Bacopa Herbal Preparation for Inattentive ADHD

In May I posed about a study that had been performed on an herbal compound called Nurture and Clarity that had been found to help ADHD. This study was unique in that it contained a control group that did not receive the product and the study found significant improvement in the children who took this product.

The study also was unique in that each herbal remedy used in this compound had a mechanism of action that uniquely addressed problems seen in the cognitive functioning of children with ADHD.The ingredients in Nurture and clarity include:

  • Bacopa or Brahmi is a brain antioxidant that is also thought to help with neurotransmitter function.
  • Lemon balm: A potent inhibitor of GABA transaminase. This GABA transaminase has been found to be elevated in people with hyperactive ADHD.  In India it is used for Inattentive ADHD.
  • Paeoniae Alba: Acts much like coffee on adenosine.
  • Spirulina: A substance rich in essential fatty acids, B vitamins, many other vitamins, zinc, and all the essential amino acids. The researchers of the Nurture and Clarity study reported that, " Preliminary evidence supports the idea that supplementation with these nutrients may help to ameliorate ADHD". It is available in stores and can be taken in tablet and powder form.
  • Centella Asiatica: Another anti-oxidant that also have been found to increased neurite elongation and dendritic growth in the brain.
  • Wathania somnifera: An herb has been shown to normalize the HPA axis and the neuroendocrine system and to increase neurotransmitter action.

Hyperactive/Impulsive children in the Nurture and Clarity study got addition herbs. The herbs given to these children were:

  • Chamomile: Known to be relaxing and sedating.
  • Passiflora Incarnata or passion flower: Also shown in studies to be calming.

Nuture and Clarity will cost you about $50.00 a month when you factor in shipping.  I consider this to be an expensive herbal supplement to use for my son with Inattentive ADHD..  None of the above products are difficult to buy at your health food store but when I set out to supplement our diets with these products it proved difficult because of the fact that you would have to consume several teas in one day to get all the active ingredients into you. I set out to find an alternative and found a product on Amazon.

Bacopa is cheap, $5.00 for 60 pills. My son and I take one small blue pill every morning and I have noticed a great improvement in both of our levels of school work and life work. We both still dring a cup or two of coffee a day and we still take multivitamins that have an appropriate amount of the B vitamins and Zinc.  One bottle lasts us one month and we have been taking it now for three months. The ingredients in Mentat are safe and are similar or identical to the ingredients in Nurture and Clarity and they include all the herbs that would help with the Inattentive subtype of ADHD.  The ingredients include:

  • Thyme leaved gratiola / Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) 136mg
  • Indian pennywort / Mandukaparni (Centella asiatica) 70mg
  • Winter Cherry / Ashvagandha (Withania Somnifera) 52mg
  • Morning glory / Vishnukrantha (Evolvulus alsinoides) 52mg
  • Musk root / Jatamansi(Nardostachys jatamansi) 52mg
  • Indian valerian / Tagara(Valeriana wallichii) 50mg
  • False Black Pepper / Vidanga(Embelia ribes) 50mg
  • Almond / Vatadha(Prunus amygdalus) 50mg
  • Sweet Flag / Vacha (Acorus calamus) 42mg
  • Chebulic myrobalan / Haritaki(Terminalia chebula) 36mg
  • Indian gooseberry / Amalaki (Emblica officinalis) 36mg
  • Gulancha tinospora / Guduchi(Tinospora cordifolia) 36mg
  • Staff tree / Jyotishmati(Celastrus paniculatus) 32mg
  • Trumpet creeper / Shyonaka(Oroxylum indicum) 32mg
  • Thyme leaved gratiola / Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) 80mg
Bacopa has been researched extensively in India by a company called Himalaya Herbal.  At their website I found multiple studies that had been performed showing an improvement in cognitive function with the use of this product. This same company makes a product called Mentat and Mentat syrup for children but as far as I know, the syrup is not available in the United States.  It can, however, be purchased on Ebay.

It is interesting to note that several of these herbs are antioxidants and that several studies of children and adults with ADHD have shown oxidative imbalances in the brain of people with this condition.

I believe that as more studies are performed on these herbal preparations, we will find that these combinations are helpful in treating a number of problems that cause our cognition to be less than optimal.

Oxidative imbalance in child and adolescent patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
Ceylan M, Sener S, Bayraktar AC, Kavutcu M.
Progress in Neuropsychopharmacoly and Biological Psychiatry. 2010 Aug 20


  1. Hi. I'm the mom of a kid who pretty much defines SCT and am wondering whether you're still taking this supplement and if so, whether you still find it helpful. After 12 years of trying different training programs, treatments, drugs, and supplements, we seem to be doing best with a combination of supplements now that address energy availability and oxidant levels (omega 3s, Acetyl L Carnosine, L Carnitine, CoQ, Sharp Thought PS, zinc, methyl b12, lecitin). I'd be interested in hearing what you and others have found useful in terms of supplements. My daughter's reporting is unreliable so we have to judge effectiveness based on observation.

  2. Yes, We still take it and have found it to be helpful. You can also find it on ebay if you do not have an Indian market around.

    Have you tried any of the EEG brain wave therapy? I have read that folks with SCT are kind of stuck in a Theta brain wave state and have trouble getting to the alpha state which is the best brain wave state to be in for learning.
    The folks at a site I will soon post about give out free MP3s that are supposed to get you into the alpha state.

    You are supposed to listen to the MP3s with earphones as that supposedly gives the best results. I would love to know if you have tried any of this auditory brain wave therapy.

    Thanks for writing in. Tess

  3. Thanks for your comment. Let me know how it goes!

  4. A question about the Mentat: Why do you use the Indian version of Mentat and not the US version they make called MindCare (also by Himalaya Herbal Healthcare and apparently more readily available in the US)?

  5. Great Question! The Mentat is the cheapest formulation that I have found. It contains 136mgs of Brahmi (Bacopa Monieri). I have found the MindCare to sell for more and I have not been able to determine exactly the amount of Bacopa in it.

    Studies have shown that 3mg per Kg of body weight is the correct dose. For a child that weighs 40kg (90 pound) or less, one Mentat would be perfect. You can by this on ebay for $5.00 for 60 and that includes shipping.

    I see now that Amazon also has the Mentat. It is cheaper than the MindCare and the Swanson Bacopa that is in the picture above. Some folks prefer to get their supplements from Manufacturers in the US and for those people, the Swansons brand is a good choice though not nearly as affordable as the Mentat.

    Thanks for your excellent question.!!

  6. Thanks for your quick and helpful response!

  7. Taking that kind of herbal product can help reduce the effects of ADHD. Thank for sharing that valuable information.

    Supplements Canada

  8. Does anyone know which one has the smallest pill with a coating? I have the Himalaya Bacopa and even when they are broken in half my son cannot swallow them.


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