Toxicology and recommended doses

The LD50 of aqueous and alcoholic extracts of Bacopa monnieri in rats were 1000 mg and 15 g/kg by the intraperitoneal route, respectively. The aqueous extract given orally at a dose of 5 g/kg did not show any toxicity. The LD50 of the alcoholic extract was 17 g/kg given orally. Both extracts did not produce any gross behavioral changes at these levels.

A phase I, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial investigated the safety of pharmacological doses of isolated bacosides in healthy, male, human volunteers. Single (20-30 mg) and multiple (100-200 mg) daily doses of bacosides for 4 weeks were well tolerated and devoid of adverse side effects. Except for an isolated case in one uncontrolled trial, no untoward side effects were reported in any of the clinical trials conducted.

Bacopa monnieri has a record of several hundred years of safe use in ayurvedic medicine. The daily doses generally recommended in traditional practice are 8-16 ml of the infusion or 5-10 g of the powder. The recommended daily dose of Bacopin® (standardized to contain a minimum of 20% Bacosides A and B) for adults and children are as follows:

  • Adult: 100 mg – 3 times daily
  • Children: 50 mg – 3 times daily

Bacopa monnieri can be combined with Ginkgo biloba, Ashwagandha, antioxidants such as rosemary, Centella asiatica and other nutraceuticals to yield comprehensive formulations beneficial in the management of cognitive dysfunction. A recent publication lists Bacopa monnieri as one of the five substances (the others being Ginkgo biloba, phosphatidylserine, acetyl-carnitine, and vinpocetine) offering interesting contributions (specifically anti-anxiety, anti-fatigue and memory-strengthening effects) to a personalized approach in the integrative management of cognitive dysfunction. The adaptogenic properties of the herb would be beneficial in the management of stress-related conditions.