The Nootropics Library: L-tyrosine

Everything You Need to Know About L-tyrosine

General Information

Scientific Name: 4-hydroxyphenylalanine

Any Other Names: Tyrosine

Country or Region of Origin: [Naturally occurring in the Human Body, and Many Foods, especially Cheese and Dairy, Turkey, Soy Products, Bananas, Peanuts, Avocados, Fish, Chicken, and More]

Known Uses: Cognitive Function, Memory, Depression, Sleep Deprivation, Neurotransmitter Regulation and Production, and More

General History & Introduction

L-tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid, manufactured by the body from the amino acid phenylalanine (Bloemendaal et al., 2018). It is found in all human tissue and bodily fluids (Kapalka, 2010).  It is also found in many foods, most especially in cheese and dairy products (Rao & Yeragani, 2009).  Tyrosine is one of the 20 amino acids which cells require to create proteins (Slominski et al., 2012). It has a lot of practical uses with a lot of empirical data backing its efficacy for these applications. Some of these uses include depression, neurotransmitter regulation and production, cognitive function, memory, sleep regulation, and many more (Bloemendaal et al., 2018).

Nootropic Benefits of L-tyrosine

Cognitive Function and Memory

L-tyrosine has long been revered for its proven and purported effects on the brain.  It has been suggested that the substance improves cognitive performance in stressful situations (Young, 2007).  It is purportedly able to improve memory and mental processing skills (Colzato et al., 2013). Tyrosine is often referred to as a “cognitive enhancer” and has been suggested to have the ability to replenish cognitive resources as needed, and it is especially useful in improving working memory. 

With an increasing surplus of empirical research and data, this nootropic has become a powerful addition to any cognition-based nootropic stack.  There are many studies and clinical trials which have showcased Tyrosine’s ability to increase cognitive performance (McTavish et al., 2005).  One study which measured participants with a multiple task battery outlined the gains Tyrosine provided in terms of arithmetic skills, visual and audio monitoring skills, memory tests, and other facets of cognitive performance (Colzato et al., 2013). 


L-tyrosine is responsible for creating brain chemicals which can bolster nerve cell communication (Young, 2007). Improved nerve cell communication, in addition to the nootropic’s ability to regulate certain key neurotransmitter production help with memory (McTavish et al., 2005).  Many studies and clinical trials focus specifically on Tyrosine’s incredible ability to improve working memory in multitasking or stressful environments (Thomas et al., 1999). This is the reason Tyrosine has been popular in many energy drink products, as energy drinks are usually consumed during stressful, multi-tasking or demanding tasks; and L-tyrosine has been proven to be especially useful for improving working memory when heart rate and or blood pressure are increased (1999).


L-tyrosine’s ability to create more dopamine and norepinephrine is one of the main contributing factors in its ability to aide in depression (Alabsi et al., 2016). The nootropic’s ability to improve nerve cell communication is purportedly able to reduce stress and improve overall mood (Young, 2007). And many clinical studies have proven L-tyrosine an effective treatment for depression (Alabsi et al., 2016).  One study outlined the non-essential amino acid’s ability to increase motivation and mood, another effect of the chemical’s production of dopamine (McTavish et al., 2005).

Sleep Deprivation

The nootropic’s innate ability to reduce stress has a great influence on the body’s ability to enjoy quality sleep (Young, 2007). It also seems that using Tyrosine when sleep deprived results in improved memory and reasoning (Neri et al., 1995). This is especially true in terms of work performance for individuals working extended hours with very little sleep (1995).

Other Uses

The non-essential amino acid is able to provide some positive effects for patients suffering from phenylketonuria (PKU) disorder (Spronsen et al., 2001).  It is one of the important foundations in the body’s production of melalin, which creates color in the skin, hair, and eyes (Slominski et al., 2012).

Dosing and Usage Information

A typical supplemental dose of L-tyrosine is 100-1000 mg daily. For neurotransmitter and cognitive support, supplements usually determine a daily dose of around 500 mg.

Side Effects

Tyrosine is generally considered safe for consumption when taken in established daily value limits (well over 1000 mg per day).  In rare instances users might report headache, heartburn, fatigue, or nausea (Bloemendaal et al., 2018).

Other Important Information


It is interesting to note that the dietary supplement form of L-tyrosine is a purified form that ensures its metabolism via catecholamine synthesis, rather than protein synthesis (Young, 2007).  This metabolism method offers the substance the opportunity to become just as effective in the body as a drug (2007).  Tyrosine can be described as the biochemical precursor to the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine (Colzato et al., 2013).


