Do Nootropics Work as Vitamins for the Brain

Are Nootropics Like Brain Vitamins?

Nootropics do all types of things for the mind and body. Technically, they are substances that provide a mental boost of some kind, while offering no negative effects. While this may sound like a godsend, ultimately, there are thousands of nootropics in the world. The truth is, only a few of them are worth mentioning in terms of providing dramatic benefits to the mind. There are definitely nootropics which function like brain vitamins, and they can contribute to significant positive impacts in one’s life. Additionally like vitamins, many nootropics are used daily. The mind and body become used to the nootropics and the benefits become permanent. Many nootropic enthusiasts tend to look at this process as a way of training or teaching the brain to function more efficiently. Still, it greatly benefits all nootropics users to understand how they are working, and how they are broken down in the mind and body.

How Do Nootropics Affect the Brain?

Nootropics work by encouraging the brain to function in an improved manner, either by manipulating the production of, or the reduction of, certain neurotransmitters (or brain chemicals). They are typically neuroprotective substances, that help the brain identify with better thinking and resting practices.1 This is a list of some of the most effective nootropics that function like brain vitamins, and their affects on the brain:

  • Huperzine A: Regularly revered for its outstanding memory-enhancing, and thinking-enhancing properties. It is often considered a super nootropic in terms of brain boosters.2
  • Hawthorn: A powerful adaptogen, giving the mind a chance to relax and attain a state of clarity and reduced stress. Adaptogens are important, natural ways to calm the mind and promote more focused thinking.
  • Ginseng: Well-known for its ability to promote stimulated thinking, as well as more mental and physical energy.
  • Green Coffee Bean: This is a wildly under-rated nootropic capable of providing amazing anti-oxidant and energizing properties. It is one of the strongest natural caffeine sources available.
  • Rhodiola: An excellent natural source for energy, of which can be applied in the mind in terms of thinking power.3
  • Yohimbe: Great for energy and promoting blood flow. More blood flow can lead to overall better functioning of the brain.
  • Vinpocetine: Often selected for its energizing properties.
  • Bacopa Monnieri: Used for its relaxing and calming properties. Although it is a less-potent nootropic, it is often included in many stacks.4
  • Ashwagandha: Used in many calming formulas. Has a long history throughout many cultures of being used for its relaxation properties.
  • Gotu Kola: Gotu Kola is a source of natural caffeine and promotes an awakened, energized state, and able to improve cognitive function.5
  • GABA: Often selected for its relaxation and calming properties.
  • L-Theanine: A very strong calming and relaxation nootropic. Sometimes used in combination with caffeine, as well as other nootropics, to create a focused boost in the mind.
  • Passion Flower: Frequently chosen for its calming effects on the mind. It is used in some of the most powerful relaxation formulas in the world.6

Many nootropics work better when used in combination with other nootropics.1 This is why many nootropic stacks and proprietary blends include a combination of ingredients to achieve the desired effects on the mind. Simply put, there are many nootropics which work best together. Still, there are some nootropics which you would never want to combine together. And even moreso, there are certain nootropics which will function better when taking alone altogether.

Long Term Effects of Nootropics on the Brain

Many substances have a “use in moderation” rule, including even innocuous substances like coffee, sugar, and salt. Similarly, most nootropics only require a small daily serving size in order to achieve the desired benefits. Very rarely are there benefits from overusing nootropics. With that said, however, most nootropics still work best as they are built up in the system. Using the same nootropics on a residual basis over a long time helps the body and brain understand their effects better. In fact, most studies provide evidence that long term nootropic use provides positive effects on the brain and in the body.1

Regardless, some of the most important nootropics have proven to improve overall function, as well as many specific functions in the brain over time.1,4 Some of the most successful “brain nootropics” include: Huperzine A, Hawthorn, Ginseng, Rhodiola, Yohimbe, Vinpocetine, Bacopa Monnieri, Ashwagandha, Gotu Kola, GABA, L-Theanine, and Passion Flower.

Tips for Using Nootropics Long-Term

Remember, nootropics work best as a part of a daily regimen. Many nootropics and proprietary blends, like Pirate Botanicals products, work best as they build up in the system. For example, Piratall is a brain nootropic supplement that provides more benefits as it is used over the course of time. This is why the product comes in a 30 days supply bottle, because it is meant to be taken every day. Piratall is a great example of a brain vitamin, containing natural caffeines (from Green Coffee Bean extract and Guarana extract), as well as long-term adaptogens, anti-oxidant properties, and mind-boosting properties (from things like Huperzine A). Pirate Botanicals created Piratall as a way to maximize the benefits of nootropics in the brain as quickly as possible, as well as in a compounding fashion over time.

Disclaimer: Always consult your physician before adding new supplements to your diet, or making any major changes to your diet.


1Frati, P., Kyriakou, C., Del Rio, A., Marinelli, E., Vergallo, G. M., Zaami, S., and Busardo, F. P.. (2015). Smart Drugs and Synthetic Androgens for Cognitive and Physical Enhancement: Revolving Doors of Cosmetic Neurology. Current Neuropharmacology. Vol. 13(1) pp 5-11, 7.

2Tun, M. K., & Herzon, S. B. (2012). The pharmacology and therapeutic potential of (-)-huperzine A. Journal of experimental pharmacology, 4, 113–123. doi:10.2147/JEP.S27084

3Ross, S.. (April 2014). Rhodiola rosea. Holistic Nursing Practice. Vol. 28(2). pp. 149-154.

