Natural Nootropics: Are They Better Than Pharmaceutical Ones?

What is a natural nootropic?

Natural Nootropics: Are They Better Than Pharmaceutical Ones?


- Introduction

What is a natural nootropic? 

Benefits of natural nootropics: Pills to help you concentrate?

What can natural nootropics do?

- Natural nootropic memory boosters



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.

If you're interested in this topic, you should also check out our Natural Nootropics vs Pharmaceutical Study Drugs? What Tim Ferris Says article.

natural nootropic brain vitamins

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 smart drugs, 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), or their component ingredients such as Panax ginseng or Ginkgo Biloba.

natural nootropic stack refers to a collection of naturally-sourced nootropic ingredients

Natural nootropics are very diverse and may use many different ingredients which form a nootropic ‘stack’ when combined. (Stack is just a word for a mix of ingredients, natural or pharmaceutical, intended to work together to produce a stronger nootropic effect.)

Benefits of natural nootropics: pills to help you concentrate?

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 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 are generally less likely to cause severe or unforeseen side effects - we wouldn't have eaten or drunk those substances otherwise

Another benefit of natural nootropic ingredients being comparatively old 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, which is only enhanced when they are included alongside other ingredients in natural pills to help concentration.

can natural nootropics help you concentrate?

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 to 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 as can happen often 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 nootropics formulas are legal for sale in Britain, unlike most pharmaceutical nootropics.

This is because natural-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.

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.

what can natural focus supplements do?

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 another stressful time 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.

Natural nootropics are also able to improve your mood. In some instances, the extensive nutrients that a natural nootropic provides can 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 in this instance can cover some of your brain’s nutritional requirements and simultaneously make you happier while working.

vitamins for brain health

Natural nootropic memory boosters

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

Other ways to support or improve your memory include aerobic exercise, adequate sleep (7.5 - 9 hours), keeping time to de-stress, and taking up new hobbies that stimulate the brain such as playing an instrument or learning a foreign language. All of these will help you keep your memory healthy!


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 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.

If you'd like to learn more about Brainzyme, our recommended natural nootropic, please click here.

Related articles

Or, if you like, feel free to check out the following related articles:

The Best 16 Brain Vitamins for Memory and Concentration in 2019


C.Giurgea, M.Salama, Nootropic Drugs, Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology
Volume 1, Issues 3–4, 1977, Pages 235-247,
Noor Azuin Suliman, Che Norma Mat Taib, Mohamad Aris Mohd Moklas, Mohd Ilham Adenan, Mohamad Taufik Hidayat Baharuldin, and Rusliza Basir, Establishing Natural Nootropics: Recent Molecular Enhancement Influenced by Natural Nootropic, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2016, Article ID 4391375, 12 pages, 2016.
J. Pranav, A Review On Natural Memory Enhancers (Nootropics), Unique Journal of Engineering and Advanced Sciences, 2013, 01 (01): Page 8-18,
Malik, Ruchi; Sangwan, Abhijeet; Saihgal, Ruchika; Paul Jindal, Dharam; Piplani, Poonam, Towards Better Brain Management: Nootropics,  Current Medicinal Chemistry, Volume 14, Number 2, 2007, pp. 123-131(9),
* = Important note - whilst BrainZyme is scientifically proven to support concentration and mental performance, it is not a replacement for a good diet, moderate exercise or sleep. BrainZyme is also not a drug, medicine or pharmaceutical. It is a natural-sourced, vegan food supplement with ingredients that are scientifically proven to support cognition, concentration, mental performance and reduction of tiredness. You should always consult with your doctor if you require medical attention.
** = Anecdotally, the improved concentration from BrainZyme enables increased motivation.


  • Hi Gav,

    You’re kind of right, but in my own experience I’ve tried some natural nootropics that are just as strong from the outset.

    Normally though, you will find the results of natural nootropic increasing over time (at least with good quality supplements such as BrainZyme).

    The side-effects that come with pharmaceuticals can lead to you becoming less productive than you were before you took them.

    My (slightly biased) advice is to stick to the natural ones :)


    Robert (Mod)
  • So I take it that with natural nootropics they aren’t as strong but they come with fewer side effects and can take them longer term whereas pharmaceuticals are stronger but come with more side effects?


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