Article Outline
  1. 1. Composition
  2. 2. Healing Properties
    1. 2.1. Adaptogenic Activity (adaptogen)
    2. 2.2. Anti-aging
    3. 2.3. Anti-Cancer
    4. 2.4. Antidepressant
    5. 2.5. Cognition-Enhancing (Nootropic)
      1. 2.5.1. Learning
      2. 2.5.2. Memory
      3. 2.5.3. Neuroprotective
    6. 2.6. Male reproductive health
      1. 2.6.1. Spermatogenesis
  3. 3. Disease / Symptom Treatment
    1. 3.1. Amnesia
    2. 3.2. Anxiety
    3. 3.3. Attention-Deficit Disorder
    4. 3.4. Cancer
    5. 3.5. Depression
    6. 3.6. Epilepsy
    7. 3.7. Morphine dependence
    8. 3.8. Neurodegenerative Diseases
      1. 3.8.1. Alzheimer’s

Bacopa (Bacopa monnieri L.) is also known as thyme-leaved Gratiola or water hyssop (Waterhyssop). Bacopa has been used for augmentation of learning, memory, and brain health for thousands of years.


Standardized extract of Bacopa monnieri contains at least 55% bacosides.

Healing Properties

Adaptogenic Activity (adaptogen)

High doses of standardized extract of B. monniera significantly reversed chronic stress-induced changes in ulcer index and adrenal gland weight.[1]


Bacopa has strong potential for safely enhancing cognitive performance in ageing.[1:1]


Bacopaside II, an extract from the medicinal herb Bacopa monnieri. has promising anti-cancer activity for the treatment of colorectal and other cancers.[2]

  • Bacopaside II inhibits colon cancer cell growth by inducing cell cycle arrest and apoptosis.[2:1]
  • Bacopaside II inhibits migration of colon cancer cells. [2:2]


Methanolic extract of B. monnieri given once daily for 5 days showed significant antidepressant activity.[1:2]

Cognition-Enhancing (Nootropic)

  • Alcoholic extract of B. monnieri improves the performance in various learning situations.[1:3]
  • Bacosides enhance the protein kinase activity in the hippocampus which could be contributing factor to the nootropic activity.
  • Several randomized, controlled human clinical trials have proved the cognition-enhancing and nootropic effects of Bacopa.[1:4]
  • Researchers have suggested that bacosides cause membrane dephosphorylation, with a conjoined increase in protein and RNA turnover in specific brain areas.


  • Treatment with the ethanolic extract of B. monnieri showed enhanced learning ability.
  • Bacosides A and B have facilitatory effect on mental retention capacity as they tend to improve responses with positive and negative reinforcement.


The memory augmenting effect of BM is well documented.

  • B. monnieri decreases the rate of forgetting of newly acquired information.[1:5]
  • Chronic use of Bacopa has been shown to result in improved higher-order cognitive processes that are dependent on learning and memory.[1:6]


B. monniera has been reported to have protective effect from phenytoin-induced cognitive deficit.[1:7]

  • Extract of B. monniera (40 mg/kg/day) prevents lipid accumulation and protein damage caused by aluminium intake.
  • Bacopa monnieri demonstrated neuroprotective activity on beta-amyloid-induced cell death.[1:8]

Male reproductive health


Treatment with standardized extract of Bacopa monnieri improves sperm quality, and spermatogenic cell density and steroidogenic indices in the testis.[3]

  • Treatment with standardized extract of Bacopa monnieri for 28 days caused:[3:1]
    • A significant increase in:
      • Spermatogenic cell density (increases were noted in germinal epithelial height and tubular diameter).
      • Proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) index (a useful marker for assessing germ cell kinetics and spermatogenesis).[4]
      • Steroidogenic indices in the testis (enzyme activity)
      • Sperm viability in cauda epididymis (sperm that is being held “in storage” within the epididymis).
    • This same treatment caused a significant decrease in:
      • Abnormal sperm morphology in cauda epididymidis.[3:2]
      • Lipid peroxidation levels in testis (oxidative degradation of lipids, cell damage).

Disease / Symptom Treatment


Bacopa monniera extract demonstrated anti-amnesic effects.[1:9]


A daily dose of 12 g of Bacopa syrup showed significant improvements in anxiety concentration and memory in patients suffering from anxiety neurosis.[1:10]

Attention-Deficit Disorder

(ADD) Alcoholic extract of Bacopa, administered to children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, demonstrated significant improvement in the areas of sentence repetition, logical memory, and pair associative learning.[1:11]


Bacopaside IIshows promising anti-cancer activity for the treatment of colorectal and other cancers.[2:3]



Bacoside A has been shown to ameliorate epilepsy-associated behavioural deficits.[1:12]

Morphine dependence

N-Butanolic extract of B. monnieri containing bacoside A (bacoside A3, bacopaside II and bacopasaponin C) has been shown to reduce morphine hyperactivity and the elevated striatal dopamine and serotonin turnover.[1:13]

Neurodegenerative Diseases

Extract of Bacopa monniera has been reported to improve cognition in old-age people and in patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases.[1:14]


  • Bacopa monnieri demonstrated neuroprotective activity on beta-amyloid-induced cell death.[1:15]

  1. Title: Pharmacotherapeutic Potential of Natural Products in Neurological Disorders
    Publication: Springer Nature Singapore
    Date: 20 June 2018
    Study Type: Pre-clinical neuropharmacological investigations, comprehensive overview
    Author(s): Amritpal Singh SaroyaJaswinder Singh
    Institution(s): Herbal Consultant Mohali India; Ram Das Institute of Medical Science Amritsar India
    IPFS:, cloudflare ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎

  2. Title: The Purified Extract from the Medicinal Plant Bacopa monnieri, Bacopaside II, Inhibits Growth of Colon Cancer Cells In Vitro by Inducing Cell Cycle Arrest and Apoptosis
    Publication: MDPI: Cells
    Date: 21 July 2018
    Study Type: Human Study: In Vitro
    Author(s): Eric Smith, Helen M. Palethorpe, Yoko Tomita, Jinxin V. Pei, Amanda R. Townsend, Timothy J. Price, Joanne P. Young, Andrea J. Yool, and Jennifer E. Hardingham
    Institution(s): The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woodville South SA, Australia; University of Adelaide, Adelaide SA, Australia
    IPFS:, cloudflare ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎

  3. Title: Effect of standardized extract of Bacopa monnieri (CDRI-08) on testicular functions in adult male mice
    Publication: Journal of Ethnopharmacology
    Date: February 2017
    Study Type: Animal Study
    Author(s): Shishir Kumar Patel, Shilpi Singh, Hemant Kumar Singh, Shio Kumar Singh
    Institution(s): Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India; Lumen Research Foundation, Chennai, India
    IPFS:, cloudflare ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎

  4. Title: Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen as a Molecular Biomarker for Spermatogenesis in PTU-Induced Hypothyroidism of Rats
    Publication: Springer: Reproductive Sciences
    Date: December 2011
    Study Type: Animal Study: In Vivo
    Author(s): Ehab Tousson, Ehab M. M. Ali, Wafaa Ibrahim, Mohammed A. Mansour
    Institutions: Tanta University, Tanta, Egypt
    IPFS:, cloudflare ↩︎