4Aguiar, S., & Borowski, T. (2013). Neuropharmacological review of the nootropic herb Bacopa monnieri. Rejuvenation research, 16(4), 313–326. doi:10.1089/rej.2013.1431

5Farhana, K. M., Malueka, R. G., Wibowo, S., & Gofir, A. (2016). Effectiveness of Gotu Kola Extract 750 mg and 1000 mg Compared with Folic Acid 3 mg in Improving Vascular Cognitive Impairment after Stroke. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2016, 2795915. doi:10.1155/2016/2795915

6Meier, S., Haschke, M., Zahner, C., Kruttschnitt, E., Drewe, J., Liakoni, E., Hammann, F., and Gaab, J.. (January 15, 2018). Effects of a fixed herbal drug combination to an experimental acute stress setting in healthy men. Phytomedicine. Vol. 39. Pp. 85-92

Nootropics Used by Entrepreneurs & The Benefits

nootropics used by entrepreneurs

Why Do Entrepreneurs Use Nootropics?

Entrepreneurs are some of the hardest working individuals on the face of the planet. Any real entrepreneur will vouch for the extreme difficulty this career choice brings about. Working hard requires a huge number of favorable intellectual and physical attributes. Fortunately, however, most of the necessary attributes of a successful entrepreneur can be influenced by the right nootropic stacks. Nootropics have a lot of built-in benefits that help entrepreneurs get the most out of their thinking power, memory, energy and drive. Nootropics are even able to improve fluid intelligence, which can make entrepreneurs better problem solvers. The impact nootropics have on memory (crystallized intelligence) is also incredibly beneficial to entrepreneurs. Although it is never easy to be creative, persistent, or productive, nootropics can help with that too! No matter the type of entrepreneur or business, the right nootropics have been proven to be able to turn a mental road block into creative genius.1

So what is it about an entrepreneur that makes them so susceptible to the benefits of nootropics? To better understand why entrepreneurs benefit so greatly from nootropics, it is best to begin looking at what makes an entrepreneur so different in general.

What Makes An Entrepreneur’s Brain Different?

entrepreneurs have different brains

Many studies have proven that an entrepreneur naturally thinks differently than most other people.9,10 Besides the studies, it has always been clear that entrepreneurs choose less commonly walked paths. The most famous successful people and most influential creative geniuses of all time are easy models of the entrepreneur way of thinking, including but not nearly limited to: Henry Ford, Andrew Carnegie, Bill Gates, Larry Page, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Oprah Winfrey, John D. Rockefeller, Thomas Edison, Benjamin Franklin, Nikola Tesla, and even Shakespeare. A quick look at any of their lives will show profound risk, insane dedication to work, and a drive to push the barriers farther than they have ever been pushed before! Many of them sacrificed everything they had in order to make a difference and create an impact. And many of them took their work so seriously, they would do anything to get ahead.

But why? What makes the entrepreneur’s brain so different than that of the norm to suggest these strides of creativity and risk? The answer lies within the science of the brain and an entrepreneur’s innate ability to create.10

Science Proves Entrepreneurs Think Differently

Plenty of data and a number of scientific studies have proven an entrepreneur thinks differently.9,10 In fact, there is an entire theorem called “Effectual Reasoning” which was developed in order to define the way entrepreneurs think. Basically, Effectual Reasoning is the ability and desire to solve problems and improve the state of the world by creating, innovating and enabling the creativity of firms, ideas, markets, products, and services.11 The term was created to define the successful strategies of 27 founders of companies that had attained a successful net worth of at least $200M, although it included many billion dollar companies as well.

There are many parts of effectuation which are used to describe the successful entrepreneurial mindset, including the idea to use common logic in order to find solutions to problems. Probably the most interesting part of an entrepreneurial mindset is their ability to use variables as possibilities for new outcomes. This of course comes opposed by the theory of casual thinking, or the idea that the variables limit the outcome.11

many successful entrepreneurs use nootropics and smart drugs

In plain terms: entrepreneurs see lemons as the ability to create lemonade, or also citrus extract, or a seasoning for a meal, or possibly an entirely new way to use a lemon. Entrepreneurs are so good at creating new things that they usually will pursue them even when the resources for the opportunities are uncontrolled! They also think in form of massive action (and in form of taking action at all!). This means that while casual thinkers spend a lot of time planning, entrepreneurs will spend much more time taking the right actions.12

Another really common trend in most of the interviews and articles about successful entrepreneurial traits includes the value of time. Most entrepreneurs recognize how valuable their time is and try to find ways to transform their time into greater value. They take exceptional pride in saying “no” to opportunities which will not benefit them and pursuing things of the greatest value alone.13 And finally, entrepreneurs are not afraid of hard work, spend a lot of time practicing great discipline (and working hard), are passionate about what they do, and always challenge the status quo!14

Entrepreneurs have to think harder and the choice demands maximum creativity. Fortunately, nootropics can create a better balance in the brain, and finding the most effective nootropics for entrepreneurs is as easy as understanding the biggest deficiencies entrepreneurs face.

Nootropics Used By Entrepreneurs

So many types of nootropics exist. There are nootropics which help build stamina and energy.6 There are nootropics which improve memory formation and recall.2,3 There are nootropics for improving mood and relieving stress.4 Nootropics exist for improving all types of cognitive function and physical performance.5,6,7,8 The best nootropics for entrepreneurs are those which focus on attributes most used by entrepreneurs. Nootropics used by entrepreneurs tend to improve focus and attention span, memory, thinking power and fluid intelligence, energy, and motivation. It is imperative that the nootropics all work properly together as well (some nootropics would be silly to use together). In short, entrepreneurs need nootropics that focus on providing effective cognitive boosts with absolutely no excessive junk ingredients.

