Bacopa monniera, known as Brahmi in Ayurvedic medicine, is a plant native to marshy areas of India. While research for its effectiveness is lacking, according to the University of Michigan Health System, Brahmi has a traditional role for treating several health disorders and for improving memory, learning and general mental function. Research with humans has used an extract standardized for 55 percent bacosides, as noted by the UMHS, taken in daily doses of 300 to 450 mg. Standard dosages listed by the University of Maryland Medical Center for certain conditions are lower. Brahmi is commonly available in dried extracts formulated into tablets or capsules. The UMMC cautions people to consult with a qualified health care provider before beginning any herbal therapy.
Dosage for Stress Symptoms
Brahmi may be beneficial for relieving symptoms of stress and anxiety, at doses of 50 to 100 mg taken three times per day, according to the UMMC. Along with relieving symptoms resulting from generally stressful situations, this dosage of Brahmi may be helpful for treating hypochondriasis, a fear or preoccupation with the possibility of having serious illness. It also may help lessen symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, commonly called PTSD. This condition may develop after an extremely stressful or frightening event, particularly if feelings of helplessness were involved.
Dosage for General Mental Functioning
Research using 300 mg of Brahmi per day has found benefits for mental functioning. A study published in the August 2001 issue of "Psychopharmacology" observed participants taking either bacopa or a placebo for 12 weeks. Bacopa supplementation appeared to significantly increase participants' speed of visual information processing, and improve learning rate and memory. Additionally, during a study published in the July 2008 issue of the "Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine," healthy participants aged 65 and older received either a placebo or 300 mg of bacopa daily. Those taking bacopa experienced both enhanced word recall memory and ability to ignore irrelevant information. They also experienced a decrease in depression and anxiety scores compared to the placebo group.
Dosage for Parkinson's Disease
Brahmi also is used as alternative medicine to treat people with Parkinson's disease. This progressive central nervous system disorder causes tremors, slowed movement, altered gait and rigidity. Brahmi effects particularly beneficial for Parkinson's patients include improved circulation to the brain, better general neurological and cognitive function, and improved mood, according to the UMMC. Some health care providers suggest 100 to 200 mg of Brahmi twice daily for treating Parkinson's disease.
- University of Michigan Health System: Bacopa
- "Psychopharmacology"; Chronic Effects of Brahmi on Cognitive Function; C. Stough, et al.; August 2001
- "Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine"; Effects of Bacopa Monnieri on Cognitive Performance, Anxiety and Depression in the Elderly; C. Calabrese, et al.; July 2008
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Stress
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Parkinson's Disease