The Nootropics Library: Rhodiola Crenulata

Everything You Need To Know About Rhodiola Crenulata

General Information

Scientific Name: Rhodiola crenulata (or Rhodiola rosea)

Any Other Names: Sometimes mistaken for a close cousin, Rhodiola Rosea, Golden Root

Primary Constituents: Phenylpropanoids (e.g. rosavins), salidroside, flavonoids, monoterpenes (rosiridin), and triterpenes

Country or Region of Origin: Artic Regions of Alaska, Canada, Russia, Scandinavia, and Scotland; Indigenous to the Mountainous Regions

Known Uses: Adaptogen, Antidepressant, Anti-inflammatory, Cognitive Enhancer

General History & Introduction

Rhodiola is also known as the “Golden Root” throughout many traditional cultures (Orr, 2014). It is native to artic regions and thrives in some of the most extreme environments.  In fact, the rough terrain of the mountains provide the herb a most attraction place to grow. The plant itself can cope and survive in some of the harshest, and most stressful habitats. Rhodiola has been hailed a general tonic herb, offering improvements to overall health to the whole body (2014). It is a part of traditional Chinese medicine and has been used to treat a variety of conditions and ailments (Beshara et al., 2019).  Rhodiola may be heavily used in modern, medicinal practices all over the world, however, the first documented use of the herb dates back to 90 AD when famed Greek physician Pedanius Dioscorides recorded its benefits (Morris, 2019).

Nootropic Benefits of Rhodiola Crenulata

Cognitive Enhancer


Many cultures have turned to Rhodiola for its incredible ability to release mental tension and hone mental acuity (Orr, 2014). Rhodiola has been hailed alongside many nootropics for its ability to enhance circulation to the brain and act as a precursor for neurotransmitters critical to cognitive function (Tabassum et al., 2012). For these reasons, the herb is very commonly chosen for career-focused or entrepreneur nootropic stacks (2012).  It is frequently combined with Ginkgo biloba, which has been proven to offer endurance enhancements of the mind and body (Zhang et al., 2009, Al-Kuraishy, 2015).

Adaptogen, Stress & Anxiety

Rhodiola has been well-qualified as a nootropic adaptogen, or a general tonic which improves the entire body to some extent (Orr, 2014). These types of ingredients are very popular in both Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine.  One of Rhodiola’s best adaptogenic benefits is its ability to impact both physical and mental endurance.  It has been revered as such a strong energy booster, and it is commonly utilized in China as a “work productivity” herb (2014).  The root has the purported ability to improve the mind and body’s natural resistance to chemical and environmental stressors (Beshara et al., 2019).

Libido and Energy


In addition to its ability to provide a natural boost to energy, the natural herb is used throughout Chinese culture for its innate libido-boosting properties (Orr, 2014). Many ancient Chinese recipes have included Rhodiola for its incredible ability to relieve fatigue and provide a smooth energy boost (2014). Rhodiola is used to improve one’s ability to focus and maintain endurance (Beshara et al., 2019). It is also frequently turned to for its stamina-boosting properties (2019).

Other Benefits

Some sources have claimed the herb provides a great boost to immune system even being able to reduce the risk of catching the common cold (Orr, 2014).  In fact, it is a traditional Chinese remedy for improving the overall immune system (Beshara et al., 2019).  Rhodiola is used for its anti-inflammatory properties. Some athletes even use the herb to reduce some types of muscle damage.  The root is also frequently (and successfully) used as a natural, holistic treatment for depression (2019).

Dosing and Usage Information


Rhodiola has traditionally been consumed as a tea or tincture, however, it is more popularly consumed today as a dietary supplement (Orr, 2014). Normal daily doses of the herb in its supplement form range from 100 to 1000 mg or more, depending upon the extraction potency.

Side Effects

While Rhodiola is generally considered safe for consumption within normal established daily values, it should not be taken during pregnancy, while breastfeeding, during menstruation, or if prone to kidney stones (Orr, 2014).