What Are The Best Nootropics For Entrepreneurs?

This is a list of the nootropics most commonly selected by entrepreneurs. This list is in order of overall value and only includes nootropics which improve cognitive function over the course of use.

Huperzine A

huperzine helps produce acetylcholine in the brain

Many studies show Huperzine as an effective nootropic for improving memory.3,5 It works so well, in fact, it is commonly used for treatment of various forms of dementia.5 Huperzine has been well known for many years to improve cognition and thinking.15 It has also been used for centuries throughout various cultural medicines around the world, even being considered a part of ancient Chinese medicine. Huperzine is so effective at improving cognitive performance because of its ability to easily cross the blood-brain barrier. This ultimately allows Huperzine to influence the brain’s chemical production. Huperzine A works by limiting AChE, the primary inhibitor of acetylcholine;16 And acetylcholine is a powerful and important neurotransmitter in terms of memory and cognitive performance.17

Possessing a strong memory and impressive cognitive function are imperative in achieving an entrepreneur’s fullest thinking potential. Huperzine A can help an entrepreneur achieve their strongest, natural cognitive performance and all around sharpest memory!

Huperzine A is found in the Piratall and Pirate Blast formulae.

Siberian Ginseng

Ginseng is very commonly used as a stimulant in addition to its antioxidant properties.8 Ginseng is also a well-known actoprotector. Actoprotectors are extracts or preparations that enhances body stability against physical loads, while increasing overall mental performance. Many studies have shown that Ginseng can significantly increase physical and intellectual work capacity.18 Ginseng has also been shown to have incredible antioxidant properties and studies have proven its efficacy in combating chronic fatigue.19 Siberian ginseng (aka Eleuthero) is one of the most potent adaptogenic herbs, which means it helps the body with stress, and promotes overall health.20 Ginseng is primarily used by entrepreneurs for its potent properties as a brain function stimulant.23

Siberian Ginseng is found in the Piratall formula.


Hawthorn (Crataegus extract) has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years. Many recent studies have begun finding the health benefits of Hawthorn to be extremely impressive.21,22 In fact, one study showed an improvement in overall health-related quality of life.21 Another investigation into Hawthorn has revealed its phytonutrients (anthocynidins and proanthocyanidins) to be powerful antioxidants. These phytonutrients also help strengthen the walls of blood vessels and improve blood flow.22

Hawthorn is found in the Piratall formula.

Rhodiola Rosea

using rhodiola for entrepreneurial nootropic stacks

Rhodiola rosea is used to improve physical and mental stamina, and to increase energy. It is used very frequently to combat stress and provides a lot of antioxidant properties. Rhodiola is known to be a legal stimulant. It contains components which increase production of norepinephrine, serotonin, dopamine, and acetylcholine. Ultimately, Rhodiola helps improve focus, concentration, memory, intellectual capacity and overall fatigue resistance.23

Rhodiola is found in the Pirate Blast formula.


L-theanine is very commonly included in stress-oriented studies, for its incredible de-stressing and relaxing properties.4 L-Theanine improves antioxidant and neuroprotective activity.24 It has been used to improve mood, reduce mental fatigue, and eliminate irritability. By relaxing the adrenals, the mind can de-stress and L-Theanine can work up natural energy levels.25 It is often used in combination with other nootropics as it helps bolster the positive benefits of the nootropic stack as a whole.

L-Theanine is found in the Pirate Chill formula.


Guarana contains more caffeine than most plants on Earth, even more than the coffea plant.23 It is very commonly used for energy and produces a natural caffeine, rather than the synthetic caffeine crammed into most energy drinks. Natural caffeine, like that from Guarana, activates the central nervous system without the same crashes brought about from caffeine anhydrous. Guarana is one of the most used nootropics by entrepreneurs for its ability to increase mental vigilance and improve fatigue resistance.23

Guarana seed has even been proven to offer additional stimulation effects aside from those caffeine has to offer!6

Guarana seed extract is found in the Piratall and Pirate Blast formulae.

Passion Flower

passion flower is a great nootropic for entrepreneur stacks

Passion Flower (Passiflora incarnata) is used for its powerful sedative properties. The sedative effects of Passion Flower come from its GABAergic properties. In fact, it works so well that it has been commonly used to treat neuropathic pains.26 Passiflora has been proven to possess anxiolytic effects (the ability to reduce anxiety, chiefly via drug),27 which is extremely useful for the demanding, high-stress lifestyle of an entrepreneur.

Passion Flower is found in the Pirate Chill formula.

Conclusion: Nootropics and Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs understand better than most people that accepting the bare minimum is unacceptable; and that there are always ways for people to get more out of their time and energy. Nootropics are so frequently used by entrepreneurs because they are one of the best ways to get the most out of their time. The secret to the efficacy of nootropic stacks are their abilities to increase the productivity of the brain, allowing an entrepreneur the best chance to operate at their peak cognitive performance. Traditionally, entrepreneurs seemed to seek a prescription for smart drugs or legal stimulants (adderall, modafinil, etc.), however, an increasing number of entrepreneurs every day are realizing nootropic stacks are a better alternative to prescription smart drugs. Because nootropics are so effective and available to anyone, they have become the preferred solution for many entrepreneurs (and a strongly attractive option). And many entrepreneurs are realizing much greater productivity from using nootropics than ever before!