Tyrosine offers excellent capability in terms of stress reduction, memory bolstering, and cognitive function enhancing. It is a powerful regulator of neurotransmitters and gaining popularity in the nootropics world. The effects it has on working memory are well-documented and strongly impressive. This non-essential amino acid is great for depression, sleep, and many other uses too.  It has been generally accepted as safe and improves almost any nootropic stack.

A Note from NooFiles

This article is intended to be used for information only.  We want to remind you that consulting your physician is recommended before adding any dietary supplement of any kind to your daily regimen.


Alabsi, A., Khoudary, A., and Abdelwahed, W., (2016). The Antidepressant Effect of L-Tyrosine-Loaded Nanoparticles: Behavioral Aspects. Annals of Neurosciences. Vol. 23. Pp. 89-99. DOI: 10.1159/000443575

Bloemendaal, M., Froböse, M. I., Wegman, J., Zandbelt, B. B., van de Rest, O., Cools, R., and Aarts, E. (2018). Neuro-Cognitive Effects of Acute Tyrosine Administration on Reactive and Proactive Response Inhibition in Healthy Older Adults. eNeuro. Vol. 5(2). DOI:

Colzato, L., Jongkees, B., Sellaro, R., and Hommel, B. (2013). Working memory reloaded: tyrosine repletes updating in the N-back task. Frontiers in behavioral neuroscience. Vol. 7. Pp. 200. DOI:

Kapalka, G. (2010). Chapter 4 – Substances Involved in Neurotransmission. In Practical Resources for the Mental Health Professional. Nutritional and Herbal Therapies for Children and Adolescents. Academic Press. Pp. 71-99. DOI:

McTavish, S., Mannie, Z., and Harmer, C. (2005). Lack of Effect of Tyrosine Depletion on Mood in Recovered Depressed Women. Neuropsychopharmacol. Vol. 30. Pp. 786–791. DOI:

Neri, D., Wiegmann, D., Stanny, R., Shappell, S., McCardie, A., and McKay, D. (1995). The effects of tyrosine on cognitive performance during extended wakefulness. Aviat Space Environ Med. Vol. 66(4). Pp. 313-9. PMID: 7794222.

Rao, T., and Yeragani, V. (2009). Hypertensive crisis and cheese. Indian journal of psychiatry. Vol. 51(1). Pp. 65–66. DOI:

Slominski, A., Zmijewski, M., and Pawelek, J. (2012). L-tyrosine and L-dihydroxyphenylalanine as hormone-like regulators of melanocyte functions. Pigment Cell Melanoma Res. Vol. 25(1). Pp. 14-27. DOI: 10.1111/j.1755-148X.2011.00898.x

Spronsen, F., Rijn, M., Bekhof, J., Koch, R., and Peter G. (2001). Phenylketonuria: tyrosine supplementation in phenylalanine-restricted diets, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Vol. 73(2). Pp. 153–157. DOI:

Thomas, J., Lockwood, P., Singh, A., and Deuster, P. (1999). Tyrosine improves working memory in a multitasking environment. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. Vol. 64(3). Pp. 495-500. DOI: 10.1016/s0091-3057(99)00094-5

Young S. N. (2007). L-tyrosine to alleviate the effects of stress?. Journal of psychiatry & neuroscience.  JPN. Vol. 32(3). Pp. 224. PMID: 17476368

The Nootropics Library: Curcumin (Turmeric)

Everything You Need to Know About Curcumin (Turmeric)

General Information

Scientific Name: Curcuma longa (of the Zingiberaceae family)

Any Other Names: Longvida Curcumin, Longvida Optimized Curcumin, Turmeric Curcumin, Haldi (Hindi), Jiang Huang (Chinese)

Primary Constituents: Curcumin, Curcuminoids (Demethoxycurcumin and Bidesmethoxycurcumin), Resin, Bitter Principles, Volatile Oils (Zingiberen and Turmerone)

Country or Region of Origin: Native to India and Southeast Asia, Cultivated in Regions Around 75 Degrees Fahrenheit with Heavy Rainfall

Known Uses: Cognitive Function, Memory, Mood, Anti-Fatigue, Anti-inflammation, Dye, Culinary Ingredient, and More

General History & Introduction

Turmeric is a bright yellow plant native to India and Southern Asia.  It is also found in many tropical regions, though it does require a humid climate and well-drained soil (Chevallier, 2016).  It has a long history of being used in Ancient Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines. It has been used to treat some short-term ailments, as well as more chronic health problems.  A lot of the research and empirical data currently being collected on the herb and its primary constituent, Curcumin, have been confirming the traditional uses of the plant (2016).

