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Natural and Alternative Treatments Index Page | Herbs & Supplements:


Supplement Forms/Alternate Names:
  • Bacopa monnieri, coastal waterhyssop, thyme-leafed gratiola, waterhyssop, herb of grace
Principal Proposed Uses
  • Enhancing Memory and Mental Function
Other Proposed Uses
  • Allergies; Asthma; Depression; Enhancing Memory; Hypothyroidism; Narcotic Addiction; Ulcers



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

Likely Effective

May Be Effective

  • Anxiety—may lower feelings of anxietyA1

Not Enough Data to Assess

  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorderB1-B3

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.


Safety Notes

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.

References [ + ]

A. A. Anxiety

A1. 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. B. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

B1. 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. 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. 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. C. Brain Function

C1. 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. 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: 2/17/20

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