Bacopa, also known as brahmi, is a plant genus that comprises nearly 100 aquatic plant species.1 These plants grow throughout areas of the tropics and subtropics.1 One of the more common species, Bacopa monnieri, is found in areas of Australia, South America, and India, and is said to have medicinal and therapeutic properties.1 The Bacopa monnieri species is a relative of snapdragons and spinach.2 It features white flowers and crinkled leaves and is oftentimes found floating in wetlands and marshes.2 Bacopa has long been used in India as an herbal remedy, and the whole herb can be used for a variety of health conditions.1,2 Bacopa can be taken orally as a powder capsule or liquid extract.1
Bacopa benefits are vast, but one of the more common bacopa uses is for cognitive improvement. It can also help with conditions like stress and hypochondriasis.3,4 Its benefits on the nervous system make it an effective home remedy for the following conditions:
Like with any herb, bacopa should be taken with caution. Known bacopa side effects include:4,7,9
Among bacopa side effects, it may increase secretions in the lungs, stomach, gastrointestinal tract, and urinary tract.3,7 Do not take bacopa if you have intestinal problems, stomach ulcers, or lung problems like emphysema.5 Talk to your physician about any other herbs or medications you’re taking to ensure they won’t interact with a bacopa diet. Do not use bacopa as a substitution for prescription medications before discussing your options with your doctor.