Turmeric has been a part of intercontinental trade since the early 1400s, becoming very popular in Europe as a result (Chevallier, 2016).  The Europeans believed that herbs like Curcumin allowed for greater longevity and healthier lives (2016).  This fad would catch on in North America in modern years with Turmeric becoming popular for cooking and its use as a dietary supplement.

Curcumin is an excellent, natural way to get a genuine boost to cognitive performance and memory (Kuszewski et al., 2018). It is a wonderful mood stabilizer, improving calmness and thwarting depression (Ramaholimihaso et al., 2020). The herb has been used to reduce fatigue and inflammation and has proven its worth in a variety of other ways (Chevallier, 2016).  It is reasonable to suggest Turmeric and Curcumin deserve more attention and research, so that the nootropics world can more fully understand the potential benefits.

Nootropic Benefits of Curcumin (Turmeric)

Cognitive Function and Memory

One study analyzed the long-term effects of Curcumin in healthy adults to find to significantly increased memory in study participants (Cox et al., 2015). This same study also outlined a recorded benefit in cognitive function. Specifically, the empirical data highlighted an improved state of attention and working memory tasks. This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial also supported the claim that Curcumin can improve memory (2015). Recent studies have shown the herb’s positive effects on dementia and traumatic brain injury (Mishra & Palanivelu, 2008).  This same research outlined its additional benefit as an antioxidant, and as having the ability to improve cognitive function in Alzheimer’s patients (2008).


Many modern studies have begun to reveal curcumin’s true positive effects on cognitive function and working memory (Kuszewski et al., 2018). A recent, long-term double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of curcumin published in a popular psychiatry journal has uncovered more significant cognitive benefits stemming from its anti-amyloid brain effects (Small et al., 2018).  The study measured significant benefits which included improved memory and attention-span, and decreased plaque accumulation in the brain regions which modulate memory (2018).


A recent study showcased the nootropic’s ability to significantly improve mood (Cox et al., 2015). These studies report participants as experiencing a ‘state of calmness’ (2015). Another noteworthy study called Curcumin a generally “health-promoting” agent (Stohs et al., 2020).  Turmeric has been proven to offer mood enhancing effects which specifically treat depression (Ramaholimihaso et al., 2020). Not only can the herb help reduce symptoms of depression, but it has been proposed as a potential alternative treatment for managing Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) as well as reducing oxidative stress (2020). Some more recent research has outlined the results of a FDDNP-PET scan post Curcumin-treatment to reveal a decrease in plaque and tangle accumulation in the brain region which modulates mood (Small et al., 2018).



Turmeric has been a traditional remedy for chronic fatigue throughout many Eastern cultures. In modern times, there have been studies which do prove Curcumin’s ability to reduce fatigue and fatigue-induced stress (Cox et al., 2015). One study showcased the supplement’s potential wide spectrum bioactivities which could be responsible for improving exercise performance, reducing fatigue, and promoting overall health (Huang et al., 2015). Curcumin has also been suggested to have the ability to reduce symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome (Campen & Visser, 2019).


One study outlines the nootropic’s ability to reduce inflammation, even pointing out the herb could ultimately alleviate symptoms in patients suffering from certain forms of arthritis (Gupte et al., 2019).  And although Turmeric is not directly used for pain relief, the anti-inflammation properties can make it a useful long-term treatment for arthritis, as it leads to reduced pain (Chevallier, 2016). It is also commonly used to treat allergies, asthma, and eczema for the same reason. These anti-inflammatory properties and the herb’s other effects make it an excellent choice for treating circulatory disorders. It has even been suggested to have the ability to reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack (2016).

Other Uses

Turmeric was well-known in Ayurvedic medicine as well, traditionally being used as a treatment for jaundice (Chevallier, 2016).  It would also become a part of many other herbal remedies as a bitter and for its various medicinal properties. Some of these benefits include antimicrobial properties, anti-platelet properties (thins the blood), and its ability to lower cholesterol levels. It can be used to treat athlete’s foot, and even motion sickness (2016).

While there is not currently enough information or research, Turmeric is being investigated for its potential to prevent certain types of cancers (Chevallier, 2016). It has been used to treat some skin conditions, including fungal infections and psoriasis. It is also used to treat and reduce nausea. And although unproven, it has been suggested to have the ability to prevent some autoimmune diseases (2016).

