Herbal Nootropics

Herbal Nootropics – Everything You Need to Know

Cognitive health has taken paramount importance in our time and lives owing to the ever-growing need for networking and connecting with people on a daily basis. The fact that the world is now more bent towards communication skills makes it important for us to keep our minds healthy and sound.

Whether you’re going back to school after a long summer break or making a break in the new company you’ve recently joined, herbal nootropics are a great way to enhance your brain function and develop increased focus and concentration.[1]

What Are Herbal Nootropics?

Herbal or natural nootropics are trending worldwide – and for good reason, too.[2] Everyone is running short on time and the fast-paced lifestyle demands more work done in a smaller amount of time.

That being said, nootropics aren’t something that has only recently been discovered. Ancient Chinese medicine has used these herbal remedies for years to enhance and improve cognitive skills. Modern science has now started discovering the benefits of these ancient smart herbs and is slowly incorporating them into their medicine manufacturing techniques.

Herbal Nootropics are supplements that help in improving the way our brain functions. People across the globe take these supplements for several personal and professional reasons, including curing memory loss in older people, increasing focus and concentration in ADHD-prone adults and adolescents, among many others.

Herbal Nootropics vs Synthetic Nootropics

Nootropics are a growing rage among people who’re looking for a way to enhance their productivity. These powerful herbal nootropics have a lasting effect on our overall body and mind functions, as well. They relieve stress, make us more focused and more determined, and increase our concentration power.

However, not all nootropics work in the most positive way. Synthetic nootropics are manufactured in the lab and loaded with chemicals that have diverse effects on our body and mind.

For instance, a popular drug among students, Adderall is used to clear out the brain fog and make you more attentive and focused. However, its continuous use may trigger insomnia, heart disease, headaches, and regular dizziness.

Synthetic nootropics are also highly addictive in nature and can easily replace your natural thinking and cognitive abilities. So much so, that you might not be able to think or perform a regular activity without popping a pill.

Herbal nootropics, on the other hand, are considerably free of any harsh side effects. They are mostly safe to use and come with their own set of instructions that are easy to follow and understand. Most importantly, they’re found in abundance and have been in use for centuries, which definitely makes them a preferred option.

However, over-consuming anything can be disastrous for health which is why it’s extremely important to have clear instructions from your doctor before taking any medicine, be it synthetic or herbal.

7 Best Herbal Nootropics to Consume

Coffee, tea, and energy drinks have a relationship with your cognitive health. The one thing they all share is that all of them are natural nootropics that are deeply entwined with the central nervous system, thereby affecting brain function.

The list, however, is much longer than caffeinated beverages. The following are 7 of the best herbal nootropics to take.

1. Huperzine A

Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine have long used herbal nootropics as a part of their healing methods.

Huperzine A is an extract of the Chinese-moss plant that is known to have neuro-therapeutic effects. It soothes the brain and makes it more receptive to its surroundings.

When taken in prescribed quantities, the drug is also highly beneficial in curing depression and non-genetic neurological disorders.

It’s also used to enhance memory retention and learning abilities. The herb is also widely used to reduce brain inflammation caused by a traumatic accident or complications caused by brain surgery.

2. Rhodiola Rosea

Also known as the Arctic Root, Rhodiola Rosea is an adaptogen that’s traditionally used in many ayurvedic medicines.

With 140 active ingredients working together to improve cognitive health, it’s mostly used in its purest form and is known to combat stress and fatigue, reduce brain fog, and enhance focus and concentration.

Some say that it affects the brain in a similar way as Adrerrall, however, it does this more smoothly with little to no side effects.

3. Rosemary

Known to enhance culinary flavors across the world, Rosemary also features in the list of the most heavily used nootropics one can find. The one thing that’s absolutely amazing about using Rosemary as a nootropic is the fact it’s easily available and can be used in any form.

You could have it as a regular herb in your daily food, or you can use it with your black or herbal tea. It can also be used as a fragrance in your diffuser and mixed with lavender.

Rosemary is full of terpenes, phenolic acids, and flavones along with being extremely aromatic and rich in antioxidants. When inhaled, it helps you relieve stress, makes you feel more energetic and clear-headed, and helps in improving your concentration.