Looking for more information as to which Pirate Botanicals Nootropic Supplement is right for you? Check out our Supplement Selector Tool or contact us for help!


1Jelic, V., Kivipelto, M., & Winblad, B. (2005). Clinical trials in mild cognitive impairment: lessons for the future. Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry, 77(4), 429-38.

2Aksenov, V., Long, J., Liu, J., Szechtman, H., Khanna, P., Matravadia, S., & Rollo, C. D. (2011). A complex dietary supplement augments spatial learning, brain mass, and mitochondrial electron transport chain activity in aging mice. Age (Dordrecht, Netherlands), 35(1), 23-33.

3Malkova, L., Kozikowski, A. P., & Gale, K. (2010). The effects of huperzine A and IDRA 21 on visual recognition memory in young macaques. Neuropharmacology, 60(7-8), 1262-8.

4White, D. J., de Klerk, S., Woods, W., Gondalia, S., Noonan, C., & Scholey, A. B. (2016). Anti-Stress, Behavioural and Magnetoencephalography Effects of an L-Theanine-Based Nutrient Drink: A Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Trial. Nutrients, 8(1), 53. doi:10.3390/nu8010053

5Tun, M. K., & Herzon, S. B. (2012). The pharmacology and therapeutic potential of (-)-huperzine A. Journal of experimental pharmacology, 4, 113-23. doi:10.2147/JEP.S27084

6Kotta, S., Ansari, S. H., & Ali, J. (2013). Exploring scientifically proven herbal aphrodisiacs. Pharmacognosy reviews, 7(13), 1-10.

7Moustakas, D., Mezzio, M., Rodriguez, B. R., Constable, M. A., Mulligan, M. E., & Voura, E. B. (2015). Guarana provides additional stimulation over caffeine alone in the planarian model. PloS one, 10(4), e0123310. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0123310

8Kotta, S., Ansari, S. H., & Ali, J. (2013). Exploring scientifically proven herbal aphrodisiacs. Pharmacognosy reviews, 7(13), 1-10.

9Halko, M. L., Lahti, T., Hytönen, K., & Jääskeläinen, I. P. (2017). Entrepreneurial and parental love-are they the same?. Human brain mapping, 38(6), 2923-2938.

10Long, Michael E. and Lieberman, Daniel Z., (September 2018). Entrepreneurs’ Brains Are Wired Differently. Here’s How to Use Yours Right. ENTREPRENEUR MINDSET Retrieved from: Accessed On December 5, 2018.

11The Society for Effectual Action, (2018). Effectuation 101. Retreived from Accessed on December 8, 2018.

12Baskerville, P., (November 5, 2013). How Do Entrepreneurs Think? Retrieved from: Accessed on December 8, 2018.

13Constable, K., (January 5, 2016). 3 Ways Successful Entrepreneurs Think Differently. Entrepreneur Mindset. Retrieved from: Accessted on December 8, 2018.

14Patel, S., (September 9, 2017). 9 Ways Entrepreneurs Think Differently Than Employees. Retrieved from: Accessed on December 8, 2018.

15Zhang, Z., Wang, X., Chen, Q., Shu, L., Wang, J., and Shan, G., (July 01, 2002). Clinical efficacy and safety of huperzine Alpha in treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer disease, a placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized trial. Europe PMC. Retrieved: Accessed on December 8, 2018.

16English, J., (August 20, 2014). Huperzine: Advanced Herbal Support for Memory and Cognitive Function. Nutrition News. Retrieved from: Accessed on December 8, 2018.

17Haam, J., & Yakel, J. L. (2017). Cholinergic modulation of the hippocampal region and memory function. Journal of neurochemistry, 142 Suppl 2(Suppl 2), 111-121.

18Oliynyk, S., & Oh, S. (2013). Actoprotective effect of ginseng: improving mental and physical performance. Journal of ginseng research, 37(2), 144-66.

19Kim, H. G., Cho, J. H., Yoo, S. R., Lee, J. S., Han, J. M., Lee, N. H., Ahn, Y. C., … Son, C. G. (2013). Antifatigue effects of Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. PloS one, 8(4), e61271. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0061271

20Winston, D. and Maimes, S., (2018). Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress relief. Retrieved from: Accessed on December 9, 2018.

21Holubarsch, C. J. F., Colucci, W.S., and Eha, J., (February, 2018). Benefit-Risk Assessment of Crataegus Extract WS 1442: An Evidence-Based Review. American Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs. Volume 18(1). Pp 25-36. Retrieved From: Accessed on December 9, 2018.

22Weil, A., M.D., (February 12, 2014). Hawthorn. Retrieved from: Accessed on December 9, 2018.

23Sellami, M., Slimeni, O., Pokrywka, A., Kuvačić, G., D Hayes, L., Milic, M., & Padulo, J. (2018). Herbal medicine for sports: a review. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 15, 14. doi:10.1186/s12970-018-0218-y

24Li, C., Yan, Q., Tang, S., Xiao, W., & Tan, Z. (2018). L-Theanine Protects H9C2 Cells from Hydrogen Peroxide-Induced Apoptosis by Enhancing Antioxidant Capability. Medical science monitor : international medical journal of experimental and clinical research, 24, 2109-2118. doi:10.12659/MSM.907660 (December 4, 2018). Fatigue and Adrenals. World Health. Retrieved from: Accesssed on December 10, 2018.

