TL;DR Article Summary
Bacopa monnieri is a herb you’ve probably heard of if you’ve ever delved into nootropics. This herb is one of the most popular adaptogens, with studies showing it helps memory and brain health. But as with any supplement, there are some people who should avoid it. These include:
- Pregnant or Breastfeeding: Effects on babies aren’t clear.
- Taking Medications: It might interact with certain drugs.
There are reports on Reddit linking Bacopa monnieri to anhedonia, a condition where one doesn’t feel pleasure. Some users felt that Bacopa worsened their anhedonia. However, everyone’s body reacts differently, so it’s essential to consult your doctor if you are not sure if Bacopa is right for you.
Bacopa Monnieri is a plant that has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine. It is also used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It can be found in many over-the-counter supplements. Particularly nootropics.
The plant is not recommended for those with a history of liver or kidney disease, pregnant women, or breastfeeding mothers. Bacopa Monnieri is generally safe for adults who don’t have any medical conditions. If you do, talk to your MD before taking Bacopa.
Other people who should not take Bacopa Monnier are those who have a history of epilepsy or seizures. If you have any type of seizure disorder, steer clear of this one.
Bacopa monnieri contains many types of bacosides, which are active compounds found in the leaves and roots of this plant. Bacosides can be extracted from these parts for various purposes such as traditional medicines, food supplements and animal feed supplements.
In recent research, bacosides in the leaves of B. monnieri have been found to reduce anxiety and depression, fight Alzheimer’s disease and have an anti-inflammatory effect that protects from cancer. The cancer part is still very much underresearched, though, so don’t jump on it yet.
Safety of Bacopa Monnieri
Bacopa Monnieri doesn’t have any major side effects when taken at the recommended dosage of up to 300mg per day. It has a bell curve effect where higher dosages don’t bring additional benefit, but may increase the risk of side effects.
The plant is said to be safe for most people – BUT – you should consult your doctor if you are taking medications, especially SSRIs. This is due to the fact that Bacopa affects serotonin receptors in the brain, much like SSRIs do. The combination of the two, in extreme cases, could lead to serotonin syndrome.
Bacopa Monnieri’s Side Effects
Some people may experience side effects such as nausea and vomiting when taking Bacopa Monnieri supplements. However, these are rare. As mentioned above, it’s a relatively safe and well-studied herb; there should be no side effects for most individuals.
Bacopa, Lethargy, and Anhedonia
Here’s a summary of our research on Bacopa and its potential to cause some users to feel lethargy or/and anhedonia:
- Bacopa Lethargy: Many users have reported experiencing lethargy after consuming Bacopa. This lethargy is described as a feeling of being “zoned out” or “spaced out.” Some users feel like they are in a dream-like state, while others feel like they are moving in slow motion.
- Duration of Effects: For some, the lethargy lasts for a few hours after taking Bacopa, while for others, it can last the entire day. The intensity and duration seem to vary among individuals.
- Dosage: The dosage of Bacopa consumed might play a role in the severity of the lethargy. Some users have reported that reducing the dosage helped in alleviating the lethargic effects.
- Combination with Other Supplements: Some users have tried combining Bacopa with other supplements to counteract the lethargy. For instance, combining it with a stimulant like caffeine might help in reducing the lethargic effects.
- Positive Effects: Despite the lethargy, many users continue to take Bacopa because of its cognitive-enhancing benefits. Some have reported improved memory and focus, which they believe outweighs the negative side effects.
- Individual Differences: It’s important to note that everyone’s body reacts differently to supplements. While some might experience severe lethargy, others might not feel it at all. It’s always recommended to start with a lower dosage and monitor one’s reactions.
- Recommendations: Some users suggest taking Bacopa before bedtime to avoid the lethargic effects during the day. Others recommend cycling Bacopa, i.e., taking it for a few weeks and then taking a break.
All in all, be smart when taking Bacopa if this is your first time taking it, and start with a lower dose. For most people, this ancient herb works great, but there are always exceptions.