Although bacopa monnieri is one of the lesser-known herbal supplements in the market, it is fairly well-known in the nootropic community. This is especially true for those who prefer all-natural cognitive enhancers or for users who include bacopa monnieri in their nootropic stacks. While it is only gaining popularity recently as a cognitive enhancer, it has long been used as a medicinal herb in Ayurvedic medicine to prevent asthma attacks and cure epilepsy. It is also traditionally believed that its tonic increases the lifespan of anyone taking it.
Referred to as Brahmi in Ayurveda, bacopa monnieri is a creeping herb found in India, Asia, Europe, Australia, and North and South America. It flourishes in marshy wetlands. Cultivating and propagation of bacopa monnieri is relatively simple as its cuttings can easily thrive on almost any environment with ample water.
Bacopa monnieri, particularly its leaf extracts that contain bacosides and bacopasides, has long been included in a good number of commercially available stacked nootropic supplements. The bacopasides are believed to be its most bioactive component. It is claimed by some that bacopa monnieri is the closest answer that nature has to piracetam.
Aside from having nootropic effects, it is also believed that bacopa monnieri is a natural anxiolytic. This makes it an ideal supplement for people suffering from anxiety disorders. However, the anxiolytic properties of bacopa monnieri may also dampen motivation, which can in turn counteract its cognitive enhancing abilities.
The effects of bacopa monnieri on memory have been investigated and clinical trials strongly suggest that supplementation with it helps improve short-term memory retention in both healthy individuals and those suffering from cognitive decline. A few clinical trials also suggest that bacopa monnieri helps improve focus and attention in patients with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).
Some studies show that bacopa monnieri has the ability to inhibit enzymes that degrade acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter in the brain responsible for memory retention and recall. This means that the more acetylcholine present in the brain, the better its performance will be in retaining memory.
One of the downsides to supplementing with bacopa monnieri is that one needs to be consistent with its supplementation in order to achieve its desired memory enhancement properties. Research show that one must supplement with it for at least eight weeks in order for the supplement to be effective. Apart from memory retention, results from clinical trials indicate that bacopa monnieri does little to improve other cognitive processes like logical reasoning, learning ability, and focus. Negative effects from supplementing with bacopa monnieri include upset stomach, ulcer, diarrhea, fatigue, liver toxicity, and nausea.
- All natural.
- Proven to enhance memory.
- Widely available.
- Can complement your existing nootropic stack.
- Its nootropic effect may not be as potent when taken on its own.
- It has little effect on other cognitive processes.
- Takes too long to work.
- It has a number of drug interactions.
- It has unpleasant side effects.
Another common complaint with bacopa monnieri is that it has a very unpleasant taste. Those who are planning on supplement with bacopa monnieri should be prepared for this, or choose supplements that are in capsules. The daily dose requirement for bacopa monnieri is set at a maximum of 300mg for concentrated formulations and 750 to 1.500mg if it is to be taken in leaf powder form.