Natural Herbs

All Natural Nootropics listed on the website compiled in this page for easy accessibility:

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OverviewBenefits and EffectsMechanism of ActionDosageSide EffectsStackFAQ

Summary: Huperzine A is a natural neuroprotectant based on plants that can improve memory and increase general cognition. Huperzine A was first recognized in the 1980s as an alkaloid compound extracted from the Chinese club moss Huperzia serrata, but Chinese herbal medicine has been using plant extracts for centuries.

Overview

What is Huperzine A?

Although it is typically used in the therapy of Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders, the nootropic potential of huperzine A is making it more popular among learners and otherwise healthy people who want to think more obviously, learn faster, and remember more correctly. Huperzine A's advantages and effects offer benefits for both the brain and body.

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Benefits and Effects

  1. Neuroprotectantion
  2. Antioxidation
  3. Improving Memory
  4. Protects Against Glutamate Toxicity
  5. Relieves Symptoms of Depression

Neuroprotectantion

Huperzine A's capacity to safeguard the brain from oxidative damage, one of the most prevalent issues connected with aging, is one of the most significant advantages. Oxidative damage is at the core of most age-related diseases and is thought to play an essential part in the growth of Alzheimer's disease and other neurological disorders. Oxidative damage begins with an abnormality that occurs when oxygen molecules are divided into individual atoms, a normal process that occurs continuously. Ideally, each particle should be encircled by pairs of electrons orbiting the atom in layers, but as we grow older, the method becomes less reliable, and a growing proportion of fresh particles are created without a complete electron complement. The imbalanced atoms, called free radicals, scavenge surrounding cells in search of electrons suitable for balancing their layer of particles.

They generate a chain of possibly harmful chemical reactions when free radicals attack neighboring cells and eventually destabilize the cells they “borrow” electrons from. The existence of antioxidants or molecules that can “donate” an electron to a free radical without becoming themselves volatile can offset this impact. The method can effectively be useful if free radicals and antioxidants are present in equilibrium, but if free radical activity exceeds antioxidant activity, the outcome is oxidative stress that damages lipids, proteins, and DNA.

Over time, this harm can result in several debilitating and even lethal age-related illnesses, including diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, artery atherosclerosis, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

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Antioxidation

Huperzine A is a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to have a positive effect on oxidative balance and is regarded as a secure, efficient, and well-tolerated adjunct therapy for Alzheimer's disease.

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Improving Memory

Memory Enhancer Huperzine A can enhance memory by enhancing the level of acetylcholine in the brain, an important neurotransmitter vital to all elements of cognition.

While this advantage plays a significant role in the therapy of Alzheimer's disease, clinical studies suggest that huperzine A can also enhance memory and learning capacity in healthy youth.

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Protects Against Glutamate Toxicity

Glutamate is an active, exciting neurotransmitter responsible for sending signals between nerve cells. When present at normal levels, it plays a significant part in learning and memory, but when concentrations are too large, it can become poisonous and can result in cell damage and even death.

Chronic glutamate toxicity induced by over-sensitive receptors is a typical characteristic of neurodegenerative diseases, causing anxiety, restlessness, enhanced pain sensitivity, and reduced focusing or concentration capability.

This syndrome is particularly dangerous for older people, as age seems to increase the sensitivity of the receptor and make neurons more susceptible to glutamate toxicity. It has been shown that Huperzine A acts as an antagonist to glutamate receptors in the brain, preventing neurons from being overactivated by glutamate[8].

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Relieves Symptoms of Depression

A 2016 review of three clinical trials indicate that Huperzine A supplementation may be efficient in alleviating the symptoms of cognitive impairment of significant depressive disorders.

A total of 238 individuals aged 16 to 60 participated in studies that compared the efficacy of antidepressant therapy with Huperzine supplemented antidepressant treatment. While the addition of Huperzine A did not appear to treat depressive illnesses, the group that took both antidepressants and Huperzine A showed considerably higher improvement in both mental functioning and quality of life.

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Mechanism of Action

Huperzine A is a water-soluble alkaloid that readily crosses the blood-brain barrier and distributes quickly across all brain areas. It appears within 5–10 minutes in the blood in humans, and maximum concentration is reached in about an hour. Its half-life is roughly 10 hours and mostly eliminated within 24 hours through urine.

Huperzine A inhibits the formation in the brain of the G4 isoform of acetylcholinesterase, an enzyme that degrades and decreases the neurotransmitter acetylcholine concentrations. This intervention efficiently elevates levels of acetylcholine, which is profoundly connected with all aspects of cognition and shown to be a crucial role in new memory formation. High concentrations of acetylcholine also enhance brain signaling and increase cortical circuit response time, while at the same time reducing exciting feedback that may impede memory recovery.

Studies indicate that huperzine A has a potency equal to or even higher than prescription inhibitors of acetylcholinesterase. It has also been shown that huperzine A acts as a potent antioxidant, neutralizing and in some instances preventing or even reversing oxidative damage induced by free radicals in the brain.

This antioxidant capacity is regarded as essential to the importance of huperzine A in treating Alzheimer's disease and other neurological disorders as an adjunct therapy.

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Glutamate Toxicity

Huperzine A is also known to assist safeguard the brain from the toxicity of glutamate by blocking certain glutamate receptor kinds. This intervention prevents the overactivation of brain cells and helps to normalize glutamate concentrations, stopping the toxicity of acute glutamate typically associated with dementia and other neurological disorders connected with age.

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Dosage

How to Take Huperzine A?

There is no medically known guideline for Huperzine A dosage, but it has been securely administered as follows in clinical study studies: 50–200 mcg twice daily for the therapy of Alzheimer's illness, 100 mcg twice daily for improved memory in teenagers, and 30 mcg twice daily for the treatment of senile or pre-senile dementia. It can be taken with food or without.

Cycling can be helpful because of its long half-life of over 10 hours. A supplementation cycle of 2–4 weeks followed by a supplementation break is typical, although no ideal cycle duration was recognized.

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Stacking

While huperzine A is going to have an impact alone, accumulating it with the correct parts can produce even better outcomes.

Huperzine A may boost the quantity of acetylcholine in the brain in conjunction with a choline source such as Alpha GPC, further improving the impact of huperzine A.

Many people in their diets lack adequate choline, so supplementation can be useful.

Also, a racetam is an excellent option for Huperzine A stacking. It is believed that racetams activate glutamate receptors situated close receptors of acetylcholine. This activity sensitizes the receptors of acetylcholine to enable them more probably. Stimulating the receptors with a racetam and raising the quantity of Huperzine A acetylcholine enhances both drugs ‘ nootropic impact.

Also, Huperzine A is often coupled with Noopept, a potent nootropic synthetic.

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Memory Boosting Huperzine A Stack

Daily 20 mg Noopept 300 mg Alpha GPC As required/cycled 200 mcg Huperzine A 10 mg Vinpocetine

Side Effects

Huperzine A appears to be secure and well tolerated when taken in moderation, although there has been no study of long-term safety or safety during pregnancy. No toxicity incidence was recorded in Huperzine A research and tests. Side effects are rare and transitory when taken in quantities frequently used for supplementation and consist primarily of minor digestive upset.

Huperzine A can trigger nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea when taken in massive doses, slurred speech, twitching of muscles, drooling, incontinence, increased blood pressure, and slow heart rate.

Huperzine A may communicate with anticholinergic drugs such as atropine and scopolamine; it may also interact with antihistamines and antidepressant medicines. Individuals taking these medicines or having heart disease, hypertension, or taking anticholinergic medication for Alzheimer's or glaucoma should talk to their doctor about huperzine A before taking it.

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Conclusion

Huperzine A is an antioxidant, neuroprotectant, and nootropic natural supplement. Decades of studies suggest that memory and general co-operation can be enhanced.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Nootropics Information FAQ

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Summary: Bacopa monnieri is a powerful natural herb nootropic used for ages for its memory enhancing and anti-aging effects. It reduces anxiety and improves memory formation. It also expands learning capacity, decreases stress and even offers neuroprotection

Bacopa Video TTS

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Introduction

What is Bacopa Monnieri?

Bacopa monnieri (also known as Brahmi) is one of the most acknowledged and widely respected nootropics. A traditional Ayurvedic medicine that has a good reputation of being a potent cognitive enhancer, stress and anxiety reliever, and brain protector. It improves memory formation and recall speed, it stimulates learning, enhances thought clarity, and increase brain function. It acts as a brain protectant, and studies confirm it as a potential remedy for dementia and similar conditions. Furthermore, it reduces anxiety and provides a feeling of calm and tranquility, all while eliminating stress. Users report it an excellent relaxant that improves sleep quality, leading to rejuvenating and refreshing rest. Its nootropic effects are comparable to those of Piracetam, one of the most popular smart drugs in the world. The supplement is produced from the plant extracts.


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Benefits & Effects

What Are Bacopa Monnieri Benefits?

  1. Enhances Memory Formation
  2. Improves Learning and Cognition
  3. Reduces Anxiety and Stress
  4. Neuroprotective and Promotes Longevity (Anti-Aging)
  5. Reduces Symptoms of Depression

Supporting research:

Bacopa Monnieri Enhances Memory Formation

Enhancement in memory formation, as well as recall speed, is one of Bacopa's primary benefits. Studies show that it significantly enhances memory in older people, and ongoing research is investigating its potential as a treatment of memory issues relating to neurological disorders.  (J Altern Complement Med. 2010 Jul;16(7):753-9. doi: 10.1089/acm.2009.0342.)

Does Bacopa monnieri improve memory performance in older persons? Results of a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial. [1]

Improves Learning and Cognition

Bacopa Monnieri improves cognitive processing, making learning new things faster and easier. Studies show that it significantly enhances spatial learning, and it has also been confirmed to improve learning capacity in subjects under stress. Most users say that taking bacopa while studying makes it easier to understand and process new information. Reports carried out by clinical trials at India’s Central Drug Institute (CDRI) in Lucknow state that children taking bacopa show improved academic skills.[2]

Reduces Anxiety and Stress

Bacopa Monnieri is effective in reducing anxiety and stress. Clinical trials show that it significantly decreases anxiety and depression in volunteers, and animal studies compare bacopa to other plant extracts for the effective treatment of anxiety and similar disorders. [3] [4]

Neuroprotective and Promotes Longevity (Anti-Aging)

Bacopa is effective in reducing oxidative stress effects on the brain. It possesses potent antioxidant properties that protect the brain against environmental stressors associated in the cognitive decline relating to aging and associated with Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases.[5]

Reduces Symptoms of Depression

In a study of individuals over 65 years old receiving 300mg dosage, the results show a notable decrease in depression symptoms as well as anxiety. [6]

Bacopa Monnieri waterhyssop
Bacopa is a genus of 70–100 aquatic plants belonging to the family Plantaginaceae. It is commonly known as water hyssop.

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Mechanism of Action

How Does Bacopa Monnieri Work?

Bacopa's nootropic and anxiolytic effects are due to its capability of enhancing neural communication as well as modulating the release of several neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, and GABA.

Memory and Cognitive

Although it works over time by a variety of functions, bacopa improves memory and cognitive abilities by increasing synaptic communication. It promotes dendrites generation, thereby enhancing neural signaling. The improvement in neural impulse transmission is key to cognitive enhancement. The active ingredient in Bacopa monnieri extract (Bacoside-A) has been shown to stimulate nerve cells and cause synapses to be more receptive to nerve impulses. Studies show that Bacoside-A can prevent dopamine receptor dysfunction. Dopamine is a powerful neurotransmitter responsible for the brain’s reward and pleasure systems.

It also improves production of the enzyme Tryptophan Hydroxylase (TPH2); vital to many central nervous system actions such as the biosynthesis of serotonin. Furthermore, Bacopa stimulates activity in the hippocampus by increasing the activity of kinases, which are proteins that regulate cellular pathways. Because the hippocampus is involved in almost all cognitive activity, this is one of the main methods that allows bacopa to boost brain function.

