Nootropic is a term that encompasses a group of substances used by many people to improve cognitive ability. Some benefits of using herbal nootropic substances include; Increased attention span, improved memory retention, and improvements in concentration, motivation, and overall IQ. What’s especially impressive about nootropics is the fact that they have little to no adverse side effects, and herbal nootropics are known to have no adverse side effects at all usually.
How Do Herbal Nootropics Work?
Now you may be wondering, how do herbal nootropic substances work? Well, a simple answer is that they work by activating complex mechanisms in the brain which result in enhanced cognitive ability. Some of these reactions and effects include:
- Increases energy levels
- Inflammation reduction (in specific parts of the brain)
- Boosts the functionality and availability of essential neurotransmitters
- Increases blood circulation and oxygen flow to the brain
- Replenishes vital nutrients required by the body
- Enhances the mind’s resistance to stress
- Protects the brain from diseases and toxins
- Increases neuroplasticity
- Stimulates brain cell growth
- Prevents brain damage caused by age-related problems
It’s important to understand the following points before you start using any herbal nootropic medication.
- Humans have not always used nootropic substances (including herbal nootropics) for improving cognitive abilities; their ability to do so has only recently been discovered and recognized by mainstream science. There are still many unknowns and possibly other benefits we have not yet determined about these substances.
- Herbal nootropics are in no way a replacement for exercise sleep or diet. A healthy amount of sleep, exercise, sunshine and a balanced diet are vital to a person’s overall success, and will only improve the effects of these drugs and allow them to work to full potential; so it is essential to maintain those three critical areas of lifestyle. Even though some herbal nootropics are known for assisting in improving levels of energy, activity, and alertness, they are not replacements for those things.
- Herbal nootropic substances are just a tool, they cannot give you superpowers, but they can provide improvements in many cognitive areas which can enhance one’s intellectual capabilities to become more successful.
- The benefits that herbal nootropics may provide will not affect every person in the same way. Depending on a person’s biochemical make-up the effects may be stronger or weaker, or even nonexistent. Certain herbal nootropics may not be right for you, so it’s essential to do your research before beginning to take these substances on a regular basis.
Safe And Effective Herbal Cognitive Enhancers
The list of available herbal nootropics and their effects is a long one; this is why it may be difficult for you to choose which ones will be the best fit for you. An excellent way to determine this is by asking yourself some probing questions. First, why do you want to use nootropics in the first place? What specific goals are you trying to achieve? Do you often find it difficult to get through long written tasks? Do you wish to unlock intellectual potential in yourself?
Asking yourself these types of questions will help to narrow down your selection by sifting through the different effects herbal nootropics have, and how they match up with your needs. For example, some people may be looking for a substance to increase motivation and libido to improve physical activity, while others may be looking for a concentration and focus enhancement to help them get through their studies or work. Whatever the case may be, researching different nootropics and learning about their effects will make choosing the best one much easier for you.
To help, we have written more about some popular nootropics and their benefits below.
Huperzine A is a pretty well-known herbal nootropic, and this substance is proven to have cognitive enhancing properties. It works by crossing the blood-brain area, slowing down the process of enzymes that deteriorate acetylcholine in the brain.