Other Important Information

Rhodiola Crenulata is commonly mistaken for, or used interchangeably with a close cousin, Rhodiola Rosea.  Rhodiola Rosea is a species within the same family, but it lacks the same quality of salidroside, a component that contributes to a large percentage of the favorable benefits produced by the plant (Orr, 2014). Besides being included in several Ancient Chinese remedies, Rhodiola has also been hailed as a holistic powerhouse in Russian medicine.  The Russians revered the plant for its versatile ability to favorably impact many aspects of human health, including neurological and psychiatric problems. It has been especially respected for its ability to aid in schizophrenia and depression (2014).


Rhodiola is surprisingly versatile, allowing nootropic enthusiasts the ability to modify many aspects of their neurotransmitter production and regular cognitive routine.  It is a strong adaptogen, an alluring libido booster, and an effective mood booster (Orr, 2014). Rhodiola may appear less often in the tabloids, so to speak, but there is no mistaking its power as an electrifying nootropic influence!  It is no wonder it is in many popular proprietary blends and 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.


Al-Kuraishy H. M. (2015). Central additive effect of Ginkgo biloba and Rhodiola rosea on psychomotor vigilance task and short-term working memory accuracy. Journal of intercultural ethnopharmacology. Vol. 5(1). Pp. 7–13. DOI:

Beshara, J., Engle, D., and Haynes, K. (2019). Beyond Coffee. Monocle Publishing. ISBN 9781544505459

Morris, J. (2019). Smart Plants: Power Foods and Natural Nootropics For Optimized Thinking, Focus, and Memory. Sterling Epicure Publishing. New York, New York. Pp. 104-105. ISBN 978-1-4549-3342-7.

Orr, S. (2014). The New American Herbal. Clarkson Potter Publishers. New York, New York. ISBN 978-0-449-81993-7.

Tabassum, N., Rasool, S., Malik, Z., Ahmad, F. (2012). Natural Cognitive Enhancers. Journal of Pharmacy Research. Vol. 5(1). ISSN: 0974-6943.

Zhang, Zj., Tong, Y., and Zou, J. (2009). Dietary supplement with a combination of Rhodiola crenulata and Ginkgo biloba enhances the endurance performance in healthy volunteers. Chin. J. Integr. Med. Vol. 15. Pp. 177–183. DOI:

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: Ginkgo Biloba

Everything You Need to Know About Ginkgo Biloba

General Information

Scientific Name: Ginkgo Biloba (from the Ginkgoaceae family)

Any Other Names: Maidenhair Tree, Bai Guo (Chinese)

Primary Constituents: Bilobalides, Ginkgolides, Flavonoids

Country or Region of Origin: Native to China, Also Cultivated in France, South Carolina (United States)

Known Uses: Memory, Concentration, Circulatory and Blood Flow Issues, Antioxidant, Anti-inflammatory, Anti-allergenic, Asthma, Dementia, Depression, and More

General History & Introduction

Ginkgo is one of the oldest trees on the planet, if not the oldest, with the first growing dating beyond 190 million years old (Chevallier, 2016).  It has found its place in ancient, traditional Chinese medicine. Ginkgo’s medical and therapeutic uses have been well-researched in modern times as well.  In fact, it is one of the most widely used medicinal herbs in the Western world (Roland & Nergård, 2012). The leaves are typically turned into an extract which can be used to treat a variety of ailments and conditions. Some of these maladies include but are not limited to circulation and blood flow issues, asthma, allergies, weak bladder, incontinence, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, multiple sclerosis, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and even glaucoma (2016).

Nootropic Benefits of Ginkgo Biloba

Memory, Concentration, Brain Booster


Ginkgo Biloba has been used for thousands of years for its studied ability to improve memory, concentration, and overall brain function.  A lot of the plant’s contributions in this realm can be traced to its benefits to cerebral blood flow and circulation (Chevallier, 2016).  Improving cerebral circulation gives memory and concentration a giant boost (2016). Many studies have greatly outlined the plant’s ability to improve both short-term and long-term memory, and the cerebral circulation boost has a lot to do with the efficacy of such benefits (Balch, 2010).  Some studies indicate an improvement to the peripheral circulation system, also promoting brain function and memory (2010). These same studies have backed up claims that Ginkgo can enhance concentration (2016).   One holistic encyclopedia even suggests the herb can protect the brain (Murray & Pizzorno, 1998)