Anxiety and Stress Relief

Bacopa monnieri produces its unique calming effects through several actions. One of the most crucial anxiety reduction effects is within its power to modulate the activity of certain neurotransmitters like those that regulate the uptake of serotonin, which is connecting to mood and anxiety.

Another active ingredient in bacopa is hersaponin, an alkaloid that provides a relaxing and soothing effect. Bacopa’s active ingredients also support the activity of GABA, another major neurotransmitter that acts to prevent anxiety by restricting the signaling of neuron over-excitement due to stress.


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Dosage

How To Take Bacopa Monnieri?

The minimum effective dose of Bacopa Monnieri is 300mg, taken with food or fat source. Some people, myself included, find it more effective at a higher dosage.

I take 300 to 600mg depending on the purpose, while people like Dave Asprey recommend a daily dose of 750mg.


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Side Effects

What Are Bacopa Monnieri Side Effects?

Bacopa monnieri side effects are uncommon. It is generally safe and effective, nevertheless, side effects can occur just as with any other nootropic.

Bacopa side effects range from minor (digestion issues and fatigue) to severe (thyroid disorders and urinary tract complications). Minor side effects usually disappear as the body adapts to the herb.

Rodent studies suggest bacopa may reduce sperm count, so it's wise to avoid it if you are planning to conceive. However, it didn't have any impact on sex drive nor testosterone. Moreover, sperm count returns to normal once supplementation stops. [7]

Severe side effects may include thyroid disorders, urinary tract problems, gastrointestinal blockage, adverse impact on ulcers and lung conditions, and bradycardia.

So start with the lowest effective dose, and observe your body's reaction to it. If adverse effects occur, stop use.


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Conclusion

Bacopa monnieri enhances cognitive abilities, reduces anxiety, and treats a variety of conditions. Although it works over time, the anxiety-relieving effects are immediate.

Its a precious addition to nootropic stacks. If you’re looking for a natural nootropic to boost your cognition, relieve anxiety, and protect your brain against oxidative stress, Bacopa would make an excellent choice.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Does the smart drug Bacopa monnieri work?

Yes it does and it is great. You can even grow it yourself on the balcony. It does bring more oxygen to the brain hence you feel stimulated. But can’t compare to synthetic nootropics.

If you want a good harmonizing (stress relief) with energizing stack. Take

1x Bacopa 300mg
1x Rhodiola rosea 300mg
1x Alpha-GPC 300mg

You can 1x 5-HTP 50mg (optional)

And throughout your day, if you drink coffee add 1x L-theanine 100-200mg in it.

How much Bacopa Monnieri should I take?

The minimum effective dose of Bacopa Monnieri is 300mg, taken with food or fat source. Some people, myself included, find it more effective at a higher dosage.

I take 300 to 600mg depending on the purpose, while people like Dave Asprey recommend a daily dose of 750mg.

Bacopa monnieri side effects are uncommon. It is generally safe and effective, nevertheless, side effects can occur just as with any other nootropic.

How long does it take Bacopa Monnieri to work?

The acute relaxation effects of Bacopa Monnieri start working as soon as it enters the bloodstream, which is typically 15 – 30 minutes after consumption.

The potential benefits of Bacopa Monnieri for improving memory and cognition will generally take effect within 4-6 weeks.

What are some uses of a Bacopa monnieri?

It can:

Enhance Memory Formation
Improve Learning and Cognition
Reduce Anxiety and Stress
Neuroprotective and Promote Longevity
Reduce Symptoms of Depression

Bacopa monnieri commonly called as ‘Brahmi’ is a perennial herb belonging to Plantaginaceae family of the flowering plants. In India it has been used traditionally in Ayurvedic medicine as memory enhancer. It is also used in treatment of anxiety, digestive disorders, asthma, bronchitis and heart problems.

Further & Related Readings

  1. Ashwagandha
  2. Ginkgo biloba
  3. Lion’s Mane Mushroom
  4. Rhodiola Rosea
  5. Ultimate Nootropics FAQ

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OverviewBenefitsDosageSide EffectsUser ExperienceFAQs

Summary: Ashwagandha is an excellent herb in Ayurveda medicine. It has become a popular nootropic due to its numerous health benefits. It is able to eliminate stress and anxiety. Research suggest that it helps in improving depression symptoms.

It also increases testosterone levels and significantly boosts sperm quality and fertility in men. Furthermore, it increases muscle mass, reduces body fat and increases strength.

Ashwagandha KSM-66 is the best form of Ashwagandha to supplement with for nootropic purposes.

Ashwagandha Video TTS

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Overview

What is Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha (also known as Withania somnifera) is an excellent herb in Ayurvedic medicine. It has become a popular nootropic due to its multiple health benefits.

It is able to eliminate stress and anxiety. And research suggests it also helps in improving depression symptoms.

It also increases testosterone levels and significantly boosts sperm quality and fertility in men. Furthermore, it increases muscle mass, reduces body fat and increases strength.

Current users are rediscovering the traditional herb as a valuable brain-booster that improves cognition by combating the impacts of stress and helping mood enhancement.

Recent research confirms it as a promising adaptogen helping prevent the consequences of recurring anxiety.

Users find that it's also a powerful anxiolytic; reducing stress and thereby enhances mood, decreases restlessness, insomnia, and sleep issues alike.

Withania somnifera, known commonly as ashwagandha, Indian ginseng, poison gooseberry, or winter cherry is a plant in the Solanaceae or nightshade family.

Wikipedia

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Ashwagandha is a herb that belongs to the night shade family of plants. The nightshade family of plants is a very interesting one and includes a lot of vegetables that make up large parts of many diets. Notable nightshade members are potatoes, tomatoes, chili peppers, goji berries and even tobacco! Another name for the nightshade family is Solanaceae. This is where Ashwagandha gets its Latin name from; Withania somnifera. Ashwagandha is a short perennial shrub, with a large root system that develops small deep orange fruits. The fruits resemble a small cherry and the leaves look frosty due to the many tiny hairs that are on them. This one of the reasons why Ashwagandha is also referred to as ‘winter cherry’. Traditionally, the Ashwagandha root is used, however new research has found high concentrations of key components in the leaves too. Various manufacturers have taken notice of this. One of the most notable being Natreon who produce a specialized extract of Ashwagandha called Sensoril. Sensoril is made from the leaves of Ashwagandha, giving it a unique chemical composition, which produces noticeable calming effects.

Sensoril Ashwagandha

Sensoril Ashwagandha is standardized to 10% glyco withanolides making it a potent and calming extract. Sensoril is made from a blend of Ashwagandha root and leave extracts, which is part of the reason why it is so potent. Sensoril is best taken during periods of high stress, or to help enhance sleep quality.

Ashwagandha KSM-66

Ashwagandha KSM-66 is extracted using milk. Traditionally, Ashwagandha root powder is mixed with milk to enhance absorption, and thus  Ixoreal Bioscience decided to use milk as its extraction solvent. The end result is an Ashwagandha root only extract that is very well balanced. Effect-wise, KSM-66 is very uplifting and can help support healthy stress levels.

Basic Ashwagandha

basic Ashwagandha is made from both Ashwagandha root and leaves, and is standardized to 4-5% withanolides. Effects wise, it appears to be a perfect blend of both KSM-66 and Sensoril. This Ashwagandha extract is uplifting and calming without being too calming or too energizing. Many people tend to prefer this Ashwagandha extract because it is so well balanced. In a blind test we did around the office, a vast majority of us preferred the regular Ashwagandha. However, if you are looking for specific effects, such as an extract that is very calming or an extract that is very uplifting, then this is not the Ashwagandha extract for you. – Nootropics Depot

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Ashwagandha Benefits

  1. Reduces Anxiety
  2. Improves Depression Symptoms
  3. Reduces Cortisol Levels
  4. Improves Cognitive Function
  5. Reduces Arthritis Symptoms
  6. Reverses Deficits Pathology in Alzheimer’s Disease
  7. Helps in Weight Loss and Management
  8. Improves Muscle Strength
  9. Treats Male Sexual Dysfunction
  10. Decreases Blood Pressure
  11. Combats Chemotherapy Fatigue
  12. Rejuvenation and Overall Health Improvement

Supporting research:

Reduces Anxiety and Improves Depression

Ashwagandha is best known for its ability to fight stress and to ease different types of anxieties (R) by eliminating stressors. It serves the body's overall health, and empowers the immune system. Thereby preventing the damage of excessive cortisol. It enhances mood, sense of well-being, and all-around cognition.

Clinical trials verify Ashwagandha possess robust anxiety relief capabilities. As well as reducing symptoms of generalized & social anxiety.  Particularly useful for those suffering chronic stress (R).

Another study further reveals its potential as a treatment for mild depression and panic disorder (R).

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Reduces Cortisol Levels

A 60-day regimen of Ashwagandha seems to efficiently decrease levels of serum cortisol in individuals with chronic stress. The finding is significant because high cortisol levels lead to health complications. Those range from immune system weakness to bone density. In many cases it further extends to weight gain, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

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Improves Cognitive Function

Studies on Ashwagandha enhancing memory and intelligence are few. However, at the same time, studies are confirming that anxiety is a significant cause of cognitive decline, impairing memory and attentiveness. Stress deregulates the body and brain natural processes. Normalizing those functions is, therefore, the critical element to restoring optimal cognition (R).

Individuals who frequently worry, stress out, or suffer from depression are the ones to benefit most from Ashwagandha.

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Reduces Arthritis Symptoms

A 2015 Indian study comprising more than 100 patients with rheumatoid arthritis showed that after using Ashwagandha for several weeks, more than half those participants had a notable reduction in arthritic symptoms, including pain, movement difficulties, sore and swollen joints. (R)

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Reverses Deficits Pathology in Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer's is the continuous impairing in memory and cognitive functions. After a 30-day course treatment using Ashwagandha, a complete reverse of the behavioral deficits is marked. This result shows how ashwagandha reverses the behavior of Alzheimer’s disease. It is achievable by the improvement of low-density lipoprotein protein in liver (R).

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Helps in Weight Loss and Weight Control

A study of 52 people diagnosed with chronic stress revealed that two daily doses of 300 mg of Ashwagandha resulted in a significant reduction in stress and food cravings, along with a decrease in serum cortisol and body mass. (R)

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Improves Muscle Strength

A series of studies on healthy men reveal that using 300 mg to 1250 mg of Ashwagandha on a daily basis show a measurable increase in muscle strength and intensity. In comparison to participants receiving a placebo, those on the Ashwagandha were able to increase their bench press and leg extension. Moreover, notable increases in muscle mass, testosterone, and muscle recovery. (R)

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Treats Male Sexual Dysfunction

A pilot study of 46 men suffering weak sperm production found a remarkable result when using 675 mg of Ashwagandha daily for two weeks. Another finding from that clinical trial is an impressive rise of 167% in sperm count, a 53% rise in semen mass, and a 57% rise in sperm fluidity. Animal studies similarly confirm Ashwagandha enhance sexual performance, improve testicular sperm production, and boost serum testosterone levels. [R]

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Decreases Blood Pressure

Studies indicate that Ashwagandha leads to a measurable decrease in blood pressure. In research involving 100 participants using Ashwagandha for about six months, an average 1.6% decrease in systolic pressure and 5.6% decline in diastolic pressure is witnessed, along with a minor reduction in heart rate.

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Combats Chemotherapy Fatigue

A 2013 trial involving more than 100 breast cancer individuals in all stages of the disease revealed that Ashwagandha efficiently reduced fatigue and weakness caused by chemotherapy. It also enhanced the quality of living. Even though it is not a treatment for cancer, it is a genuinely useful addition to the therapy for cancer patients. [R]

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Rejuvenation and Overall Health Improvement

A comprehensive analysis of studies, data, and research on Ashwagandha confirm that it provides a variety of therapeutic effects without toxicity. The review concludes that Ashwagandha possesses anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, anti-stress, antioxidant, immunomodulatory, and rejuvenating qualities. It can exert a positive impact on the central nervous system. [R]

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Mechanism of Action

The exact mechanisms by which Ashwagandha works remain non-entirely understood, but it appears that the active components are alkaloids and steroidal lactones that are collectively known as withanolides.