Acetylcholine is an important neurotransmitter that improves muscular and cognitive performance. Higher levels of acetylcholine result in both physical and mental improvements. For this reason, huperzine A is an extremely versatile substance. Athletes can benefit from its tangible benefits, and scholars can use it for its cognitive enhancing abilities. Some other benefits of huperzine A are:
- Boasts a high oral bioavailability
- Protects the brain against degenerative and age-related diseases
- Improved memory retention
- Improves overall cognitive functionality
Bacopa Monnieri is a herbal nootropic substance extracted from perennial herbs commonly found in the wetlands of many Asian countries. Some of the places that grow and harvest this substance are China, Pakistan, Nepal, Taiwan, and India. This herb is also able to be grown indoors; seeds may be purchased online and shipped to western countries as well. The use of bacopa monnieri for cognitive enhancement traces back thousands of years and is more suitable to those seeking intellectual improvements. Some other benefits of this drug include:
- Improved neuron communication
- Increased blood-flow within the brain
- Acts as an antioxidant which improves overall health
- Reduces levels of anxiety and stress
- Enhances total sense of well-being
- Improves focus and concentration
- Improves memory retention
Ginkgo Biloba is another widely recognized herbal nootropic. This substance works well for those who wish to improve specific cognitive abilities. This herb has existed for hundreds of years and is still used to this day. The Chinese were among the first people to discover this herb and use it for its benefits. Ginkgo Biloba is most commonly known for treating high blood pressure, peripheral arterial disease, macular degeneration, tinnitus, and many other blood-related issues. Similar to many other herbal nootropics, doctors often prescribe Ginkgo Biloba for treating age-related cognitive decline. This herb also has many other benefits such as:
- Maintaining mental acuity
- Increasing short-term and long-term memory retention
- Assists in treating neurodegenerative diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s
- Maintains proper blood pressure levels
- Enhances focus and concentration
L-Theanine is a type of amino acid commonly derived from tea plants such as black and green. When consumed, it produces anxiolytic and calming effects but does not cause drowsiness. This substance is also known for being able to reduce levels of stress in its users, among other things. Some research also indicates that this herb improves attention, focus and reduces overall stress levels. Combining this herb with caffeinated drinks such as coffee or tea is a standard method used by many people to enhance its effects further. The combination of caffeine and L-Theanine may also reduce adverse side effects such as jitters, and caffeine addiction. Some other benefits of using this nootropic include:
- Increased levels of energy
- Relaxation of the mind
- Improved attention pan
- Stress reduction
- Overall mood improvements
Vinpocetine is a synthetic nootropic that originates from the periwinkle plant. It is known to be an active protective and anti-aging chemical. Vinpocetine may increase memory retention in its users and promotes blood flow to the brain. This drug is suitable for the elderly since it also can help to treat age-related cognitive diseases. Some benefits of using vinpocetine are:
- Reduced neural inflammation
- Protection against overstimulation and toxins
- Amnesia prevention (regular use)
- Memory enhancement
- Chronic headache prevention and treatment
It is important to remember to consult a professional before consuming vinpocetine because even though it is innately herbal, it is still a synthetic compound and is not suitable for everyone.
Turmeric is a type of herb that is closely related to its cousin ginger. Turmeric is a top dog in the “zest” family and its benefits standout among its peers. It is also commonly used in cooking and smoothies. Turmeric like many of its related herbs is a plant that can last for a very long time and grows to heights of 5-6 feet. Turmeric most commonly grows in Southern Asia; its flowers characteristics are trumpet-formed, dull yellow blooms.
Turmeric has something called “globules” that form “rhizomes,” and these form to create the stems and roots needed for new plants to grow. Turmeric is an incredibly fragrant herb that uncooked has a somewhat bitter taste to it. This herb also lives in some tropical areas of the planet, but its most common in India where larger plants grow and locals use it in cooking native dishes like curry.
Curcumin is also an active agent against preventing cancer. It works by targeting and destroying free-radicals within the body which are harmful to cell films and can negatively alter DNA. The reinforcements of cells fight off free-radicals and help to reduce the amount of harm they do in the body. Curcumin also lowers levels of proteins in the body that can cause aggravation and stress. It does this by preventing “platelets” from forming bunches that can cause blood clotting. The roots (rhizomes and globules) are used in medicine as natural nootropics and are considered to be food safe. To cook these, one must boil them and dry them which will bring out a yellowish color that forms into a powder. Turmeric and curcumin are unique nootropic substances that not only have cancer prevention properties but also help to reinforce cells in the body.
Turmeric in the United States is considered to be a part of the zest family. Not only does this herb have a deliciously distinctive flavor, but it also is used in many modern medicinal and cosmetic products. Some people believe that turmeric may have harmful side-effects, but most scientific research shows that these effects are rare and that turmeric is safe to use for medicinal purposes. Turmeric may not be able to cure disorders entirely on its own, but the fact is that it can aid in treatment and overall well-being.