Ginkgo is known for its potent antioxidant effects, especially within the brain, cardiovascular system, and retina (Balch, 2010).  The impressive flavonoid content within the plant boasts powerful longevity effects (Murray & Pizzorno, 1998).  Due to these outstanding benefits to the body, the plant has been considered throughout Chinese holistic healing history as an anti-aging herb. They also respected the plant for its ability to improve the body’s resistance to the environment (1998).  The antioxidant properties of Ginkgo Biloba are one of the reasons the herb is so popularly prescribed around the globe in the medicinal world (Beshara & Haynes, 2019). The potent antioxidant effects are also one of the reasons Ginkgo offers such positive effects in terms of improve cognitive function (Kaur et al., 2018).



Ginkgo possesses amazing anti-inflammatory properties, even being able to reduce inflammation where there is nerve tissue damage (Chevallier, 2016). This has especially proven helpful for multiple sclerosis patients.  And that makes sense, since the plant provides enhanced blood flow to the central nervous system.  It has even been suggested to strengthen and support nerve tissue (2016). Chinese medicine has long turned to Ginkgo for the anti-inflammatory effects its fruit and seed possess, often referring to it as a tonic for the body (Orr, 2014). Many recent studies are showing Ginkgo to have the ability to significantly decrease oxidative stress and reduce neuroinflammation (Kaur et al., 2018).

Circulatory Issues

Ginkgo is well known for its ability to enhance circulation with numerous published empirical studies, even in the Journal of the American Medical Association (Balch, 2010). The leaves of the Ginkgo plant produce some of the plant’s most potent medicinal properties for improving circulation and blood flow (Chevallier, 2016). The Ginkgo leaves are usually extracted to make a strong tincture, liquid extract, or pill/tablet. And as previously mentioned, these extracts have especially been useful in improving cerebral circulation.  The plant’s ability to inhibit the platelet activating factor (PAF), reduces the likelihood of a blood clot and stroke (2016).

Ginkgo Biloba is also a purported, natural treatment for erectile dysfunction.  One study revealed that participants were experiencing more erections (Murray & Pizzorno, 1998). In fact, the erections were not just more frequent, but also improved in quality and duration.  This is probably due to the herb’s ability to improve circulation and blood flow.  Other studies revealed the plant’s ability to offset sexual dysfunction caused as a side effect of antidepressant drugs (1998). It is also worth noting that the plant is great at improving blood flow to the lower region of the body (Conkling & Wong, 2006).

Dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, and Many Neurological Conditions

Truly, the jury is still out on how effective Ginkgo Biloba may be as a treatment for Alzheimer’s and Dementia, however, there are many clinical studies which have found a variety of positive benefits (Chevallier, 2016).  Even this smaller collection of empirical data promoting the benefits of the natural herb for those suffering from neurological or brain-related conditions is encouraging.  As previously mentioned, the herb’s ability to improve memory (2016) is most certainly useful for those suffering from memory loss due to age or a neurodegenerative condition.  One recent study proved its substantial benefit to dementia patients (Balch, 2016).  And the plant is even shown to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease altogether (2016).

As previously mentioned, Ginkgo Biloba can provide significant benefits to patients suffering from multiple sclerosis (Murray & Pizzorno, 1998).  The herb has been empirically proven to improve cognitive impairment and overall mental function in MS patients.  It is able to improve attention, executive function, and memory performance (1998).  There are even studies which purport that the herb has a positive effect on anxiety (Beshara & Haynes, 2019).

Other Benefits

The seeds of the Ginkgo plant are commonly prescribed by Chinese medical professionals for issues with the urinary tract or the bladder (Chevallier, 2016). They are also brilliant for reducing wheezing and treating a general cough, although it is important to remember to remove the husk of the seed first, which only contains toxins and none of the plant’s useful constituents. The seeds also help reduce excess phlegm, treat vaginal discharge, and improve incontinence (as well as other bladder issues) (2016).  In Ayurvedic practice, the herb was traditionally used to manage cholesterol (Orr, 2014).