It is this combination of elements that are thought to have the potential for physiological action.

Effects on GABA

One of the acknowledged mechanisms of the withanolide components of Ashwagandha is the modulation of circulating levels of MAO and GABA in the cerebellum. GABA is an amino that acts as an inhibitory neurotransmitter, countering to some extent the effects of the stimulatory neurotransmitter glutamate and therefore helping as a natural tranquilizer. Animal studies show that Ashwagandha further indicates GABA-like attributes and improves calmness without producing drowsiness. It has also been revealed to possess anti-depressant effects (R). It appears to work exceptionally well in combination with  SSRIs for compulsion-related mental disorders. As well as with GABAergic anxiolytics, including alcohol.

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As an Antioxidant

The active withanolides in Ashwagandha are also thought to produce stable antioxidant properties, which makes them a helpful brain protectant. Antioxidants are chemical molecules that restrict conceivably damaging oxidizing causes from harming cells in the cerebellum and body. Cells remained influenced by oxidation can convert to free radicals, particles that harm circling cells. The free radicals triggers a series response of cellular damage that affects the aging process and a variety of complications.

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As an Anti-inflammatory

Ashwagandha seems to be a powerful anti-inflammation tool. Inflammation is a response of the body’s immune system; however, when the immune system is pushed to overactivity, inflammation converts into a health obstacle. Inflammation is correlating with a variety of disorders. From arthritis and joint discomfort to obesity, heart disease, fatigue, blood vessel damage, and even cancer. The anti-inflammatory attributes of Ashwagandha are at the core of many of its benefits. That includes shielding as well as enriching the immune system. Furthermore enhancing memory, improving the learning experience and reaction time, and preventing brain cell degeneration.

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On Dendrite Development

Ashwagandha promotes the development of dendrites, branching neuronal extensions that carry and generate electrochemical stimulation from cell to cell. Increasing dendrite development is a marker of connectivity improvement in the cerebellum.

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Dosage

How to Take Ashwagandha?

Typically, Ashwagandha dose ranges between 300 mg to 600 mg as the highest. Its not advisable to take more than 600mg when using on daily basis.

Take Ashwagandha with food and divide into two doses per day. If you prefer once a day, do so in the morning after breakfast.

It is not-advisable to use Ashwagandha in combination with JK inhibitors or MAO inhibitors.

There is not one universal Ashwagandha dosage due to the different levels of standardization. However, in general, an Ashwagandha powder extract dosage is going to be around 300-500 mg. This general Ashwagandha dosage falls in line with the various extracts we carry. For example, the Ashwagandha dosage for KSM-66 is 300 mg and the Ashwagandha dosage for our basic Ashwagandha powder extract is 500 mg. The Ashwagandha dosage for Sensoril is a little bit of an outlier, at 125 mg, but this is due to the fact that it is such a potent extract. – Nootropics Depot

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Side Effects

What Are Ashwagandha's Side Effects?

The most common side effects of Ashwagandha include:

  1. Indigestion
  2. Diarrhea
  3. Gastric discomfort
  4. Drowsiness

Ashwagandha is safe and digests well in reasonable doses. No severe side effects report using high doses over a short period. These side effects are brief; if they grow in severity or persist over a long time, discontinue using it and seek medical advice.

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Conclusion

Ashwagandha is both a potent adaptogen that supports the brain and body in handling and managing stress. It's a safe, well-tolerated anxiolytic proven to relief anxiety.

In addition to mood enhancement, it assists in regulating the sleep cycle, and improve memory. It further increases brain signaling by promoting neuronal vitality. It is efficient and with no record of severe side effects or toxicity; all while at an affordable price. This makes it a very worthwhile nootropic.


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User Experience

Reddit Review

“Ashwaganda seems to have reduced my social anxiety. In a v subtle way as well – I don’t find Ashwaganda mood altering, it’s rather there’s just an absence of anxiety. So subtle I only reflected on it & then realised I’d had reduced social anxiety. I’m using KSM 66 & using a high dose – 600mg/day.”

Nootropics Depot Review

“This was my first experience with Ashw. and it has been an excellent one. I take it before bedtime and it provides me with a better night of REM sleep, including dreams that are sometimes extremely involved. I love the stuff and have recommended it to my coworkers who have sleep difficulties.”

I've tried all three versions of shwagandha that ND sells, and this is my favorite. It just also happens to be the cheapest! Sensoril is great for bed, but makes me sleepy during the day. KSM66 works well during the day, but isn't as calming as I would like. This version provides that nice balance between them.


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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits and side effects of Ashwagandha?

Benefits:
1. Reduces Anxiety and Improves Depression Symptoms
2. Reduces Cortisol Levels
3. Improves Cognitive Function
4. Reduces Arthritis Symptoms
5. Reverses Deficits Pathology in Alzheimer’s Disease
6. Helps in Weight Loss and Weight Management
7. Improves Muscle Strength
8. Treats Male Sexual Dysfunction
9. Decreases Blood Pressure
10. Combats Chemotherapy Fatigue
11. Rejuvenation and Overall Health Improvement

Side effects of Ashwagandha (although not necessarily):

1. Indigestion
2. Diarrhea
3. Gastric discomfort
4. Drowsiness

Does Ashwagandha cause weight gain?

Ashwagandha leaf extract helps to manage your weight by lowering the level of stress hormones called Cortisol. Elevated cortisol levels increase hunger and craving for sweets, fried food, and soft drinks. These cravings result in increased calorie consumption leading to weight gain. Ashwagandha reduces the level of cortisol and decreases stress-induced cravings. This helps in better weight management. Tip: Take Ashwagandha leaf extract in churna form. Take 1-2gm churna twice a day with lukewarm water after taking a light meal.

Can Ashwagandha be consumed for months regularly?

It can be consumed regularly for months because of its health benefits. It helps gaining weight to o if consumed with milk at night..but as too much of anything can also be dangerous so one should consume in restricted quantity.

Further Related Readings

  1. Melatonin, Agmatine Sulfate
  2. Phenibut, Fasoracetam, Bacopa Monnieri, Lion's Mane Mushroom
  3. The Ultimate Nootropics FAQ Page

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What is Melatonin? Benefits & EffectsMechanism of ActionDosageSide EffectsUser Experiences

Summary: Melatonin plays several roles in the body, including helping to regulate blood pressure, boost immune function, antioxidative, and manages cortisol levels, in addition to regulating the body’s circadian rhythm. That’s why melatonin is often referred to as the body’s sleep hormone.

Melatonin Video TTS

Overview

What is Melatonin?

Melatonin is a multitasking hormone produced by the brain’s pinecone-shaped pineal gland. [R]

Melatonin plays several roles in the body, including helping to regulate blood pressure, boost immune function, and manage cortisol levels. [R] [R]

But melatonin is probably best known for its soporific powers. Chief among its responsibilities is regulating the body’s circadian rhythm so it knows when to rest and when to wake up. That’s why melatonin is often referred to as the body’s sleep hormone.

Benefits and Effects

What Are the Melatonin Benefits?

  1. Regulates Circadian Rhythm and Enhances Sleep Quality
  2. Alleviates Anxiety and Depression Symptoms
  3. A Potent Antioxidant
  4. Supports BDNF
  5. Strengthens the Blood-Brain Barrier
  6. Neuroprotective
  7. Replaces Benzos for Sleep

Supporting Research:

Regulates Circadian Rhythm and Enhances Sleep Quality

Melatonin increases the quality of sleep. The Circadian Rhythm influences the body’s sleeping habits. Think of it as a built-in clock that controls our bodies processes 24 hours a day. Scientists have observed that Melatonin normalizes the Circadian rhythm which can sometimes become distorted due to modern lifestyle. [R]

Alleviates Anxiety and Depression Symptoms

Conditions like depression and anxiety usually worsen by a disturbed, intermittent or a lack of a sleeping pattern. Having these disturbances regulated can alleviate the symptoms of these conditions, not mainly offering a cure but by far offering an improvement in the standard of life. [R]

Melatonin is a Potent Antioxidant

Antioxidant enzymes roles within our bodies are to help clean the cells in our bodies and filter our bloodstream from harmful cells. Melatonin increases the rate at which our body produces these enzymes that would be naturally. These molecules in question can also bond to what is called Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) & Reactive Nitrogen Species (NOS) which can decrease the level of damage each of these can cause respectively.

The benefits directly from this are that Melatonin prevents any harm coming to your organ systems or tissues. These advantages combined make Melatonin a very useful protectorate within your body internally. These antioxidants can also have benefits for the most critical organ in our body, our brain. [R]

Melatonin Supports BDNF

Nerve cells are also protected by the increase of these enzymes produced by Melatonin, having a positive onward affect towards the spinal cord including white matter and optic nerves. Its regeneration is down to something called the ‘Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor’ (BDNF); in simple terms, this is a protein responsible for the nerves regeneration and well-being within our brains. [R]

Strengthens the Blood-Brain Barrier

Melatonin strengthens the ever significant barrier between the brain and our blood. If the strength of this barrier were to deteriorate and for example leak, this can lead to cognitive dysfunction (also known as brain fog) and could potentially result in future to conditions such as Alzheimer’s. [R]

Melatonin is Neuroprotectant

In addition to defending against conditions such as Alzheimer’s development, Melatonin can also aid as a coping mechanism for users who have Parkinson’s. Melatonin in tests was shown to prohibit cell death and brain damage, sometimes as a cause of a leaky blood-brain barrier.

Referring back to the regulation of sleep, this can also help people who, however, there is currently no proof it helps with any of the other side-effects of the condition. [R]

Melatonin Replaces Benzos for Sleep

Its widely known that benzos usually depress the natural levels of melatonin within our bodies. Our recommendation is if you are using one of these drugs for sleep, it would be wise to start using melatonin instead. Moreover, start weaning yourself off the benzos. [R]

Mechanism of Action

How Does Melatonin Work?

Melatonin works together with your body’s circadian rhythm. In simple terms, the circadian rhythm is your body’s internal clock. It lets you know when it’s time to sleep, wake and eat. Melatonin also helps regulate your body temperature, blood pressure and hormone levels. [R]

Melatonin levels start to rise in your body when it is dark outside, signaling to your body that it is time to sleep. [R]

It also binds to receptors in the body and can help you relax. For instance, melatonin binds to receptors in the brain to help reduce nerve activity. In the eyes, it can help reduce dopamine levels, a hormone that enables you to stay awake. [R] [R]

Melatonin is controlled by light and darkness. When we’re awake and the sun’s out, we don’t produce any melatonin. But at night, the onset of darkness signals to our pineal gland to release melatonin into the bloodstream. Your melatonin levels begin to increase about two hours before you go to bed, typically around 9 p.m., and peak about five hours later. As melatonin levels rise throughout our body — it’s found in a variety of our organs, including our eyes, bones, ovaries/testes and gut — our body knows it’s time to drift off to Slumber Town. [R]

“The melatonin receptors are named MT1 and MT2, and are G-protein coupled receptors (GPRCs) coupled to Gi proteins (a heterotrimer of α, β, and γ that dissociates into α and βγ when the receptor is activated). These two receptors are quite different from each other, as they structure pharmacological characteristics and chromosomal location, yet both have high affinity for melatonin. A third ‘receptor' exists, known as MT3, but it is not a GPRC like MT1/2. Due to the cytoplasmic protein quinone reductase II having the same melatonin binding properties as ‘MT3', and deletion of quinone reductase II causing ‘MT3' to disappear, MT3 may just be quinone reductase II.” – Examine.com

Dosage

How To Take Melatonin?

You’ll see melatonin recommended in a range of doses, starting at around 0.5 milligrams up to 10 milligrams for people with sleep disorders, with the most common dosage being around 3 milligrams.

