bacopa enhances memory, attention and cognition in healthy people

Bacopa is not a herb that has gotten the attention it deserves. This very promising herb has shown incredible results on cognition in healthy people. Bacopa makes you smarter.

A review of the past several decades research included bacopa in a very short list of herbs with convincing evidence for helping cognition (Pharmacol Res 2018;130:204-212). The others, by the way, were Ginkgo biloba, dark chocolate and saffron.

There are several double-blind studies supporting the use of bacopa to enhance learning, attention and memory in healthy people (Psychopharmacology 2001;156:481-484; Neuropsychoparmacology 2002;27:279- 281; Phytother Res 2008;22:1629-1634; J Alt Comp Med 2008;14:707-713; J Alt Comp Med 2010;16:735-739; Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2012; doi:10.1155/2012/606424).

A systematic review of 6 high quality double-blind studies concluded that bacopa helps improve recall in healthy people (J Alt Comp Med 2012;647-652). Most recently, a review of 15 studies, 13 of them double-blind, found that bacopa works. All of the studies, including two on children, confirmed the benefits of bacopa, especially for memory, learning, attention and speed of processing. One unblended study also provided hope for bacopa and Alzheimer’s (Drug Target Insights July 31,2019;13:1177392819866412).

In one of the most recent studies, 58 medical students were given either a placebo or 150mg of bacopa extract twice a day for 6 weeks in a double-blind study. The researchers wanted to test the effects of bacopa on memory in people with already high cognitive abilities.

They got good news: it made their cognitive abilities even higher. The students who took the bacopa had significant improvement in cognitive function, including working memory, logical memory and attention and distractibility.  

This study adds to evidence that bacopa is a powerful herb for enhancing cognition.

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2016, Article ID 4103423, 8 pages, 2016

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