Caffeine is the most popular nootropic used in the world. It is found in everyday products like coffee beans, chocolate and even alcoholic or fizzy beverages. Caffeine influences adrenaline, boosting energy, and enhances serotonin (the happy hormone), and shows some protection against dementia and Parkinson’s Disease.
Cat’s Claw comes from South America and supports DNA repair, immunity, and cell division. It has been shown to also help prevent the onset of dementia.
CBD oil is a nootropic derived from Cannabis Sativa L. plant. It is an effective antianxiety, anti depressant and inflammation medicine. It can help with chronic pain, low mood and sleep disorders.
Chaga Mushroom is a type of mushroom that grows on birch trees in cold climates. It can be processed into capsules, teas or powders, and is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and effective treatment of arthritis and high blood pressure.
Cordyceps is a genus of ascomycete fungi (a mushroom). It is used in capsule or tea form to help stimulate the immune system. Research is taking place into cordycep’s potential for fighting cancer using immune system cells. It helps to improve blood flow to the brain and improve learning and memory capacity. It has stimulating effects similar to coffee.
Creatine is produced naturally in the liver. It provides brain and body energy on demand. Supplementing with creatine is especially popular in sports communities, because it works directly as a fuel for the muscles. There’s evidence that it can also improve mental performance, reduce brain fog and improve memory.
GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid) is a neurotransmitter and an amino acid found in the brain. It is known for its anti anxiety and calming effects. By supplementing with GABA, you can relieve stress and anxiety, improve sleep and reduce stress.
Ginkgo Biloba is derived from the Chinese tree Ginkgo. It has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years and is thought to be good for older people in supporting memory and cognition. It has shown promising results in studies on dementia and ADHD, and is a generally good all-rounder in brain health.
Ginseng is native to South East Asia and can improve symptoms of anxiety, while supporting general cognition. It can also help to boost mental stamina, helping you to focus for longer.
Iodine is a cognitive enhancer and essential to the body. It is also critical to a health thyroid, and lack of iodine is associated with lower IQ and developmental disorders. Iodine synthesises T4 and T3 thyroid hormones, which helps with growth and metabolism.
Lion’s Mane is a mushroom that has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries and prevents nerve damage by boosting Brain Nerve Growth Factor (neurogenesis). It helps with focus and can minimise ADHD symptoms. It also helps reduce anxiety and low mood, and can manage neurological disorders like dementia and Parkinson’s Disease.
Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) can be grown in your garden in most climates and made into a tea or used in cooking. It has a sweet lemon minty taste, and is known to be an instant anti-anxiety. It does this by inhibiting the enzyme that breaks down GABA, keeping adequate levels of GABA in the brain to promote calm.
L-Theanine comes from green tea and helps with anxiety, learning and focus. It helps to increase dopamine and serotonin, which are the happy chemicals in your brain. It also aids sleep and a normal sleep cycle.
Maca is derived from a plant that grows in the Andes mountains. It has large amounts of amino acids, as well as glutamic acid, glycine, aspartic acid and serine. Traditionally, Maca was used in children to improve their performance in school. It is also known to enhance energy, metabolism and reduce inflammation. Many athletes use Maca to improve focus and performance, and find it also enhances mood and libido too.
Melatonin (N-Acetyl-5-Methoxytryptamine) is a hormone produced when it’s time to go to sleep. Even the darkness outside can induce melatonin production in the body and make you sleepy. Sometimes this natural process is disrupted by travel, night shifts, stress or problems at home. Therefore supplementing with melatonin can encourage this natural cycle to reinstate itself.
Pine Bark Extract
Pine Bark extract is an extract of French maritime pine bark. It helps to enhance brain blood flow, and works as a natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It is known to be good for skin, hair, PMS, anxiety, ADHD and diabetes.
Phosphatidylcholine (PC) is a phospholipid in the liver and brain. Its role is to build and repair cell membranes. When you take PC as a supplement, it separates to become two separate nootropics – choline and sphingomyelin. These help and protect brain nerve cells. When levels are low, it can contribute to the onset of dementia. When you keep levels healthy, you enjoy better memory, recall, focus and alertness.
also known as Ganoderma lucidum and lingzhi, is a mushroom you can find growing naturally in hot and humid locations. It is known as an immunity and energy booster, as well as helping with concentration, general wellbeing, brain health and symptoms of ADHD and depression.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) can be grown in most countries and is used in everyday cooking. It can be used in the treatment of high blood pressure, skin diseases, arthritis, hair damage and as an antiseptic. You often find rosemary in skincare products. The compounds in rosemary, carnosic acid and carnosol, are thought to protect against Amyloid-β, making it a promising treatment in dementia.
Saffron is found in the Middle East and is the dried stigma of the Crocus sativus plant. It is not cheap! In fact it is the world’s most expensive cooking spice. It has been used for thousands of years as an antidepressant and sedative, helping with PMS, post partum depression, parkinson’s disease, low libido and infertility. It is often used to alleviate the negative side effects of antidepressants including sexual dysfunction. There is some evidence that Saffron is just as effective as antidepressants.
St John’s wort
St John’s wort (hypericum perforatum) is used in the treatment of wound healing and depression. It can be found in most health stores. It works similarly to antidepressants, by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin in the brain. Be warned that this nootropic can interfere with other nootropics or medications you are taking, including the contraceptive pill.
Turkey tail (Coriolus versicolor) is a mushroom. It has two medicinal properties - polysaccharide peptide (PSP) and polysaccharide krestin (PSK). Cancer patients undergoing treatment often find Turkey Tail helps improve the body’s response to treatment. It is also good for immunity boosting, energy boosting and general improvements in memory, digestion and cognition.
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is known as one of the most effective natural treatments in Alzheimer symptoms. It is often used in curries and Asian meals. It is also showing promising results in the treatment of brain tumours and Parkinson’s Disease. In some parts of India, these diseases are incredibly rare, and it is thought this is partly due to the high turmeric usage of the area.
Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) has been used as capsules or tea for centuries to treat insomnia. It can also reduce stress, IBS, PMS, anxiety and high blood pressure. Valerian helps eliminate stress by enhancing GABA and seratonin while simultaneously reducing stress hormones. Not only does it help you go to sleep faster, but you’ll wake up refreshed and energised too.