Known as the Brahmi plant, bacopa monnieri has been used in Ayurvedic treatment for hundreds of years. The bacopa plant is known to have multiple benefits, such as controlling anxiety and thyroid levels in people. It is found abundantly in wet environments and is also a common aquarium plant.
The bacopa plant is rich in bacosides which are potent compounds that add to its list of health benefits. Bacopa may improve brain function and reduce stress and anxiety while treating epileptic patients. 
The compounds found in the bacopa plant are highly beneficial for brain function. A study conducted on mice showed that bacopa improved their brain retention and spatial learning. In the same research study, dendrites which are parts of nerve cells, also showed an increase in length, which improved memory.
Another study conducted on 46 human adults showed that consuming 300 mg of bacopa daily improved visual information processing, learning, and memory compared to adults under the placebo effect. A similar study in 60 adults showed similar improvement in memory and attention span of those given between 300 mg and 600 mg of bacopa. 
Antioxidants are essential for protecting cells from harmful radicals in the body produced by any condition such as heart disease, some forms of cancer, and even diabetes. Bacosides, which are potent compounds you can find in bacopa, tend to reduce free radicals and stop fat molecules from reacting with them.
Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s’ and some neurodegenerative health issues occur when fat molecules react with radicals. This process is lipid peroxidation. The compounds found in bacopa prevent damage due to this process. 
Inflammation is a natural process when the body tries to heal and fight diseases. However, inflammation can also signify severe health conditions such as cancer, heart and kidney diseases, and diabetes. Cytokines are molecules that initiate an inflammatory response in the immune system whenever there’s problem. Nonetheless, more research on humans is a need to understand their anti-inflammatory properties.
Prevents Anxiety and Stress
The bacopa plant is a adaptogenic herb, which increases the body’s reaction to reduce stress. Studies reveal that bacopa lowers cortisol levels in the body, which leads to a better mood and less stress and anxiety. Research showed that bacopa had the same effect on anxiety as an anxiety-controlling medicine. 
The bacopa plant is termed a nootropic plant since it has positive effects on the brain and gives clarity. The plant grows in marshy areas such as SouthEast Asia and tropical regions such as Madagascar and the Caribbean. It is a small perennial plant with green and succulent leaves and white flowers. Since you can commonly find it in wet regions, many call it water hyssop.
Bacopa Side Effects
Even though it is a natural herb, it may cause certain side effects in people. Many people go through stomach cramps, nausea, and even diarrhea. Moreover, it may react with certain drugs and medications, so you need to consult a physician before consuming it. You should only consume bacopa in small amounts for a maximum period of 12 weeks.
It may slow down your heart rate, so you need to check it periodically if you’re using it. If you have ulcers, it could worsen your condition since it increases secretion in the digestive system.
Bacopa for Sleep
Since it is great for reducing stress and anxiety, it may also lead to better sleep in people. It improves one’s mood, but it also makes the brain relax, which makes it easy to sleep for those who have insomnia issues. However, fixing insomnia is not the main characteristic of it. It has other valuable benefits that are far greater than this.
Bacopa for Thyroid
Bacopa and thyroid hormones don’t go well together and may cause severe reactions in the body if consumed together. The thyroid hormone is occurs naturally in the body, and it may affect its production levels. If you already consume the thyroid hormone, then using it may increase thyroid production in the body while increasing its side effects.
Since it tends to increase thyroid levels, those who consume the hormone to increase its levels should consult a doctor and use it for a natural increase in the body.
It can be found easily in health stores and is also available online. It can be found in the form of both supplements and powder. The typical bacopa dosage is between 350 mg to 400 mg per day for adults. However, this dosage depends on the kind of product you are buying. Hence, it is better to consult a doctor before starting bacopa supplements. 
Bacopa powder can be brewed to make tea or added to certain drinks and butter for a herbal touch. Regardless of it being a natural herb, you must ask your doctor before you start using it for any health issues.
Bacopa Benefits for Hair
Bacopa is also famous for its magical effects on skin and hair. It improves and strengthens the hair follicles making hair longer and thicker. Moreover, it has a soothing effect on the scalp, which helps in improving hair growth. It also reduces issues such as dryness on the scalp, dandruff, itchiness, and split ends. Due to its antioxidant nature, it improves hair regeneration and prevents hair damage by forming a protective layer around follicles.
The bacopa plant has been used for ages in the ayurvedic treatment of many ailments. Despite being a natural herb with many benefits and properties, it has some serious side effects and may also lead to reactions in the body with certain medications. Hence, if you wish to try out this magical herb for its properties, you need to consult a doctor before consuming it.
Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your own healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.
Editorial References And Fact-Checking
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- Peth-Nui, T., Wattanathorn, J., Muchimapura, S., Tong-Un, T., Piyavhatkul, N., Rangseekajee, P., Ingkaninan, K., & Vittaya-Areekul, S. (2012). Effects of 12-Week Bacopa monnieri Consumption on Attention, Cognitive Processing, Working Memory, and Functions of Both Cholinergic and Monoaminergic Systems in Healthy Elderly Volunteers. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2012, 606424. https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/606424
- Sultana, R., Perluigi, M., & Butterfield, D. A. (2013). Lipid peroxidation triggers neurodegeneration: a redox proteomics view into the Alzheimer disease brain. Free radical biology & medicine, 62, 157–169. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2012.09.027
- Bhattacharya, S. K., & Ghosal, S. (1998). Anxiolytic activity of a standardized extract of Bacopa monniera: an experimental study. Phytomedicine : international journal of phytotherapy and phytopharmacology, 5(2), 77–82. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0944-7113(98)80001-9
- Pase, M. P., Kean, J., Sarris, J., Neale, C., Scholey, A. B., & Stough, C. (2012). The cognitive-enhancing effects of Bacopa monnieri: a systematic review of randomized, controlled human clinical trials. Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.), 18(7), 647–652. https://doi.org/10.1089/acm.2011.0367