Optimise your cognition and ace those exams with these four proven nootropics.

As a student, you’re always seeking new ways to sharpen your mind and ace those exams. But let’s face it; you will need more than energy drinks and pulling all-nighters to get you farther.

If you’re looking for a more long-term and sustainable method to improve your cognitive abilities, cognitive enhancers like natural nootropics may be the answer.

These natural supplements, derived from plants and herbs, have been used for centuries to boost cognitive function, enhance memory, and sharpen focus without the adverse side effects associated with synthetic nootropic supplements.

Cognitive Enhancement

Natural Nootropics & Overall Brain Function

Natural nootropic supplements are gaining popularity among healthy adults who want to improve their mental performance and cognitive abilities.

These supplements, often made from plants and other natural sources, boost brain function in various ways, such as increasing blood flow, promoting neuroplasticity, and regulating neurotransmitters.

A critical function of natural nootropics is to improve working memory, which is the ability to hold and manipulate information in your mind for short periods. This vital cognitive function is frequently impaired in people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and dementia. It is also necessary for everyday tasks like problem-solving and decision-making.

Natural VS Synthetic Nootropic Supplements

Natural Herbs

Natural nootropics, as opposed to prescription smart drugs and synthetic nootropics, are generally known to be safe and well-tolerated, with minimal side effects.

So-called “smart drugs” such as Modafinil and Racetams are manmade pills designed to boost cognition using chemical ingredients. While they improve function, many also have adverse effects and potential long-term consequences.

This article will introduce you to four of nature’s most effective nootropics for studying to boost your cognitive function and academic performance.

These cognitive enhancers have been hand-picked for their effectiveness, safety, and lack of side effects, so you can study smarter, not harder.

What Are The Best Natural Nootropics to Enhance Cognitive Function For Students?

Alpha Brain Waves

The first on the list is Bacopa Monnieri, also known as “herbal Ritalin (a synthetic smart drug),” for its ability to enhance memory recall and information processing speed.

The next adaptogenic herb is Rhodiola Rosea, which will help you power through late-night study sessions by reducing stress and fatigue.

Third, Ginkgo Biloba, an ancient herb that improves memory and cognitive function by increasing blood flow to the brain.

Last but not least, Centella Asiatica, a herb used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries to improve cognitive function, mental clarity, and memory.

In order to help you create the best nootropic stack, let’s delve deeper into these powerful natural nootropics. Keep reading to learn how they can boost your academic performance and help you ace those exams.

Bacopa Monnieri

Bacopa

Bacopa Monnieri (BM), also known as Brahmi, is a traditional Ayurvedic herb used for centuries to improve memory and cognitive function. It is a natural cognitive enhancer that improves communication between nerve cells in the brain.

As a key ingredient in many nootropic stacks, BM boosts mental function in several ways as a natural cognitive enhancer.

Bacosides, the active compounds found in BM, have been shown to improve the operation of the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory and learning.

As such, BM has been shown to enhance working memory and information processing speed and increase attention and concentration capacity in healthy individuals (1,2).

Secondly, BM has also been shown to modulate the activity of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, which can help to improve mood and reduce anxiety (3).

Lastly, BM benefits long-range cognitive function. Its antioxidant properties protect neurons from free radical damage (4).

Enhances Working Memory & Information Processing Speed

Neurotransmitter activity modulation is one of the mechanisms by which Bacopa Monnieri (BM) improves working memory and information processing speed. Bacosides, the active ingredients in Bacopa Monnieri extract, have been shown to increase acetylcholine levels (1,2). The neurotransmitter acetylcholine plays a crucial role in cognitive function, including working memory, attention, and learning.

By increasing the activity of enzymes that promote the synthesis of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), it has also been found to improve neural communication and brain health (5). BDNF is a protein that promotes the development of new neurons and synapses in the brain, enhancing cognitive function, particularly working memory.

By increasing blood flow to the brain (6), BM also improves cognitive performance, enhancing working memory and information processing speed.

Increases Attention & Concentration Capacity

Attention and concentration capacity are critical for academic performance. Bacopa Monnieri (BM) is thought to improve the awareness and concentration of healthy individuals by modulating specific brain chemicals’ activity.

It has been shown to increase neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin, which are responsible for mood and attention regulation (1,2).

Furthermore, research suggests that nootropic compounds, such as Bacosides, can increase neurotransmitter synthesis in the brain, improving brain health and cognitive abilities (3,7).

Moreover, this powerful nootropic has been shown to increase the density of dopamine receptors and enhance synaptic plasticity, which may contribute to its cognitive-enhancing effects (8,9).

The overall impact of these mechanisms is an increase in attention and concentration capacity in healthy individuals.

Improves Mood & Reduces Anxiety

Research suggests Bacopa Monnieri (BM) may have anxiolytic and anti-depressant effects. It works by increasing neurotransmitters involved in mood regulation, such as serotonin and dopamine.

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of BM in healthy adults discovered that it significantly reduced anxiety symptoms compared to the placebo group (2).