But even this is probably way more than you need.

You’re better off basing your melatonin intake on increments that mirror how much melatonin our bodies produce at night. According to clinical studies, the optimal dose is 0.3 milligrams. [R]

Melatonin Overdose

Even though the overwhelming verdict is that melatonin is safe, you can have too much of a good thing. Overdosing on melatonin has not been shown to be fatal, but it can produce the aforementioned side effects, like dizziness and grogginess. In one known case, after taking 24 milligrams of melatonin, a man became lethargic and disoriented, but returned to normal and did not continue to have issues once he lowered his dosage.

In addition, large doses could potentially cause amenorrhea (skipped periods) in women, due to it suppressing gonadotropin-releasing hormones, but if you can easily remedy this side effect by simply stopping your supplements. [R]

Side Effects

Are There Side Effects to Melatonin?

Overall, the side effects of melatonin are pretty harmless. Unlike other sleep aids, like benzodiazepines and z-drugs (think: Ambien and Lunesta), it does not cause dependence or withdrawal symptoms. [R]

The most commonly reported side effect is daytime drowsiness. Other side effects include nausea, headache, and dizziness. [R]

If course, if you’re taking other medications, you should check with your physician before popping a melatonin. It has been known to interact with some antidepressants, blood pressure medications, sedatives, antibiotics, and antihistamines. [R]

Up to 240 mg and 500 mg oral and intravenous injections of melatonin taken acutely is not associated with any toxicological effects. [R]

A handful of large scale, 6-12 month studies, suggest continued administration of melatonin does not result in tolerance. – Examine.com

Conclusion

There's great amount of evidence suggesting as well as proving the benefits of supplementing with melatonin whether for sleep purposes or overall general health. Best practices when supplementing with melatonin for long-term benefits is to take a microdose of 300 mcg on daily basis before bedtime.

This microdose will serve a host of benefits most noteworthy of which is antioxidation and supporting mitochondria and antioxidation.

Many Nootropic focused companies are now aware of this and its benefits and so finally starting to see products in microdoses such as Nootropic Depot's, which I have personally been using for a long time. Prior to which, I tried a couple of different products at the doses of 3 mg and it made me very heavy and groggy for a long time.

User Experience

Reddit Review

A reddit user documented his experience after 2 years of using microdose of melatonin as recommended alongside magnesium, and his realization of how beneficial it had been working for him after he stopped.

I took Magnesium Citrate (200-400mg) and Melatonin (0.3mg) both every night for over 2 years and thought they didn't make much difference in my sleep. It turned out to be very wrong – I now remember how poor my sleep was 3 years ago, before starting to take them. I wake up from the slightest noise and can't go back to sleep for many hours afterwards – even if I wake up after only 4 hours, I would need to wait 3 hours before I fall asleep again, without Magnesium and Melatonin. This has been this way since I was a child. I find Melatonin is better for actually falling asleep initially, while Magnesium is better for maintaining quality sleep afterwards.

Second Reddit User Experience

I have learned the same lesson with melatonin in that less is more. I took 30 mg one evening and had very unsettling and vivid dreams. Not restful at all. I find 5 mg timed release works well. If you are interested in another natural sleep / relaxation aid, I have had success with Red Bali Kratom.

Further and Related Readings

From the blog: Melatonin for Sleep: How Effective Is It?

Wouldn’t it be great if you could pop a pill for better sleep? A pill that’s non-habit-forming, doesn’t require a prescription, and doesn’t make you do strange things like eat in your sleep? Well, maybe you can. While more satisfying zzz’s in pill form sounds too good to be true, there’s promising evidence that melatonin, the naturally occurring hormone in our bodies, can be harnessed as a supplement for better sleep.

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Shilajit, also called mineral pitch, is the result of a long process of breaking down plant matter and minerals. It is a sticky, black, tar-like substance that comes from rocks in high mountain ranges.

Shilajeet is a thick, sticky tar-like substance with a colour ranging from white to dark brown (the latter is more common), found predominantly in Himalaya, Karakuram, Tibet mountains, Caucasus mountains, Altai Mountains, and mountains of Gilgit Baltistan.

It is used in Ayurveda and Unani, the traditional Indian system of medicine. It has been reported to contain at least 85 minerals in ionic form, as well as triterpenes, humic acids and fulvic acid.

Overview

What is Shilajit?

Known for thousands of years as a rejuvenator of the whole body, shilajit has garnered a fairly significant body of research for its impact on various body systems.

Shilajit is a sticky substance found primarily in the rocks of the Himalayas. It develops over centuries from the slow decomposition of plants.

Shilajit is commonly used in ayurvedic medicine. It’s an effective and safe supplement that can have a positive effect on your overall health and well-being. [R]

Shilajit was traditionally sourced in India and Tibet, though it is now found in many other countries.

Shilajit has been used in traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine for centuries, and the compounds in it appear to be beneficial for many conditions. In this article, learn about the benefits and possible side effects of this naturally-occurring substance.

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Benefits and Effects

Prevents and Slows Alzheimer’s Progression

The primary component of shilajit is an antioxidant known as fulvic acid. This powerful antioxidant contributes to cognitive health by preventing the accumulation of tau protein. Tau proteins are an important part of your nervous system, but a buildup can trigger brain cell damage.

Researchers think that the fulvic acid in shilajit may stop the abnormal buildup of tau protein and reduce inflammation, potentially improving Alzheimer’s symptoms. However, more research and clinical trials are needed.

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Enhances Cognitive Function

The numerous compounds found in shilajit may be helpful for brain function, and may even aid Alzheimer's therapy.

A study in the International Journal of Alzheimer's Disease noted that shilajit is traditionally used for longevity and to slow aging. The compounds in it may help control cognitive disorders, such as Alzheimer's.

Researchers expect shilajit to have an impact in preventing cognitive disorders, but more research is needed to explore these possibilities.

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Where Do Shilajit's Benefits Come From?

Shilajit is a sticky, tar-like substance often appearing dark brown in color, which is highly regarded as a rejuvenating substance in Ayurveda. It is found primarily at high altitudes in the Himalayan and Tibetan mountain ranges, but has also been found in Russian and Chilean mountain ranges (Carrasco-Gallardo et al., 2012). During warm summer months, the intense heat of the sun causes shilajit to become soft, which makes it appear as if it is oozing out of rocks. However, the true origin of shilajit remains somewhat of a mystery even after decades of research. The primary theory is that shilajit is the humification product of various latex producing plants, mosses, and liverworts. This theory would explain why shilajit has such a complex chemical makeup that is similar to other humic substances such as peat. Shilajit contains over 85 individual components consisting of a mixture of minerals, humic acids, and amino acids that can potentially provide benefits to your physical and cognitive function. In order to simplify things a bit, we will only talk about the main components of shilajit which appear to have the highest biological activity. These are dibenzo-α-pyrone Chromaproteins (DBPs) and fulvic acids (FA) with DBP cores.

Fulvic acid (FA) is one of the main components of shilajit. It is a humic acid created as a result of millions of microbes breaking down decaying plant matter during a process called humification. Fulvic acid is a very complex molecule and contains a variety of functional groups, including carboxylic groups; this appears to allow Fulvic Acid to easily complex with cationic substances (Schepetkin et al., 2009). Fulvic Acid's complexing ability potentially explains quite a lot of shilajit's benefits. To begin with, fulvic acid demonstrates excellent bioavailability and blood brain barrier (BBB) permeation; this allows it to act as a very effective delivery mechanism for the compounds it complexes with (Mirza et al., 2011). In the case of shilajit derived fulvic acid, it appears to complex readily with DBPs, thus it acts as a delivery mechanism for them to various parts of the body including the brain. Furthermore, the carboxylic groups in Fulvic Acid appear to strongly support the complement immune system. This system is composed of various precursor zymogens, which circulate throughout our body and are completely inactive. However our innate and adaptive immune system can activate these precursor zymogens.

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Eastern medication uses a wide variety of crops and mushrooms. Most frequently, you'd hear of Lion's Mane Mushroom, and Reishi Mushroom.

It has a range of prospective health advantages, including enhancing the immune system and potential cancer-prevention poperties.

Overview

What is Reishi Mushroom?

Reishi mushroom, also known as Ganoderma lucidum and lingzhi, is a mushroom that grows in Asia. It has been a staple in Eastern medicine for many years.

There are several molecules within the fungus that can be accountable for its health impacts, including triterpenoids, polysaccharides, and peptidoglycans.

While the plants themselves can be consumed straight, the use of powder extract and parts containing these particular molecules is more common. Research on these distinct types is quite frequent.

Below are six scientific researchs on reishi mushroom advantages. Especially the first three come from a large amount of research.

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Benefits and Effects

What Are the Benefits of Reishi Mishrooom?

  1. Improves Immune System
  2. Fighting Fatigue and Depression
  3. Heart Health
  4. Blood Sugar Control
  5. Antioxidation
  6. Other Potential Benefits

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One of the reishi mushroom's most significant impacts is that it can increase your immune system. While some information is still unsure, test-tube trials have demonstrated that reishi can influence the genes in white blood cells that are critical components of your immune function. Moreover, trials have discovered that some types of reishi in white blood cells can actually change infection processes.

Research in cancer patients showed that some of the fungus molecules can boost the production of a sort of white blood cell called natural killer cells. Natural killer proteins combat the body's diseases and cancer.

Another research discovered that reishi in those with the colorectal disease may boost the amount of other red blood neurons (lymphocytes). Although most of the reishi mushroom's immune system advantages are seen in those who are sick, there is some proof that it can also assist right individuals.

In one research, the lymphocyte function enhanced in individuals subjected to stressful circumstances. However, after 4 weeks of getting reishi extract, another study in healthy adolescents shows no enhancement in immune function or swelling. Overall, it is evident that reishi imacts white blood cells and immune function.

There is a need for more study to determine the magnitude of the provs vs the cons.

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Improves Immune System

Reishi mushroom can improve immune function through its impacts on white blood cells that assist battle cancer and infection. This can happen mainly in sick people, as blended outcomes have been seen in good people. Because of its prospective cancer-fighting characteristics, many individuals eat this fungus.

In reality, one research of more than 4,000 victims of breast cancer discovered that about 59% eaten reishi fungus. Moreover, several test-tube trials have shown that it can cause cancer organisms to die. However, the findings of this research do not necessarily correspond to animal or human efficacy.

Some study has studied whether reishi might benefit prostate cancer because of its impacts on the hormone testosterone. While one instance research shows that molecules discoveries in this fungus could reverse human liver disease, the results are not supporting a more prominent follow-up.

Reishi fungus is also in exploration for its function in the prevention or control of colorectal disease.

Some study has shown that the amount and volume of lesions in the large intestine declined by one year of reishi therapy. Moreover, a thorough study of various research stated that cancer patients may benefit from the fungus.

These advantages included enhancing the production of red blood cells in the body that assist combat cancer and improving the quality of life in people with cancer.

Researchers, however, say that reishi administration should be in conjunction with traditional therapy instead of being a replacement. Moreover, many of the reishi plant and cancer research have not been of high quality.

This requires much more studies.

While reishi fungus seems to retain some commitment to prevent or treat cancer, more data is essential before it becomes a component of conventional therapy. In some instances, however, it may be suitable to use other than ordinary care.

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Fighting Fatigue and Depression

Moreover, Reishi Mushroom has other prospective benefits. These include a reduction in exhaustion and anxiety and an improvement in the quality of life.

One research examined its impacts in 132 individuals with neurasthenia, a poorly characterized disease connected with aches, pains, dizziness, headaches, and irritability.

Scientists are discovering that after 8 weeks of getting the supplements, fatigue in fact decreases, and senses of well-being are notably increasing.

Another research discovered decreased pain and enhanced quality of life after 4 weeks of getting reishi dust in a community of 48 victims of breast disease. Moreover, the study's individuals also encountered less stress and depression.

