Nootropics are substances that enhance cognitive function and improve the overall quality of brain health. They help with processes such as memory, learning, motivation, focus, mood and decision-making. These substances can be either lab-made, synthetic chemical compounds, or natural, found in the composition of various foods and herbs. The most widely-available and well-known synthetic nootropics are those belonging to the racetam class, namely piracetam, aniracetam, oxiracetam and pramiracetam. As for natural nootropics, here is a list of a few of the most famous ones.
Bacopa Monnieri is extracted from the Brahmi plant, which is very popular in Ayurvedic medicine. It is very useful as a supplement in treating Alzheimer’s and anxiety. Bacopa is also very effective at improving memory, focus and hand-eye coordination.
- Lion’s Mane
Lion’s Mane is an edible mushroom, which can be bought either directly from food stores, or in the form of a medicinal supplement. Apart from improving intellectual brain functions, this natural nootropic can also reduce anxiety and depression.
Perhaps the most well-known natural nootropic supplement from this list, Gingko biloba has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years. Modern scientific studies have shown that it is truly effective in improving cognitive performance and reducing anxiety.
- Artichoke Extract
Obtained from the leaves of artichokes, this natural nootropic has been proved to offer neural antioxidant properties. Research has shown that is also enhances memory.
Although the process of obtaining this nootropic substance occurs in a laboratory under specialized manipulation, many consider Huperzine-A a natural nootropic because it is extracted from the Chinese club moss plant. Huperzine A has little to no side effects, and is not toxic in any way, therefore it is safe for consumption in any dosage. It can be used as a companion in the treatment of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
This is an essential amino acid that can be found in turkey and which is the source of the myth according to which eating turkey makes you sleepy. This is a common misconception. Tryptophan is also available in supplement form, and its most notable effect is increasing the serotonin levels in the brain. This is why it can be taken as a supplement while treating depression. Its recommended dosage in this case is three to four times a day.
Another amino acid, L-Theanine is naturally found in green tea. Its beneficial effects also include reducing anxiety and neurodegeneration that occurs in diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. When combining L-Theanine with caffeine, an increase in attention and cognition can be noticed. What is more, L-Theanine cancels out the unpleasant side effects of caffeine, such as headaches and increased pulse. This is why green tea is a great choice if you wish to enhance your brain function.
Natural nootropics are a great choice due to their wide availability both in foods, and in the form of pill or powder supplements. Whatever the case may be, you are sure to find one that will suit your needs, and the best thing is that they do not have unpleasant side effects, if administered correctly!