Another study found that taking BM for 12 weeks significantly reduced the stress hormone cortisol and improved mood in healthy individuals (10).

These studies suggest that BM may mitigate the adverse effects of stress by modulating cortisol levels and improving the spirit of healthy individuals. This is critical for students who want to avoid burnout while maintaining high academic performance.

Supports Long-Range Brain Health

Bacosides in Bacopa Monnieri (BM) extract have been shown in studies to improve the functioning of the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for cognitive processes such as decision-making, attention, and memory.

Furthermore, BM has been shown to stimulate the formation of new neurons and synapses in the brain, which may aid in preventing cognitive decline (1, 2).

This powerful herb can also improve communication between neurons by strengthening neuronal membrane growth (11).

As one of the best nootropics for cognitive enhancement, studies show that BM can protect the brain from cognitive decline by promoting the growth of new neurons and synapses in the prefrontal cortex (3).

The Bacosides in BM extract have been shown to increase neuronal membrane growth and repair, which can help improve cognitive function and protect the brain from damage (3,12).

It has also been discovered to have antioxidant properties, protecting the brain from free radical damage and inflammation (1,2).

Its ability to promote new neuron growth, protect the brain from damage, and support cognitive performance makes it one of the best nootropics for long-range brain health.

Overall, Bacopa Monnieri is one of the best nootropics for studying due to its ability to improve memory and information processing speed, increase attention and concentration, improve mood, reduce anxiety, and support long-term brain health.

Rhodiola Rosea

Rhodiola Rosea

Rhodiola Rosea, also known as Golden Root, has been one of nature’s most potent nootropic herbs to improve mental and physical performance for centuries.

It is well-known to have an energizing and calming effect, making it an excellent choice for students who need to stay focused and alert during their studies.

This fantastic nootropic plant helps students boost academic performance by improving reaction time & alertness while increasing physical endurance & reducing fatigue.

Its energizing and calming effect also enhances sleep quality, helping sleep-deprived adults regulate their sleep-wake cycle.

Rhodiola Rosea is a must-have in your nootropic stack for students looking to boost their cognitive functioning for academic performance.

Improves Reaction Time & Alertness

Rhodiola Rosea has been shown to improve reaction time and boost alertness by modulating the activity of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. The compounds found in Rhodiola Rosea have been displayed in studies to increase the activity of dopamine and norepinephrine, which are responsible for mood, motivation, and attention regulation (13,14).

Scientific evidence shows that Rhodiola Rosea can also increase the activity of alpha brain waves, which is associated with relaxation and mental alertness (15,16).

Moreover, similar to Bacopa Monnieri extract, research shows that Rhodiola rosea can enhance the expression of BDNF. It also decreased the activity of enzymes responsible for its degradation (17).

These profound effects make it one of the most valuable nootropics for studying.

Increases Physical Endurance & Reduces Fatigue

Rhodiola Rosea has been used in traditional medicine for centuries to improve physical endurance and reduce fatigue.

It works by modifying the levels of certain neurotransmitters and hormones in the body that are involved in energy regulation and stress response.

One of the primary mechanisms by which Rhodiola Rosea alleviates fatigue is by lowering levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which, when elevated, can cause feelings of fatigue and exhaustion. Rhodiola Rosea has been shown in studies to reduce cortisol levels and improve mood in individuals experiencing stress and fatigue (1,2).

Rhodiola Rosea also improves physical endurance by increasing the activity of energy metabolism enzymes such as adenosine triphosphate (ATP) synthase (13). This can increase energy production, which can help to improve physical endurance and alleviate the negative effects of fatigue.

Moreover, Rhodiola Rosea has been shown to improve cardiovascular system functioning and increase blood flow, which contributes to its ability to enhance physical endurance (16).

Enhances Sleep Quality

Rhodiola Rosea has been shown to improve sleep quality by balancing the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine in the brain, which can lead to less insomnia and other sleep disorders.

This powerful adaptogen has both an energizing and calming effect on the body, aiding in regulating the sleep-wake cycle. This makes it a valuable addition to a nootropic stack for those looking to improve their sleep quality.

Research shows that using Rhodiola Rosea resulted in significant improvements in insomnia, emotional instability, somatization, and depression, as well as a decrease in fatigue (14). Studies also show that Rhodiola Rosea enhances sleep quality by reducing levels of stress hormones (16).

Due to its unique combination of adaptogenic and anxiolytic properties, Rhodiola Rosea is known to be part of many powerful nootropic stacks.

Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola)

Centella Asiatica

Centella Asiatica, also known as Gotu Kola or Indian pennywort, is a perennial herb found in Asian, African, and South American wetlands.

For centuries, this herb has been used in traditional medicine, particularly Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, to treat various conditions, including anxiety, depression, wounds, and skin conditions.

Recent scientific research has begun to investigate Centella Asiatica’s potential cognitive benefits. Scientific evidence indicates that this herb may improve cognitive function, memory, and attention, making it one of the most effective nootropics for studying.

As one of nature’s finest nootropics for studying, Centella Asiatica, or Gotu Kola extract, boosts learning & memory function, calms the nervous system and enhances neuroprotection.