Dosing and Usage Information

Turmeric extract supplements usually offer 500 to 2000 mg daily servings, depending upon the extract ratio.  Generally only the rhizome, or roots, of the plant are used for culinary or medicinal purposes (Chevallier, 2016).  The roots are normally unearthed and broken into pieces, then boiled and dried before being further produced and manufactured.  Some preparations might include decoctions, powders, poultice (pastes), and herbal teas (2016).

Side Effects

Turmeric is generally accepted as safe when consumed as a dietary supplement within established daily values. Non-extracted products which offer up to 8 grams of curcumin in a daily serving are common. The rare side effects which can occur include diarrhea, dizziness, headache, and nausea (Hewlings & Kalman, 2017).


Although it is clear through the collection of many studies and clinical trials that Curcumin offers health benefits of various kinds (Stohs et al., 2020), more research will determine the full extent of these benefits. Still, enough research does exist to determine some baseline supplement benefits.  Curcumin is great for cognitive function, memory, and mood; and it is especially more useful with age (Cox et al., 2015).  In other words, while the supplement can help a young person in many ways, it will help older people with even greater effects. It can even purportedly prevent some aspects of mental decline altogether! And depending upon the goal of a nootropic stack, it is reasonable to find curcumin in many daily regimens.

A Note from NooFiles

This article is intended to be used for information only.  We want to remind you that consulting your physician is recommended before adding any dietary supplement of any kind to your daily regimen.


Campen, L., & Visser, F. (2019). The Effect of Curcumin in Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Disparate Responses in Different Disease Severities. Pharmacovigilance and Pharmacoepidemiology. Edelweiss Publications. Vol. 2(1). Pp. 22-27. ISSN: 2638-8235

Chevallier, A. (2016). Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine. Third Edition. DK Publishing. New York, New York. ISBN 978-1-4654-4981-8

Cox, K., Pipingas, A., and Scholey, A. (2015). Investigation of the effects of solid lipid curcumin on cognition and mood in a healthy older population. J Psychopharmacol. Vol. 29(5). Pp. 642-51. DOI: 10.1177/0269881114552744

Gupte, P., Giramkar, S., Harke, S., Kulkarni, S., Deshmukh, A., Hingorani, L., Mahajan, M., and Bhalerao, S. (2019). Evaluation of the efficacy and safety of Capsule Longvida® Optimized Curcumin (solid lipid curcumin particles) in knee osteoarthritis: a pilot clinical study. Journal of inflammation research. Vol. 12. Pp. 145–152. DOI:

Hewlings, S. and Kalman, D. (2017). Curcumin: A Review of Its Effects on Human Health. Foods (Basel, Switzerland). Vol. 6(10). Pp. 92. DOI:

Huang, W., Chiu, W., Chuang, H., Tang, D., Lee, Z., Wei, L., Chen, F., and Huang, C. (2015). Effect of curcumin supplementation on physiological fatigue and physical performance in mice. Nutrients. Vol. 7(2). Pp. 905–921. DOI:

Kuszewski, J., Wong, R., and Howe, P. (2018). Can Curcumin Counteract Cognitive Decline? Clinical Trial Evidence and Rationale for Combining ω-3 Fatty Acids with Curcumin. Advances in Nutrition. Vol. 9(2). Pp. 105–113, DOI:

Mishra, S., & Palanivelu, K. (2008). The effect of curcumin (turmeric) on Alzheimer’s disease: An overview. Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology. Vol. 11(1). Pp. 13–19. DOI:

Ramaholimihaso, T., Bouazzaoui, F., and Kaladjian, A. (2020). Curcumin in Depression: Potential Mechanisms of Action and Current Evidence-A Narrative Review. Frontiers in psychiatry. Vol. 11. PMID: 33329109 DOI:

Small, G., Siddarth, P., Li, Z., Miller, K., Ercoli, L., Emerson, N., Martinez, J., Wong, K., Liu, J., Merrill, D., Chen, S., Henning, S., Satyamurthy, N., Huang, S., Heber, D., and Barrio, J. (2018).Memory and Brain Amyloid and Tau Effects of a Bioavailable Form of Curcumin in Non-Demented Adults: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled 18-Month Trial. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. Vol. 26(3). Pp. 266-277. DOI:

Stohs, S., Chen, O., Ray, S., Ji, J., Bucci, L., and Preuss, H. (2020). Highly Bioavailable Forms of Curcumin and Promising Avenues for Curcumin-Based Research and Application: A Review. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland). Vol. 25(6). Pp. 1397. DOI:

