Principal Proposed Uses
Bacopa monnieri is a creeping perennial with white or blue flowers that grows throughout much of Southern Asia.
It has been used traditionally to treat epilepsy , depression , insomnia , and schizophrenia . In the traditional medicine of India, Ayurveda , B. monnieri is considered to fall in the “brahmi” category of herbs, a group of substances said to assist the mind and enhance awareness. From this comes B. monnieri’s common name of brahmi, despite the fact that many other herbs fall into the brahmi category, as well.
B. monnieri is widely marketed today as a “brain tonic” for enhancing memory and mental function. However, as discussed in the next section, the evidence that it works remains weak at best.
What Is the Scientific Evidence for
There is conflicting evidence to support the use of B. monnieri to enhance mental function. Although some double-blind, placebo-controlled trials have have evaluated it's potential value, results remain inconclusive.
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The proposed active ingredients in B. monnieri are substances called bacosides. A typical dose of B. monnieri used in the studies described above was 300-450 mg daily of a concentrated alcohol extract standardized to bacoside content, equivalent to about 6-9 g of whole dried herb.
There are no well known significant side effects associated with the use of B. monnieri . However, comprehensive safety studies have not been reported. Safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women, or people with severe liver or kidney disease has not been established.
- Reviewer: EBSCO CAM Review Board
- Review Date: 09/2012 -
- Update Date: 09/26/2012 -