While reishi fungus may hold promise for individuals with certain diseases or diseases, it is unclear whether it would help those who are otherwise healthy.

Some preliminary trials have shown that reishi fungus is capable of reducing fear and depression and improving the quality of life in those with certain medical circumstances.

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Other Potential Benefits

Reishi fungus is undergoing research for its future to enhance other health elements concerning its impacts on the immune mechanism and quality of life.

Heart Health

A 12-week research of 26 individuals indicates that reishi fungus could boost “healthy” HDL cholesterol and reduce triglycerides. However, there was no enhancement in these risk variables for heart illness in other functional adult studies

Also, after examining five separate trials comprising around 400 individuals, a significant assessment showed no positive impacts on heart health. Researchers discovered no improvement in cholesterol by consuming reishi fungus for up to 16 weeks. More study on reishi fungi and heart health is undergoing.

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Blood Sugar Control

Several trials shows that animal blood sugar can go in reduction by molecules found in reishi fungus. Similar results are showing in preliminary human studies. However, this advantage has not been inclusive in many studies.

Researchers found no benefits for fasting blood sugar after assessing hundreds of respondents.

Mixed outcomes were observed after dinners for blood sugar. Reishi fungus decreased blood sugar in some instances, but in other cases, it was worse than placebo. Here, too, more study is required.

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Antioxidation

Antioxidants are molecules that can assist avoid cell harm. Due to this significant feature, there is considerable interest in ingredients and supplements that can improve the body's antioxidant status.

Many argue that for this purpose, reishi fungus is efficient. However, after consuming the plant for 4 to 12 weeks, several trials discovered no shift in the concentrations of two vital antioxidant proteins in the body.

A tiny quantity of studies has shown that healthy cholesterol or blood sugar can be improved by reishi fungus. However, most research shows that cholesterol, blood sugar, or antioxidants are not enhanced in the body.

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OverviewBenefits and EffectsMechanism of ActionDosageSide EffectsFAQ

Summary: Ginkgo biloba is the most commonly ingested herb for brain health. Research proves that its neuroprotective, improves memory, boosts cognitive function, to name a few of its diverse benefits.


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Overview

What is Ginkgo Biloba?

Ginkgo biloba derives from the family of medicinal plant  Ginkgoaceae – which is highly loved, appreciated, and respected traditional Chinese medicine. It is the last and only ‘ginkgoaceae’ plant still existing today. The rest of the family is said to have gone extinct, after nearly 190 million years of existence. [R]

Today, Ginkgo biloba (also known as Tebonin, Tanakan, Rökan, Maidenhair, and gingko) is the most widely used herb for cognitive function and brain health.

Moreover, it is one of the top 10 best selling dietary supplements in the whole world. [R]

Although more commonly used by older people, the wide variety of benefits it possesses make it appeal to people of all ages.

Ginkgo biloba, commonly known as ginkgo or gingko, also known as the maidenhair tree, is the only living species in the division Ginkgophyta, all others being extinct. It is found in fossils dating back 270 million years. Native to China, the tree is widely cultivated, and was cultivated early in human history. – Wikipedia


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Benefits and Effects

What are the Benefits of Ginkgo Biloba?

  1. Improves Memory (Formation, Consolidation, and Recall)
  2. Relieves Stress and Anxiety
  3. Relieves Symptoms of Depression
  4. Supports Mitochondrial Health and Longevity
  5. Provides Neuroprotection
  6. Promotes Nerve Repair and Neurogenesis
  7. Promotes Better Sleep Quality
  8. Treats Sexual and Erectile Dysfunction

Supporting Research:

Improves Memory (Formation, Consolidation, and Recall)

In a placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized clinical trial of an extract of Ginkgo biloba for dementia running over the course of 52 weeks and involving 309 patients, it was concluded that it is “capable of stabilizing improving the cognitive performance and the social functioning of demented patients for 6 months to 1 year.” [R]

Relieves Stress and Anxiety

In another randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial using ginkgo extract in patients with generalized anxiety disorder and ‘adjustment disorder with anxious mood’.

In this study, the results were “significantly superior to placebo on all secondary outcome measures. It was safe and well tolerated and may thus be of particular value in elderly patients with anxiety related to cognitive decline” [R]

Relieves Symptoms of Depression

Due to its ability of preserving serotonin and dopamine, as well as having strong protective and antioxidant effects, those 3 together allow ginkgo to provide an antidepressant effect. [R]

Supports Mitochondrial Health and Longevity

Ginkgo biloba extract (EGb 761) prevents mitochondrial aging by protecting it against oxidative stress. The study suggests that on a rodents experiment, the extract ‘partially’ prevented changes due to oxidative damage [R] and that sounded good enough for me to reach out to my supplements cabinet for a 120mg dose.

Provides Neuroprotection

In a different rodent study where they were fed ginkgo biloba, a reduction in platelet activating factor (PAF) activity was noted. That reduction seems to be one of the leading mechanisms allowing ginkgo to have neuroprotective effects. [R]

Promotes Nerve Repair and Neurogenesis

Ginkgo (bilobalide) appears to promote neuronal proliferation with higher potency than Rolipram. Moreover, this can apply to all neurons of the central nervous system as well as the peripheral nervous system (PNS). In addition to the cognitive function effect, this also underlie its nerve repair benefits. [R]

Promotes Better Sleep Quality

240mg Egb-761 over four weeks to depressed persons currently on therapy (trimipramine) was able to improve sleep efficiency by reducing the frequency of waking and increasing non-REM sleep, although REM sleep was unaffected. [R]

Treats Sexual and Erectile Dysfunction

Some sources indicate that ginkgo may treat sexual dysfunction, such as erectile dysfunction or low libido.

Ginkgo has the ability to improve blood levels of nitric oxide, which improves circulation via the dilation of blood vessels. [R]

As a result, ginkgo may also be useful for treating various symptoms of sexual dysfunction by improving blood flow to those areas of the body.

Some research has investigated using ginkgo to treat sexual dysfunction caused by the use of antidepressant drugs (SSRIs). Results indicated that ginkgo wasn’t any more effective than a placebo in these cases.

Additionally, there may be an interaction between ginkgo and SSRI medications, which could render them less effective.

One study evaluated the use of ginkgo to increase sexual desire and contentment in women who were concurrently undergoing sexual psychotherapy [R]

The combination of ginkgo and therapy were effective over a longer term compared to a placebo, but supplementing with ginkgo alone was not.
The rationale for using ginkgo to treat sexual dysfunction makes sense, but research does not support it at this time.


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Mechanism of Action

How Does Ginkgo Biloba Work?

Absorption of oral supplementation allows for a 79% to 88% depending on the variant whether it is ginkgolide A, ginkgolide B, or bilabolide [R] which if you try to say out loud would sound in between funny and awkward.

Oral ingestion of ginkgo biloba is thought to increase dopamine concentration levels in the prefrontal cortex. Which is related to the flavonoids rather than terpenoids assuming anyone would care about that comparison. [R] – However, the fact that its neurotrophic and neuroprotective effects may actually be extending its effects to the dopaminergic neurons is sort of interesting. “The key benefits of Ginkgo originate in one’s circulatory system. The most popular and effective nootropics and smart drugs, typically have the ability to enhance circulation. Gingko supports the release of thromboxane A2 and prostacyclin. These help protect vessel walls, while blocking platelet formation. The end result is improved circulation in all major tissues and organs in the body.

Having excellent brain circulation is critical, because if circulation is poor, it can lead to severe imbalances. In more mild cases, individuals can experience headaches. In more severe cases, individuals could have a stroke. When you have good brain flow, these instances can be prevented.

This increased blood flow helps maintain healthy neural tissues. When neuron and synapse growth are supported, memory formation is enhanced. Gingko works by acting as an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. This aids in the protection of acetylcholine levels. When all these effects are combined, they lead to greater neuroplasticity. This is the brain’s ability to adapt over time, which is key to mental power long-term.

While focusing on neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, Gingko acts as a Monoamine Oxidase inhibitor. Since this chemical generally decreases the amount of these neurotransmitters, Gingko helps to boost mental energy, clarity, and focus (by elevating levels of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine).”


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Dosage

How to Take Ginkgo Biloba?

For its nootropic effect, the recommended dose is 120 to 240 mg, and to be taken 2 hours before the task or performance.

For neuroprotection and preventing cognitive degeneration, the recommended dose is 40 to 120mg, taken three times a day after food.

Ginkgo comes in various forms and seems to be most effective when taken in several doses throughout the day that total 120–240 mg.

Ginkgo Biloba Stack

Ginkgo biloba seems to synergize very well with another popular herb and one of my favorite nootropics, Panax Ginseng. The exact synergism isn’t really known or understood, but it is suggested that its synergy is especially effective and beneficial for memory formation and enhancement.

It also goes well with Phosphatidylserine. There are claims of Phosphatidylserine enhancing the efficacy of ginkgo biloba but the study on the subject lacked solid evidence therefore is irrelevant.

If you would like to boost the cognitive effects of Ginkgo, you should stack is with a choline-enhancing supplements. These are known as cholinergics, and include options such as Alpha GPC and Citicoline. By stacking with a choline supplement, you can amplify positive effects.


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Side Effects

What Are Ginkgo Biloba Side Effects?

For most adults, the risk associated with taking ginkgo is relatively low, but there are cases in which ginkgo could cause serious harm. If you are allergic to plants that contain alkylphenols or taking certain medications, you should not take ginkgo. Possible side effects include:

  1. Nausea
  2. Diarrhea
  3. Dizziness
  4. Headaches
  5. Stomach pain

Those taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) as antidepressants should not take ginkgo as it inhibits monoamine oxidase, reducing the effectiveness of the medications.Combining the two may also increase the risk of a potentially fatal condition known as serotonin syndrome. Examples of SSRIs are Prozac, or fluoxetine, and sertraline, also known as Zoloft.


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Conclusion

Ginkgo biloba has strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capacities and an ability to improve circulation.

Together, these characteristics have the potential to affect numerous body systems and diseases, although the science behind it still has some catching up to do.

While ginkgo has been used for centuries, it’s not completely understood how it works. Much of the available research is inconsistent or inconclusive, and it’s important to keep that in mind.

As with any herbal supplement, there are risks involved. Ginkgo could lead to serious health complications if you are allergic or taking certain medications.If you’re thinking of including ginkgo in your regimen, be sure to consult your doctor first.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Does Ginkgo biloba work?

Ginkgo extract has proven benefits to elderly people. This ancient herb acts to enhance oxygen utilization and thus improves memory, concentration, and other mental faculties also to significantly improve long-distance vision and may reverse damage to the retina of the eye. Studies have also confirmed its value in the treatment of depression in elderly people. The ginkgo extract may provide relief for those who suffer from headaches, sinusitis, and vertigo. It may also help relieve chronic ringing in the ears known as tinnitus.

Healing properties:
Germany and France have run literally hundreds of studies on the leaf extract. These studies along with similar studies in America, have shown significant results. The extract of ginkgo biloba has been studied for its effectiveness in the treatment of acrocyanosis, Alzheimer's disease, cerebral atherosclerosis, cerebral insufficiencies, cochlear deafness, dementia, depression, menopause, peripheral and cerebral circulatory stimulation, peripheral vascular disease, Raynaud's syndrome, retinopathy, senility, short-term memory loss, tinnitus, vascular diseases, and vertigo. It is said to be effective in improving the blood flow to the hands and the feet as well as stimulating the brain and reducing short-term memory loss. It increases blood flow to the brain, the uptake of glucose by brain cells, and has been said to improve the transmission of nerve signals.

Depression:
Patients suffering from varying degrees of vascular insufficiency also noted an improvement in mood while taking ginkgo biloba extract. This has prompted a surge of interest in its use as a treatment for depression, especially in the elderly. Those under the age of fifty may also benefit from ginkgo biloba's antidepressant effects. So far though, the greatest level of improvement has been noted with older patients.

