Nootropics, or ‘smart drugs’, are substances that enhance memory, focus and other areas of cognition. To be classed as a nootropic, a drug must:
• Enhance learning and memory
• Protect the brain from physical or chemical injury
• Improve memory in the presence of adverse conditions, such as electric shock and hypoxia
• Improve muscle control
• Have extremely low toxicity and few side effects
At first, nootropics were used exclusively to help people with impaired cognition, but healthy people are increasingly using them to improve their day-to-day mental performance and productivity. A range of nootropics are now available. Read on to find out which is best for your situation.

What are Nootropics?


You’ve probably seen nootropics sold online, sometimes as “smart drugs,” and wondered what they are and how they work. Here’s a brief guide: Smart Drugs A nootropic is a drug that improves mental functioning. Nootropics improve your memory and make you more focused. They have a protective effect, meaning they prevent memory loss and other…

Piracetam stacks: More than the sum of their parts

Student studying in the library with laptop at the university

Piracetam in a nutshell One of the best known and most popular nootropics, Piracetam delivers a range of cognitive benefits, including improvement in memory, learning ability, alertness, and focus. Having been discovered in the 60s, Piracetam has now been on the market for over 50 years and has been the subject of many studies evaluating…

Nootropics for Beginners: What, Why, and How

Photo of bottle of nootropics pills opened with pills spilling out

More than ever, people are becoming aware of the importance of preventative health and wellbeing, and according to the 2014 Complementary Medicines Industry Survey, this has been reflected in the increasing popularity of nutritional supplements. But it is only recently that people are starting to consider supplements that support brain function. Otherwise known as ‘smart…

CILTEP – Retain Information Better, for Longer

Luteolin, found in artichoke extract, is a PDE4 inhibitor with significant nootropic effects.

CILTEP is an all-natural nootropic supplement offered by US-based company Natural Stacks, containing a combination of natural ingredients including artichoke extract. It makes some big claims, including improvements in motivation, mental endurance, concentration, learning, memory, mood and social ability. While no studies have yet been performed to evaluate the effects of the CILTEP stack in…

Vinpocetine: An Oxygen Boost to the Brain

The lesser periwinkle plant yields vincamine, which in turn yields vinpocetine.

Vinpocetine is a nootropic supplement derived from vincamine, which in turn is extracted from the lesser periwinkle plant. Vinpocetine is available throughout the world as a supplement, but in Europe it is actually marketed as a pharmaceutical under the trade name Cavinton. It increases cerebral blood flow and has several neuroprotective effects in patients with cerebrovascular disease and…

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