This article has been medically reviewed by Dr. Charles Penick, MD
How to Make Your Own Nootropics
Nootropics have grown in popularity over the last few years. This article will go over natural nootropics and how to stack them to improve cognitive function.
What are Nootropics?
Nootropics are supplements that help to improve a person’s physical and cognitive abilities. Benefits of nootropics include the following:
- Boost energy
- Improved memory and learning
- Increased motivation
- Improved concentration
Nootropics are designed primarily for healthy individuals, as opposed to medications intended for sickness.
What is a Nootropic Stack?
A nootropic stack is multiple nootropic ingredients combined. When taken together, you can attain additional benefits that aren’t possible when taken individually. For example, you may take a nootropic to boost mental energy, and another to improve memory. Then you could add a third to enhance mood. You may not experience all of these benefits with just one nootropic.
Natural nootropics can be a better option than synthetic varieties for several reasons. Synthetic nootropics are created in a lab and have a specific goal in mind, attempting to mimic their natural counterparts. Unlike synthetics, natural nootropics are synergistic, which allows them to work well together. In addition, natural nootropics don’t produce the side effects often seen with synthetic nootropics.
Here are a few of the top natural nootropics:
Bacopa Monnieri is an herb used in Ayurveda. It grows in wetlands worldwide, including North America, Australia, Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America. Bacopa Monnieri is a natural nootropic and has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for various health issues. In addition to containing antioxidants, studies on Bacopa Monnieri indicate it has the following cognitive benefits:
- Improves memory. Studies indicate Bacopa Monnieri improves memory-free recall with evidence for enhancement in other cognitive abilities. 
- Attention deficit disorders. Preliminary studies indicate Bacopa Monnieri is safe for use in child and adolescent populations to help “improve elements of cognition and behavior and attention-deficit domains.” 
Lion’s mane is an edible mushroom that is native to Europe, Asia, and North America. It can be eaten raw, cooked, or added to tea. Studies on Lion’s mane to boost cognitive function discovered it induced nerve growth synthesis (NGF) in cells.  NGF is a protein that may assist in “reversing, halting, or at least slowing the progression” of neurons that are known to atrophy into Alzheimer’s disease. 
Also known as the maidenhair tree, Ginkgo biloba is a type of tree found in China. The tree has been well-known throughout human history, with fossils of a similar species dating over 170 million years ago from the Middle Jurassic period. Ginkgo biloba has been used in various ways, including improved memory and thinking, better social behavior, and increased ability to perform tasks.
Ginkgo biloba can be an effective tool to enhance performance in patients with cognitive impairment (dementia). It also helps improve the performance of demanding cognitive tasks in healthy, middle-aged volunteers. 
Artichoke extracts are an herbal supplement used to help with various health issues. The extract comes from the root, leaf, or stem of the artichoke. Extracts are commonly used as medicine due to their higher concentration of beneficial properties found naturally in plants. Artichoke extract is a natural nootropic and an antioxidant, with studies indicating it may play a role in lowering cholesterol and preventing heart disease. 
L-Theanine is an amino acid that is a dietary supplement. It is found primarily in tea leaves and small amounts in Bay Bolete mushrooms. It is available in tablet and pill forms.
Studies on L-Theanine found it can promote mental health in the general population with stress-related ailments and cognitive impairments. 
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound found in the cannabis plant, used for thousands of years. You can take CBD in several ways; in a capsule form, drops under the tongue (tincture), edibles, vape, or massaged into the skin. CBD has been used to help ease symptoms of stress and anxiety and improve cognitive function. Cognitive dysfunction is a common effect among adults with treatment-resistant epilepsy (TRE), but studies indicate CBD is overall cognitively well-tolerated in adults with TRE. 
DIY Natural Nootropics Stack
For maximum benefit, many people stack natural nootropics. Stacked nootropics tend to work well together and provide additional benefits not obtained when taken individually. The two most popular nootropic stacks are listed discussed below:
L-Theanine & Caffeine Stack
L-Theanine & caffeine are a popular stacking combo. When added to caffeine, L-Theanine improves subjective alertness and cognitive performance while helping to decrease the “jittery” feelings associated with caffeine. The result is a more relaxed state of mind and increased productivity. A popular dosage would be 100-200 mg of L-Theanine added to one cup of coffee.
When combined with caffeine, L-theanine led to quicker simple reaction times, faster numeric working memory reaction time and improved sentence verification accuracy. There was also a significant positive caffeine L-theanine interaction on delayed word recognition reaction time. 
Ginkgo Biloba, Bacopa Monnieri & Lion’s Mane Stack
A combination of Ginkgo Biloba, Bacopa Monnieri & Lion’s Mane Stack is another popular stack. This combination of natural nootropics can improve memory, learning, and focus. Research is ongoing, but studies indicate the antioxidant properties in Ginkgo Biloba, Bacopa Monnieri & Lion’s Mane stack may play a key role in its ability to produce cognitive effects in healthy subjects. 
A popular mix is the following:
- Ginkgo Biloba – 240 mg, once per day
- Lion’s Mane – 500 mg, once per day
- Bacopa Monnieri – 100 mg, twice per day
You can slowly increase the dose if your results are minimal after 12 weeks of use.
Choosing the Best Nootropic Stack for Your Lifestyle
It’s critical to look at your individual needs and goals when choosing a stack. Natural nootropics are advised due to their minimal side effects when compared to synthetic varieties. It’s also important to note some nootropics might minimize the benefits of others. For example, the L-theanine & caffeine stack could decrease the energy boost typically received from caffeine. By experimenting with the dosages, you can find the perfect combination for you and your specific goals.
Nootropics have been used for thousands of years to improve cognitive function. While synthetic nootropics are available, natural options are considered a healthier, safer option by many. Due to their ability to work well together, stacking nootropics may help a person perform at their best. Even though the nootropics discussed here are all-natural, consulting with your doctor before trying nootropics.
Medical Disclaimer: This article is based upon the opinions of Revelation Health. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Revelation Health and associates. This article has been medically reviewed by Dr. Charles Penick, MD for accuracy of the information provided, but Revelation Health encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.
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