Alzheimer's & mental function:
As more than 300 studies demonstrate, ginkgo facilitates better blood flow through out the body, most notably the brain, where it both protects and promotes memory and mental function, even for people with Alzheimer's disease.

Antioxidant Properties:
As an antioxidant, ginkgo biloba combats free radicals and repairs molecular damage. A great deal of research suggests that antioxidants such as GBE may play important roles in preventing or delaying heart disease, cancer and other ills. Antioxidants may even halt the damage to cells, thereby slowing the effects of aging.

Impotency:
Another use for ginkgo biloba is in the treatment of impotency. The main cause of male impotence is poor circulation and impaired blood flow through the penis, which is often the result of atherosclerosis. Since ginkgo biloba increases blood flow, it's been found to help up to fifty percent of patients after six months of use.

Raynaud's disease:
Raynaud's disease is believed to be caused by blood vessels that over react to the cold and spasm, reducing blood flow and there by depriving extremities of oxygen. Ginkgo biloba may help this condition by widening the small blood vessels, which would keep these spasms from completely blocking the blood flow.

Parkinson's Disease:
Ginkgo biloba may help symptoms by increasing the brain's blood flow and thereby allowing more of the depleted dopamine to be circulated to the areas that need it most.

Other Conditions:
Other uses for which ginkgo biloba extract is often recommended include depression, diabetes related nerve damage and poor circulation, allergies, vertigo, short-term memory loss, headache, atherosclerosis, tinnitus, cochlear deafness, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and PMS.

Strokes:
Scientists continue to study the prevention and treatment benefits, ginkgo biloba may help stop strokes from occurring. It's also believed that the herb inhibits free-radical damage of brain cells after a stroke.

Why is Ginkgo biloba called a living fossil?

You have to understand that Ginkgo biloba is the world's oldest living plant. It is called a living fossil because it has no close living relatives and also appears to be the only plant species dating back 270 million years (Permian) in the fossil record. However, it is also one of a rare few (6%) dioecious flowering plants, meaning it has distinct male and female organisms. Not only has this exceptionally hardy species survived three mass extinction events over the past quarter of a billion years, but it was found to be the only surviving plant species near the epicenter of the August 6th, 1945 Hiroshima atomic bomb blast.

Does Ginkgo biloba actually enhance brain functions?

Yes. Scientific research support that it improves memory and cognitive thinking. But remember, just because it’s natural doesn’t mean it’s not harmful. Some people are allergic to Ginkgo biloba. They can also interfere with other medications, boasting or decreasing their effects. If you take other medications, always ask your physician if it’s safe to take a new one.

How much Ginkgo Biloba is safe?

There is no standard dose of ginkgo. Most studies have used a standardized extract of ginkgo, to 24% flavone glycosides and 6% terpene lactones. For improving cognitive function, studies have used between 120 milligrams to 600 milligrams of the extract daily. The dose given to people with dementia is 40 milligrams of that extract three times daily. No matter why are you using ginkgo, you better start at a low dose (120 milligrams daily) and increase this level gradually while observing your body and its response to the supplement. 

What research supports the claim that ginkgo biloba improves memory?

In a placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized clinical trial of an extract of Ginkgo biloba for dementia running over the course of 52 weeks and involving 309 patients, it was concluded that it is “capable of stabilizing improving the cognitive performance and the social functioning of demented patients for 6 months to 1 year.

A placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized trial of an extract of Ginkgo biloba for dementia. North American EGb Study Group. New York Institute for Medical Research, Tarrytown 10591, USA
PMID: 9343463

Related Readings

Agmatine SulfateBacopa MonnieriMelatoninLion’s Mane MushroomL-Theanine, and more on the Nootropics Blog.

Ultimate Nootropics FAQNootropics 101Racetams 101


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Summary: Rhodiola Rosea is a naturally growing flower plant from the wild Arctic regions of Europe, widely used in Chinese, Scandinavian and Russian traditional medicine. It is believed to be the perfect remedy for fatigue and burnouts. Moreover, Rhodiola is useful for the brain; protecting it from toxin damage as well as boosting memory and productivity.


Introduction

What is Rhodiola Rosea?

Rhodiola Rosea is thought to be the perfect remedy for fatigue and burnout. It is useful for the brain, protecting it from toxin damage, and boosting memory capacity as well as productivity. Recent research confirms that this high-altitude herb prevents the harmful effects of stress by restoring energy, improving mood,  and enhancing cognition. Furthermore, Rhodiola seems to promote longevity, combat fatigue, reduce anxiety, in addition to serving as a general neuroprotectant.


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Benefits and Effects

What Are Rhodiola Rosea Benefits?

  1. Minimizes Fatigue
  2. Promotes Cognitive Enhancement
  3. Reduces Anxiety and Stress
  4. Reduces Symptoms of Mild Depression
  5. Neuroprotective

Supporting research:

Rhodiola Rosea Minimizes Fatigue

Rhodiola is an excellent fatigue fighter. Typically decreasing the harmful physical and mental consequences of minor physical exhaustion (R). It is most useful in combating the kind of fatigue produced by prolonged repetitive low-intensity exertion or extended periods of stress (R). It is observed to increase the length of active exercise time [R], but opinions vary on whether it improves athletic performance from intense exertion.

While Rhodiola may be minimally competent as a performance enhancer for athletes [R], it can be extremely of use for students, late workers, and individuals who need to keep going with everyday life after fatigue gets the best of them. Rhodiola relieves many physical symptoms of fatigue, even diminishing them. Of such example are muscle aches, soreness, feelings of exhaustion, headaches, and sleepiness (R).

Rhodiola Rosea Promotes Cognitive Enhancement

Rhodiola is proven to address many of the cognitive symptoms of fatigue; including irritability, impaired judgment or decision-making ability, and declining brain capacity (R). A vast number of clinical trials continuously indicate this herb notably increases cognitive skills. It improves the memory, increases motivation, and also increase the capacity to endure more challenging work (R).  Many consider Rhodiola a powerful fatigue-independent nootropic, and its potential cognitive benefits remain under a lot of clinical trials.

The most intriguing trials involved a group of healthy physicians on night duty over a period of six weeks (R). The double-blind placebo-controlled study revealed that the participants receiving Rhodiola outscored those receiving placebo on several complex mental capabilities. That included associative thought, short-term memory, calculation, concentration, keen speed, and overall level of mental fatigue. (R)

Rhodiola Rosea Reduces Anxiety and Stress

Recent studies on Rhodiola add to its well-earned reputation as an excellent adaptogen aiding the body to achieve systemic balance and restore itself to normal function after exposure to stress (R). This therapeutic process is a valuable benefit for users who frequently deal with intense situations, hectic schedules, and high expectations, which seems to describe the average 9 to 5 person in most developing cities today.

Furthermore, clinical trials involving participants with chronic stress symptoms exhibit measurable improvements in all stress marks across the board; low energy, headache, muscular aches and discomfort, depression, mood swings, and sleep disorders (R).

In another double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study of students taking exams; Rhodiola shows to considerably improve general well-being and physical fitness, reduce mental fatigue, and improve scores on a battery of neuro-motoric tests (R). The students taking Rhodiola were scoring  8.4% higher on their exams in comparison to students on placebo. (R)

Rhodiola Rosea Lowers Symptoms of Depression

Rhodiola has potential as a reliable and efficient treatment for mild depression (R). Research remains ongoing, but clinical trials indicate that twice-daily doses of Rhodiola resulted in a significant lessening of depression, insomnia, emotional instability and other symptoms in patients diagnosed with mild to moderate depression. (R)

Rhodiola Rosea is Neuroprotective and Prevents Neurodegenerative Diseases

Many enzymes in Rhodiola have potent antioxidant properties (R). Not only do these enzymes guard neurons against oxidative damage and prolong cell life, but they also represent a potential therapy for neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson's disease, which is defined by significant oxidative stress and neuronal damage[R]. Animal studies show that Rhodiola can reduce oxidative damage to the cellular mitochondria and therefore has the potential to of being a decent addition to the treatment of Parkinson's disease. [R]

Though research is ongoing and results remain uncertain, Rhodiola still has the possibility of being a remedy for a broad scope of conditions, including high blood pressure, erectile dysfunction, heart disease, cancer, and longevity.


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Mechanism of Action

How Does Rhodiola Rosea Work?

It seems to act primarily by modulating a variety of signaling pathways and molecular networks in the brain. It affects this modulation to no small extent via many phytochemical components.

These components help to prevent the removal of serotonin and dopamine; primarily chemicals associated with making us feel happy. It also increases the availability of epinephrine and norepinephrine, compounds related to giving us drive and energy. Through these alterations, Rhodiola positively impacts mood, reduces fatigue perception, and enhances cognitive abilities.

Rhodiola promotes movements for chemicals in our brain, improving processing and reaction time. It also helps with stress system by suppressing the cortisol (stress-inducing hormone) and promoting beta-endorphins and opiate peptides (stress reducing hormones).


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Dosage

How To Take Rhodiola Rosea?

Safe and effective at doses ranging from 50 mg to 680 mg daily. It is best to take on an empty stomach, in a periodic cycle, thereby preventing tolerance build up.

A 100 mg dose effectively improves memory and focus, but a 400 mg is more effective at relieving symptoms of depression and anxiety.


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Side Effects

What Are Rhodiola Rosea Side Effects?

Rhodiola is generally safe and non-addictive at moderate doses (50 mg – 680 mg daily) for a period up to 10 weeks. The most common side effects are mild to moderate dizziness, anxiety, agitation, insomnia, nausea, restlessness, and increased libido. Those side effects exist in consuming high doses. Therefore, it is essential to start with the minimum effective dose and increase as needed.

Conclusion

Rhodiola as a tonic has become a tradition at this point after maintaining its reputation for generations. Moreover, it is still growing in popularity today as we learn more about its potential uses and capabilities. It is a powerful adaptogen and reliable neuroprotectant that help manage the adverse effects of stress. Therefore, it is a great supplement to consider for individuals interested in pushing up mental and physical performance to the optimum.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Rhodiola the best adaptogen nootropic?

Rhodiola rosea has a large number of beneficial qualities that make it an excellent herb for you to use to aid your health. It is one of the best herbs for stress. It is not only an adaptogen, but it is also an antidepressant and an antioxidant, as well as being one of the herbs to aid a viral infection.

It is the rhodiola rosea root that is used to make herbal remedies, that are powerful aids for heart problems. Its active ingredients are cardio-protective and anti-arrhythmic, meaning that it protects you from irregular heart beats.

The root of this plant has been in use in Siberia, Russia and China for around two thousand years. It is one of the adaptogenic herbs that only grows in certain locations at high elevations in mountainous regions.

It has an excellent action to aid mental alertness and to help fatigue. It is also helpful to stimulate your memory and to help protect your liver from chemical damage.

Can Rhodiola Rosea be taken while taking antidepressants or SSRI's like Sertraline (Zoloft, etc.)?

Rhodiola Rosea does seem promising, but as there is still insufficient evidence on the safety of this combination, I would strongly advise you to consult your psychiatrist first, before combining Zoloft with it. There is a potential for adverse drug interactions when combining SSRI antidepressants with Rhodiola, the latter of which has strong MAOI effects.
It should also be noted that Rhodeola Rosea can inhibit the CYP3A4 enzyme in the liver; although these were in-vitro studies, the potential exists for in-vivo inhibitions. Whilst this enzyme plays a minor role in the metabolism of Zoloft, it plays a large role in the metabolism of many other psychotropics.

Related Nootropics

  1. Bacopa Monnieri
  2. Cordyceps Mushroom
  3. Lion's Mane Mushroom
  4. Melatonin

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What is Lion’s Mane Mushroom?Benefits & EffectsMechanism of ActionUser ExperiencesFAQs


SummaryLion’s Mane Mushroom has become one of nature's most potent nootropic supplement for the brain. There is evidence that is can permanently enhance brain function as well as protect the brain and promote NGF and neurogenesis.

