Bacopa, also known as brahmi, is a plant that has been used in traditional Indian medicine (Ayurveda). Be careful not to confuse brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) with gotu kola and other natural medicines that are also sometimes called brahmi.
Bacopa is commonly used for Alzheimer's disease, improving memory, anxiety, and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) among many other uses. But there is limited scientific research to support these uses.
How does it work? Bacopa might increase certain brain chemicals that are involved in thinking, learning, and memory. Some research suggests that it might also protect brain cells from chemicals involved in Alzheimer's disease.
Uses & Effectiveness? Possibly Ineffective for : Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) - Bacopa does not seem to help keep IBS symptoms from returning after they have gone away for a while. Insufficient Evidence for :
Anxiety - Taking bacopa syrup daily for 4 weeks seems to reduce symptoms of anxiety, including nervousness, racing heart, trouble sleeping, headaches, tiredness, difficulty concentrating, and stomach discomfort in some people with anxiety.
Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) - Taking bacopa for 6 months seems to improve ADHD symptoms such as restlessness and learning problems by 20% or more in some children with ADHD.
Improving memory - There is mixed evidence about bacopa for improving memory. Some research shows that bacopa extract taken for 12 weeks does not improve memory and attention. However, other research shows that taking bacopa improves some measure of memory in otherwise healthy older adults. Also, taking bacopa extract seems to improve some measures of memory and hand-eye coordination in children aged 6-8 years. It seems that some bacopa extracts can benefit memory while others do not.
Epilepsy (seizures) - Taking bacopa extract for 5 months might prevent seizures in some people with epilepsy.
Joint pain (rheumatism).
Other conditions - More evidence is needed to rate bacopa for these uses.