Natural nootropics are essentially cognitive enhancers commonly used for all areas of brain health. While nootropics may be a new discovery for many of us, they have actually been used in both Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for centuries.
Some of the proposed benefits of using nootropics include boosting memory, motivation, creativity, alertness, attention, and reducing age-related cognitive decline, as well as promoting the overall health and longevity of the brain.
Though whatever reason someone has for taking nootropics, it’s usually the same goal: to get more done in a shorter amount of time.
The demand for nootropics is increasing across the globe, with some people opting for synthetic over natural nootropic sources. Though, while synthetic nootropics are very powerful, they often come with many downsides and side effects.
This is why natural nootropics are more commonly recommended by experts, as they provide the powerful brain boosting benefits but without the nasty side effects.
This article explores the use of natural nootropics over synthetic, as well as the top 10 natural nootropics that you should try!
Natural Nootropics Vs Synthetic Nootropics
Nootropics are defined as compounds, supplements, or drugs that are designed to improve cognitive function. Mainly used to improve and enhance all things cognition, but also to help manage stress, lift mood, sleep better, and focus more.
An individual who incorporates nootropics into their lifestyle can experience an additional bonus for improving mental sharpness and reducing cognitive decline. You may find populations such as students, athletes, working professionals, and older generations seeking the benefits of nootropics!
While the benefits of nootropics sound appealing, there are some kinds of nootropics that come with safety concerns and side effects, particularly the synthetic kind.
Synthetic nootropics are manmade drugs designed to enhance cognitive function through the use of chemical ingredients. Some examples include Modafinil, Racetams, Adrafinil, and Noopept. So, while these products would enhance cognitive function, they would also cause some side effects.
Some synthetic nootropics such as Ritalin and Adderall (commonly used by those with ADHD), have been linked to side effects such as insomnia, hallucinations, and heart issues.
Additionally, illegal drugs such as cocaine are often used as nootropics and come with very serious side effects, such as severe mood swings and addiction.
The possible risks and assured side effects of taking synthetic nootropics should be enough of a reason to avoid them. Alternatively, there is an abundance of natural nootropics available that provide the same benefits for cognition, but without the serious side effects.
Nootropic plants and herbs offer a much safer, cleaner way to reap the benefits of increased focus, relaxation, mental clarity, better sleep, and much more.
Let’s take a closer look at the top 10 natural nootropics and how they support the mind and body!
Natural Nootropics: Top 10 Recommended
Citicoline, or CDP-choline, is a naturally occurring nootropic compound that is linked to many cognitive-enhancing effects.
To put it simply, citicoline helps deliver choline and cytidine to the brain, which are needed to form important compounds in the brain such as key neurotransmitters like acetylcholine.
This translates into enhanced cognition such as sharper focus, faster information processing, muscle contraction, and improved working memory.
2) Phosphatidylserine (PS)
Phosphatidylserine (PS) is an amino acid compound, which is similar to dietary fats and found in abundance in the brain. This compound can be naturally produced by the body or consumed through the diet via food or supplementation.
PS has many important functions in the body, mainly providing structure and support for brain cell membranes so they can efficiently communicate with each other.
All-in-all, this means that PS may be effective for memory, anxiety, reducing cortisol levels, and promoting a better mood and mental clarity.
3) Bacopa Monnieri
Known to be one of the most effective cognitive enhancers, bacopa monnieri has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries.
This powerful nootropic is thought to support and enhance many brain functions such as improving memory, attention, learning, and neuron communication.
Bacopa is also an adaptogenic herb, like most natural nootropics, meaning that it helps our body cope better with the physical effects of stress.
4) Lion’s Mane Mushroom
Lion’s mane is an ancient Chinese medicinal mushroom that is largely recognized as an effective supplement that offers a wide range of cognitive benefits.
Lion’s mane has been used for centuries as a health treatment for neurodegenerative diseases, and much research has confirmed the potential anti-depressant and anxiolytic properties.
