By Summer Banks on Dec 27, 2016

Bacopa extract is derived from the Bacopa monnieri plant [31].

Other names for the plant include Brahmi and water hyssop.

The plant and its extract were traditionally used in ancient Ayurveda medicines and Indian herbal remedies [31].

Bacopa extract is usually used to improve cognitive function and memory.

What is Bacopa Extract?

Bacopa extract contains various compounds from the Bacopa monnieri plant.

One of them includes luteolin; an anti-microbial compound thought to particularly fight Staphylococcus aureus [49].

Other bio-compounds found in the extract include bacosides, saponins, brahmine, nicotine, herpestine, D-mannitol, apigenin, hersaponin, monnierasides, and plantainoside B [50].

To Sum It Up: Bacopa extract contains various bio-compounds that may allow it for health benefits the plant alone may not be able to provide.

How Much of the Bacopa Herb Is Safe?

Bacopa monnieri extract is thought to be safe after 12 weeks in healthy older adults [37].

One study specifically tested human subjects ages 65 and older with 300 milligrams a day of the herbal extract and found it to be safe regarding usage for improving cognitive performance [40].

Another research study, published in Food and Chemical Toxicology¸ tested the safety of BacoMind, which is composed of various phytochemical compounds derived from the plant [38].

When consumed at a rate of 226 milligrams per one pound of body weight, BacoMind seems to be tolerated well in rats.

According to the Indian Journal of Psychiatry, bacosides, chemical compounds found in Bacopa monnieri, are well tolerated by healthy males [39].

However, high-quality data regarding the safety of bacopa extract is lacking [41].

The Lahey Hospital and Medical Center supports this claim [42].

Always consult your physician before starting the use of any supplement or herbal remedy, especially if you are breastfeeding, pregnant, under the age of 18, or suffering from any pre-existing medical conditions.

Additionally, if you are experiencing any issues while using bacopa extract or supplements that contain it, discontinue use and seek medical attention.

To Sum It Up: Although some studies suggest that certain amounts of Bacopa monnieri extract is safe for consumption, others recognize the need for more comprehensive research, especially using human subjects.

Natural Sources of Bacopa Monnieri Extract

Bacopa extract comes from Bacopa monnieri.

It grows in damp and marshy areas and found naturally in India, New Zealand, Australia, and the United States [51].

Although it grows in these regions, it’s grown, cultivated, and consumed in India for traditional medicine [53].

The herb comes from the leaves of the shrub, considered the only useful part of the plant [53].

To Sum It Up: The bacopa extract comes from the leaves of the Bacopa monnieri plant and used in traditional medicine.

Bacopa Extract Can Increase Cognitive Performance

One of the most popular claims concerning bacopa extract is its ability to improve and increase cognitive function. Clearly something big MLM companies like Plexus Slim are formulating supplements to address.

The International Journal of Ayurveda Research states, “[Bacopa extract] has potential for safely enhancing cognitive performance in the elderly patients” [11].

Another study, published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative, supported that conclusion [22].

BacoMind, a standardized extract of the bacopa extract, contains Catechol-O-Methyl Transferase, Poly endopeptidase, and Poly polymerase; three enzymes associated with memory issues, learning disorders, and age-associated memory impairment [12].

Specifically, these enzymes found within the extract are thought to affect five different molecular aspects of memory within the brain positively.

In India, a study on cognitive Psychiatry found that bacopa extract decreases the adverse effects of amnesia [13].

Another study found that dried Bacopa monnieri had the potential to help improve cognitive performance in the elderly community [14].

Neurobiology of Disease published research stating Bacopa monnieri leaf extract may be able to alleviate the consequences of hypobaric hypoxia-induced spatial memory impairment and other neurological disorders [15].

Some research suggests bacopa extract may improve the learning performance in rats [16].

However, the same study found that bacopa extract decreased dopamine levels, which may have an adverse impact on cognitive function as well as anti-psychotic effects for those suffering from mental health issues.

To Sum It Up: Bacopa extract helps improve cognitive performance; a statement supported by research studies.

Is Bacopa Herb Extract Good for Weight-Loss?

According to a study published in Heliyon, Bacopa herb extract may have a protective effect against opioid-induced body weight loss [54].

When combined with caffeine, bauhinia purpurea, germanium stem extract, Cirsium oligophyllum, and rauwolscine extract, bacopa extract may be able to increase weight-loss for young and fit men and women [55].