26Aman, U., Subhan, F., Shahid, M., Akbar, S., Ahmad, N., Ali, G., Fawad, K., … Sewell, R. D. (2016). Passiflora incarnata attenuation of neuropathic allodynia and vulvodynia apropos GABA-ergic and opioidergic antinociceptive and behavioural mechanisms. BMC complementary and alternative medicine, 16, 77. doi:10.1186/s12906-016-1048-6

27Dantas, L. P., de Oliveira-Ribeiro, A., de Almeida-Souza, L. M., & Groppo, F. C. (2016). Effects of passiflora incarnata and midazolam for control of anxiety in patients undergoing dental extraction. Medicina oral, patologia oral y cirugia bucal, 22(1), e95-e101. doi:10.4317/medoral.21140

improving memory with nootropic supplements

Are There Real Nootropics That Can Improve Memory?

The term “Nootropics” can be used for many things, but in general is used to describe a substance that provides a cognitive boost of some kind with no negative side effects.1 Finding nootropics that are particular to giving memory-capabilities a cognitive boost is not so complicated, as many of them can contribute to improved memory. It is true though that some nootropics are more popularly used to improve memory for a reason: they are more effective.5 In fact, some nootropics are so good at improving memory, they have been prescribed to patients with mental dementia (Alzheimer’s, etc.) and related disorders.2,3 Some nootropics work best when used in combination with other nootropics.8,18 This is often why nootropic stacks and nootropic-inspired supplements are created to give users the optimum balance of the right nootropics to generate optimum performance.

Many nootropics undoubtedly have the ability to improve long-term memory formation (Gc), or a generalized foundation for knowledge. But with that said, nootropics are not made equal and some nootropics are better than others for various applications, such as memory enhancement. Some nootropics only provide improvements to certain attributes of memory. While there are others which provide insanely strong benefits to nearly all memory formation and recall functions. In fact, some of the best nootropics for improving Crystallized Intelligence, or better memory retention, can start helping in as early as their first dose!6 And in terms of memory, there are some front runners which simply cannot be ignored!

List of Nootropics That Improve Memory and Crystallized Intelligence

Here are some of the most popular and effective nootropics for improving memory.

Huperzine A

Despite many other nootropics which have come and gone in terms of “buzz words,” Huperzine still regularly outperforms most of them. In fact, when it comes to memory, Huperzine A has one of the oldest histories of use and most substantial tract records available in research! Huperzine A helps people who have deficient levels in ACh by inhibiting AChE. AChE stands for ACh enzymes. Allowing the ACh to build back up is critical in the formation of new memory and for proper overall cognitive function.2,10,11 Studies on Huperzine continue to prove that it is an impressive nootropic in terms of having some of the greatest positive potential impacts on spatial memory, memory impairments, and overall recall.22

Huperzine is such a powerful nootropic in terms of cognitive benefit, that it has been regularly used throughout the centuries to treat all types of Dementia (including Alzheimer’s).2 Not only has this herb been prescribed by doctors of all types for those already suffering these diseases, it has also been suggested to help prevent general mental regression and that further research is absolutely worthwhile.2,9

Siberian Ginseng

siberian ginseng has been used for centuries to improve memory

Ginseng is very widely used as a cognitive enhancing nootropic. It is frequently used for memory. In fact, some studies have revealed that the power ginseng can have on cognitive function and memory to be comparable to that of Modafinil.5 Ginseng possesses awesome ability as an adaptogen as well,16 which can help the brain maintain a calmed, balance state. Studies exist which have shown certain strains of Ginseng significantly increase intellectual work capacity.16

Ginseng has been recorded as having acute positive effects on secondary memory and even heavier cognitive memory-related tasks.5,15 Siberian Ginseng is one of the most revered strains of Ginseng. It contains powerful nanoparticles that are considered super-efficient antioxidants (among other profound applications).19


Stress can have a significant impact on one’s ability to perform at their peak cognitive function. Stress is absolutely able to negative impact memory functions.13 It has been proven that stress can impact the ability to properly store new memory (memory formation), as well as the ability to accurately recount details of past events. This is evident in numerous student-based studies.14

To combat mental fatigue, many people turn to adaptogens such as Hawthorn (and the previously mentioned Ginseng). This is because adaptogens can improve mental performance, including memory.16 Hawthorn is one of the most effectively-employed adaptogens and has been proven throughout studies to reduce oxidative stresses and improve memory functions.17


Piracetam is commonly honored in many articles and reviews for its memory and learning-improving abilities, however, it has far less effectiveness than many of the other nootropics available for memory in specific. Most notably, trials that compare Huperzine A with Piracetam have shown Huperzine A to have far higher scores.2 Still, Piracetam is used for its cognitive enhancements that improve memory formation and recall with no negative effect to motor function.6


Vinpocetine has been used in many countries around the world to enhance memory and cognitive performance.4 Many studies have been done on Vinpocetine’s effects on cognitive performance, particularly memory. It turns out that it has had a significant impact on many memory-oriented functions and has even been useful for those with mental impairments.21

Bacopa monnieri

Bacopa deserves an honorable mention. Bacopa is more so used for its relaxing nootropic properties. Still, it has absolutely been hailed in many studies as effective for cognitive enhancement, learning improvements and memory improvements.5 Bacopa’s brain-destressing properties can also be helpful in memory recall.14