The Nootropics Library: L-Theanine

Everything You Need to Know About L-Theanine and Camellia sinensis

General Information

Scientific Name: [L-Theanine: r-glutamylethylamide, Suntheanin] [Camellia sinensis – the Plant Containing L-Theanine; of the Theaceae Family]

Any Other Names: Theanine, Constituent of Camellia sinensis, Green Tea

Primary Constituents: L-Theanine

Country or Region of Origin: East Asia and Southwestern China

Known Uses: Reduce Stress and Anxiety, Lowers Elevated Blood Pressure, Increases Concentration and Focus, Promotes Relaxation

General History & Introduction

Camellia sinensis is better known as “tea” and is the second highest consumed beverage on the planet (Twilley & Lall, 2018). The Camellia sinensis plant grows as an evergreen shrub around 3-5 feet tall with dark, rough leaves and sweet-smelling, white flowers (Chevallier, 2016).  It is typically found in India, China, and Sri Lanka, where it has established itself as a staple herbal tea even in the earliest of cultures. There are a lot of ancient, cultural rituals in many Asian countries surrounding the drinking of the herbal tea (2016). Each tea plant produces enough leaves to be picked up to 4 times within a year (Shivashankara et al., 2014).

Camellia sinensis also has a long history of use in Ayurvedic medicine (Chevallier, 2016). It has also been well-accepted throughout Indian culture as an herbal tea (2016). And although Camellia sinensis has a lot of great benefits, one of its amino acid derivatives, L-Theanine, is primarily responsible for the plant’s nootropic effects (2016). L-Theanine is well known for its favorable effects on cognitive performance, emotional state and mood, sleep, and a variety of other health benefits (Türközü & Şanlier, 2017).

Important Note: L-Theanine is a derivative of Camellia Sinensis, which is commonly used to make green tea. Both L-Theanine and Camellia Sinensis offer profound cognitive and relaxation effects, only L-Theanine is considered a nootropic and Camellia Sinensis is usually only consumed as a tea. This article will reveal the positive benefits of items, and how their effects may compare and contrast.

Nootropic Benefits of L-Theanine and Camellia sinensis

Concentration, Focus, and Cognitive Benefits (both L-Theanine and Camellia sinensis)

L-Theanine has always been used for its cognitive performance enhancing capability, however, modern studies have begun to record its significant effect on measurable attributes.  For example, one study has measured the chemical’s effects on concentration and learning ability with encouraging results and future propositions for improving the chemical’s value in the brain (Vuong et al., 2011). The nootropic possesses an innate ability to increase cerebral blood flow, especially when it is used alongside caffeine (Dodd et al., 2015). This contribution to brain health is one of the main factors in its reported cognitive benefits (Dodd et al., 2015).


The nootropic provides the brain with increased subjective alertness and improved cognitive function (Giesbrecht et al., 2010). It is one of the primary nootropics benefiting from use alongside another.  In other words: L-Theanine works better when it is used with Caffeine. For example, one study on the combination of L-Theanine and Caffeine found participants to have significantly improved focus and attention-spans during a “demanding cognitive task” (2010).

Reduces Stress and Anxiety, Promotes Relaxation (both L-Theanine and Camellia sinensis)

L-Theanine has been revered throughout Eastern cultures for thousands of years for its ability to reduce oxidative stress and provide focused, calming effects (Ross, 2014). These antioxidant properties are present when the plant is brewed in tea form, as well as within L-Theanine supplements (Chevallier, 2016). There are studies which have shown the primary constituent has a significant positive effect on behavior and mood (Dodd et al., 2015).

One recent, randomized, controlled-trial suggested that L-Theanine can significantly relieves stress-related ailments and promotes overall mental health (Hidese et al., 2019). And some studies suggest that L-Theanine can increase certain neurotransmitters in the brain, which are responsible for promoting relaxation and regulating mood (Nathan et al., 2006). These neurotransmitters include dopamine, serotonin, and GABA (2006).

Digestive Treatments (both L-Theanine and Camellia sinensis)

Gut Flora are microorganisms (bacteria) which live in the intestines and aide in digestion activities. Some recent research suggests that L-Theanine may have the potential to improve Gut Flora in the digestive tract while also limiting the growth and spread of harmful bacteria (Saeed et al., 2019).  It is purportedly also able to reduce risks of infections within digestive organs (Li et al., 2016).  Some research even suggests the chemical can entirely prevent some digestive disorders (Wang et al., 2012).