However, this combination would not work for obese individuals. The main issue many dieters who try supplements like Skinnymint are looking to address.

Another study suggested oral treatment of Bacopa extract has caused a slight increase in body weight due to increased insulin resistance [56].

To Sum It Up: There’s limited research connecting Bacopa and weight-loss.

Bacopa Monnieri Extract Effects on Mental Health

Bacopa monnieri extract has a positive effect on the treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders [27].

The Journal of Ayurveda of Integrative Medicine, suggested that Bacopa monnieri is useful in treating schizophrenia as an add-on medication to olanzapine [17].

The plant helps prevent anxiety as a standardized extract, per a study performed on rats [18]. These effects were comparable to the anxiety medication Lorazepam [19].

Research conducted at the Center for Research in Mental Retardation in India shows that bacopa extract is useful for managing the symptoms of ADHD in children [20] [26].

Regarding memory impairment, standardized Bacopa monnieri extract has a significant improvement on mental control [21].

However, the study participants had no sign of developing or having a psychiatric disorder.

Bacopa extract has also been studied regarding its effect on depression and their symptoms [23].

Per Phytomedicine: International Journal of Phytotherapy and Phytopharmacology, “when consuming bacopa extract one daily for five days, there was significant antidepressant activity in comparison to imipramine, an antidepressant prescription medication” [24] [25].

Another study noted the positive animal behavioral models developed from the tested subjects [28].

Although studies using animal subjects provide promising results, more research needs to be done on humans before any conclusions may be firmly drawn [29].

To Sum It Up: Research shows Bacopa extract has beneficial effects on some mental health disorders, including schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, and ADHD. However, research involved rats instead of humans.

Bacopa Extract Benefits for Your Health

Bacopa extract has many health benefits in humans.

As noted before, bacopa extract may help increase cognitive performance and various neurological aspects of memory [43].

Research shows it may improve the management and treatment of certain mental illnesses [44].

Research from Frontiers in Pharmacology noted, “Bacopa monnieri had a nitric-oxide-mediated vasodilatory effect on blood vessels and decrease blood pressure in rats” [45].

Additionally, bacopa extract is thought to improve memory performance in healthy and aging adults [46].

One study of Bacopa monnieri, published in Rejuvenation Research, noted the plant has lots of health benefits [47].

The extract is an effective solution to manage hepatoxicity and nephrotoxicity [48].

To Sum It Up: Various studies show Bacopa extract benefits. More research need to be done to substantiate these findings.

What Are the Bacopa Extract Side Effects?

Every herbal remedy, medication, and supplement has the potential for side effects.

According to a Phytomedicine, healthy volunteers using Bacopa monnieri experienced mild gastrointestinal issues after 60 days [30].

Some individuals have also complained of an upset stomach, cramping, nausea, and diarrhea [31].

Bacopa extract has the potential for many issues, including, “bradycardia, gastrointestinal tract blockage, ulcers, increased fluid secretions in the lungs, increased thyroid hormones, and urinary tract obstructions” [32].

Side effects may include stomach cramps, nausea, dizziness, thirst, increased urination, auditory problems, low blood pressure, blurred vision, and fatigue [33].

As with any herb, over consumption may lead to irregular heartbeats, and fatigue [34].

If you or anyone you know are experiencing any of these symptoms seek medical attention.

To Sum It Up: Multiple sources have suggested that bacopa extract may cause gastrointestinal issues. However, Bacopa extract side effects may not affect everyone. Using caution while using any herbal remedy is imperative.

The Bottom Line on Bacopa Benefits

Bacopa herb extract seems to be extremely effective in improving cognitive function, especially in the areas of learning and memory. Many human studies have supported this claim. Big companies like Isagenix have formulas with this ingredient.

Additionally, the extract seems to be beneficial regarding the treatment and management of various mental health disorders.

However, there’s no adverse effect on weight-loss. Consumption also seems to cause some side effects in its users, especially in the gastrointestinal region.

Other research studies show that the extract has other health benefits, not supported by a significant amount of data.

Overall, consult with a physician before starting the use of any herbal remedy, dietary supplements, or medications.


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About the Author:

Summer Banks, Director of Content at Dietspotlight, has researched over 5000 weight-loss programs, pills, shakes and diet plans. Previously, she managed 15 supplement brands, worked with doctors specializing in weight loss and completed coursework in nutrition at Stanford University. full bio.