Nootropic is a funny-sounding word used to describe “smart drugs” that improves mental functions like memory, attention, cognition, and even intelligence and motivation. The word invented in 1972 by Romanian doctor Corneliu Giurgea derived from the Greek words nous meaning mind and trepein which means to turn or bend. Thus, a Nootropic “bends the mind”. But it is not the “mind-bending” drugs popular in the 60s and 70s!
Nootropics are thought to work by changing the brain’s supply of hormones, neurotransmitters, and enzymes. It increases oxygen supply or stimulating nerve growth. They are not the same thing as cognitive enhancers – supplements, drugs, and functional foods that enhance memory and concentration. Mainly because it does not increase the oxygen supply. Nootropics listed by observer are cognitive enhancers that are neuroprotective. Meaning, it is extremely nontoxic. While a cognitive enhancer is not a Nootropic, a Nootropic can be a cognitive enhancer.
Unlike cognitive enhancers, there are very few side effects in most Nootropics products. Since its sole intention is to increase the supply of oxygen to the brain. Notice that many components are natural. There are over 150 plant species like Ginkgo biloba that qualify as Nootropics. Vitamins and supplements like B vitamins, Omega 3, Isoflavones, and Vitamin D also serve as Nootropics, or “smart drugs”.
Nootropics are not all-natural, of course. There are many pharmaceutical drugs like Deprenyl – therapy that is used to combat the effects of aging and sold under the name Eldepryl. No toxic side effects but it can help Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and counteracts the effects of aging in the brain. Modafinil is a stimulant that improves concentration without highs and lows. While Piracetam is a nontoxic intelligence booster that “wakes up” the brain. Other Nootropics are manufactured to improve memory, concentration, and help reduce impulsive behavior. There are scores of this type of Nootropics developed in research labs right now. These types of Nootropics are used mostly on patients with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, and ADHA. They have human enhancement applications, too. And are saturating the market, particularly the internet.
Another use of Nootropics is treating stress. Stress affects our cognitive abilities and can cause depression. Further effects include inhibiting our mental processes. Lemon balm, passionflower, St. John’sWort, Ginseng, Kava, Tea, Valerian, and many other herbs are Nootropics that can relieve stress and improve it.
Nootropics also serve as vasodilators, improving blood flow. Creatine (often used by bodybuilders), Blessed Thistle, and Coenzyme Q10 are just three Nootropics that are excellent vasodilators.
More so, Nootropics are also antioxidants. They are nontoxic. Compose usually of natural herbs, berries, and other substances that keep nerves healthy so that they don’t become damaged, degenerate, or underperform in the brain.
Anyone can improve their cognitive health and powers of concentration with Nootropics. Something as simple as eating blueberries on your morning cereal can improve your brain. Welcome to the wonderful world of Nootropics!