There is a lot of research which indicates Ginkgo Biloba can be used to treat depression and with great efficacy (Chevallier, 2016). It has especially good antidepression effects on individuals over the age of 50, or patients who suffer from cerebrovascular insufficiency (Murray & Pizzorno, 1998). Recent studies have outlined the plant’s great ability to aide recovering stroke patients (Balch, 2010).  It has also been used to treat hearing problems, macular degeneration, and impotence (2010).  It is reasonable to argue that the Ginkgo plant is one of the most diverse holistic herbs on the planet.

Dosing and Usage Information

Although there are many ways to prepare the Ginkgo plant, a tincture or tablet is one of the most common methods for consumption.  There are many high quality Ginkgo biloba extracts sold as dietary supplements, which usually suggest a dose of around 120 to 300 mg per daily pill.  This is also the dosage noted as safe in most holistic resources (Beshara & Haynes, 2019). 

It is worth noting that there are differences between preparation methods in terms of effects.  The traditional preparation method of a tincture extract (using the leaves only), is the best administration method when using Ginkgo for poor circulation, blood-related issues, or asthma (Chevallier, 2016).  Liquid decoctions of the seeds are the best way to use Ginkgo for wheezing, or treating a cough (2016).  The capsule/tablet method (usually consumed as a dietary supplement) is best for memory loss and most of the other benefits the Ginkgo plant offers (2016).

A standardized extract of Ginkgo Biloba is normally  24 percent flavoglycosides and 6 percent terpene lactones (Conkling & Wong, 2006).

Side Effects

Although the plant does have the potential to create some unpleasant side effects, they are minimal and rare.  Some of the side effects which have been reported in some studies include headaches, dizziness, upset stomach, constipation, tachycardia (fast heartbeat), and allergic skin reactions (Conkling & Wong, 2006).

Other Important Information


It is important to note that Ginkgo Biloba can create issues for persons taking anticoagulants (blood-thinning medication) or those who regularly take over-the-counter pain medication (Conkling & Wong, 2006).  Although anyone who is considering adding a dietary supplement to their daily regimen should consult a physician beforehand, it is especially important for individuals on anticoagulants or OTC pain medicine to discuss Ginkgo with their doctors.  It should also not be used by anyone who is about to undergo surgery or a dental procedure.


The Ginkgo plant is an extremely versatile herb, possessing the ability to improve seemingly endless conditions and ailments. The studies, empirical data, clinical trials, and other research have shown the plant to offer incredible benefits with almost no side effects.  The side effects which do exist are minimal, trivial to say the least. In terms of treating neurological, neurodegenerative, or circulation issues, the plant is unbelievable and well-revered across the globe. Ginkgo is one of the most popular nootropic herbs for improving mental response times and memory, and maximizing learning potential (Orr, 2014).  To summarize, Ginkgo Biloba is a powerful and capable nootropic worthy of a place in nearly 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.


Balch, P. (2010). Prescription for Nutritional Healing. Fifth Edition. Avery Publishing. New York, New York. ISBN 978-1-58333-400-3

Beshara, J., Engle, D., and Haynes, K. (2019). Beyond Coffee. Monocle Publishing. ISBN 9781544505459

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

Conkling, W. and Wong, D. (2006). The Complete Guide to Vitamins and Supplements: The Holistic Path to Good Health. Avon Health Publishing. New York, NY. ISBN: 978-0-06-076066-3.

Kaur, S., Sharma, N., Nehru, B. (2018). Anti-inflammatory effects of Ginkgo biloba extract against trimethyltin-induced hippocampal neuronal injury. Inflammopharmacology. Vol. 26(1). Pp. 87-104. DOI: 10.1007/s10787-017-0396-2

Murray, M., and Pizzorno, J., (1998). The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. Third Edition. Atria Paperback. ISBN 978-1-4516-6300-6

Orr, S. (2014). The New American Herbal. Clarkson Potter Publishers. New York, New York. ISBN 978-0-449-81993-7

Roland, P. and Nergård, C. (2012). Ginkgo biloba–effekt, bivirkninger og interaksjoner [Ginkgo biloba–effect, adverse events and drug interaction]. Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. Vol. 132(8). Pp. 956-9. Norwegian. DOI: 10.4045/tidsskr.11.0780

The Nootropics Library: Bacopa Monnieri

Everything You Need To Know About Bacopa Monnieri

General Information

Scientific Name: Bacopa monnieri (Scrophulariaceae)

