The Definitive Guide to Natural Nootropics

The Definitive Guide to Natural Nootropics

The Definitive Guide to Natural Nootropics


If you have ever tried to improve your cognitive abilities, you’ve probably come across Nootropics. Nootropics are a class of substances that are gaining popularity as a way to boost mental performance. Natural Nootropics come from herbs, roots, and mushrooms. But with so many options available, it can be challenging to know where to start.

In this definitive guide to natural nootropics, we’ll explore what they are, who should use them, natural vs. synthetic nootropics, safety considerations, and some of the most effective natural nootropics, according to research. 

What are Nootropics?

Nootropics are a class of drugs, supplements, or other substances used to enhance cognitive function, including memory, creativity, and focus[1]. They’re also known as “smart drugs” or “brain boosters” and are often used by people looking to improve their cognitive performance for work, school, or other activities.

Use Nootropics For:

  1. Enhancing memory and learning ability
  2. Helping the brain function under disruptive conditions
  3. Protecting the brain from physical and chemical injuries
  4. Increasing the efficacy of neuronal firing control mechanisms
  5. Managing stress and boosting mood
  6. Supporting healthy aging

Who Should Use Nootropics?

Nootropics can be used by anyone looking to improve their cognitive performance, but they may especially be beneficial for:

  • Students: Nootropics can help students focus better, retain information more efficiently, and perform better on tests and exams.
  • Professionals: Nootropics can help professionals improve their work performance, including better problem-solving skills, creativity, focus, stress management, and increased productivity.
  • Athletes: Nootropics can help athletes improve their cognitive performance and focus during training and competition.
  • Aging Adults: Nootropics can help older adults maintain cognitive function and prevent age-related cognitive decline.

Natural vs. Synthetic Nootropics

When choosing between natural and synthetic nootropics, many wonder which is better; natural nootropics are derived from natural sources such as plants, herbs, and mushrooms, while synthetic nootropics are artificially created in laboratories[2].

While both types of nootropics can benefit cognitive function, there are some critical differences between them. One of the main differences is the range of effects they offer. Natural nootropics provide more comprehensive outcomes than synthetic nootropics due to the diverse range of compounds found in plants, herbs, and mushrooms. On the other hand, synthetic nootropics often target specific brain pathways or receptors, making them more targeted in their effects.

Another difference between natural and synthetic nootropics is their safety profile. Natural nootropics tend to have lower toxicity levels, making them a safer option that minimizes the risk of harm from an overdose. However, some natural nootropics can have side effects, especially when taken in high doses or for extended periods. 

On the other hand, synthetic nootropics can have a higher risk of side effects, especially when taken in high doses or for extended periods. Some common side effects of synthetic nootropics include insomnia, anxiety, and headaches. In addition, some synthetic nootropics can be addictive, leading to dependence and withdrawal symptoms when use is stopped.

The choice between natural and synthetic nootropics ultimately comes down to personal preference and individual needs. The impact of natural nootropics tends to be more subtle and gradual, while synthetic nootropics can have a more immediate and pronounced impact. Natural nootropics are generally considered safer and more well-rounded in their effects, while synthetic nootropics can offer more targeted and potent effects. To ensure safety and effectiveness, it is important to always consult with a healthcare professional before taking any nootropic supplement, whether natural or artificial.

The Best Natural Nootropics and Their Uses

Natural nootropics are a great place to start if you are interested in natural ways to boost your cognition. We curated the following list with some of the most studied and time-honored nootropics available. If you are looking for the latest human studies on each substance, we recommend and will link each substance’s profile below.

Bacopa Monnieri: Memory Booster Extraordinaire

Bacopa Plant

Bacopa Monnieri, a herb used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine, is known to improve memory and cognitive function. The active compounds in Bacopa Monnieri, called bacosides, enhance learning ability, memory, and reduce anxiety. Additionally, Bacopa Monnieri has antioxidant properties that protect the brain from oxidative stress. Preliminary studies suggest it can reduce cortisol (stress hormone) secretion and depletion of dopamine and serotonin during chronic stress. It can be an excellent substance for aging adults. For the latest research on Bacopa Monnieri, click here.

Rhodiola Rosea: Reduce Mental Fatigue and Boost Mood

Rhodiola Rosea Plant

The primary benefits of Rhodiola Rosea include lessened fatigue and stress as well as improved mental performance, especially under pressure. Rhodiola has a long history of success. It has been used as a medicine for millennia to aid in healing, stress relief, mood improvement, and health enhancement. Studies on non-human subjects have shown Rhodiola to have anti-aging, longevity-promoting, and anti-cancer properties, making it another excellent option for healthy aging [3].

Ginkgo Biloba: Enhance Cognitive Function and Blood Flow

Ginko Biloba

Ginkgo Biloba is a tree used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries, it has active compounds that have been shown to enhance cognitive function, improve memory, and increase blood flow to the brain. It also has antioxidant properties, protecting the brain from oxidative stress. It has been shown to be effective in people with dementia [4] and healthy middle-aged [5] and older individuals [6]. So far, there are no apparent benefits to younger people; check out the latest research.

Lion’s Mane Mushroom: The Brain Cell Stimulator

Lions Mane Natural Nootropic

Lion’s Mane Mushroom is an edible mushroom used in traditional Chinese medicine. It has active compounds that stimulate the growth of new brain cells, improve memory, and enhance cognitive function. It also has antioxidant properties that protect the brain from oxidative stress. There is little scientific research done on humans to confirm brain-boosting benefits, but many report success while using the supplement.

Ashwagandha: Stress Buster and Memory Enhancer

Ashwagandha Root

Ashwagandha, an herb used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine, reduces anxiety and improves cognitive function. The active compounds in Ashwagandha, including withanolides, may enhance memory. Ashwagandha also has adaptogenic properties that help the body cope with stress. The effectiveness of Ashwagandha for increasing total sleep time and sleep quality in those with and without insomnia is also supported by a growing body of research [7]. For a complete profile on Ashwagandha, click here.

Panax Ginseng: The Mental Fatigue Fighter

Panax Ginseng Root

Panax Ginseng, a root used in traditional Chinese medicine, improves cognitive function, reduces mental fatigue, and may help the body cope with stress. It also may improve general mental health. In an 8-week trial, it was discovered that taking Panax ginseng supplements led to a noticeable improvement in mental health by the fourth week [8].

Natural nootropics are an effective and generally safe way to enhance overall cognition, fight stress, and improve mental health. Try Bacopa Monnieri, Rhodiola Rosea, Ginkgo Biloba, Lion’s Mane Mushroom, Ashwagandha, or Panax Ginseng to boost your cognitive performance in work, school, and athletics or to maintain and prevent cognitive aging.