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Shaman Botanical Nootropics

What are Nootropics?

What Are Nootropics?

 Nootropics (/noʊ.əˈtrɒpɪks/ noh-ə-TROP-iks) (colloquial: smart drugs and cognitive enhancers) are drugs, supplements, and other substances that may improve cognitive function, particularly executive functions, memory, creativity, or motivation, in healthy individuals. 


Nootropics are substances that enhance cognition, increase focus, or boost learning and memory. The word “nootropics” comes from the Greek noos, meaning “mind,” and trepin, meaning “to bend.” The term was coined by Romanian doctor Dr. Corneliu Giurgea in the 1970s when the “mind-bending” drug piracetam was first found to improve memory. (1)

Today, over 80 different substances can be classified as nootropics, including vitamins, herbs, phospholipids, choline sources, amino acids, antioxidants, and psychedelics. Some of these compounds act in the short-term, providing a few hours of temporarily enhanced mental focus, energy, or creativity, while others act to support long-term cognitive health and mental performance if taken consistently over weeks or months. 

How do Nootropics Work?

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Nootropics Variety

What Are Nootropics?

 Nootropics are substances that enhance cognition, increase focus, or boost learning and memory. The word “nootropics” comes from the Greek noos, meaning “mind,” and trepin, meaning “to bend.” The term was coined by Romanian doctor Dr. Corneliu Giurgea in the 1970s when the “mind-bending” drug piracetam was first found to improve memory. (1)

Today, over 80 different substances can be classified as nootropics, including vitamins, herbs, phospholipids, choline sources, amino acids, antioxidants, and psychedelics. Some of these compounds act in the short-term, providing a few hours of temporarily enhanced mental focus, energy, or creativity, while others act to support long-term cognitive health and mental performance if taken consistently over weeks or months. 

How Do Nootropics Work?

  How Do Nootropics Work?Researchers have identified several ways that nootropics may work in the body to ultimately impact the brain:

  • Improving brain energy: Nootropics may support the production of cellular energy in neurons and other brain cells, either through stimulant effects or improved energy metabolism.
  • Maintaining brain blood flow: Nootropics may dilate small arteries and veins in the brain, improving circulation of adequate oxygen, glucose, or ketones to the brain.
  • Altering neurotransmitter concentrations: Some nootropics work by affecting the levels of serotonin, acetylcholine, dopamine, or other key chemicals in the brain.
  • Reducing brain inflammation: Nootropics could reduce oxidative stress by neutralizing free radicals and helping to eliminate toxins from the brain.
  • Enhancing neural support: Some nootropics can increase brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), helping to maintain neurons and other brain cells and grow new brain connections.

A given nootropic may work by one or several of these mechanisms to produce its effects on the brain. Some nootropics may also work through mechanisms we don’t yet understand. 

Using Nootropics Regularly May Reduce The Potency Of Their Effects

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