I started growing Bacopa in my New York City backyard garden. It is a lovely herb from which beautiful little white flowers bloom. ( You can’t see them in the picture of my hand above because the white flowers are finished blooming.) It usually needs really damp conditions to grow, but I think I have one planter that is sufficiently soggy enough for Bacopa to flourish.
Why should you grow/eat/drink Bacopa?
Some studies show it improves mental sharpness and memory, especially one’s ability to remember details that they just heard. It may help slow down rates of dementia as well. Bacopa contains a lot of antioxidants, which helps reduce oxidative stress within one’s body, but it is also shown to improve cerebral blood flow, or blood flow to the brain, which would be my best guess on how it improves one’s memory and mental sharpness. When should you use Bacopa? Anytime, really. I like to call it the “test-taking” or “finals week” herb, because it improves short-term memory, and thus your ability to remember useless knowledge for a written or oral exam. You may end up with a higher score! Maybe you have to memorize lines, impress someone during an interview, memorize phone numbers, win a Spelling Bee., etc., etc…., you get it.
You can purchase Bacopa as a supplement from a supplement manufacturer, however, I would recommend buying and growing your own if you can. OR at the least buying the whole herb instead of the herb as a supplement capsule. I write that, because if you grow the herb, you will at least know exactly what you are getting. The supplement world is completely unregulated, so you have no idea if you are really buying Bacopa capsules or a combination of rat crap, sprinkles, and rice grains advertised as Bacopa. (Just saying, people. It’s your body, so you should know exactly what you’re putting in it. Human nature can be sleazy, so you can’t blindly trust marketing. Well you can, but you’d be an idiot.)
There are no serious side effects recorded. Some people complain of GI issues, such as nausea or diarrhea, but everyone always complains of those things, so don’t worry. I mean, you couldn’t have “side effects” without nausea and diarrhea. ( Just saying)
If you decide to grow your own Bacopa, here is a recipe for memory-boosting: Bacopa tea! Boil 4 cups of the herb (chopped up) with 4 cups of boiling water. Let simmer for a bit. Add lime or lemon for taste and then enjoy a nice cup of tea. It’s great chilled, as well!