Brahmi is an herb that has been used to improve focus and thought. It can be taken as a powder or pill.
300 to 450 milligrams once daily.
What Research Shows
May Be Effective
- Anxiety —may lower feelings of anxietyA1
Not Enough Data to Assess
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder B1-B3
Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.
It is likely safe to take brahmi for a short time, but it could cause changes in stool frequency, belly cramps, and nausea. Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to take for a long period.
Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse.
A1. Sathyanarayanan V, Thomas T, et al. Brahmi for the better? New findings challenging cognition and anti-anxiety effects of Brahmi (Bacopa monniera) in healthy adults. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2013;227(2):299-306.
B. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
B1. Sarris J, Kean J, Schweitzer I, Lake J. Complementary medicines (herbal and nutritional products) in the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): a systematic review of the evidence. Complement Ther Med. 2011 Aug;19(4):216-27. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2011.06.007. Epub 2011 Jul 26. Review. PubMed PMID: 21827936.
B2. Dave UP, Dingankar SR, Saxena VS, Joseph JA, Bethapudi B, Agarwal A, Kudiganti V. An open-label study to elucidate the effects of standardized Bacopa monnieri extract in the management of symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in children. Adv Mind Body Med. 2014 Spring;28(2):10-5. PubMed PMID: 24682000.
B3. Kean JD, Downey LA, et al. A systematic review of the Ayurvedic medicinal herb Bacopa monnieri in child and adolescent populations. Complement Ther Med. 2016 Dec;29:56-62.
C. Brain Function
C1. Morgan A, Stevens J. Does Bacopa monnieri improve memory performance in older persons? Results of a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial. J Altern Complement Med. 2010;16(7):753-759.
C2. Kongkeaw C, Dilokthornsakul P, et al. Meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials on cognitive effects of Bacopa monnieri extract. J Etnopharmacol. 2014;151(1):528-535.
C3. Cicero AF, Bove M, et al. Short-Term Impact of a Combined Nutraceutical on Cognitive Function, Perceived Stress and Depression in Young Elderly with Cognitive Impairment: A Pilot, Double-Blind, Randomized Clinical Trial. J Prev Alzheimers Dis. 2017;4(1):12-15.
Last reviewed March 2019 by EBSCO CAM Review Board Last Updated: 2/25/2020