Boosts Learning & Memory

Triterpenoids, one of the main active compounds found in Centella Asiatica, have been shown to boost memory function and learning.

In one study, triterpenoids from Centella Asiatica were found to stimulate the proliferation and differentiation of neural stem cells, which are responsible for forming new brain cells (19). This indicates that Centella Asiatica may aid in the growth and repair of neurons, conceivably resulting in enhanced memory and learning capabilities.

Another study discovered that Centella Asiatica could raise the neurotransmitters acetylcholine and dopamine levels in the brain (20). These neurotransmitters play an essential role in cognitive function and memory formation. Increasing their levels may aid in improving cognitive abilities and memory consolidation.

Calms the Nervous System

Centella Asiatica has been found to contain compounds that relax the muscles and nerves. It has been shown to calm the nervous system via various means. According to one study, the triterpenoids in Centella Asiatica have a sedative impact on the central nervous system, which supports anxiety reduction and relaxation (21).

Another research found that Centella Asiatica could boost the neurotransmitters serotonin and GABA levels in the brain, which are understood to play a role in mood and anxiety regulation (21). An increase in these neurotransmitters may help to enhance mood, relieve anxiety and soothe the nervous system.

Enhances Neuroprotection

Several studies have shown that Centella Asiatica’s active compounds contribute to its strong neuroprotective effects, particularly triterpenoids and flavonoids.

These compounds exert their neuroprotective effects through various mechanisms.

Firstly, through its ability to promote the growth and restoration of neurons. As mentioned earlier, the triterpenoids in Centella Asiatica were found to stimulate the proliferation and differentiation of neural stem cells (19,22).

Secondly, studies show that Centella Asiatica can reduce the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the brain. ROS is understood to cause cellular damage and contribute to neurodegenerative diseases (23).

Thirdly, Centella Asiatica has been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect, which aids in reducing inflammation in the brain and enhances neuroprotection (24).

Lastly, flavonoids in Centella Asiatica, such as Asiaticoside and Madecassoside, have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which support cognitive function and enhance neuroprotection.

These benefits make it a valuable natural nootropic supplement for students to boost academic performance and prevent burnout.

Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo Leaves

Ginkgo Biloba, also known as Ginkgo, is the most famous ancient herb used for hundreds of years to improve cognition. It is well-known for enhancing blood circulation to the brain and vastly improving cognitive abilities.

Its active compounds, notably flavonoids and terpenoids, are believed to account for its cognitive-boosting properties.

Numerous studies have found that Ginkgo can strengthen cognitive abilities in healthy people and may also support those experiencing age related cognitive decline.

An essential for students looking to improve cognition for academic performance. Ginkgo Biloba is well-known for enhancing blood circulation to the brain, sharpening focus & memory and ameliorating symptoms of stress.

Sharpens Focus & Memory

One of the primary ways Ginkgo Biloba sharpens focus is by increasing blood circulation to the brain. Ginkgo Biloba is a vasodilator; it dilates blood vessels and improves circulation. This helps provide more oxygen and nutrients to the brain by improving circulation, which aids in enhancing overall cognition and sharpens focus & memory(25, 26).

Moreover, Ginkgo Biloba has been shown in studies to increase dopamine and acetylcholine levels in the brain, which are both understood to play essential roles in sharpening focus and memory (27).

Ameliorates Symptoms of Stress

Ginkgo has been shown to alleviate stress symptoms via various mechanisms. In several studies, it has been shown to lower cortisol levels, a stress hormone (28,29).

Furthermore, it may exert its antianxiety properties by increasing neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin (30,31). This can help to improve feelings of well-being and alleviate stress.

Overall reduced stress levels and improved blood circulation is critical for long-range mental well-being.


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Summary

Synergistic Effects of Nootropics for Studying

Nootropic supplement capsule

Rhodiola Rosea, Bacopa Monnieri, Centella Asiatica, and Ginkgo Biloba are all widely known nootropics that have been utilized for generations to improve cognition.

Each of these potent herbs has its primary benefits and modes of action. Combined, they have a synergistic effect that effectively improves overall cognitive performance.

In a nutshell, Rhodiola Rosea is an adaptogen that can strengthen focus and concentration by curbing stress and fatigue. Bacopa Monnieri is a herb that has long been used to optimize memory and learning. Centella Asiatica has been found to enhance cognitive abilities and memory by stimulating neural stem cell growth and repair. Ginkgo Biloba has been shown to improve brain circulation and oxygenation, enhancing cognition and information processing.

Bottomline

Best nootropics for studying

Especially for students in mentally demanding courses, these four powerful nootropics can provide a holistic approach to enhancing cognition, with each nootropic complementing the effects of the others.

It is always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any course of supplements, especially if you have any underlying health condition or are under 18 years of age.

Related articles: Nature’s Brain Booster: 4 Amazing Effects of Rhodiola Rosea (golden root), 7 Amazing Ways Bacopa Monnieri Boosts Your Brain Health

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