One study has suggested that drinking unfractionated green tea can help prevent gastrointestinal disorders (Koo & Cho, 2004). More recent research has revealed the polysaccharides from Camellia sinensis flowers are able to regulate gut health (Chen et al., 2019). This same study suggested that the plant also ameliorated cyclophosphamide-induced immunosuppression (2019).

Other Benefits (both L-Theanine and Camellia sinensis)


Camellia sinensis herbal tea has long been used to treat a variety of skin and inflammation conditions (Chevallier, 2016).  It also offers many anti-bacterial benefits. The constituent L-Theanine is great for regulating and improving the quality of sleep (Türközü & Şanlier, 2017). It has also been proven to have positive effects on cancer, cardiovascular disease, and obesity.  The nootropic can even reduce the symptoms of the common cold (2017). Some research has shown that regular consumption of Camellia sinensis can reduce risk of pancreatic cancer (Wang et al., 2012).  Similarly, L-Theanine has been shown to have the potential to prevent and manage many different types of cancers (2012).

And one study revealed L-Theanine’s potential to improve immune function (Li et al., 2016). The chemical has been shown to possess an ability to improve nutrient absorption in the gut (Yan et al., 2017). Vitamins and minerals are literally absorbed better with L-Theanine, improving overall health (2017).

Dosing and Usage Information

Normally, only the leaves and buds of the Camellia sinensis plant are used, and this includes in the extraction of primary constituent, L-Theanine (Chevallier, 2016). Dietary supplements typically contain a maximum of 400 mg of L-Theanine extract.

Side Effects

Although more research is still required to draw ultimate consensus, one recent study on the safety and effects of using L-Theanine on a regular basis revealed the chemical as reliable and generally accepted as safe, even when consumed in larger quantities (Türközü & Şanlier, 2017). That said, while uncommon, some side effects may include headaches, irritability, and nausea (Giesbrecht et al., 2010).

Other Important Information

Sometimes Camellia sinensis is mixed with other herbs to create intricate herbal tea concoctions.  Cinnamon is one of the most popular additives (Chevallier, 2016).  The plant is used to produce all kinds of teas, including the traditional black, oolong, and green teas (Shivashankara et al., 2014).

The primary constituent responsible for the nootropic benefits of the tea, L-theanine, is also responsible for the flavorful taste of the tea (Vuong et al., 2011).


L-Theanine and its parent plant, Camellia sinensis, are extremely effective brain-boosters and have been well-known throughout many cultures as such.  They also offer relaxation-inducing effects.  L-Theanine’s nootropic benefits are constantly being investigated and backed by a growing archive of studies and empirical data. For this reason, L-Theanine has become one of the more popular nootropics, especially in Western cultures. And its effects on cognitive function and stress make it a great addition to most nootropic stacks.

A Note from NooFiles

This article is intended to be used for information only.  We want to remind you that consulting your physician is recommended before adding any dietary supplement of any kind to your daily regimen.


Chen, D., Chen, G., Ding, Y., Wan, P., Peng, Y., Chen, C., Ye, H.,, Zeng, X., and Ran, L. (2019). Polysaccharides from the flowers of tea (Camellia sinensis L.) modulate gut health and ameliorate cyclophosphamide-induced immunosuppression. Journal of Functional Foods. Vol. 61. DOI:

Chevallier, A. (2016). Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine. Third Edition. DK Publishing. New York, New York. ISBN 978-1-4654-4981-8

Dodd, F., Kennedy, D., Riby, L., and Haskell-Ramsay, C. (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 (Berl). Vol. 232(14). Pp. 2563-76. DOI: 10.1007/s00213-015-3895-0

Giesbrecht, T., Rycroft, J., Rowson, M., and De Bruin, E. (2010). The combination of L-theanine and caffeine improves cognitive performance and increases subjective alertness. Nutr Neurosci. Vol. 13(6). Pp. 283-90. DOI: 10.1179/147683010X12611460764840

Hidese, S., Ogawa, S., Ota, M., Ishida, I., Yasukawa, Z., Ozeki, M., and Kunugi, H. (2019). Effects of L-Theanine Administration on Stress-Related Symptoms and Cognitive Functions in Healthy Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Nutrients. Vol. 11(10). Pp. 2362. DOI: 10.3390/nu11102362

Koo, M., and Cho, C. (2004). Pharmacological effects of green tea on the gastrointestinal system. Eur J Pharmacol. Vol. 500(1-3). Pp. 177-85. DOI: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2004.07.023

