Guarana – Natural Nootropic

Guarana extract comes from the berries of Paullinia cupana. This plant is native to Venezuela and Brazil and is found in many popular soft drinks in these countries.  Guarana berries naturally contain about 5% caffeine.  Due to its caffeine, Guarana is able to boost one’s energy and quicken perceptions.

Guarana shows nootropic, or brain-boosting effects even when the amount of caffeine present is insignificant. It has shown increased performance across attention and sentence verification tasks. (1)

(1) Kennedy, Haskell, Wesnes, Scholey.  Improved cognitive performance in human volunteers following administration of guarana (Paullinia cupana) extract: comparison and interaction with Panax ginseng.  Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior Volume 79, Issue 3, November 2004, Pages 401-411

Guarana Berry - one of the natural nootropics found in Think Gum, the natural memory supplement nootropic gum.
Bacopa - one of the natural nootropics found in Think Gum, the natural memory supplement nootropic gum.

Bacopa – Natural Nootropic

Bacopa monniera is a small creeping herb found in moist environments mainly in India. It has shown to improve information processing, verbal learning rate, and memory consolidation. Bacopa may also improve higher-order cognitive processes dependent on learning and memory.(1)

There are many brain-boosting compounds in Bacopa, but the most active are bacoside A and bacoside B5. These compounds improve nerve transmission by enhancing neural kinase activity, neuronal synthesis, and the restoration of synaptic activity.(2) Bacopa works best when taken recurrently over a couple of weeks. This gives the bacosides time to repair damaged nerves and to help regenerate neural synapses. 

 (1) C. Stough · J. Lloyd · J. Clarke · L. A. Downey C. W. Hutchison · T. Rodgers · P. J. Nathan.  The chronic effects of an extract of Bacopa monniera(Brahmi) on cognitive function in healthy human subjects. Psychopharmacology (2001) 156:481–484

(2) Singh HK, Dhawan BN. Neuropsychopharmacological effects of the Ayurvedic nootropic Bacopa monniera Linn. (Brahmi). Indian J Pharmacol 1997;29:S359-S365.

Ginkgo Biloba – Natural Nootropic

Ginkgo Biloba is widely regarded as a cognitive enhancer.  Many people take supplements of Ginkgo Biloba to help with forgetfulness and to promote overall mental health.

Ginkgo has been shown to improve performance on the Sternberg memory-scanning task (1), which evaluates short-term memory by assessing the ability to recall items on a list.

Ginkgo Biloba can improve blood flow, but this does not explain all of its effects. Flavonoid glycosides and ginkolides might protect cells from oxidative stress and programmed cell death. (2)

(1) U. Rigney, S. Kimber and I. Hindmarch. The Effects of Acute Doses of Standardized Ginkgo biloba Extract on Memory and Psychomotor Performance in Volunteers.  Phytother. Res. 13, 408–415 (1999)

(2) Tozan A, Sehirli O, Omurtag GZ, Cetinel S, Gedik N, Sener G. Ginkgo biloba extract reduces naphthalene-induced oxidative damage in mice. Phytother Res. 2006 Nov 9; PMID: 17094175

Ginkgo Biloba - one of the natural nootropics found in Think Gum, the natural memory supplement nootropic gum.

Vinpocetine – Natural Nootropic

Cognitive enhancer derived from Vinca minor L. (the lesser periwinkle plant). Has been shown to improve performance on short-term memory tests (1) and memory functioning in word recall tests (2).

Vinpocetine acts as a cerebral vasodilator; it preferentially increases blood flow to the brain. This help with mentally strenuous tasks.

It also slows down an enzyme that normally breaks down ATP, our body’s main source of energy. This means more energy for your brain.

(1) Donna M. Coleston and Ian Hindmarch.  Possible Memory-Enhancing Properties of Vinpocetine. Human Psychopharmacology Research Unit, Department of Psychology, University of Leeds, Leeds, England

(2) Z. Subhan and I. Hindmarch Psychopharmacological Effects of Vinpocetine in Normal Healthy Volunteers Human Psychopharmacology Research Unit, Department of Psychology, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK

Peppermint – Natural Aromatherapy

Mentha piperita can enhance energy, brighten mood, improve mental clarity and memory. Its refreshing aroma can help breathing as well.

Peppermint has been shown to reduce errors and to improve performance in everyday tasks.  It’s hypothesized that “peppermint odor may promote a general arousal of attention, so participants stay focused on their task…”(1)

(1) Barker S, Grayhem P, Koon J, Perkins J, Whalen A, Raudenbush B.  Improved performance on clerical tasks associated with administration of peppermint odor.  Percept Mot Skills. 2003 Dec;97(3 Pt 1):1007-10.

Mint - one of the aromatherapy ingredients in Think Gum, brain-boosting gum
Rosemary - one of the aromatherapy ingredients in Think Gum, brain-boosting gum

Rosemary – Natural Aromatherapy

Rosmarinus officinalis can ease tension, to relieve headaches, brighten mood and to improve mental clarity and memory.  Science is only now beginning to confirm this.

It has shown to be a neural protector, keeping your brain cells healthy, (1) as well as improve mental performance.  In one study, “rosemary produced a significant enhancement of performance for overall quality of memory and secondary memory factors”. (2)

(1)Kim SJ, Kim JS, Cho HS, Lee HJ, Kim SY, Kim S, Lee SY, Chun HS.  Carnosol, a component of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) protects nigral dopaminergic neuronal cells. Neuroreport. 2006 Nov 6;17(16):1729-33.

(2) Moss M, Cook J, Wesnes K, Duckett P.  Aromas of rosemary and lavender essential oils differentially affect cognition and mood in healthy adults. Int J Neurosci. 2003 Jan;113(1):15-38.