Research has shown that turmeric use can reduce rheumatoid joint inflammation and osteoarthritis. Patients using this herb have reported that feelings of aggravation and pain decrease after using turmeric related nootropics. A test done on rats showed that turmeric did reduce swelling in the joints of rats that had rheumatoid joint inflammation. Moreover, turmeric use also may contain specific calming properties which can help users to feel relaxed and lower stress levels.
There is some research that shows turmeric can eliminate feelings of tingling due to skin growth. There is more research required in this area but it’s worth a mention. Nonetheless, these advantages certainly give an impression that is promising.
Turmerics medicinal history dates back to India’s Ayurvedic practices. Some of the advantages of turmeric use noted by medical professionals and users alike are; Intensely bolstering cerebral well-being and neuronal protection. Turmeric is undoubtedly a powerhouse compared to many other herbal nootropics. The curcuminoids in turmeric help to protect cerebrum cells from damage and oxidative pressure. These qualities are what allow turmeric to battle age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Turmerics use for treatment of age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s is an area that scientist and researchers are specifically interested. Chemicals of this herb can separate amyloid-beta plaques, which is an effect known to improve the treatment of degenerative diseases. It is still not yet known how exactly turmeric functions in the cerebrum, however, it is guaranteed that it has abilities to help the treatment of Alzheimer’s. Scientific opinion is not entirely supportive of these benefits as of yet, but time and more research will surely sway the naysayers views.
Since Turmeric is a natural nootropic substance initially used to treat bone-related issues, it is recently used by many professionals to treat osteoporosis. As mentioned earlier scientists have used turmeric to treat bone-related problems in rats, and the indication is that these effects may also occur in humans. Researchers treated rats with large doses of curcuminoids, and the results showed a 50 percent decrease in bone inflammation.
Some research also shows that turmeric may help to protect the brain against toxic attacks. A comparison between the rate of Alzheimer’s in American and Indian elderly natives shows that between the ages of 70-90 the Indians were four times less likely to have these diseases. These findings indicate that turmeric may even have cerebrum defending qualities, and this may be why Indian cuisine includes it in so many dishes.
Artichoke extract derives from the natural extract found in the artichoke vegetable, the artichoke is considered to be a bulb vegetable that is known for its ability to stimulate gull secretion; this effect results in a reduction of cholesterol in the body and improves fat digestion. Artichoke extract contains something called “polyphenols” which assist in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. In some cases, excerpts from this plant’s leaves and stems may get manufactured into artificial beverage sweeteners. The vegetable itself contains large amounts of antioxidants which are proven to be good for overall health.
When Was It Used First?
French researchers initially used the plant during the better half of the 20th century. They found that it was extremely beneficial to areas of the urinary organ and the gallbladder. It believed that components of artichoke-like leaves found in ancient European medicine were used as water pills to strengthen organs such as the kidney by acting as a “choleretic” extending the gall flow from the liver and gallbladder. Artichoke is also of course used in cooking and is an edible plant on its own.
How Does It Work As A Nootropic?
Artichoke extract contains an exceptional amount of vitamins and minerals such as; vitamin a, b, and c, fiber, potassium, magnesium, chromium, calcium, zinc, and iron. Also, this vegetable contains large amounts of phytonutrients and antioxidants which are vital to maintaining good health. The operations of organs such as the heart and the brain rely on these phytonutrients to work.
High levels of cholesterol may be related to risks in the coronary artery and cardiovascular diseases. Artichoke extract contains polyphenols that aid in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. Artichoke may not only help in keeping healthy cholesterol levels but also may be able to help reduce cholesterol levels in patients suffering from cholesterol related diseases. Thus, artichoke extract consumption may be able to prevent heart attacks and strokes.
Aids In Digestion
This vegetable extract may also diminish aspects of acid reflux and dyspepsia. It does this by increasing gallbladder function and the breakdown of foods inside the gut, effectively reducing gas and swelling. It also helps in the digestion of nutrients since it can control muscle spasms.