4. Bacopa Monnieri

Bacopa, or Brahmi, is an extremely popular nootropic used widely across Asian countries. It’s used as an add-on to hair oils, essential oils, and also as a natural herb in several ayurvedic medicines.

Bacopa is known to contain powerful antioxidants that do not cause any radical side effects. Research also explains that the herb can significantly improve collateral conditions related to cancer, HIV, heart diseases, and diabetes.[3]

Bacopa is also an anti-inflammatory and can reduce pain caused by inflammation after a surgery or an accident.

Brahmi has a powerful effect on brain functionality and can improve spatial learning and information retention abilities in adults.

Studies suggest that taking Bacopa Monnieri in regular amounts can increase memory retention, learning, and the ability to grasp information quickly. Inhaling the Bacopa aroma can also relieve stress and is a herbal nootropic widely used for anxiety-related issues as well.

5. Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo Biloba is said to have exceptional memory healing abilities.[4] It’s full of powerful antioxidants that work straight on the learning and memory retention areas of the brain.

The extract is derived from the Ginkgo Biloba tree and is taken in a pure herb form to help cure mild brain deformities.

There’s no concrete evidence to support the claim, but Ginkgo is also known to help patients with Alzeihmer’s and bipolar disease.

It’s a relaxant as well, which is why it soothes the whole body and puts you at ease. This is also the reason why it’s often prescribed in the treatment of depression and insomnia.

6. Gotu Kola

Known as the herb for longevity, Gotu Kola or Centella Asiatica is praised for its exceptional help as a cognitive agent.

A staple in Chinese and ancient Ayurvedic medicine, it’s also known for its benefits to skin, liver, and kidney health.

In its purest form, Gotu Kola is an energetic herb that rejuvenates and refreshes your body and mind. It’s known to have strong effects on memory, learning, and stress levels.

7. Lion’s Mane

Lion’s Mane is a type of mushroom that’s widely used as a culinary agent in Asian countries. Also known as Yamabushitake, these mushrooms are large, white, and shaggy-looking with known effects on the brain, heart, and intestines.

It entails two neuroprotective compounds, namely hericenones and erinacines, that improve cognitive abilities and alleviate stress and depression. While there are no concrete studies to suggest this, Lion’s Mane is also heavily used as a catalyst for the cure or significant improvement of Alzheimer’s disease.

Final Thoughts

With a busy lifestyle comes the added pressure of performance at work, school, and even at home. Everyone’s looking for new and improved ways of enhancing productivity and training the brain to become faster and better.

While synthetic cognitive-enhancement drugs have an immediate and stronger effect, herbal nootropics are a healthier option that still works wonders. Their effect might kick in late, but they are good for your brain and enhance your skills naturally.


  1. Kulkarni, R., Girish, K. J., & Kumar, A. (2012). Nootropic herbs (Medhya Rasayana) in Ayurveda: An update. Pharmacognosy reviews, 6(12), 147–153. https://doi.org/10.4103/0973-7847.99949
  2. Noor Azuin Suliman, Che Norma Mat Taib, Mohamad Aris Mohd Moklas, Mohd Ilham Adenan, Mohamad Taufik Hidayat Baharuldin, Rusliza Basir, “Establishing Natural Nootropics: Recent Molecular Enhancement Influenced by Natural Nootropic“, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2016, Article ID 4391375, 12 pages, 2016. https://doi.org/10.1155/2016/4391375
  3. Khansari N, Shakiba Y, Mahmoudi M. Chronic inflammation and oxidative stress as a major cause of age-related diseases and cancer. Recent Pat Inflamm Allergy Drug Discov. 2009 Jan;3(1):73-80. doi: 10.2174/187221309787158371. PMID: 19149749.
  4. Søholm B. Clinical improvement of memory and other cognitive functions by Ginkgo biloba: review of relevant literature. Adv Ther. 1998 Jan-Feb;15(1):54-65. PMID: 10178638.

Please note: The article is an explanation given by the author based on current research and contains links and references from medical sites. Please consult a practicing doctor before taking any kind of medicine or supplement.

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