Natural Nootropics: Are They Better Than Synthetic Nootropics?

Benjamin Martin - 1 April 2021

Best natural nootropics

This article will examine what a natural nootropic is, starting with a definition of nootropics and giving some examples of prominent natural nootropics.

It will also cover some of the benefits associated with natural nootropics, including the advantages that natural nootropics have over pharmaceutical smart drugs, and the beneficial effects natural nootropics can have.


  • What is a natural nootropic? 
  • Benefits of natural nootropics
  • What can natural nootropics do?
  • Conclusion

What is a natural nootropic?

The term nootropic was coined in the 1970s by Romanian psychologist Corneliu Giurgea and refers to substances that can improve cognitive function or other aspects of mental performance, such as concentration and motivation.

Nootropics might also be referred to as smart pills, smart drugs, cognitive enhancers or brain supplements. 

Natural nootropics are, as the name suggests, nootropics which contain only natural substances, such as superfoods, herbal ingredients, vitamins and minerals.

This is in contrast with pharmaceutical nootropics, which use drugs or medication like Modafinil to produce nootropic effects.

Some examples of natural nootropics are Brainzyme, Nootrobox’s Kado 3, or Optimind. These are known as natural nootropic stacks. Stack is just a word for a mix of ingredients, natural or pharmaceutical, intended to work together to produce a stronger nootropic effect.

Other natural nootropics are the ingredients used in nootropic stacks, such as Panax ginseng or Ginkgo Biloba.

natural nootropics

Benefits of natural nootropics

The primary benefit associated with natural nootropics is that they can provide strong nootropic effects without the need to use pharmaceuticals. Natural nootropic pills can help concentration, motivation and many other important aspects of cognition.

Pharmaceutical nootropics are frequently unsafe, illegal or under-researched, so it’s important to be very careful with their use. Natural nootropics help concentration and mental performance without the same kinds of risks while remaining very effective.

This is thanks to their reliance on more natural substances, which means that they work synergistically with your body. In addition, many natural nootropics, or ingredients they contain, have been used for hundreds of years. For example, caffeine is used in some natural nootropic pills to help concentration and has been used to enhance cognition since the 15th century.

Natural nootropics are thus tried and tested for human consumption over long periods, and they are generally less likely to cause severe or unforeseen side effects.

Another benefit of natural nootropic ingredients is that they tend to be well researched by modern science. A Google search for “theanine + cognition” or “choline + cognition” will return dozens of scientific and medical resources and research papers detailing the positive effects these substances can have.

natural nootropics

This scientific validity indicates that natural nootropics are not weaker than synthetic nootropics at all. In many instances, natural nootropics provide strong nootropic effects, with increases productivity and focus on par with a pharmaceutical smart drug like modafinil.

Natural nootropics generally have fewer perceptible negative effects in comparison with smart drugs, in that they generally do not cause restlessness or over-activity which can often happen with synthetic nootropics.

Natural nootropics are thus more useful as long-term pills to help concentration, as they can increase overall productivity, motivation and focus without the drawbacks commonly associated with pharmaceutical smart drugs.

Another important benefit is the fact that many natural nootropic formulas are legal for sale in the UK, unlike most pharmaceutical nootropics.

This is because naturally sourced ingredients are not controlled under the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016, which made most pharmaceutical nootropics illegal to sell, and illegal to possess in some cases.

As a result, natural nootropics are more well-regulated, as they can be sold openly and from within the UK. This, in general, makes natural nootropics safer than pharmaceutical nootropics, as you lower your risk of purchasing an adulterated product.

However, use caution as some natural nootropics aren’t cleared for sale in the UK. For example, products containing bacopa monnieri should be avoided, as this herb is prohibited by the MHRA.

In addition, as there is a growing awareness of pharmaceutical nootropics, there may be an increased incidence of drug testing in workplaces, academic institutions or sporting events to try and control their use.

Natural nootropics will not run afoul of these tests, as they do not use drugs to produce their effects, making them a far better option for a sportsperson, student or worker who wants to use a nootropic but is conscious of the risks inherent in using an unprescribed drug.

And, on a very practical level, many natural nootropics are more affordable than their pharmaceutical counterparts. Some highly effective natural nootropics can be priced as low as £9.95 for 30 capsules, while the same number of modafinil tablets can cost around £39.99 - almost four times the price.

This is an important concern, particularly for a student or working professional, especially when you add up the cost over months of consumption.

natural nootropics

What can natural nootropics do?

As mentioned earlier, natural nootropics can help you concentrate, give you motivation, and help your alertness. They can help you work at your best, for much longer than would otherwise be possible.

As a result, natural nootropics can help you get more done; they might make you feel good doing it too, as many natural nootropics encourage the release of dopamine.

In addition, it’s quite possible that a natural nootropic could help you deal with pressure. Many people use natural nootropics that help with high-pressure situations when going into job interviews, prior to exams, or other stressful situations and find that they’re able to think more clearly.

As a result, they are able to process the experience more effectively and respond in a better way, which leads to a more satisfactory outcome for them.

In some instances, the extensive nutrients that a natural nootropic provides can also improve your mood. This can often be useful if you’re working intensely for a long time - as you may not be eating so well, a natural nootropic can cover some of your brain’s nutritional requirements and simultaneously makes you happier while you are working.

In addition to their aforementioned benefits, you might be surprised to learn that natural nootropics are also able to help with memory. They can help you keep important information in your mind while supporting your brain health with nootropic foods.

natural nootropics


Natural nootropics are a very effective way to get a boost to your brain without the risks associated with pharmaceutical nootropics.

Natural nootropics are often as effective, or even more effective, than pharmaceutical smart drugs, as natural nootropics can enhance cognition while avoiding side effects like restlessness or jitters.

In addition to this, natural nootropics are much safer and more likely to be legal than pharmaceutical nootropics, and can have highly useful effects such as improving performance under pressure.

Therefore, we would always recommend opting for natural nootropics over pharmaceutical nootropics.

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About the author

Benjamin Martin is a nootropic and brain supplement enthusiast

Benjamin Martin is a nootropic and brain supplement enthusiast who has tried every type of performance-boosting supplement under the sun. At Brainzyme, he uses his expertise to produce educational content for the Nootropics UK and Brain Supplements UK blogs.

Based in Edinburgh, Benjamin loves spending his free time in nature whenever he gets the chance.

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