Ross, S. (2014). L-theanine (suntheanin): effects of L-theanine, an amino acid derived from Camellia sinensis (green tea), on stress response parameters. Holist Nurs Pract. Vol. 28(1). Pp. 65-8. DOI: 10.1097/HNP.0000000000000009

Saeed, M., Yatao, X., Tiantian, Z., Qian, R., and Chao, S. (2019). 16S ribosomal RNA sequencing reveals a modulation of intestinal microbiome and immune response by dietary L-theanine supplementation in broiler chickens. Poult Sci. Vol. 98(2). Pp. 842-854. DOI: 10.3382/ps/pey394

Li, C., Tong, H., Yan, Q., Tang, S., Han, X., Xiao, W., and Tan, Z. (2016). L-Theanine Improves Immunity by Altering TH2/TH1 Cytokine Balance, Brain Neurotransmitters, and Expression of Phospholipase C in Rat Hearts. Medical science monitor : international medical journal of experimental and clinical research. Vol. 22. Pp. 662–669. DOI:

Nathan, P., Lu, K., Gray, M., and Oliver, C., (2006). The Neuropharmacology of L-Theanine(N-Ethyl-LGlutamine). Journal of Herbal Pharmacotherpay. Vol. 6(2). Pp. 21-30. DOI: 10.1080/J157v06n02_02

Shivashankara, A., and Baliga, M. (2014). Polyphenols in Chronic Diseases and their Mechanisms of Action Polyphenols in Human Health and Disease. Academic Press. ISBN: 978-0-12-398456-2. DOI:

Türközü D., and Şanlier, N. (2017).  L-theanine, unique amino acid of tea, and its metabolism, health effects, and safety. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. Vol. 57(8). Pp. 1681-1687. DOI: 10.1080/10408398.2015.1016141

Twilley, D., and Lall, N. (2018). Are Medicinal Plants Effective for Skin Cancer? Medicinal Plants for Holistic Health and Well-Being. Academic Press. ISBN: 978-0-12-812475-8. DOI:

Vuong, Q., Bowyer, M., and Roach, P. (2011). L-Theanine: properties, synthesis and isolation from tea. J Sci Food Agric. Vol. 91(11). Pp. 1931-9. DOI: 10.1002/jsfa.4373

Wang, J., Zhang, W., Sun, L., Yu, H., Ni, Q., Risch, H., and Gao, Y. (2012). Green tea drinking and risk of pancreatic cancer: A large-scale, population-based case–control study in urban Shanghai. Cancer Epidemiology. Vol. 36(6). Pp. e354-e358 DOI:

Yan, Q., Tong, H., Tang, S., Tan, Z., Han, X., and Zhou, C. (2017). L-Theanine Administration Modulates the Absorption of Dietary Nutrients and Expression of Transporters and Receptors in the Intestinal Mucosa of Rats. BioMed research international. DOI:

The Nootropics Library: Lions Mane Mushroom

Everything You Need To Know About Lions Mane Mushroom

General Information

Scientific Name: Hericium erinaceus

Any Other Names: Monkey Head Mushroom, Bearded Tooth Mushroom, Satyr’s Beard, Bearded Hedgehod Mushroom, and Pom Pom Mushroom

Primary Constituents: Hericenones, Erinacines, and Polysaccharides

Country or Region of Origin: Asia, Europe, North America

Known Uses: Cognitive Enhancement, Memory, Mood, Depression, Anxiety, Nerve Damage, Neuropathic Healing, Anti-inflammatory, and More

General History & Introduction

Lion’s Mane Mushroom could be called a semi-versatile nootropic, securing a prestigious place in both medicinal and culinary worlds.  The mushroom has a lot of history throughout Asia, as well as the Western world (Beshara et al., 2019). Although a fungus, the plant is revered in many cultures for its various medicinal and brain-boosting benefits.  It is also well known to possess powerful neuroprotective properties (2019). Typically, the mushroom can be found more profoundly at the end of the summertime and beginning of autumn (Sokół et al., 2016). It requires heavy humidity and reasonable water potential (2016). The studies and clinical trials on the mushroom existing to date generally focus on the plant’s fruiting bodies as the source of any documented effects.

