The secret’s out on nootropic supplements. Nootropics is becoming one of the buzziest words in the health and wellness community. However, there’s a lot of different myths and definitions going around about what nootropic supplements are (some going so far as to brand themselves as “smart pills”). We’re here to clear the air.
The word nootropics is a general term. “Noo” is Greek for brain, and “tropics” is helps. In a more general sense, nootropics generally translates to something that helps the brain.
In the more specific sense of the word, nootropics are supplements that support our cognitive function, memory, clarity and focus.
Specific ingredients on their own can be considered nootropics, as well as the products themselves. Their impacts on brain health each vary by the type of nootropic. For example, Green Tea Extract is a noteworthy nootropic, known to boost focus and overall wellness through its caffeinated and antioxidant properties. Other nootropics, like Passion Flower Extract and Melatonin, have relaxing properties and are useful in promoting a natural sleep cycle.
One specific class of nootropics are adaptogens. Adaptogens are herbs that adapt to whatever is causing stress to the body, helping maintain the natural balance in the body and the brain.
Adaptogens are rooted in Chinese and Ayurvedic traditional herbalisms, being used for thousands of years. They can either have relaxing or energizing properties -- for example, Ashwagandha encourages calming responses, while Ginseng helps awaken the senses and boosts concentration levels.
So are they really “smart drugs”? We can’t say that they make you smarter, that’s for sure (and be cautious of any that say they can). But what nootropics are great for is supporting our cognitive abilities through providing better mechanisms for mental performance, as well as long term health.