Mushrooms are natural nootropics

What are nootropics?

Nootropics are drugs or substances that improve cognitive functions such as memory, attention, concentration, and mental performance. They can also help treat conditions such as depression, anxiety, and Alzheimer's disease.

History of nootropics

The term "nootropic" was first coined in 1972 by Romanian neurophysiologist Corneliu E. Giurgea. He was researching substances that could improve cognitive functions in people with various neurological disorders.

Types of nootropics

There are many different types of nootropics, which work in different ways. Some of the most common types include:

  • Amino acids: Amino acids, such as piracetam and acetyl-L-carnitine, can help improve memory and attention.
  • Neurotransmitters: Neurotransmitters, such as choline and dopamine, are essential for the normal functioning of the brain. Nootropics that affect neurotransmitters can help improve cognitive functions.
  • Antioxidants: Antioxidants, such as resveratrol and quercetin, can help protect the brain from damage.
  • Vitamins and minerals: Some vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin B12 and magnesium, are essential for the normal functioning of the brain.

Mushrooms as nootropics

Some mushrooms, such as lion's mane (Hericium erinaceus) and shiitake (Lentinula edodes), have potential nootropic properties. These mushrooms contain various compounds that can improve cognitive functions, such as:

  • Erinacines: These compounds may stimulate the production of nerve growth factor (NGF), which plays an important role in the development and regeneration of nerve cells.
  • Choline-like compounds: These compounds may help improve memory and attention by affecting the level of choline in the brain.
  • Antioxidants: These compounds can help protect the brain from damage caused by free radicals.


Several studies have shown that mushrooms can improve cognitive functions. For example, one study showed that lion's mane can improve memory and attention in people with dementia. Another study showed that shiitake can improve cognitive functions in people with Alzheimer's disease.

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