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There are many different reasons to prefer herbal substances over man-made substances. This is because many of the best natural possess some unique qualities which sets them apart from their synthetic counterparts.
Some of the characteristics of natural substances include:
- prophylactic effects – the ability to prevent disease and infection.
- neuroprotective effects – preservation of the structure and function of the brain and it’s nervous tissue.
- adaptogenic effects – the ability to reverse stress and promote homeostasis (steady physiological state in the body).
Of these qualities, the adaptogenic properties are most unique to herbal supplements. Adaptogens tend reduce fatigue, reduce stress, and raise energy levels – characteristics which many synthetic nootropics fail to replicate.
Many herbal supplements also have a long history of use, such as ashwagandha in Ayurvedic medicine and kava in the Pacific Islands. Fortunately, this has allowed us to study these native populations and their use of these substances; thus confirming how effective and safe these herbs are when used over long periods of time.
Many people also show concern over the use of synthetic nootropics due to the possibility of poor quality control – impurities, byproducts, contamination, false products, etc. Furthermore, many synthetic nootropics are quite new and have limited research on their safety; as a result we have not yet had any opportunities to study the long-term effects.
The primary benefit of natural supplements is that the risk side effects is generally quite small. This doesn’t mean that natural nootropics don’t have any side effects, but the range of side effects are often mild and predictable. As such, they are a popular choice for improving general mental and physical health.
List of the Best Natural Nootropics
Fish Oil is a supplement that two contains omega-3 fatty acids. which consist primarily of EPA and DHA. Both EPA and DHA povides many unique benefits to both brain health and physiological function.
Fish oil is primarily supplemented to reduce inflammation and joint pain, and to alleviate symptoms of major depression. More receent evidence suggests that omega-3 fatty acids can prevent cognitive decline and promote longevity, and may be critical for overall brain health.
Fish oil is one of the most popular natural supplements available today and has considerable data to back up its claims.
Curcumin is a unique compound that has strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities.
Curcumin is primary active substance found in turmeric spice, and it provides many unique benefits to physical health and wellbeing. It’s commonly supplemented for reducing pain and for improving blood flow and heart heatlth. Most notably, it can help treat and prevent inflammatory disorders in the gut, and even has anti-cancer actions.
Lion’s Mane is a unique medicinal mushroom with nootropic properties. It is commonly used to improve mood, reduce anxiety, and for its neurorestorative effects on the brain.
Lion’s Mane can regenerate new nervous tissue in the brain and promote healthy aging by reducing the rate of cognitive decline. While lion’s mane is fairly new among the herbal supplements market, it shows a lot of promise for its healing properties on the brain.
Ashwagandha is a unique herbal substance that acts as both an adaptogenic and nootropic agent. It is often regarded to be the king of herbal supplementsl due its benefits to mental and physical health.
Among the many benefits of ashwagandha, its most notable for alleviating stress by greatly reducing cortisol levels, and for anxiety surpression by raising levels of GABA. Additionally, it has some restorative properties on the brain and can promote neurogenesis by raising BDNF.
Panax ginseng is another adaptogen with similar uses and benefits of ashwagandha. Panax ginseng is most effective for improving general mood and social anxiety.
There are many different forms of ginseng, but panax ginsengs generally considered the best form, especially for reducing depression and promoting pro-social behavior.
Rhodiola rosea is the third and final adaptogen on this list. Rhodiola confers both mood-brightening and energy-enhancing properties.
Some of the most notable qualities of rhodiola include reducing fatigue and improving physical performance, and may be one of the best nootropics for raising energy levels. One of its primary mechanisms is acting as a mild monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) which can boost levels of dopamine and serotonin.
Bacopa Monnieri is a nootropic herb that is has strong memory-enhancing properties.
Bacopa is also frequently taken to reduce depression and anxiety, and is an effective, well-rounded herbal nootropic overall. Most significantly, bacopa can prevent inflammation in the brain and can raise levels of serotonin, leading to improved mood.