Nootropics Really Can Improve Memory and Crystallized Intelligence

nootropic supplements for memory improvement

So much of the formation of Crystallized Intelligence (and therefore, memory) has to do with maintaining good brain balance (especially great ACh levels11). Therefore, it is no surprise that Huperzine is one of the better nootropics to consider for a memory-improvement regimen. Although, many other nootropics exist which can help contribute to improving memory and memory recall. Some of these nootropics worth mentioning include: Ginkgo Biloba, L-Theanine, Guarana, and Lion’s Mane Mushroom.7,8,12 L-Theanine, for example, works great for relaxing the mind so it can achieve a greater functioning potential (including improvements to memory functions). This is especially true when used in combination with caffeine, both in their appropriate dosages.8 Therefore, using a supplement that provides a natural source of caffeine, such as Green Coffee Bean Extract and/or Guarana, along with a supplement that provides L-Theanine, can have awesomely stimulating effects on the mind’s ability to process thought and record memory.

There are many studies that provide irrefutable evidence that some nootropics (such as those mentioned above) have overwhelmingly positive effects on neurocognitive functions. This includes many cognitive functions from thinking and decision making to actual memory formation and recall.5,6,8

A lot of the nootropics which improve memory (Crystallized Intelligence, knowledge, or Gc) also improve Gf. And conveniently a higher Gf has been proven to lead to attaining a higher Gc.20 Basically, the two types of intelligence work together to create the most effective memory in the short-term and throughout the long-term. Selecting nootropics which improve fluid intelligence can be extremely helpful in developing better long term memory. Check out our other blog post Can Nootropics Improve Fluid Intelligence (Gf) to learn more.

Nootropic Supplements For Memory

Pirate Botanicals offers natural formulae nootropic supplements that help improve memory and the cognitive functions associated with memory. Improving Gf can improve Gc, and a lot of the supplements also provide a boost to Gf. Pirate Botanicals focuses on developing supplements that offer the best cognitive advantages in the short-term and long-term, including memory.

Check out the Pirate Botanicals Supplement Selector Tool to find a 100 percent natural supplement that is right for you. Pirate Botanicals offers premium nootropic supplements formulated using some of the most powerful nootropics for improving memory!

Disclaimer: These statements have not been approved by the FDA. None of this information is meant to substitute for a face-to-face consultation with a physician. Pirate Botanicals products are not meant to treat, cure, or diagnose any disease, illness, or condition.


1Giurgea C (1972). Vers une pharmacologie de l’active integrative du cerveau: Tentative du concept nootrope en psychopharmacologie. Actual Pharmacol (Paris-released journal). Issue 25: 115–56

2Yang, G., Wang, Y., Tian, J., & Liu, J.-P. (2013). Huperzine A for Alzheimer’s Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials. PLoS ONE, 8(9), e74916.

3Malkova, L., Kozikowski, A. P., & Gale, K. (2011). The effects of huperzine A and IDRA 21 on visual recognition memory in young macaques. Neuropharmacology, 60(7-8), 1262–1268.

4French, J. M. T., King, M. D., & McDougal, O. M. (2016). Quantitative determination of vinpocetine in dietary supplements. Natural Product Communications, 11(5), 607–609

5Neale, C., Camfield, D., Reay, J., Stough, C., & Scholey, A. (2013). Cognitive effects of two nutraceuticals Ginseng and Bacopa benchmarked against modafinil: a review and comparison of effect sizes. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 75(3), 728–737.

6File, S. E., & Hyde, J. R. (1977). The effects of piracetam on acquisition and retention of habituation [proceedings]. British Journal of Pharmacology, 61(3), 475P.

7Amieva, H., Meillon, C., Helmer, C., Barberger-Gateau, P., & Dartigues, J. F. (2013). Ginkgo Biloba Extract and Long-Term Cognitive Decline: A 20-Year Follow-Up Population-Based Study. PLoS ONE, 8(1), e52755.

8Dodd, F. L., Kennedy, D. O., Riby, L. M., & Haskell-Ramsay, C. F. (2015). A double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluating the effects of caffeine and L-theanine both alone and in combination on cerebral blood flow, cognition and mood. Psychopharmacology, 232(14), 2563–2576.

9Gorelick, P. B., Scuteri, A., Black, S. E., DeCarli, C., Greenberg, S. M., Iadecola, C., … on behalf of the American Heart Association Stroke Council, Council on Epidemiology and Prevention, Council on Cardiovascular Nursing, Council on Cardiovascular Radiology and Intervention, Council on Cardiovascular Surgery and Anesthesia. (2011). Vascular Contributions to Cognitive Impairment and Dementia: A Statement for Healthcare Professionals From the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Stroke; a Journal of Cerebral Circulation, 42(9), 2672–2713.

10Nade, V. S., Kawale, L. A., Valte, K. D., & Shendye, N. V. (2015). Cognitive enhancing effect of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers on learning and memory. Indian Journal of Pharmacology, 47(3), 263–269.

11Haam, J., & Yakel, J. L. (2017). Cholinergic modulation of the hippocampal region and memory function. Journal of Neurochemistry, 142(Suppl 2), 111–121.

12Xirui, H., Xiaoxiao, W., Jiacheng, F., Yu, C., Ning, N., Hao, G., Linhong, H., Xiaoqiang, H., and Zefeng, Z., (April 2017). Structures, biological activities, and industrial applications of the polysaccharides from Hericium erinaceus (Lion’s Mane) mushroom: A review. International Journal of Biological Macromodules. Vol 97. Pp 228-236

13Ness, D., & Calabrese, P. (2016). Stress Effects on Multiple Memory System Interactions. Neural Plasticity, 2016, 4932128.