Any Other Names: Brahmi (Hindi), Indian Pennywort, Water Hyssop, Waterhyssop, Herpestis monniera

Primary Constituents: Triterpenoid Saponins (includes bacosides)

Country or Region of Origin: Southern and Eastern India, Tropical Climates and Warmer Temperate Regions (especially in Asia)

Known Uses: Cognitive Enhancer, Memory, Stress, Anxiety, Adaptogen, Fertility, Nervous Disorders, Indigestion, Ulcers, Gas, Constipation, Asthma, Bronchitis, Rheumatic Conditions, Diuretic, and Arthritic Pain Relief

General History & Introduction

Bacopa monnieri is one of the most studied, ancient medicinal herbs on Earth (Beshara et al., 2019). It is a member of the Scrophulariaceae family. It is a creeping perennial which can grow up to 50 cm tall.  The leaves are green and tear-shaped, paving the way for blue-white flowers.  Although the plant is native to India’s region, it has been known to thrive and be cultivated in many other areas around the world.  Some of these regions include Africa, Australia, Europe, and the Americas. The plant does very well in swamp and marshland. It can be found growing prevalently throughout rice fields.

All aerial parts of the Bacopa plant are therapeutically, medicinally, or otherwise used (Chevallier, 2016).  It is common to find recipes which utilize the plant’s parts to make a variety of herbal teas, tonics, oils, extracts, rubs, and juices. Most commonly, the herb is taken in capsule form as a dietary supplement. Unlike many other herbs which may provide some of the same benefits and treat some of the same ailments, Bacopa is known to nourish neurons, rather than deplete them (Aguiar & Borowski, 2013).

Nootropic Benefits of Bacopa Monnieri

Cognitive Enhancer and Memory

Bacopa monnieri is well-used as a cognitive enhancer, as the nootropic has suggested benefits in form of executive functioning, memory, concentration, learning, and overall cognitive function (Chevallier, 2016).  The herb has even been proven to reduce learning time (2016). In Ayurvedic medicine, Bacopa is associated directly with the brain (Orr, 2014). In fact, the term is literally mapped in Hindi to the brain, although so were any other nutraceuticals which bolster mental acuity (Stough et al., 2001).  The traditional Indian art of holistic healing also recognizes Bacopa monnieri for its incredible, natural memory-boosting ability (Walker & Brown, 1998).   Bacopa even helps bolster the memory retrieval process (Stough, 2011).

One recent, double-blind, placebo-controlled study outlined empirical proof that the herb improved information processing speed, learning rate, and memory (Beshara et al., 2019).  It is especially helpful with memory retention and short-term cognitive enhancements (2019).  Some studies seem to reveal increased cerebral blood flow (Aguiar & Borowski, 2013).  It has shown great clinical potential in alleviating and regressing dementia symptoms (2013).  There are many other studies which outline the herb’s ability to remove neuro toxins, symptoms of amnesia, and immobilization stress (Stough et al., 2001).

Stress and Anxiety (Adaptogen)


An adaptogen helps stabilize the mind and body to relieve stress and tension (The Nootropics Zone, 2017). The Bacopa herb is one of the most powerful nootropic adaptogens. The herb’s ability to dramatically reduce anxiety is supported in numerous clinical trials and studies (2017).  It’s natural relaxation properties are suggested to help with memory recall (Beshara et al., 2019). In fact, one recent study proved the herb offered a significant reduction in anxiety. It has been known to reduce nervousness, palpitations, insomnia, headaches, and concentration (2019). Bacopa also sports an ability to reduce oxidative stress and is purportedly one of the strongest nootropic antioxidants (Aguiar & Borowski, 2013).

Libido and Fertility

The Bacopa plant has a long traditional history of being used to treat infertility (Chevallier, 2016). It has been known to be used for a variety of libido and sex-related ailments in men.  More specifically, it has been used to treat impotence, premature ejaculation, infertility, and general libido. Unfortunately, while Bacopa monnieri may be proven to enhance libido in men, the herb may possibly stunt the production and quality of sperm (Mishra et al., 2018).  This study may suggest that while a small amount of Bacopa may produce aphrodisiac-like effects, too much of the herb may act as a form of male contraceptive (2018).