This sought-after nootropic mushroom provides a wide range of benefits from promoting nerve and neurological health, boosting the immune system, and potentially aiding digestive health.
5) Maritime Pine Bark Extract
The bark of this tree, native to countries on the Mediterranean Sea, is used to make medicine.
This herbal nootropic provides a powerful complex of proanthocyanidin antioxidant which cross the blood-brain barrier and help neutralise the damaging effects of free radicals that are found in the brain.
The compounds found in pine bark extract are suggested to enhance mental energy, attention, learning and focus, as well as maintain memory, mental clarity, and overall brain health.
L-tyrosine is the key precursor amino acid used to synthesize the neurotransmitters that are involved in memory, mood, and mental processing. These neurotransmitters are dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine.
The nootropic effects of L-tyrosine include promoting working memory under multitasking conditions, supporting alertness, mood and mental clarity, and optimizing mental performance under fatigued states.
L- tyrosine also helps us cope better with stress by suppressing the production of certain stress hormones in the brain, thus offering brain-protective benefits.
L-theanine is the ultimate nootropic for simultaneously relaxing and staying focused. Often sourced from green tea leaves, L-theanine is also a naturally occurring amino acid.
L-theanine is in a league of its own when it comes to nootropics, as it is known for significantly improving daytime cognitive performance as well as night-time sleep quality.
How many times have you taken a nootropic or stimulant to feel more focused and ended up being less focused prior to taking the supplement? L-theanine essentially works to put you in a state of “wakeful relaxation”, keeping you focused yet calm.
8) Rhodiola Rosea
Another herbal adaptogen on the list—rhodiola rosea is known to strengthen mental and physical stress resistance, thus promoting mental energy and mental clarity.
Not only does rhodiola offer optimal brain support and protection, but the nootropic effects include fighting mental fatigue, promoting peak mental performance, supporting a calm state, and potential natural stimulating effects.
Rhodiola is thought to work best as part of a nootropic stack, particularly with ashwagandha. Though, more on nootropic stacking soon!
Ginseng is one of the oldest and most popular adaptogenic herbs, stemming from traditional Chinese medicine and available in two forms: American and Asian ginseng.
Ginseng is thought to have positive immune-boosting effects, as well as helping our body cope better with the physical effects of stress.
It is also thought to have some positive effects on blood sugar levels and heart health, though more research is needed in this area.
10) Gingko Biloba
Gingko biloba is one of the oldest living tree species on the planet. It’s a fairly popular nootropic known for its positive effects on cognitive function. This herb has been used for decades in Chinese medicine to reduce dementia symptoms and reverse depression symptoms.
Gingko may also play a role in improving blood flow, thus supporting artery health, and have positive impacts on eye health.
Natural Nootropics: The Best Natural Nootropic Supplement
Now that your mind is blown by the abundance of all the natural nootropics available that provide maximal cognitive boosting with minimal side effects, it’s time to introduce you to the ultimate nootropic formula—Mind Lab Pro!
While standalone nootropics can produce specific effects, stacking nootropics may synergize and complement these effects resulting in a more powerful cognitive enhancement.
Nootropic stacking can be a tricky process, and one you want to get the best out of, so it’s important to do your research before manually stacking nootropic ingredients.
However, a supplement like Mind Lab Pro takes the guesswork out of stacking strategies.
Mind Lab Pro combines many of the above natural nootropics in an innovative formula that targets multiple brain pathways to provide the maximum cognitive-enhancing benefits.
Mind Lab Pro contains only the best quality ingredients and without the nasty ingredients or stimulants, thus resulting in minimal side effects.
So, if you want to:
- Perform better physically and mentally
- Optimize your memory, learning, mood, and motivation
- Repair, maintain, and nourish your brain cells
- Feel more clarity, alertness, and enhance your attention
You should check out Mind Lab Pro!