stress. It improves the memory, increased learning abilities, protects the brain from effects of aging, alleviate anxiety, mental and brain fatigue and attention deficit disorders. The plant has also been used in India and Pakistan as a cardiac tonic.3Palpitation, feeling of whole body moving with beating of heart in morning after profuse menses.2Digestive aid.3Cramping pain around umbilicus with loose stool, aggravation- day time.2Improves respiratory function in case of broncho-constriction. Bacopa is bitter, pungent, heating, emetic, laxative and useful in bad ulcers.3Stool is watery, yellow- brownish, offensive.2Also used to treat anemia, ascites, enlargement of spleen, biliousness, indigestion, inflammations, leprosy, tumors, etc. It has also been used externally for growth of healthy hair, cooling and headache.3Character of headache is throbbing pain in head with heaviness, more on left side, aggravation stooping, moving about, light; amelioration- cold application, light pressure. Pain with heaviness in eyes with discomfort in neck.2

Relations 3

Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)- Ginkgo extract has been studied for its role in preventing or slowing the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, with mixed results
Kali-p (phosphate of potassium)- conditions arising from want of nerve power, neurasthenia, mental and physical depression. Loss of memory. Brain fag from over work.
Gotu kola (Centella asiatica)- Gotu kola also has a relaxing effect on the central nervous system through increasing gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) which provides relief from hyper anxious states, decreasing corticosterone levels, improving memory and protecting the brain from degeneration. The plant conforms with the ‘doctrine of signatures’ as it has distinctive round leaves, often described as ‘brain-shaped’.
Potencies used-Mother tincture,96C, 30C, 200C.2


P. N. Varma, et al., A Compendium of Rare and Clinically Established Mother Tinctures, 4th Edition, Dr. Willmar Schwabe India Pvt. Ltd., Noida.
CCRH, Homoeopathic drug proving, Vol. 4, New Delhi, Abir print point, 2011
Murphy R, Lotus Materia Medica, 3rd edition, New Delhi, B. Jain Publishers (P) Ltd., 2003
Jeyasri R, Muthuramalingam P, Suba V, Ramesh M, Chen JT. Bacopa monnieriand Their Bioactive Compounds Inferred Multi-Target Treatment Strategy for Neurological Diseases: A Cheminformatics and System Pharmacology Approach. Biomolecules. 2020;10(4):536. Published 2020 Apr 2., https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7225932/#:~:text=B.,and%20pseudojujubogenin%20glycoside%20%5B7%5D.
Chaudhari KS, Tiwari NR, Tiwari RR, Sharma RS. Neurocognitive Effect of Nootropic Drug Brahmi(Bacopa monnieri) in Alzheimer’s Disease. Ann Neurosci. 2017 May;24(2):111-122. doi: 10.1159/000475900. Epub 2017 May 12. PMID: 28588366; PMCID: PMC5448442.
Hegde P.L., Harini A., A textbook of Dravyaguna Vijnana, 2nd Revised edition, chaukhamba publications, New Delhi, 2011
CCA students, Brahmi: “herb of grace”, California college of ayurveda, 2013, september 10, https://www.ayurvedacollege.com/blog/brahmi/
Amritjude D., Brahmi-herbal nervine tonic, Siddham, 2010, June 25, https://siddham.in/neerbrahmi-or-brahmi-bacopa-monnieri#:~:text=Actions%20%3A%20Nervine%20tonic%2C%20Anti-spasmodic%2C%20Sedative%2C%20Diuretic.%20Siddha,mental%20retardation%20in%20small%20children%20and%20neonatal%20jaundice.
Boericke W. Boericke’s new manual of homoeopathic materia medica with repertory.3rd revised and augmented edition based on ninth edition. B.Jain Publishers, New Delhi. 2020
Dr. Shobha Teterwal H.O.D. (Dept.of Paed., SKHMC&RC)
Dr. Pranjli Agarwal Asst. professor (Dept.of Paed., SKHMC&RC)
Dr. Deepti Sharma MD Part I (Dept.of Paed., SKHMC&RC)
Dr. Prashant Singh MD Part II (Dept.of Paed., SKHMC&RC)
Dr. Debjani Debnath MD Part II (Dept.of Paed., SKHMC&RC)

Although these potential health benefits are promising, more research on Bacopa monnieri is needed to understand its full effects in humans.