Nervous Disorders

Bacopa monnieri is well-known in Indian holistic medicine to treat a variety of nervous system disorders (Chevallier, 2016). Some of these disorders include epilepsy, mental illness, and neuralgia (2016).  It’s ability to provide adaptogenic benefits and antioxidant benefits make it a wonderful addition to any daily regimen for a dementia or Alzheimer’s patient.  It is also proven to offer neuroprotective benefits and can pass the blood-brain barrier, which is very helpful with most nervous disorders (Manap et al., 2019).  The participants in a variety of clinical trials and studies on Bacopa’s effects on Alzheimer’s have even called the herb “therapeutic” (2019).

Other Uses

Bacopa monnieri is considered a multipurpose herb, making itself useful across a wide spectrum of ailments.  Some of these disorders and ailments which the herb can help with, not previously mentioned, include indigestion, ulcers, gas, and constipation (Chevallier, 2016).  The herb has also been known to help with asthma, bronchitis, and rheumatic conditions. It can be used as a laxative, diuretic, or a purgative. Traditionally, Bacopa has also been applied as a rub to help alleviate mild arthritic pain (2016).  It has been helpful in the treatment of dementia and Parkinson’s disease (Aguiar & Borowski, 2013).  It could be said that Bacopa also offers excellent mood enhancing properties, as it can improve both anxiety and depression (Calabrese et al., 2008).

Dosing and Usage Information


Many clinical trials and empirical studies support the use of Bacopa monnieri to treat a variety of ailments and conditions (Calabrese et al., 2008).  Many double-blind, placebo-controlled studies have outlined the herb’s ability to enhance cognitive function with a mere dose of 300 mg daily in healthy adults (2008). This does has also been proven in empirical data to improve learning and memory (Stough et al., 2001).  It is especially effective for elderly, dementia patients, and enhancing memory retention. The same study which highlighted these benefits also proved the herb’s favorable impact on anxiety, tension, and depression (2008).

Side Effects

Most of the clinical trials and studies which dive into the use of Bacopa and its benefits have outlined very few side effects, if any. It is commonly considered safe for short-term use by most medical professionals for most people (Beshara et al., 2019).  The few side effects reported in some studies include stomach cramps, mild nausea, and increased bowel movements (2019).  Still, it remains one of the most researched nootropics used in modern holistic healing.

Other Important Information

The nick name given to Bacopa, Brahmi, was chosen in honor of the great Hindu creator God Brahma (Stough et al., 2015). It has been greatly revered throughout all of ancient, Ayurvedic medicine as a mind medicine. At the start of its extensive history, it was first mentioned in an ancient, Sanskrit text, the Caraka Samhita, amongst others (2015). The herb was categorized as a memory and intelligence herb (Nemetchek et al., 2017).  It literally fit into the Indian category Medhya Rasayana, which translates into intellect and rejuvenation (Stough et al., 2015).  It is noteworthy that bacopa monnieri may have an ability to moderate brain serotonin levels (Stough et al., 2001).

Bacopa monnieri has a strong presence in many Hindu religious rituals, consecration routines, and new-born baby celebrations (Stough et al., 2015).  Traditionally, it was believed that Bacopa monnieri could open the gateways to great knowledge (2015).  Modern-day classification of the herb names it a nootropic, or“smart drug.”  This is because it is regularly used for its ability to improve learning, memory retention, and overall concentration (Beshara et al., 2019).  The herb is especially helpful with memory consolidation, verbal and visual processing of information, and environment-based learning (Stough et al., 2001).


The verdict may still be out on the correct dosages and applications of the herb, but Bacopa monnieri’s ability to offer medicinal effects of some kind are no longer in question. The plant’s ability to improve memory, learning, and cognitive function is world-renown.  The tonic, positive effects Bacopa has on the brain are well documented throughout Chinese and Ayurvedic medicines (Chevallier, 2016). 300 mg of Bacopa extract has been supported in many studies and clinical trials as  a reasonably effective daily dose (Stough et al., 2001).  Its ability to relax the brain, destress the body, and improve learning and focus makes it a wonderful suggestion to alleviate ADHD symptoms (Beshara et al., 2019).

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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