Lion's Mane Video TTShttps://youtu.be/hP-QMKjTV0g

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Introduction

What is Lion's Mane Mushroom?

Lion’s Mane Mushroom (also known as Hericium erinaceus), or rarely “monkey head mushroom,” is a traditional medicine that’s developing a strong fan base around the world. It has been voted as one of the top 10 natural nootropics of 2018 in terms of best selling, according to Nootropics Depot, as well as most beneficial. The list also included L-Theanine, Citicoline, as well as L-Theanine & Caffeine synergistic combo.

The profound effects it has on cognitive function while being neuroprotectant, as well as supporting NGF production, make it an appealing nootropic. The nerve growth factor is a discovery from 1986 that led Dr. Rita Levi-Montalcini to win a Nobel Prize. NGF is one of the primary building blocks of neuroplasticity.

Furthermore, it is part of a group of molecules responsible for neurodevelopment. A go-to tonic for years, Lion’s Mane (Hericium Erinaceus) is native to Japan, China, Europe, and North America. It offers many benefits to the brain. It's in use as an alternative medicine to treat neurodegenerative disorders.

It is becoming more popular after the discovery of connections to promoting neurodevelopment. It raises the quantity of NGF in the brain, which improves cognition by decreasing inflammation, promoting neural growth, and enhancing brain health. Furthermore, studies verify that Lion’s Mane is a powerful neuroprotectant that can be valuable in the treatment of a variety of conditions ranging from cardiovascular health to obesity and even to certain types of cancer. Thus, Lion's Mane has become a novel nootropic.


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Benefits & Effects

What Are Lion's Mane Mushroom Benefits?

  1. Enhances Memory and Brain Function
  2. Promotes Nerve Growth Factor and Neuroprotection
  3. Lion Mane Reduces Anxiety and Symptoms of Depression
  4. Reduces Inflammation, Boosts Immunity, and Helps Digestion
  5. Supports Heart and Circulatory System, and Prevents Strokes
  6. Improves Mental Health and Overall Well-Being

Supporting research:

Enhances Memory and Brain Function

Lion’s Mane Mushroom benefits are diverse. One of which is that it boosts cognition, especially in memory and recall speed. Additionally, it helps in maintaining concentration, increasing mental stamina, and heightening focus. It is one of the most praised nootropics due to being organic and natural. Furthermore, it provides a variety of benefits, often surpassing pharmaceutical products. 

A study in Japan on subjects diagnosed with a mild cognitive decline receiving Lion’s Mane mushroom extract at a daily dose of 3 g for 16 weeks found a measurable increase in scores on the cognitive function scale. And amazingly, without adverse effects. [R], [R]

Promotes Nerve Growth Factor and Neuroprotection

Lion's Mane Mushroom extract has an impressive ability preventing and healing damaged nerves. Studies support the claim of Lion’s Mane promotion of neurogenesis. The promotion of neurogenesis is also called neurodevelopment or generation. Neurogenesis results in long-lasting and continuous improvements in brain health (R) (R). In a study by Tohoku University on Lion's Mane and nerve growth states Lion’s Mane has most profound impact on nerve regeneration.

Post digestion, Lion’s Mane distributes through the body – crossing the blood-brain barrier. Then becomes capable of stimulating the generation of enzymes that release the Nerve Growth Factor, and additionally repairing nerve myelin. Those capabilities turn out useful in the cases of Alzheimer’s, dementia, neurodegeneration, muscular weakness, Parkinson’s Disease, and other neurological disorders. (R) (R)

Lion Mane Reduces Anxiety and Symptoms of Depression

Studies show that Lion’s Mane Mushroom benefits depression as well as anxiety symptoms after several weeks of supplementation. In a clinical trial where thirty women have been receiving Lion's Mane for four weeks versus women receiving placebo, it concluded that lion's mane intake indeed reduces depression and anxiety. (R), (R)

Reduces Inflammation, Boosts Immune System, Supports Healthy Digestion

Due to its potent anti-inflammatory properties, lion’s mane mushroom might improve the function of your stomach and digestive system. In many studies, lion’s mane mushroom has been shown to protect from or shrink gastric ulcers. Moreover, according to a survey by the Mushroom Research Centre at the University of Malaya, experts from the field concluded that the bioactive compounds in lion’s mane extract are responsible for the gastroprotective action. (R)

Another research from China published in the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms verifies that “results indicate that polysaccharide fraction is the active component of the H. erinaceus mycelium culture, which protects against gastric ulcers.”

Lion’s mane also significantly improve symptoms of two major inflammatory disorders of the digestive system; inflammatory bowel disease, and gastritis. Another study in Japan found that lion’s mane was able to reduce inflammation in fatty tissue, the factor in the formation of metabolic syndrome, a group of conditions that increase the risk of heart diseases, strokes, and diabetes. (R)

Lion’s mane can improve immune system function like the polysaccharide content in the fungus according to mice studies. [R]

Lion’s mane additional benefits is its antibacterial effects against what is now known to be “the world's most successful virus in human history.” (R, R)

Supports Heart and Circulatory System Health and Prevents Strokes

Experiments observed that extracts of lion’s mane block the spread of LDL cholesterol, sometimes referred to as the “bad” cholesterol, while simultaneously raising HDL, the good cholesterol. (R, R)

A stroke, which happens as a result of lack of sufficient blood supply to the brain, is often caused by blood clots. An extract of lion’s mane mushroom may be useful in the prevention of blood clots accumulate. Thereby helping decrease the risk of stroke, according to a study by the Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences in Japan. (R)

Improves Mental Health and Overall Well-Being

Lion’s mane helps feeling better by improving sleep rhythm and reducing the effects of mental health issues. The powerful extracts from the mushroom have been shown to combat fatigue (R).  They also possess the ability to regulate the body's circadian rhythms, which is especially important for people at risk of developing dementia. (R)


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Mechanism of Action

How Does Lion's Mane Mushroom Work?

Lion’s Mane mechanism of action is completely different from other nootropics. Lion’s Mane enhances cognition by increasing the amount of nerve growth factor in the brain (NGF). Nerve growth factor is one of a group of molecules named neurotrophins that are essential for the growth, development, maintenance, and survival of neurons.

Nerve Growth Factor (NGF)

A discovery in the 1980s that led Dr. Rita Levi-Montalcini to win a Nobel Prize – NGF is confirmed to be one of the primary building blocks of neuroplasticity. The presence of sufficient NGF improves cognition by stimulating growth as well as axons branching. Inadequate NGF, on the other hand, decreases brain functionality by leading to neuronal degeneration and eventually, the death of nerve cells. The more axons existing, and the better health they possess, the more efficiently impulses are transmitting. The more efficiently impulses are transmitting; the better cognition and overall brain function are.

Myelination

Another way in which NGF enhances cognition is by promoting myelination. Myelin works much like an electrical insulator, raising the speed which impulses progress onward the axons by increasing the electrical resistance of neural cell walls. Furthermore it inhibits the pulse from dissipating the axon. Myelination lays the groundwork for the restoration and regrowth of damaged axons, providing a track along which regrowth occurs. This activity is a crucial process in preserving the brain from the ravages of aging and is useful in the treatment of neurological complications. Some of which are multiple sclerosis and psychiatric disorders including depression, schizophrenia, dementia, as well as autism and Alzheimer’s disease.

Ongoing research hint that NGF production stimulated by Lion’s Mane may have anti-anxiety and mood enhancing effects. Furthermore, it could also facilitate weight-loss by improving metabolism.

[Related: Paul Stamet’s Niacin & Lion’s Mane Nootropic Stack Improved My Cognition & Jiu Jitsu Performance]

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Dosage

How To Take Lion Mane Mushroom?

The lowest effective dosage is 500 mg and the limit per day is 3000 mg. However, higher doses don't necessarily result in more benefits. A 1000 mg dosage once or twice a day is what I find the most beneficial for my needs.

I remember coming across posts on Reddit r/Nootropics where people were going really, really next level megadosing this. None of which reported anything more than a “slight” psychostimulant effect though – I am going to try to find that thread.


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Side Effects

What Are Lion's Mane Mushroom Side Effects?

There are barely any side effects that arise from taking Lion’s Mane. The most common side effect is an itchy skin which is likely due to the increase in Nerve Growth Factor. It most likely is the cause and could be a good sign that NGF levels are increasing.


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Conclusion

Lion's Mane is an exceptional, one of a kind,  organic nootropic that has many health benefits; additional to its nootropic ones. Research and clinical trials support its wide variety of perks. It's a nootropic to consider if you are looking for profound benefits to memory, cognition, detoxification, physical, and brain function. It is one of the few nootropics I have been continuously refilling from the very first use.


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User Experience

An on-going Lion's Mane Mushroom experience thread by Reddit users:

After reading about its memory and nervous system injury healing properties, I figured I'd give it a try. I simply purchased a bottle and take two after putting food in my stomach. Previously I had spent a year on adderall and endured more physical anxiety than I should have had to. I do feel more…evened out, if that makes sense. Less on edge and less anxious than I'd ordinarily be. Still on the lookout for other effects, and still willing to accept it could all be a placebo, but I'm remaining curious.


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Frequently Asked Questions

How do we get the benefits of dried Lion's Mane Mushroom without tasting the bitter water?

In most cultures other than the US, bitter is an acceptable flavor, and nutritionally acceptable. You can explore other cuisines where the line between medicine and food are more blurred. TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) frequently uses bitter herbs/mushrooms/etc in a soup, with other ingredients to balance the flavors. In Asian medicine, mushrooms are consumed as food, and as teas, as well as extracts. You could use the mushrooms in a soup where the broth contains the water used for rehydration, you can boil the mushrooms to make a tea or extract and add flavourings to those.

Is Lion's Mane Mushroom sattvic?

Satvik is a living term. This changes according to the situations and purposes. Satvik is something that is pure in purpose. All mushrooms grow in a decaying substrate. They grow in places devoid of sunlight. They are scavenger in nature and feed off the dead substrate. They are normally heavy to digest, cold in nature and increase Kapha according to Charak Samhita. I personally believe that mushroom is not exactly satvik in nature as they grow in a decaying medium. However, as said before, satvik is a contextual term. Satva guna is a state of mind. Basically, food that is earned through pure and righteous means, in a non-violent way, the food that does not cause distress or disgust to anyone and endows not only health but bliss to the soul, mind, and body, is called satvik.

It is important to sustain human life at any cost because human life is the only entrance to the state of salvation. Therefore, any food that helps to sustain life for the evolution of the soul is considered satvik. For example, if there is nothing else to eat, in an area with a sparse availability of vegetables, fruits, and grains, in that case even non-vegetarian food(considered rajasic) can be consumed and will not affect the satvik state of mind. But even vegetarian food that is foul smelling, stale, cooked or earned with an unhappy mind, and unappealing to the tongue is not satvik. Mushroom has a natural tendency to trigger susceptibility towards rhinitis and cause other Kapha related problems. Anything that has a natural tendency to cause harm is not considered satvik. For this reason, also, I think that they should be consumed only when other vegetables are not available or affordable; or consumed once in a while. Otherwise, it is not satvik.

Does eating Lions Mane Mushrooms reverse Alzheimer's?

Lion's Mane promotes NGF which has in test tube experiment generated 60% neurite outgrowth. It human experiments it has notably diminished mild cognitive impairment, the precursor of Alzheimer's dementia. It reduces amyloid-beta production, which form plaques toxic to healthy neurons, due to its anti-inflammatory properties. So far, there are no cures for Alzheimer's disease. Prevention is multifold: a life-style of regular adequate sleep (brain repair time includes clearing debris), both aerobic and weight-bearing exercise (promotes mitochondria synthesis and efficiency), and ideally intermittent fasting (promotes autophagy – the process where cells of the body are forced to use cellular scraps for synthesis of what is needed). Autophagy strategy is extremely effective for long-lived health. As an aside, B12 deficiency can cause dementia as well and can compound vulnerability to Alzheimer's.