14Shields, G. S., Sazma, M. A., McCullough, A. M., & Yonelinas, A. P. (2017). The Effects of Acute Stress on Episodic Memory: A Meta-Analysis and Integrative Review. Psychological Bulletin, 143(6), 636–675.

15Kim, Y.-S., Woo, J.-Y., Han, C.-K., & Chang, I.-M. (2015). Safety Analysis of Panax Ginseng in Randomized Clinical Trials: A Systematic Review. Medicines, 2(2), 106–126.

16Oliynyk, S., & Oh, S. (2013). Actoprotective effect of ginseng: improving mental and physical performance. Journal of Ginseng Research, 37(2), 144–166.

17Cuevas-Durán, R. E., Medrano-Rodríguez, J. C., Sánchez-Aguilar, M., Soria-Castro, E., Rubio-Ruíz, M. E., Del Valle-Mondragón, L., … Ibarra-Lara, L. (2017). Extracts of Crataegus oxyacantha and Rosmarinus officinalis Attenuate Ischemic Myocardial Damage by Decreasing Oxidative Stress and Regulating the Production of Cardiac Vasoactive Agents. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 18(11), 2412.

18Egashira N, Ishigami N, Pu FL, et al. Theanine prevents memory impairment induced by repeated cerebral ischemia in rats. Phytother Res. 2008;22:65–68

19Abbai, R., Mathiyalagan, R., Markus, J., Kim, Y.-J., Wang, C., Singh, P., … Yang, D. C. (2016). Green synthesis of multifunctional silver and gold nanoparticles from the oriental herbal adaptogen: Siberian ginseng. International Journal of Nanomedicine, 11, 3131–3143.

20Brown, R. E. (2016). Hebb and Cattell: The Genesis of the Theory of Fluid and Crystallized Intelligence. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 10, 606.

21Ogunrin, A. (2014). Effect of Vinpocetine (CognitolTM) on Cognitive Performances of a Nigerian Population. Annals of Medical and Health Sciences Research, 4(4), 654–661.

22Malkova, L., Kozikowski, A. P., & Gale, K. (2011). The effects of huperzine A and IDRA 21 on visual recognition memory in young macaques. Neuropharmacology, 60(7-8), 1262–1268.

How to Pick the Right Nootropic Supplement for You

Nootropics, sometimes referred to as “smart drugs,” are available in so many forms and varieties that it can be hard to determine the appropriate concoction for any one person’s needs. There are companies (like ours, Pirate Botanicals) which specialize in providing awesome pre-packaged formulae that have become popular for their efficacy. But even with pre-made supplements, how can an individual be sure they are selecting the right nootropics that will work best for them? What makes certain nootropics so much more valuable to some people than others? And most importantly: what is the best nootropics combination to complement a daily routine and lifestyle?

Fear not fellow pirate! Pirate Botanicals can help you determine the right nootropics formula for your your lifestyle!

Why Nootropics Work Differently for Different People

There are many types of people in the world. People are unique in many ways. Biologically-speaking, everyone’s body is unique. Some people’s digestive tracts work more quickly than others (which makes sense as digestion involves many organs working together).1 A faster digestive tract usually means meals, medications and supplements move faster through the body. This means digestive tracts vary in terms of nutrient and substance absorption.2 There are people who have higher biological tolerances to certain substances. Diet and general health play a huge role in the way the body absorbs and is able to use the resources it consumes.3 A healthy diet can improve the digestive tract, keep the body well-hydrated, and ensure the brain has all the nutrients it needs to put a nootropics formula to use. In contrast, an unhealthy individual may have trouble seeing the full benefit of a nootropic formula.4

Routines and schedules all play a major part in the varying effects nootropics may have on any individual. Some people sleep longer than others which has been proven to have different effects on the way the body and brain recuperate and prepare for the following day. Sporadic schedules can throw the body off, impact cognitive function or even aging.13 Maintaining a balanced routine with regular exercise can improve the body’s overall function and health; and thus give nootropics a better chance to peak in contribution.

Atop all of the biological variance from person to person, nearly all people think differently as well.14 In fact, there are even historical (and modern) attempts to measure thinking. One of the most common ways to “measure thinking power” is the Intelligence Quotient. The Intelligence Quotient is often referred to as IQ. Its most commonly accepted definition is a score derived from standardized tests to measure human intelligence.15

Varying IQs, body types, metabolisms, bodily and cognitive functions, diets, schedules, and routines, makes the variance in nootropics efficacy from person to person completely understandable. This only means that selecting the right nootropic formula becomes more important in an individual’s quest to target the attributes in themselves they wish to improve upon.

Can Nootropics Make Me Better At Something?

As previously mentioned, there are all types of people in the world. Some people specialize in physical activities. Other people consider their fortes to be mental or cognitive in nature. The idea of becoming better at something typically involves accepting that a large part of one’s life will be devoted to that particular activity. Life is short. And natural solutions such as nootropics are available to help one improve skill in their desired profession, hobby or other forte.

