Bacopa: the Ayurvedic Adaptogenic Herb that takes time…

Bacopa is another historical Adaptogenic herb, it has been used in India as a form of Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years.

Jonathan Roseland
Feb 7, 2017 · 14 min read

Bacopa owes its Nootropic effect to boosting serotonin levels. You need to make a longer term commitment to it for true cognitive enhancement.

There are nearly a hundred human studies listed on Pubmed done on Bacopa, so it’s been studied thoroughly as an Adaptogen and is respected in eastern traditional medicine.



  • Improved speed of visual information processing
  • Learning rates
  • Memory consolidation
  • Reducing state anxiety

From a 6 month study of 48 human subjects from Helfgott Research Institute:
“Controlling for baseline cognitive deficit using the Blessed Orientation-Memory-Concentration test, Bacopa participants had enhanced AVLT delayed word recall memory scores relative to placebo. Stroop results were similarly significant, with the Bacopa group improving and the placebo group unchanged. CESD-10 depression scores, combined state plus trait anxiety scores, and heart rate decreased over time for the Bacopa group… This study provides further evidence that B. monnieri has potential for safely enhancing cognitive performance in the aging.”
An Indian study of 66 human subjects found the same effects in otherwise healthy adults
“The current study attempted to determine the chronic effects of single daily dose of 450 mg of Brahmi extract on cognitive performance and anxiety in healthy adults. The results of the current study are not in agreement with findings of some of the earlier studies which have found improvement both on cognitive parameters and a reduction of anxiety scores.”
Interestingly a Swinburne University review compared Bacopa to Modafinil and Panax Ginseng as a cognitive performance enhancers and scored them by various measures of cognition. Bacopa most improved delayed word recall, which is a task where you memorize a sequence of words, distract yourself with something else, then come back and try to recall the sequence. So this would suggest that Bacopa will actually make you better at multi-tasking. The review concluded:
“These data confirm that neurocognitive enhancement from well characterized nutraceuticals can produce cognition enhancing effects of similar magnitude to those from pharmaceutical interventions.”
A self experimenter on Longecity reported:
“Bacopa is the finest herb to date that has such broad specturm nice depth producing effects in memory focus and building understanding of things, situations, concept and also holistic knowing!”
SDK reported:
“In the first two weeks, the Bacopa was amazing, producing a whole range of positive benefits, including increased motivation, increased creativity, and much greater sensitivity to coffee… After two months, this initial rush of creativity and motivation has diminished, to be replaced with increased lucidity, and what seems to be more general resilience. All in all now I feel as if the Bacopa Monierii has created a subtle elevation of both my mood and general clarity, but without any of the initial focus and motivation.”
Calengineering noted its non-effect on brain training:
“Bacopa Monieri also did not help N-Back scores… which I was playing consistently everyday.”


Vs Stress

On Sleep







Mechanism of Action

  • Dendritic proliferation — Bacopa is an enabler of Synaptogenesis; which is the formation of synapses between neurons. Essential to synthetic skill set development.
  • Bacopa increases serotonin levels in the hippocampus.
  • It has strong antioxidant properties which protect your memory centers and is also believed that it helps with neuronal synthesis.
  • It also protects your brain from the neurotoxins in glutamate and is an acetylcholinesterase (a negative chemical that hinders the neurotransmitter acetylcholine) inhibitor.
  • Bacopa also feeds your brain two important P450 enzymes, PROD and EROD which help you deal with stress.
  • It may regulate dopamine. It’s theorized that it could work against compounds that cause a dopamine spike in the striatum, like Caffeine.
  • A chemical ingredient, Bacosides protect the synaptic functions of the nerves in the hippocampus, which is regarded as the seat of memory.



Taste & Aesthetics


Bacopa can be taken as a capsule supplement and is very affordable at $6-$12 for a monthly supply. However, there’s a good potential reason why you might NOT want to just buy it from the cheapest source on Amazon or where ever….
Researching Bacopa, I kept hearing about a potential issue with metal contamination. This can be avoided by consuming high quality pharmaceutical grade Bacopa, as opposed to the cheapo stuff sold on the shelves of your local grocery store or as an ostensible ingredient of those flashy Nootropic stack products.

According to Adaptogens: Safety Issues: Make sure that the bacopa used has been organically grown because commercially grown bacopa can absorb whatever pollutants (especially lead and nitrates) are in the water it grows in.
Since you have to consume Bacopa for at least several weeks and likely months for it to really benefit you, you’ll want to be sure you’re using a high quality supply.
My preferred herbal vendor Lost Empire Herbs, sells 30 grams of COA verified powdered Bacopa for $30, a 3-month supply.
Store it in a cool, dark place. It can go bad if exposed to too much light or heat. So maybe don’t leave it out on your desk in the sunshine or in your backpack.


Some report taking it in quite high dosages without issues:
“…personally bacopa in super high dose (1–2g two or three times a day) is really amazing for me!”
One day I mistakenly dumped about 2 grams Bacopa in my tea, which is quite a mega dose, it was not an outstandingly negative or positive effect.


Side Effects:

Conflicts: It’s not recommended to take Bacopa with chlorpromazine, a drug in the pharmaceutical family of perphenazine.


Originally published by

Jonathan Roseland

Written by

Adventuring philosopher, Pompous pontificator, Writer, K-Selected Biohacker, Tantric husband, Raconteur & Smart Drug Dealer 🇺🇸

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