Bacopa vs. Brahmi: Unraveling the Differences Between Two Remarkable Herbs

In the realm of herbal medicine, Brahmi is a common name for two Ayurvedic herbs with similar benefits. Brahmi refers to Bacopa monnieri in South India and Centella asiaticain North India. Today we will be talking about the two as Bacopa (Bacopa monnieri) and Brahmi (Centella asiatica). There exists a subtle distinction between the two herbs and we will explore the differences between them, shedding light on their botanical origins, traditional uses, and potential health benefits. By understanding these nuances, we can better incorporate these herbs into our wellness routines.

Bacopa: Bacopa has a long history of usein Ayurveda and traditional herbal practices across various cultures. It is renowned for its potential to enhance cognitive function, improve memory, and reduce stress. Bacopa is often used as a nootropic herb to support mental clarity, focus, and learning abilities. It is also valued for its adaptogenic properties, aiding the body's ability to cope with stress.

Brahmi: In Ayurveda, Brahmi is considered a highly esteemed herb renowned for its cognitive-enhancing and rejuvenating properties. Traditionally, it has been used to support mental well-being, enhance memory and concentration, and promote relaxation. Brahmi is also known for its potential lymphatic support and benefits for healthy skin hair

The many benefits they share, like their ability to boost the function of the brain and assist with memory and learning, is the reason both herbs tend to share a common name.


Unlike common brain supplements that stimulate and eventually deplete brain neurons, it has been shown that Bacopa boosts brain function while nourishing the nervous system, thus boosting memory and neuroprotectionBacopa has been identified as one of the few agents capable of increasing the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factors, which are essential for the generation of new neurons. This means that bacopa can aid in the replenishment and replacement of old and worn-out brain cells.

The brain contains significant amounts of iron, which is prone to oxidation. This vulnerability to oxidation makes the brain susceptible to damage. While many of the body's natural antioxidants cannot cross the blood-brain barrier to protect against oxidative brain damage, research has shown that Bacosides, found in Bacopa, can cross this barrier. This ability allows the Bacosides to support and shield the brain from oxidizing agents.

In a study involving rats exposed to high levels of cigarette smoke, researchers measured brain antioxidants in groups with and without bacopa supplementation. The bacopa-supplemented group exhibited significantly higher levels of various antioxidant agents, including glutathione, superoxide dismutase, and vitamins C, E, and A. 


Brahmi contains asiaticosides, brahmosides, brahminosides, and centellosides, which give it a broader range of properties compared to Bacopa. Meaning, Brahmi supports not only the brain but also the lymphatic system and skin.


One study involved 94 patients with venous circulation issues and limb heaviness. They were randomly assigned to take Brahmi for three months. The Brahmi group experienced a significant reduction in limb heaviness, and their venous circulation greatly improved.

Skin Health 

When it comes to skin health, a clinical trial examined 227 patients with scars or keloids. 82% of the participants experienced relief from their keloid and scar tissue-related symptoms. Brahmi has also been shown to increase gastric mucin and glycoprotein secretion, which are essential for maintaining the structural integrity and function of the stomach lining. One study indicated that Brahmi protected the stomach lining from aspirin-induced irritation.

Brain Health

The brahmosides and brahminosides found in Brahmi, offer antioxidant properties, boost neurotransmitters, and reduce stress hormones. This helps detoxify the brain, eliminate free radicals, and support mood, cognitive function, and memory.

While both Brahmi and Bacopa support optimal brain function, Brahmi specifically works to enhance lymphatic drainage of damaging brain toxinsOn the other hand, Bacopa increases cerebral circulation, which creates more cerebral spinal fluid to rid toxins in the brain. When used together, they enhance brain function, memory, and learning.

It is worth noting that in ancient times, Bacopa was combined with Brahmi to aid in memorizing lengthy Vedic hymns and chants. Today, scientific research provides insights into why these two herbs may work synergistically to offer enhanced benefits when used together.

If you're experiencing brain fog, memory issues, or have a family history of cognitive concerns, we recommend taking our Brain Balance with breakfast for sharper brain function, mental clarity, and a healthy nervous system. It can also be taken before bed to support deep sleep and facilitate healthy brain lymphatic drainage during sleep.

Additional Sources

  1. Calabrese C, Gregory WL, Leo M, Kraemer D, Bone K, Oken B. Effects of a standardized Bacopa monnieri extract on cognitive performance, anxiety, and depression in the elderly: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. J Altern Complement Med. 2008 Jul;14(6):707-13.
  2. Aguiar S, Borowski T. Neuropharmacological review of the nootropic herb Bacopa monnieri. Rejuvenation Res. 2013 Aug;16(4):313-26.
  3. Raghav S, Singh H, Dalal PK, Srivastava JS, Asthana OP. Randomized controlled trial of standardized Bacopa monniera extract in age-associated memory impairment. Indian J Psychiatry. 2006 Oct;48(4):238-42.
  4. Support Mood + Memory with Ayurvedic Herbs Brahmi + Bacopa

Annie Pavone

May 29, 2023

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MAY 22, 2023

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