When looking for a nootropic boost to help with focus, study, memory and productivity, it's worth reviewing the available options to find the best suited to you.
As Chief Herbalist here at The Herbtender, here are a few points that I'd recommend thinking about before you make your choice…
What effect are you looking for?
While all nootropics act on the brain, each will have a slightly different focus. Be clear about what you need help with (concentration/ recall/ creativity/ motivation etc), as it will help you to narrow your research and focus on the nootropic that might be right for you.
What else is going on in your life?
Other factors often affect brain function, which may be part of the reason why you are struggling to study/ concentrate/ remember. In these situations, it's always worth dealing with them before or in addition to the issue you hope to improve.
For example, if you are seeking help with concentrating on a project, but you're also unable to sleep at night due to anxiety, it might be worthwhile taking a nootropic that helps with sleep or anxiety first. It's possible that improving your sleep or reducing your anxiety may, in turn, significantly improve your concentration. It may also be that you need to take both the sleep nootropic and the concentration nootropic for a while to get you into a good pattern, and that's fine too.
What form of nootropic is best for you?
To answer this question, you need to consider factors such as: do you have any allergies or intolerances? How do you tend to cope with drugs or supplements? Do you like capsules, tablets or liquid? Are you on other medication?
The answers to these questions will point you towards a particular form of nootropic. Due to chemical sensitivities, some people get on better with plant medicines than synthetic drugs or extracts. Others may have allergies and need to avoid particular groups of plants or specific additives or chemicals. Modern labelling requirements should make it easy to find one that works for you.
Nootropics are available in many forms, from liquids and powders to tablets and capsules. You can almost always find one in a form that will work for you. Don't forget that capsules can always be opened and sprinkled into liquids if you have difficulty swallowing them.
As a herbalist, I must own up to my particular bias. I would always recommend using plant-based nootropics as they have the longest track record. In particular, I would favour those made from either whole plant or whole plant extracts.
Because herbs have been taken this way for centuries and have a long history of safe use. Whole plants have a broad spectrum of constituents and seem more balanced in their effect than isolated chemicals. They also tend to be less addictive and have fewer side effects.
I'd also suggest that any supplement you take should be in a form that is as natural as possible, avoiding extra fillers or binders. Ideally, you want to take something where every ingredient matters. See our blog - What are clean supplements? - for more information.
And finally, if you're on any other medication, it is always worth checking with your healthcare provider that it is safe to take the nootropic of your choice alongside.
We are all different!
It is important to remember this. Every person will react individually to different nootropics. Once you have narrowed down your choice and decided what you'd like to try, it is time to experiment!
Ideally, find a company that will sell you a small amount of product so you can check you get on well with it before buying a larger quantity. Here at The Herbtender, we have a whole range of Discovery Pouches that you can use to trial our products.
If you don't get the desired results from one nootropic, it is always worth trying another. There are many out there. Sometimes it is a good idea to combine nootropics as they can have a synergistic effect, where each nootropic enhances the effects of the others.
So, how do we use nootropics at The Herbtender?
You might be surprised to hear that every one of The Herbtender's products contains nootropics - largely because almost every one of those wonderful adaptogens that we have based our formulations around are nootropics as well as adaptogens. Some of our products also contain other herbal nootropics (that are not adaptogens), plus some nutritional nootropics.
Here are the nootropic highlights from our product range:
Focus & Clarity - Does what it says on the tin. Every ingredient in this formula (even the iodine!) is a nootropic. Designed to help you stay focused and calm when you need to, it's great for studying, work deadlines or any other situation where you need your wits about you.
Calm & Collected – Every ingredient in this formulation is a nootropic. Designed to keep you calm no matter what, it's perfect as an evening wind down before bed or during the day if life is going into orbit.
Rise & Shine – An incredible nootropic boost! Every ingredient is a nootropic. Take it as a daily tonic to make life more effective.
Here at The Herbtender, we are all about plants. All of our products contain whole herbs or whole herb extracts. We don't use any fillers, binders or unnecessary ingredients. Our capsules are easy to take and come in environmentally friendly packaging. And our Discovery Pouches enable you to try out a week's worth of capsules before buying a bottle.
So, where will your nootropics journey begin? Let us know how you get on!
If you have any questions about nootropics or anything else The Herbtender related, we'd love to hear from you! Feel free to leave a comment below, pop us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or send us a DM at @theherbtender!