What Is the Best Nootropic Supplement for Me?

selecting working nootropics for each individual

Depending upon the type of activities you enjoy or practice, and/or the goals you may have for your nootropic regiment, some nootropics will be better suited for you than others. Although there are hundreds of nootropics, these are considered the more effective and well-researched nootropics. This is a list of some of the better-known, most-employed, and well-researched nootropics used in many reputable nootropics formulae:

  • 5-HTP
  • Aniracetam
  • Ashwagandha
  • Bacopa monnieri
  • GABA
  • Ginkgo biloba
  • Gotu Kola
  • Green Coffee Bean Extract
  • Guarana
  • Hawthorn
  • Huperzine A
  • L-Theanine
  • L-Tyrosine
  • Lion’s Mane Mushroom
  • Noopept
  • Passion Flower (Passiflora)
  • Phenibut
  • Piracetam
  • Rhodiola rosea
  • Siberian Ginseng
  • St John’s Wort
  • Vinpocetine

Many of these nootropics have shown up in countless journals, studies and texts, each attesting to various efficacies and applications.6,7,8,9,10,11 They are also sometimes included in nootropic formulae simply for their ability to help other nootropics better function. This is especially true with adaptogen-nootropics.12

Oftentimes there is a high level of research and a very toilsome trial and error routine associated with picking nootropics that guarantee success in terms of personal desired efficacy and application.5 For this reason, many people choose to select a pre-formulated product, like the Pirate Botanicals nootropics supplements. Pirate Botanicals proudly boasts only natural, pharmacist-approved formulae.*

Picking the Right Nootropic Supplement: Get More Out of Life

Nootropics are real and their ability to impact day-to-day living is incredible! Finding the right nootropic supplement for you means finding a formula that complements your particular lifestyle, preferred activities, and body. Pirate Botanicals understand that everyone is a unique individual and that different types of “pirates” may desire different nootropic supplements. The Pirate Botanicals supplement line contains three different products. Each Pirate Botanicals supplement formula was derived to highlight distinct qualities from some of the best nootropics known to man. Some people prefer to use just one Pirate Botanicals supplement, while others decide upon more than one formula. In the end many biohackers, nootropics enthusiasts and pirates will agree that getting more out of life with a natural product is a “no brainer!”

Try the Pirate Botanicals Supplement Selector Tool to find the perfect complement for YOUR daily routine!

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Pirate Botanicals supplements are not meant to diagnose, treat or cure any disease, illness, ailment or condition of any kind. This information is not meant to substitute for a face-to-face consultation with a licensed, practicing healthcare professional.

*Pirate Botanicals supplements use 100 percent natural formulae which have been approved as safe for any normal, healthy adult to consume as described in daily recommended dose.


1NIH, (December 2017). Your Digestive System and How It Works. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Retrieved from [] on October 10, 2018.

2Picco, M. F., (September 17, 2018). Digestion: How Long Does It Take? The Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from [] on October 10, 2018.

3Gorin, A., (July 9, 2018). 7 Food Pairings That Will Increase Nutrient Absorption. NBC News. Retrieved from [] on October 10, 2018.

4Tai, M. M., Castillo, P., and Pi-Sunyer, F. X., (November 1, 1991). Meal Size and Frequency: Effect on the Thermic Effect of Food. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Vol. 54(5). Pp 783-786.

5Jellen, L. C., Aliper, A., Buzdin, A., & Zhavoronkov, A. (2015). Screening and personalizing nootropic drugs and cognitive modulator regimens in silico. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, 9, 4.

6Yang, G., Wang, Y., Tian, J., & Liu, J.-P. (2013). Huperzine A for Alzheimer’s Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials. PLoS ONE, 8(9), e74916.

7Ahmed, M., Henson, D. A., Sanderson, M. C., Nieman, D. C., Zubeldia, J. M., & Shanely, R. A. (2015). Rhodiola rosea Exerts Antiviral Activity in Athletes Following a Competitive Marathon Race. Frontiers in Nutrition, 2, 24.

8Naftalin, R. J., Cunningham, P., & Afzal-Ahmed, I. (2004). Piracetam and TRH analogues antagonise inhibition by barbiturates, diazepam, melatonin and galanin of human erythrocyte D-glucose transport. British Journal of Pharmacology, 142(3), 594–608.

9Aguiar, S., & Borowski, T. (2013). Neuropharmacological Review of the Nootropic Herb Bacopa monnieri. Rejuvenation Research, 16(4), 313–326.

10Ogunrin, A. (2014). Effect of Vinpocetine (Cognitol™) on Cognitive Performances of a Nigerian Population. Annals of Medical and Health Sciences Research, 4(4), 654–661.

11Jia, L., & Zhao, Y. (2009). Current Evaluation of the Millennium Phytomedicine- Ginseng (I): Etymology, Pharmacognosy, Phytochemistry, Market and Regulations. Current Medicinal Chemistry, 16(19), 2475–2484.

12Panossian, A., Wikman, G., Kaur, P., & Asea, A. (2012). Adaptogens Stimulate Neuropeptide Y and Hsp72 Expression and Release in Neuroglia Cells. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 6, 6.

13Ferrie, J. E., Shipley, M. J., Akbaraly, T. N., Marmot, M. G., Kivimäki, M., & Singh-Manoux, A. (2011). Change in Sleep Duration and Cognitive Function: Findings from the Whitehall II Study. Sleep, 34(5), 565–573.

14Plomin, R., & Deary, I. J. (2015). Genetics and intelligence differences: five special findings. Molecular Psychiatry, 20(1), 98–108.

15Stern, W. (1914) The Psychological Methods of Testing Intelligence. Educational psychology monographs. Vol. 13. Guy Montrose Whipple [English version]. Baltimore: Warwick & York. LCCN-14010447. OCLC-4521857. Retrieved October 10, 2018.

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