Further and Related Readings

  1. Bacopa Monnieri, Melatonin, Ashwagandha
  2. The Ultimate Nootropics FAQ
  3. 6 Best Natural Nootropics

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Pending review. Contribute to this article.

Summary: Cordyceps is a mushroom used in Traditional Chinese Medicine that is touted to be anti-aging and pro-vitality; these quite vague claims have not yet been looked at in human interventions. It can regulate testicular testosterone production, but has complex mechanisms.

cordyceps militaris
Cordyceps Militaris

Introduction

What is Cordyceps Militaris Mushroom?

According to the theory of Chinese medicine, C. sinensis is sweet in taste and neutral in nature, and it can replenish the kidney, soothe the lung, stop bleeding, and eliminate phlegm. The fungus C. sinensis has been used for the treatment of fatigue, cough, hyposexuality, asthenia after severe illness, renal dysfunction, and renal failure (State Pharmacopoeia Commission of PRC 2005). In China, it is found in the soil of prairies at elevations of 3500–5000 m, mainly in the provinces of Qinghai, Tibet, Sichuan, Yunnan, and Gansu. In China, C. sinensis has been known and used as a remedy for more than 300 years. It was first recorded in Ben Cao Bei Yao by Wang Ang in 1694, and the Italian scholar Saccardo named the Cordyceps found in China officially as Cordyceps sinensis (Berk.) Sacc. in 1878; this nomenclature has been used ever since. [R]

Cordyceps vs. Reishi vs. Lion’s Mane

Along with other mushrooms like the Chaga mushroom and turkey tail mushroom, cordyceps, reishi and lion’s mane are three of the most popular medicinal mushrooms on the market. That being said, there are plenty of similarities between these three unique types of mushrooms as well as several things that set them apart.

Reishi mushrooms have been associated with an extensive list of health benefits, ranging from improved liver function to enhanced immunity in human and animal studies. Available in extract, capsule and powder form, reishi mushrooms are often used as a natural remedy to help boost health and increase antioxidant intake.

And while both reishi and cordyceps mushrooms are most commonly found in supplement form, lion’s mane is an edible mushroom that can be purchased from specialty grocery stores and used to bump up the benefits of your favorite recipes. Like other types of medicinal mushrooms, lion’s mane mushroom is high in inflammation-busting antioxidants and can help maximize immunity to support better health. However, it’s also been shown to improve brain function and protect against stomach ulcers in animal models.

Dr.Axe


History

The ecosystem of C. sinensis has been terribly affected by the restriction of habitat and over- exploration. Although the Ordinance of Resources Protection on Wild Herbal Medicine was issued in 1987, the yield of natural C. sinensis is still decreasing. It was reported based on a survey conducted during June–July 2007 that the yield of natural C. sinensis decreased by more than 90% in the last 25 years. The price rocketed to more than 200,000 Renminbi (RMB)/kg (approximately US$25,000) in 2007 (Feng, Yang, and Li 2008), and its usage was limited during the past decade by its limited supply. [R]

Due to the rarity and outstanding curative effects of C. sinensis, some natural substitutes such as C. militaris, C. liangshanensis, C. gunnii, and C. cicadicola have been sold in markets (Yang et al. 2009). In addition, several cultured mycelia of C. sinensis and C. militaris fungi have become the main substitutes of the natural species as commercial products, and 50 medicines and two dietary supplements related to cultured Cordyceps have been approved by the State Food and Drug Administration of China since 2002 (Feng, Yang, and Li 2008). For example, JinShuiBao capsule, the commercial product of Cs-4 (Paecilomyces hepialid, a standardized mycelium of C. sinensis), has been used in clinics throughout China. This product generates several million U.S. dollars every year. Synnematum sinensis, Cephalosporium sinensis, Gliocladium roseum, and Mortierella hepialid, the fungus strains isolated from natural C. sinensis, have also been subjected to large- scale fermentation and are used as commercial products (Cheung, Li, and Tsim 2005). Therefore, much effort has been invested in studying the evaluation of the quality, pharmacological activities, and clinical efficacies of natural and cultured cordyceps. In this chapter, we focus on the bioactivities, action mechanisms, and active ingredients of cordyceps, both natural and cultured. [R]

Cordyceps sinensis (C sinensis) is a well-known, traditional, Chinese medicinal mushroom, valued for its beneficial properties for human health. C sinensis has been reported to have immunomodulatory, anticancer, anti aging, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. [R]

Cordyceps is a mushroom traditionally used to treat sexual dysfunction and fertility in Chinese medicine, as well as a general sexual tonic and libido/performance enhancer. [1]

This mushroom belongs to phylum Ascomycota, the sub-phylum Ascomycota and the class Clavicipitaceae; which as a whole is seen as medicinal.

The most commonly used species is Sinensis, which is a Cordyceps to be shown to contain the bioactive compound Cordycepin (3′-deoxyadenosine). It is also present in Militaris and Kyushuensis.

Isolation of Cordycepin dates back to 1950, first discovered in Militaris. Cordycepin is known as a nucleotide analogue, due to its structural similarities to adenosine.

Cordyceps possesses a potent anti-oxidative effect. The anti-oxidative effects of Cordyceps come mostly from the polysaccharide content, and is equally potent between the Mycelium and the fruiting body of Cordyceps.

Cordyceps (also known as Cordyceps Sinensis, Cordyceps Militaris, Caterpillar Fungus, Caterpillar Mushroom, Summer grass-winter worm, Totsu kasu, Yarchakunbu, Aweto) is a form of traditional chinese medicine that benefits its user by boosting testosterone and supports anti-aging and longevity. It is also widely used for its libido and sexual health benefits.

Cordyceps militaris is a species of mushroom in the family Clavicipitaceae which has been used in traditional Chinese and Tibetan medicine for centuries. These interesting parasitic fungi usually use insects and arthropods as hosts. As their mycelium grows, it takes over the host’s tissues and long club-like fruiting bodies eventually emerge individually or in cluster form. Cordyceps Militaris is just one species in the family, but is well-known for its aggressive takeover of its host as well as for its purported health benefits.

Cordyceps Militaris historically has been used as an aphrodisiac, and was first documented in a 15th-century Tibetan text. However, Cordyceps militaris Mushroom Capsules today are sometimes used for a variety of health issues.


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Benefits and Effects

What Are Cordyceps Mushroom Benefits?

Boosts Exercise Performance

Cordyceps have been shown to improve measures of exercise performance in older and younger adults.

In a study conducted by the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of California, Los Angeles, where 20 health adults aged 50 to 75 were receiving 333 mg vs placebo 3 times a day for 12 weeks, the result was the following:

After receiving Cs-4 for 12 weeks, the metabolic threshold (above which lactate accumulates) increased by 10.5% from 0.83 ± 0.06 to 0.93 ± 0.08 L/min (p < 0.02) and the ventilatory threshold (above which unbuffered H+ stimulates ventilation) increased by 8.5% from 1.25 ± 0.11 to 1.36 ± 0.15 L/min. Significant changes in metabolic or ventilatory threshold were not seen for the subjects in the placebo group after 12 weeks, and there were no changes in V̇o2 max in either group. [R]

Promotes Longevity and Anti-Aging

Several studies have found that Cordyceps increase antioxidants in aged mice, helping improve memory and sexual function. Antioxidants are molecules that fight cell damage by neutralizing free radicals, which can otherwise contribute to disease and aging.

The following study The study was conducted at the Center for Biological Research, University of Belgrade. The participants were 6 individuals, 2 males and 4 females, between the ages of 20 and 45 years old. The outcome measures of the studies were the following:

For the posttreatment, the CS extract exhibited antigenotoxic potential by attenuating H2O2-induced DNA damage at all concentrations tested. The evaluation of repair kinetics showed a decrease in DNA-damaged cells 15 min after the application of the CS extract, reaching a maximum potency after 45 min. Conclusions • The results indicated that C sinensis can be used as a postapplicative agent that counteracts the effect of oxidative stress. The resulting reduction in DNA damage might be related to its scavenging properties and stimulation of DNA repair. [R]

Helps Fight Inflammation

Research has shown that when human cells are exposed to Cordyceps, special proteins that increase inflammation in the body become suppressed. Thanks to these potential effects, researchers believe Cordyceps may serve as a useful anti-inflammatory supplement or drug.

A study by the College of Pharmacy, Sookmyung Women's University in Seoul has found to contain acute anti-inflammatory activity, which was evaluated using the carrageenin-induced edema, and also strong antinociceptive activity in writhing test. CME and FBE contain potent inhibitory activity on the chick embryo chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) angiogenesis in a dose-dependent manner.

In brief, we demonstrate that Cordyceps militaris possesses anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive activities, and related antioxidant, anti-angiogenic, and NO production-inhibitory activities. [R]

Anti-Tumor and Fights Cancer in Several Pathways

Due to the limitations of surgery and radiotherapy and the side effects of chemotherapy, there is increasing interest in developing antitumor drugs from natural products. Studies have shown that cordyceps has antitumor activity in various cancers through several pathways. Both natural and cultured cordyceps have demonstrated antitumor effects [R]


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Mechanism of Action

How Do Cordyceps Work?

Cordyceps might improve immunity by stimulating cells and specific chemicals in the immune system. It may also have activity against cancer cells and may shrink tumor size, particularly with lung or skin cancers.


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Dosage

How To Take Cordyceps Mushrooms?

The dosage commonly used in human research is 1,000–3,000 mg per day. This range is not associated with side effects and has been found to have certain health benefits.

There is no indication if this is the optimal dose or not, and it is uncertain if this dosage is even effective as some of the research has come back null.

The appropriate dose of cordyceps depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for cordyceps. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be significant.

A little more on the explanation from Nootropics Depot:

In terms of comparing Cordyceps dosages, it is essential to remember that the 10:1 extract isn't technically 10 times stronger than the 1:1 extract. With this in mind, our label recommends 1 gram (or 1000mg) of the 10:1 extract, which is the same dosage for the 1:1 extract. However, anecdotally, the 10:1 extract is quite a bit more stimulating so 250-500mg may be adequate as well. Many people prefer to split their 1:1 dosage into two 500mg doses spread out over the day.

This is especially true for those that can get minor stomach upset with higher dosages of Cordyceps. Our Cordyceps capsules are 500mg of our 1:1 extract in each capsule. The 10:1 seems to be stronger in some aspects, but also smoother in others. Many people find that a single 250mg dose is adequate for the 10:1. As always, this all comes down to your personal preference and what works best for you.


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Side Effects

What Are Cordyceps Mushrooms Side Effects?

Cordyceps is generally safe for most people when taken appropriately by mouth, short-term.

The long history of use in Traditional Chinese Medicine suggests they are nontoxic. Moreover, the Chinese government approved the use of cordyceps for use in hospitals and regards it as a safe, natural drug. [R]

WebMD suggests caution and prevention of usage for the following cases:

Pregnancy and breastfeeding:

There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking cordyceps if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or other conditions: Cordyceps might cause the immune system to become more active. This could increase the symptoms of auto-immune diseases. If you have one of these conditions, it's best to avoid using cordyceps.

Bleeding disorders: Cordyceps might slow blood clotting. Taking cordyceps might increase the risk of bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.

Surgery: Using cordyceps might increase the risk of bleeding during the operation. Stop taking cordyceps 2 weeks before surgery.


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Conclusion

Cordyceps are well known in Traditional Chinese Medicine and have been used for centuries to treat many health ailments.

Though the fungi show promise in many areas, there’s little research on their effects in humans. Thus, more research is needed before experts can make any recommendations.

Animal and lab studies suggest Cordyceps have the potential to improve heart health and fight inflammation, cancer, diabetes and aging. However, many of these studies are poor quality, and the results cannot be extended to humans.

Nevertheless, there have been human studies on Cordyceps’ effects on exercise performance. The fungi have been found to potentially boost energy and oxygen use during exercise.

If you choose to take Cordyceps supplements, make sure they’ve been tested by a third-party organization for purity and quality.


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