Nootropic Benefits of Lions Mane Mushroom

Cognitive Enhancement, Memory

Recent studies have outlined Lion’s Mane Mushroom’s ability to enhance cognitive function and improve mild cognitive impairment (Beshara et al., 2019).  It has been purported to have therapeutic effects on neurodegenerative brain disorders (2019). Lion’s Mane possesses a heavy influence on many mental attributes, especially concentration and attention-span (Nagano et al., 2010). Part of the mushroom’s brain-boosting benefits come from its ability to induce the nerve growth factor (Li et al., 2018).  One study focused on measuring the benefits of the mushroom to overall cognitive function ruled the mushroom produced significantly higher cognitive function scores (Mori et al., 2009). The increase in cognitive ability appears to build along with regular daily intake (2009). It would also be reasonable to suggest that the herb’s neuroprotective and antioxidant effects (Kushairi et al., 2019) may help promote and enhance memory function.

Mood, Depression, Anxiety


The nootropic fungus has a well-documented power to improve mood and reduce negative symptoms of anxiety and depression (Beshara et al., 2019). In fact, the herb has been the focus of much modern research for its depression and anxiety reducing effects, with some notable studies and clinical trials to sustain these benefit claims (Nagano et al., 2010). One recent study outlined the mushroom’s potential to improve mood as well as sleep disorders (Vigna et al., 2019). Another study examined the herb’s potential as an alternative medicine for the treatment of depression altogether (Chong et al., 2019). The study outlines several potential hypotheses for how the mushroom may hold key potentials for treating mood disorders and depression, and with excellent supporting data (2019).

Nerve Damage and Neuropathy

One traditional recipe to treat peripheral neuropathy involves making Lion’s Mane herbal tea or using the mushroom as an extract (Weil, 2004). It has been suggested the mushroom can be useful for stroke patients, as it contains a natural nerve growth factor (2004). In fact, it has recently been found in preclinical trials to offer improvements to patients suffering from ischemic stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and more (Li et al., 2018).  There is even recent evidence suggesting Lion’s Mane activates peripheral nerve regeneration following injury (Wong et al., 2016). And many studies exist which showcase the efficacy of Hericium erinaceus for overall brain and nerve health (Sabaratnam et al., 2013).



One study revealed the herb’s potential anti-inflammatory effects on macrophages (Mori et al., 2015), which are basically large cells found stagnant in tissues at the area of an infection or flare up. Another recent study has proposed the mushroom’s potential to relieve oxidative stress and inflammations which generally contribute to the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative conditions (Kushairi et al., 2019). And while the mushroom may be able to offer preventative effects for many conditions from its anti-inflammatory properties, there is not enough research to determine exactly how far these properties may go (Friedman, 2015).

Other Benefits

It has been suggested that Lion’s Mane Mushroom might have the ability to lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels (Beshara et al., 2019).  The plant is known to treat stomach ulcers, enhance immune function in the gut, and decrease neuropathic pain from diabetes (2019). The mushroom is able to effectively regulate intestinal mucosal immune activities (Sheng et al., 2017). The power in the herb’s ability to aide GI issues can be traced to its polysaccharides (2017).

Dosing and Usage Information

Lion’s Mane has been used for culinary and medicinal purposes throughout many ancient cultures for thousands of years in the form of tonics, herbal teas, and as a cuisine ingredient (CITATION). Today, the herb is most used as a dietary supplement.  Lion’s Mane Mushroom extract doses can range from 300 to 3000 mg a day. The strength of the extract matters a great deal in determining a healthy, effective dose of the mushroom.  Many full spectrum extracts of the mushroom’s fruiting bodies will be offered in dietary supplements suggesting daily servings of 400-800 mg.

Side Effects

Lion’s Mane is generally accepted as safe for short-term use. Some studies go as far as to say there are literally zero adverse effects (Mori et al., 2009). Still, it is always wise to approach your medical doctor before adding any supplement to your daily regimen.

Other Important Information

Hericium erinaceus is a member of the tooth fungus group and has a great deal of culinary use. It is a common ingredient in gourmet cooking, frequently served with shiitake or oysters (Davis et al., 2012).


Lion’s Mane Mushroom may have a fewer quantity of empirical studies and clinical trials, but those which exist are extremely promising and capable of sturdily backing many claims.  The mushroom has a historical presence in many cultures, and a modern, proven ability to offer several benefits.  The improvements that the herb offers to cognitive function, memory, and mood alone make it a powerhouse nootropic; however, the mushroom has so much more to offer the mind and body. The impressive herb earns two thumbs up and should be considered an essential part of any nootropic stack.

A Note from NooFiles

This article is intended to be used for information only.  We want to remind you that consulting your physician is recommended before adding any dietary supplement of any kind to your daily regimen.


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