Artichoke Treats The Irritable Gut Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS is a widespread condition that affects many people worldwide. Some side effects of this disease are, looseness in the intestines, constipation, abdominal pain, depression, stress, and infection. Research shows that artichoke extract may be able to treat and reduce symptoms of IBS effectively.
Artichoke Extracts Rinse Out The Liver
The liver is one of the most important organs of the human body, and a healthy liver is vital to overall health. If poisoned, the liver will not be able to work efficiently. Symptoms of a damaged or tainted liver may include; headaches, dizziness, fatigue, dry mouth, skin irritation, and sluggish digestion. Artichoke leaf extract stimulates the gallbladder which is necessary for working with the liver to eliminate toxins.
Artichoke Extract Lowers Blood Pressure Level
Artichoke extract contains higher levels of potassium than sodium, so consumption of this substance will help to lower blood pressure and may even stop certain cardiovascular diseases. Information gathered from both cellular and animal bases studies show that artichoke extract stimulates cell production and enhances the activity of nitric oxide, in turn, lowering blood pressure. The reason for this is because increased levels of nitric oxide widen blood vessels which results in smoother blood flow. Even at a cellular level artichoke extract increases levels of nitric oxides which increases the synthesis of gasses.
Artichoke Extract Promotes Weight Loss
Artichoke extract may help to facilitate weight-loss when combined with the correct supplements. In one study, 39 overweight patients were tested using artichoke extract, and it was able to make the subjects feel fuller which resulted in lower calorie intake. Food rich in soluble fiber also lowers blood glucose and cholesterol levels. The claim that artichoke extract is effective for weight loss still needs more research to back it up, but the current information is very promising.
Artichoke Extracts Prevent Birth Defects
Artichokes are known to help aid women during pregnancy. The reason for this is because the vegetable is rich in folic acid that contains nutrients necessary for growth. Artichoke extract can prevent neural tube flaws in infants, which can be detrimental to their growth.
Artichoke Extract Increased Bone Mineral Density
Artichoke has exceptionally high levels of many essential vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium phosphorus and manganese. These minerals are a necessary factor in improving bone density and health. Thus, artichoke extract can reduce the risk of bone diseases such as osteoporosis.
Artichoke Extract Helps Stop Cancer
The antioxidants found in artichoke extracts have been proven to kill cancer cells, and may even prevent the formation of new ones. In cell-based studies, artichoke head extract was used to soften human carcinoma cell growth. Artichoke extract also may stop cancer cells from multiplying. What’s more is that the antioxidants found in this substance seem to be selective in targeting only detrimental cells like cancer and does not harm healthy cells. Artichoke leaf extract also has antineoplastic effects on carcinoma which is a type of disease caused by amphibole in tissues lining the lungs, stomach, and heart.
Herbal Nootropics Benefits: Summary
Please review the following information for a breakdown of herbal nootropics and their benefits.
- Is exceptionally bioavailable when taken orally
- Protects the brain against degenerative diseases
- Enhances memory
- Improves overall cognitive function
- Promotes neuron communication
- Increases cerebral blood flow
- Has antioxidizing effects
- Reduces levels of anxiety and stress
- Improves subjective mood and overall sense of well-being
- Sharpens focus and vivid memories
- Enhances memory retention
- Maintains mental acuity in older people that experience cognitive decline
- Increasing the reliability of short-term memory
- Helps people suffering from neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s
- Controls blood pressure
- Improves focus and concentration
- Promotes reliable blood-flow
- Increases energy
- Relaxes the mind
- Enhances attention span
- Reduces stress
- Improves mood
- Reduces neural inflammation
- Protects against excess stimulation and toxins
- Prevents amnesia (in regular users)
- Enhances memory
- Reduces headaches
- Herbal Nootropics Effects
In conclusion, there are many different herbal nootropics that if taken correctly can become powerful cognitive enhancements. Your personal choice of which ones to use or whether or not to stack them will depend on many factors as explained in this article. Herbal nootropics are safe and effective substances that carry little to no side effects with them. We recommend to try and look for organic herbal nootropics to get the best benefits for your body.